End-of-year exhibitions reveal mystery and beauty

Laura Baring-Gould and Laura Evans at Boston Sculptors Gallery, ‘Regarding Mystery and Beauty’ at GASP, Korean-born artists at Smith College Museum of Art
By EVAN J. GARZA  |  December 16, 2008

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Think it’s impossible to find a newish gallery show at the end of December? Think again. (Although in one case you’ll have to think Northampton.) Here are a few suggestions for exhibits to check out before naught-nine arrives.

On December 31, Boston Sculptors Gallery will open its winter installations by LAURA BARING-GOULD and LAURA EVANS. Evans’s work (some of which you may have seen in the restrooms at the Mills Gallery) revolves around form and physical processes, often transforming pipes or hoses into humorous displays of color and oddly constructed figures. Both artists’ work is made with unconventional or found objects, from honey and salt to sand and latex fabric. Baring-Gould’s 2006 show at BSG featured a 10-foot conical beehive made of beeswax; here her fondness for bees takes the form of a large-scale installation of swirling strips of pine wood that mimic, according to the artist, “the ways that bees might fly through space.” If insects flying through the cosmos isn’t your thing (but how could it not be?), you can reflect on Baring-Gould’s small bronzed objects.

Another show using interesting materials is “MOVEMENT,” an exhibit of 12 Korean-born artists that includes a large wall installation by Yong Soon Min composed solely of CDs and LPs. On view at Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton through January 11, “Movement” offers work by some of the best known Korean and Korean-American talent in contemporary art, among them the late, great Nam June Paik, Do-Ho Suh, and Nikki S. Lee. Lee is best known for immersing herself in a community for several months and taking on the personae of different women — a Latina, a skateboarder, a punk, an exotic dancer, a senior citizen — for her photographic series Projects.

A collection of equally compelling photographs by Michael Padnos and paintings by a handful of others is on view in “REGARDING MYSTERY AND BEAUTY,” which is up through January 31 at Gallery Artists Studio Projects (GASP) in Brookline. Curated by Consuelo Isaacson, the show offers a small group of self-taught artists including Alejandro Lazo, Mark Pescovitz, and Isaacson herself. The term “beauty” in that title applies across the artist roster, but it’s particularly applicable to the work of the Paris-based Padnos, who practiced law in the States before moving to France. Taken in Paris, Copenhagen, and Havana, his images of shop windows and their respective reflections capture the displays inside and the passers-by outside, playing with context, surroundings, and the unknown.

 “LAURA BARING-GOULD” AND “LAURA EVANS” at Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Ave, Boston | Opening December 31 | 617.482.7781 orwww.bostonsculptors.com | “MOVEMENT” at Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton | Through January 11 | 413.585.2760 orwww.smith.edu/artmuseum | “REGARDING MYSTERY AND BEAUTY” at Gallery Artists Studio Projects (GASP), 362-4 Boylston St, Brookline | Through January 31 | 617.418.4308 orwww.g-a-s-p.net

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