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GREG COOK

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Boston arts institutions flexed their muscles in 2011

Boom town!
The following rundown of the best art exhibits of 2011 shows how greater Boston is now consistently offering some of the richest institutional art exhibition programs in the country.
By: GREG COOK  |  December 28, 2011

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Museum of Natural History’s new ‘Curiouser’ collection

Into the wild
A fact underlying the exhibit "Curiouser," in the lobby of the Providence Museum of Natural History (Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, through September 2012), is that less than two percent of the institution's collection of 250,000 preserved birds, insects, mammals, rocks, fossils, and Native American baskets is on view at any time.
By: GREG COOK  |  December 13, 2011

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‘NetWorks 2011’ is good — but it could be better

Incomplete picture
In 2008, local art collector Joseph Chazan partnered with the Newport Art Museum and AS220 to present the first "NetWorks" project.
By: GREG COOK  |  December 07, 2011

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Mark Cooper and Joe Zane

Crafty messes
"More Is More" is the oh-so-accurate title of Somerville artist Mark Cooper's overflowing cornucopia of an installation at Samson.
By: GREG COOK  |  December 06, 2011

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Brian Chippendale and Jungil Hong’s dazzling new work

A sense of wonder
Brian Chippendale and Jungil Hong were at the center of the gang of artists who pioneered the rascally psychedelic art that boiled out of Providence's screenprinting/postering/comic book/puppet show/wrestlemania/noise rock underground in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 29, 2011

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Laurel Nakadate at Harvard; 'Destroy All Monsters' at BU

Stranger danger
Laurel Nakadate has danced to Britney Spears with lonely strangers and traveled the country photographing herself in fake pin-ups.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 29, 2011



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“Nostalgia Machines” at Brown’s Bell Gallery

Reconsidering the future
Jonathan Schipper's Measuring Angst (2009) might be a complicated machine built to help you ponder whether your life would be better if you could take back the stupid thing you did last night.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 21, 2011

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Haacke and Piene at MIT

Natural phenomena
"Hans Haacke 1967" at MIT's List Visual Arts Center is a science museum presentation with the educational explanation stripped away, leaving just wonder.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 15, 2011

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Rebecca Macri, Dan Talbot, and Betsey MacDonald at AS220

Contrasts and comparisons
Some time back, Rebecca Macri embroidered a pillow with the rainbow bars of the old terrorism alert chart ("severe" to "low").
By: GREG COOK  |  November 15, 2011

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Buonaccorsi + Agniel opens its doors with “Yes!”

An artistic revival
Providence is one of the most fertile art-making communities anywhere, but commercial galleries showcasing groundbreaking art made here — the art that defines the future — struggle to stay in existence.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 02, 2011

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Aphrodite at the MFA; Pompeii at the Museum of Science

Love and death
The ancient Greeks said the Titan Kronos cut off the penis of his father, Ouranos, the sky, and chucked it into the sea.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 02, 2011



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Cai Guo-Qiang, “Sustainable Beauty,” and “Independents”

Quick impressions
Cai Guo-Qiang has mounted his two big crocodiles at head height, where you can peer into their snapped open jaws lined with fangs.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 25, 2011

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Sage and Tanguy at Wellesley, O'Reilly and Hartley at Yezerski

Kindred spirits
Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy liked each other's paintings of surreal rocky blobs rising on vast, empty landscapes before they met in Paris in 1938, and they liked each other when they were introduced.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 25, 2011

Ellen Driscoll’s ‘Distant Mirrors’; plus, ‘Palimpsestic’

Floating ideas
A few weeks back, three artificial islands made of recycled plastic and dotted with little model buildings — houses, a watch tower, an oil refinery, the Tower of Babel — were floated down the Providence River and anchored just south of the Crawford Street Bridge at South Water Street.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 19, 2011

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'Dance/Draw' at the ICA

Line dancing
When the Institute of Contemporary Art hired Helen Molesworth away from Harvard in 2010, it seemed like the ICA's new chief curator might fill a big gap at the institution: the ability to put together strong theme exhibits.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 18, 2011

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Signs of War: The Afghanistan War 10th Anniversary Highway Banner Project

Questions on the Overpass
I'd climbed onto the guardrails of the Dorchester Avenue overpass in Boston to tie a recycled bed sheet to the chain-link fencing. The sheet bore the inscription, 1ST LT. TIMOTHY STEELE, 25, DIED AUG. 23, 2011, KANDAHAR PROVINCE, and it puffed with wind from I-93 rushing below.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 17, 2011



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'Degas and the Nude' at MFA

Baby got back
A splendid survey of a modern master as well as girls, girls, girls.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 12, 2011

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Works by Andrew Moon Bain, Elisa D’Arrigo, Serena Perrone

Shape shifting and dreamy visions
In "Talking Leaves," Andrew Moon Bain's show at AS220's Project Space (93 Mathewson Street, Providence, through October 29), his painting and collage Triple Black depicts a red mermaid and black seahorses floating atop a tumultuous sea amidst old sailing ships.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 11, 2011

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Videos: Selections from the Afghanistan War YouTube Video Fest

Scenes from a decade of war
To mark the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, Phoenix art critic Greg Cook presents the “Afghanistan War YouTube Video Fest,” a screening of videos documenting the conflict.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 07, 2011

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Big, bold, and compelling, murals are having their moment in Providence

The city as canvas
Some weeks back, painter Agustin Patino drove me down Broad Street in South Providence in his wife's Jeep.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 05, 2011

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Britannia rules at RISD’s “Made In the UK”

Top of the pops
"Made In the UK: Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection," a survey of post-World War II British art at the RISD Museum (224 Benefit Street, Providence, through January 8), arrives as British artists are the top of the pops.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 04, 2011


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