I have not made it out to as many openings and exhibitions as I normally like too. Part of that has to do with adapting to my new role as a parent, part of that has to do with moving a to the outskirts of the city, but a lot of it has to do with the downward trajectory that this cities gallery scene has taken in the last few years. Spaces were closing, programs were slowing, I was having a harder time picturing a place for the kind of work I like here. Things were just getting less exciting.

Lately though, things seem to be turning around. New galleries are opening, existing spaces are relocating and gaining momentum, things are getting interesting again. Lately, I have been heading out to see art around Boston again, and I have been coming home renewed motivation. With that in mind, I wanted to do my small part to help fuel the energy that I am feeling lately by talking a little about a couple of the shows I visited this weekend. Now, my audience isn’t huge, somewhere between a few hundred and a few thousand read my posts, depending on my luck on any given day. But I think that starting conversations is important, and I want to continue to follow my own advice here. So I am going to keep it short and simple, but I am going to throw my opinions out there.

Anne BuckwalterDarling Hush Of Danger

Thomas Young Gallery

Thomas Young Gallery has always been a favorite spot of mine, and it seems to really be hitting its stride. I have to admit that in general, the lowbrow-ish, educated artschool outsider, whatever you call it aesthetic does not appeal to me much these days. Not to say that there is not a lot of interesting work that falls into this category, just that we seem to have reached saturation with this style, and a lot the art being made just ends up feeling a little too lazy.

Anne Buckwalter’s work escapes this trap (maybe it doesn’t even fall into this style at all?). It’s good. When I met her at the opening, I tried to explain how much I enjoyed her work, in comparison to how disappointed I would normally be by similar pieces… Which landed about as well as you would expect.

buckwalter

The work draws you in with intimately scaled drawings that are packed with details. The figures repeat and evolve across large sheets of bright white paper to create larger compositions. In my mind, the effect is similar to a repetitious musical hook, but Anne insisted her intent was quite different. In any case, it worked. The work had that feeling of immediacy that everyone loves, without hiding the fact that it was obviously labor intensive and quite structured. It felt quick and loose, without feeling like a study for something better (a sweet spot that so many artists seem to fall short of finding). If you didn’t manage to make it out on Saturday, it’s worth the trip.

Darlin Frometa – Fighting Superstition

How’s Howard?

I don’t think anyone who reads this site is going to be surprised that I liked this show. It’s no secret that I love intense, visually interesting paintings, and the centerpiece of this show falls right into that category. The work in this show features classically inspired compositions starring big bellied men, dressed in elaborate feminine attire. The effect is playful and inviting, and once you get pulled in, the pieces reward you with an abundance of details and allegories to explore.

I love art that gives enough away to be accessible and engaging for most everyone, while still holding deeper secrets for those who are knowledgeable enough to uncover them. This work does that. My only complaint is that there were not more paintings from this series included in the show (the drawings are scaled more appropriately for this particular space, so I think I understand the choice). Again, it’s a show worth seeing, at a gallery worth supporting.

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I have a bad habit of exploring ideas out loud. As I am thinking my way through problems, I will ask questions, spit out ideas, request feedback on half baked theories and generally allow most any thought that passes through my head to escape as sound. In the world of bad habits (even in my own world of bad habit), this one is fairly benign but, it does have a way of confusing, annoying and generally making me look foolish to anyone with the poor fortune of being within earshot at one of these moments.

I feel like I have allowed this habit to infect my writing lately as I have been publicly working my way through the pixelated private message paintings. In other words, it has been helpful to send my ideas out into the world, to receive the confused glances that come with bad ones, along with the excitement and support that come back from the good ones but, I expect that everyone is just about ready for me to shut up about it all ready.

With that in mind, I am sending my latest study for this series to a show at the Dorchester Art Project.

Private Message Study #2

I am sending my piece to this show and I am telling you not to worry, you are not going to this show to see my latest exploration into this idea, you are going to DAP to see the other artists. You are going here to marvel at latest group of amazingly talented artists coattails that I have somehow managed to ride.

Here are a few teaser pieces from the show, keep reading below for official press release and dates.

Steven Carvalho "Sunday Morning"
_E_Petitti - The Liu-Casco Theory About the Loss of the Golden Pear (version4) - Drawing
Retrofit Painting by Thomas Willis

BETWEEN YOU AND ME: RESIDENT GROUP SHOW

Exhibition: August 14­ – September 18

Artist talks: September 12

Closing Reception: September 18

Dorchester Art Project

1486 Dorchester Ave Boston

The Dorchester Art Project is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition, B?etween You and Me: Resident Group Show. C?urated from work produced by DAP resident artists, B?etween You and Me locates the tenuous threads that bind together artists working within communal space.

In the front gallery, photographs consider how individuals relate to their worlds and constructed tableaus explore otherworldly scenes. Paintings of faces fall apart into pixelated squares, mimicking the failure of cellular communication between people, while in other works, intertwined figures emerge from abstraction. In the back gallery, a site­specific installation of sculptures that reference painting recreates the artist’s studio within the gallery space. Collages made from phone books and other paper detritus sourced directly from the Dorchester environment are as much about absence of information and individuals as their presence. Across the paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings, there is a commonality of artists engaged in critical discourse and thinking as the artists interpret their environments and interact with the surrounding communities.

Operating in the space formerly occupied by the Howard Art Project, the Dorchester Art Project is dedicated to fostering a collaborative environment for critical discourse and creative engagement for emerging artists. Located in the Fields Corner neighborhood of Dorchester, DAP provides studio and communal space to artists, while programming our gallery space with regular exhibitions of critically engaged, emerging local artists, as well as artist talks and lectures. DAP aims to engage a wide audience, and bridge the gap between urban residents and the critical art establishment.

Join and share the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/494095904089321/