Monday, December 5, 2011

The 2012 deCordova Biennial Curators Dina Deitsch and Abigail Ross Goodman take on Art | Basel

Co-curators of The 2012 deCordova Biennial, Dina Deitsch and Abigail Ross Goodman, blogged about their experiences at Art Basel Miami over the weekend for Art New England. Learn more about what they saw, what they liked, and where they went.

Read more on Art New England's blog.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hannah Visits the Tang

Fall Curatorial Intern, Hannah Mode, recently visited the Tang Museum at Skidmore College.  Here are some of her thoughts. To read more on this topic, please visit
Whiting Tennis
Washer/Dryer, 2010
Plywood and house paint
Each 40 ½ x 27 7/8 x 24 ¼ inches

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of returning to beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY, home to the Tang Museum at Skidmore College (where I spent four years studying as an undergrad). Like deCordova, the Tang boasts an innovative exhibition space and an exciting curatorial program that provides each viewer with a unique, thoughtful art experience. On this trip, I was especially looking forward to seeing the exhibition, Opener 22: Whiting Tennis.
Whiting Tennis
The New Green, 2007
Wood, paint, and Visqueen
56 1/8 x 20 x 33 7/8 inches

Opener 22 is Tennis’ first solo museum exhibition and features sculpture, painting, drawing, and collage from the past twelve years. The Seattle-based artist is heavily influenced by everyday structures in the Northwest and often includes recognizable visual clues in his work that point to familiar items, like sheds, bits of plywood, signs, even mailboxes. Tennis breathes new life into discarded, overlooked objects by fusing many materials into a single work of art.

Drawing is the base of Tennis’ practice, and he also creates woodblock prints that he cuts and collages together. I especially enjoyed the way the texture of the drawings and collages emphasizes the landscape of the Northwest, and creates relationships with similar surfaces of the sculptures. 

Whiting Tennis
Boogeyman, 2007
Plywood and hot melt tar
83 x 44 x 32 inches
Courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery, New York
Two outdoor sculptures - Boogeyman (a black structure about seven feet tall) coated in what looks like tar, stands outside the main entrance, while title, a smaller, shingled piece rests on the back patio in the same mysterious, yet familiar vein as the sculptures in the gallery. In addition, painted wood replicas of a washer and dryer are on display in a birch grove on the museum grounds and serve to round out the exhibition. I love the thought of coming across these two domestic objects in nature, like escaped housebound creatures.
Whiting Tennis
Washer/Dryer, 2010
Plywood and house paint
Each 40 ½ x 27 7/8 x 24 ¼ inches

Ian Berry, Malloy Curator of the Tang Museum, organized Opener 22 in collaboration with the artist.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hard Work

If there is one thing on everyone’s minds these days, it’s jobs. Roughly 1 out of every 11 Americans is unemployed; Obama’s Jobs Bill just got voted down; the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to squares and campuses across the nation; and news segments endlessly discuss potential economic plans for job creation. In her infinite wisdom, Curator Susan Cross has channeled this timely and contentious discourse (and its historical roots) into her show, The Workers, on view at MassMoCA through March 2012. In it, labor emerges as the dominant theme that is taken up in different contexts by the 25 international artists and filmmakers featured. Here, the artists talk about work while making work. Adrian Paci’s 2007 video of a mass of laborers stranded in the middle of an empty runway, poignantly addresses the plight of the migrant worker; Mary Lum’s billboard project of personally stamped brown paper bags (whose work will also be featured in The 2012 deCordova Biennial) elevates and personalizes the worker; while other projects like Sam Durant’s sculptural gallows remember a darker history of labor activism. More than just a timely reflection – The Workers showcases the variety of perspectives and thinking about industry, economy, and the jobscape today.

Adrian Paci, Centro di Permanenza Temporanea, 2007, video still

Mary Lum, Made with Pride by Terry Russell, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

PLATFORM 7 – now up!

Tory Fair just finished her sculptures on the Pollack Terrace. The installation, Testing a World View (Again) is the 7th iteration of our ongoing PLATFORM series and is the first to address this fantastic terrace space! The installation features four identical cast figures of the artist’s body in a nice pink resin with aluminum leafing. Placed on and around the terrace in surprising ways (note the wall…), Fair asks us to test our own world view with our bodies and minds!

On Saturday, August 6th visitors are given an opportunity to listen and try out their own line of questioning. There is a Platform Discussion with Tory Fair and documentary filmmaker Robb Moss, where the two will chat about other strange interactions between the body and nature. There is also Yoga in the Park where visitors can use this opportunity to see how their bodies respond to only to the movement of the positions but the space of the sculpture park. 


Abby and Brian installing

Tory directing

Tory with her cast

View from the Terrace, photo by Tony Luong

Monday, July 11, 2011

Little Rhodie

This week I found myself in Wakefield, RI, visiting the historic Hera Gallery. A pioneer in alternative exhibition spaces and one of the earliest women’s cooperative galleries in the US, Hera is unusual in having been established in a non-urban setting – and just a stone’s throw from the water. You really couldn’t ask for a nicer locale!

Currently on view is a selection of works from member artists featuring this particularly excellent staged photograph of sculpted cake icing (as a fan of Ace of Cakes, I couldn’t help but love this) and some smart constructions by Michael Yefko.

En route back to Boston I dropped by the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown in Providence where outgoing curator Maya Allison and AS220 director Neal Walsh curated a sharp round up of Providence painting. Shawn Gilheeney took the back wall and transformed it into a ghostly, layered mural of a decaying landscape while Lisa Perez takes paint into the sculptural with fantastic constructions that play off the wall with color and form. Local writer Greg Cook has a nice write up about it on his ever-fantastic blog.

And finally, you can’t leave Brown’s art building without stopping in at the stairwell (which you’ll need to do anyhow if you need the bathroom), which Brown art and art history students have been tagging for years. A wise and fun take on the hallowed halls of academia…

-         Dina Deitsch

Botanical Take-Over: deCordova on the Greenway – part II

A prevailing theme in contemporary outdoor sculpture is the relationship between nature and culture. Urban Garden, deCordova’s latest off-site public art exhibition is located in the heart of downtown Boston on the Rose Kennedy Greenway between Pearl and Congress Streets, nestled between city, park, and water, and the perfect location for just such an exploration. James Surls’ Walking Flower Times the Power of Five (2010), Tom OtternessTree of Knowledge (1997), and John Ruppert’s Pumpkin Series (1996) transform this green-scape into a fantastical garden. The monumental gourds and towering flowers appear as large and unyielding as the steel and glass buildings that surround them. Urban Garden is organized by Nick Capasso, deCordova’s Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, and will be up from June 2011 to October 2012.

--Jenny Gerow
James Surls, Walking Flower Times the Power of Five, 2010

John Ruppert, Pumpkin Series, 1996

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NATURE SPECIAL - deCordova on the Greenway, Part I

Opening crowd at Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion

July 16th was a day of spectacles. Along with the Stanley Cup touring through Boston streets and bars came another exciting unveiling in Boston—Nature Special, a video installation in the brand new Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Curated by associate curator Dina Deitsch, Nature Special features five videos about our mediated relationship to the great outdoors by artists Jim Campbell, Sam Easterson, William Lamson, and Suara Welitoff. The installation inaugurates a guest-curated video program, a fantastic way to expose audiences to new ways of interacting with public art and a program that we hope continues well into the future. Shown on two 8 x 10 foot low-resolution LED screens, the installation is housed in the structurally and ecologically beautiful new Pavilion designed by the architectural and design firm Utile that transforms the greenway into compelling destination to welcome visitors to the Boston Harbor Islands national park area. 

Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion

Don’t miss Sam Easterson’s video of the burrowing owl peering out of its little home. The footage was created by a micro-video camera and like many Easterson videos places us within the viewpoint of the animal. Visitors to the Pavilion will be mesmerized late into the night by this little bird!

Nature Special will be on view in the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion each evening from 7pm-11pm, Jun 16, 2011 - Oct 31, 2011.   

Sam Easterson, Burrowing Owl, 2010

Jenny Gerow
Curatorial Intern