Posts Tagged ‘cate mcquaid’





I held off on posting about this Globe art review until I had seen the show myself. My husband and I went yesterday, and it was as elegant as reviewer Cate McQuaid suggests.

She wrote, “Fred Eversley, the subject of a minimalist, cosmic show at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, started out in life as an aerospace engineer. His sleek sculptures, crafted and finished with precision, have the lean economy of industrial design.

“But these works don’t belong on a spacecraft — except, perhaps, to signal to an alien species the breadth of human consciousness. They are oracular. …

“In the mid 1960s, Eversley gave up his job at California’s Wyle Laboratories to become a sculptor. He was 25. By 1970, he had a solo show at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art. …

“Eversley found his technique quickly, casting liquid polyester resin to first make gleaming, translucent blocks, cones, and arcs, then the wondrous parabolic circles he calls lenses. …

“Neighbors of his there included John McCracken and Larry Bell, artists in California’s Light and Space movement. …

“McCracken gave the young sculptor a can of black paint, and the work that sprang from that companionable gesture makes up this show. Eversley set aside the seductions of emeralds, wine reds, and honeyed yellows for a starker palette. These sculptures may be less intoxicating, but they are commanding, taking on life, death, and cosmology.

“The black pieces mirror, confront, and suck you in; black holes come to mind. White ones cradle and comfort. Gray ones are shrouds, sometimes parting to reveal whatever lies beyond.

The show’s installation, orchestrated by Rose curator Kim Conaty, is a marvel.

“Look through one work at an array of other ones (they are all untitled), and that frame shifts things: Suddenly, you’re not appraising objects in a gallery, but viewing another world, one both distant and intimate. The lenses act as gyres into the imagination.

“They stand on edge. In one suite of three, a nearly open gray circle sits between a black concave lens and a white one. The glossy inward slopes of the outer two slide us right to their centers, where the pigment clears.

“These small openings prompt the gaze of a spy through a keyhole, or a scientist through a scope. We’re discovering a world within. Peer through the black one, and the others resemble a lineup of planets. The wall sculpture beyond, a black-and-white arc, might be a falling star. The world within is galactic.”

More at the Globe, here. See Eversley bio here.

A bonus: we bumped into Kim (the curator) and her charming family, friends of Suzanne, Erik, and the kids. The little ones were about to get a treat at Dairy Joy in Weston, having just been good as gold at a concert in the museum. Kim described the concert on instagram: “#JennieCJones led @brandeisuniversity musicians in an improvisational reading of the score she developed in response to installation instructions by #LouiseNevelson from her 1967 exhibition @roseartmuseum.”


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Boston Globe arts correspondent Cate McQuaid tweeted a link to this Seattle Times article a while back. I thought you would like it.

Reporter Sandi Doughton writes about the ice cap at Mount Rainier’s summit and how it provided a lab of otherworldly grottoes for scientists last summer. The adventure described is both harrowing and thrilling. Here are some teasers.

“The caves form as heat rises from the volcano’s depths and melts the base of the ice cap that fills Rainier’s twin craters. …

“With little shelter on the exposed ridge, the group [of explorers] bolted for the lowest ground in sight. They huddled in a small saddle, cringing as lightning flashed through the clouds. Thunder echoed from all directions and the wind blasted them with snow.

“It was an hour before the lightning abated enough for the team members to take refuge in their tents. The storm raged all night. …

“[Zoe] Harrold, a University of Washington graduate now at Montana State, sees the caves as a natural laboratory to study microbes that flourish where most life withers.

“The combination of volcanic heat and gas, frigid water and icy soil is similar to conditions on Earth when the first living things appeared. It’s also what scientists expect on Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa — two other places in the solar system that might harbor life.”

Read the story here, and be amazed by the photos. The story reminds me so much of the spooky Danish mystery Smilla’s Sense of Snow.

Photos: François-Xavier de Ruydts/Special to the Seattle Times
Microbiologist Zoe Harrold, a University of Washington graduate, says the Mount Rainier caves can be a natural laboratory for study of microbes that can flourish in conditions hostile to most life.


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Cate McQuaid, my favorite Boston Globe art critic, who usually covers more esoteric subjects, explains some large artsy globes seen around Boston in recent days.

“Huge, colorful orbs line up in a row down the Tremont Street side of Boston Common. It looks like a giant might be marshaling his marbles. Get up close, and you’ll see that the spheres, each 5 feet in diameter, are globes, fancifully decorated and proffering solutions to climate change.

“ ‘Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet’ has landed in Boston. The public art project, for which artists designed globes with green strategies to contend with environmental issues, originated in Chicago in 2007 and has traveled the world.”

Environmental activist Wendy Abrams, says McQuaid, is the initiative’s founder.

“Abrams cites two inspirations for the project, the wrecked cars that Mothers Against Drunk Driving pointedly deploy in their Crash Car Program, and the painted cow sculptures that showed up in the streets of Chicago in 1999 — a public art project that prompted Boston to follow suit with painted cod.”

Read about individual artists’ Cool Globe themes, the outreach to students, and more, here.

The first two photos below are near the Park Street subway station. The third is in front of the aquarium, and I am not sure if it is part of the traveling series.




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Following up on my tree entry a couple days ago, I want to tell you about what two Rhode Island School of Design teachers decided to do with one ancient tree.

An old elm tree that met its end two years ago at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline might have been headed for the chipper, but two faculty members at Rhode Island School of Design had a better idea,” writes Cate McQuaid in the Boston Globe.

“The elm, designated as a witness tree by the National Park Service because it was present as history was made, provided material for the Witness Tree Project, taught each fall by RISD associate professor of American studies Daniel Cavicchi and artist Dale Broholm, a senior critic in the school’s furniture design department.

“Undergraduates took two classes, one in history and one in woodworking. They visited the site, studied Olmsted, often recognized as the father of landscape architecture in the United States, and made objects inspired by what they learned.” More.

Photograph: Dale Broholm/RISD, Witness Tree Project
Wood from the Olmsted Elm after it was processed at a saw mill in Lunenberg last summer and made ready to start a new life.

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I have admired the New England artist James Aponovich for some time but had not seen his paintings up close until the Clark Gallery in Lincoln had a show of his recent work. Amazing!

I am probably not using accepted art history terms, but the paintings  make me think of Italy and the Renaissance and are breathtakingly luminous. He might feature, for example, a large, glorious amaryllis flower in an ornate urn on a wall high over a traditional, distant landscape. You just want to go there.

The work in the current show is the result of Aponovich making up his mind to create a painting a week for an entire year. He succeeds splendidly, often making everyday items like Chinese takeout feel exceptional. For my money, there is not a dud in the bunch. (Although my money can’t stretch to even the smallest of the 52 pictures.)

I am so grateful to galleries that make work like this free for anyone who walks in off the street to view. Museums, wonderful as they are, don’t often let you in free.

Read Aponovich’s blog about the 52 weeks. Cate McQuaid in the Globe captures the essence of the show. Check her out, too.

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You knew that the poet Wallace Stevens was a lawyer for the Hartford Insurance Company in Connecticut, right?

It’s fascinating, the double lives many creative people live. In this post, for example, I mentioned Kyan Bishop, a colleague with a pretty businesslike job, who turns out to be an accomplished conceptual artist.

Today I have two gentlemen from the financial-services industry, which whatever else one might say about it, pays enough for a guy to indulge an artistic bent.

Consider first Geoff Hargadon, now showing at the Kayafas Gallery in Boston.

Art critic Cate McQuaid writes in the Boston Globe, “Bring up conceptual art, and some people’s eyes glaze over. So before we dive into the conceptual underpinnings of the work of … Geoff Hargadon now up at Gallery Kayafas, let’s say this: It’s funny, wry, and self-mocking — accessible on many levels.

“Hargadon’s ‘Dealers Protected!’ features signs that he has put up, first around Boston and then during the Frieze Art Fair in London in October, and during Art Basel Miami Beach earlier this month. Perhaps you have seen them. They read ‘Cash for Your Warhol.’ This show features the signs themselves, and photos of them in situ.

“The artist, who is an unlikely hybrid of street artist and senior vice president at the financial services company UBS, was inspired by the ‘cash for your house’ signs he saw on telephone poles during the worst of the economic collapse. He hilariously posted his first ‘Cash for Your Warhol’ sign outside the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis in 2009, after the museum announced controversial — and later canceled — plans to close and sell off its collection.” Read more here.

Second is the late Warren Hellman, Wall Street financier and devoted banjo player. “After nearly 20 years at Lehman in New York, he started several money management businesses, including Hellman & Friedman in San Francisco, one of the country’s most successful private equity funds. More recently Mr. Hellman focused on philanthropy, bestowing millions of dollars on cultural, educational and medical charities in the Bay Area. The three-day concert he founded, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, held each year in Golden Gate Park, has been financed entirely by him.” Read about Hellman in the NY Times obit.

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