Posts Tagged ‘geoff edgers’

Late update 1/26/14
The Peabody Essex Museum gives only a limited number of tickets out daily to this show. It was sold out when I arrived at noon today. I think it will be great, but be sure you can get in before you go.

At the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is working with a veterinarian and a curator, among others, to ensure that his untrained zebra finches enjoy themselves while performing on musical instruments for the public.

Geoff Edgers writes for the Boston Globe, “The French artist-musician is quiet … but his bandmates won’t shut up. They’re birds — 70 chirping, swooping zebra finches. And Céleste Boursier-Mougenot needs them.

“You see, the artist doesn’t use his fingers to play the Gibson Les Pauls mounted around a white-walled gallery at the Peabody Essex Museum. He depends on his winged collaborators to create the wash of power chords that have turned his installations into a sensation from London to New York City.

“ ‘I kind of feel a sense of amazement every time I see it,’ said Trevor Smith, a contemporary-art curator at the Peabody Essex, where Boursier-Mougenot’s sonic exhibition opens Saturday. ‘You’re hearing these extraordinary sounds, and they’re made by these birds. It’s both primal and very unexpected.’

“So do birds landing on guitars count as art? Yes indeed, according to critics around the world. Boursier-Mougenot has garnered rave reviews, particularly in London, where he staged a version of the piece at The Barbican Centre in 2010. ‘Hate Modern Art?’ a headline in the Telegraph read. ‘Guitar-playing exotic birds will change your mind.’ ”

More here.

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The other day I was walking past the Emerson Umbrella and saw some new sculptures  on the lawn. I thought one, the graceful bent metal below, looked like two people dancing.

Geoff Edgers of the Boston Globe came to town to watch the installation and interview the sculptor, David Stromeyer.

“Stromeyer, a Marblehead native who splits his time between Vermont and Texas, has had his work shown at, among others, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and the University of Vermont’s Robert Hull Fleming Museum, in Burlington. Stromeyer also has a connection to Concord. His sister-in-law, Mimsey Stromeyer, is a painter and mixed-media artist who is one of 54 artists renting space at Emerson Umbrella. …

“On the first day of installation, in the rain, Stromeyer and crew unloaded the steel pieces. The first challenge was lifting the heavy steel pieces over a series of wires on the site. On the second day, with the sun out, the artist worked on moving those pieces into place and mounting them properly. …

“He takes pride in the fact that he creates his art, from the twisting of the metal to the sandblasting and painting.

“ ‘It sounds really simple, but you don’t grab one end and turn it in the way you intuitively might think,’ he said. “[Each piece has] to be built incrementally, every inch, bending it in multiple directions at once. I spent two months building jigs for the hydraulic press to create those forms. And each twist is different.” More.

I’ve known Mimsey West (her professional name) for 30 years. One of her sons was in school with John. I love her art, especially some slightly abstract watercolors she did years ago of sheep in Wales.

A couple times a year the Umbrella artists hold open studios, and it really is a treat to go — lots of art available for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.


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You may recall a past post about the Greenway mural by Os Gemeos, Brazilian twins who had a show at the Institute of Contemporary Art and painted street art around Boston when they were here. I posted pictures of their work-in-progress for the Greenway, here.

Geoff Hargadon photographed the finished work for the Boston Globe, below.

That giant mural is gone now, and Matthew Ritchie is working on the next one. I took a picture of it today and plan to take more for the blog as Ritchie wraps up.

Geoff Edgers at the Globe gives some background on this new piece. “The Institute of Contemporary Art has commissioned British-born Matthew Ritchie, known for using scientific principles to inspire his work, to take over the enormous outdoor canvas.

“Ritchie’s 5,000-square-foot seascape will be installed the week of Sept. 16 and remain up for as long as 18 months.

“The collaboration … is part of a residency for Ritchie that will include a multimedia performance with members of the rock bands The Breeders and The National, concerts at the museum and elsewhere, and a video project to be produced with the ICA’s teen program. But the biggest splash for the public will come on the exterior of the Big Dig ventilation building in Dewey Square.”

Read more at the Globe, here, and at the Greenway site, here.

Photo: Suzanne’s Mom


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