Juried by Sam Adams, Curatorial Fellow at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
“Modernism is everywhere and nowhere here. For an artist to abstract from nature—to render it hazy or unfamiliar, to alter the conventions of its depiction—they must first grasp the subject intimately and know how to convey its essence. In this exhibition, once-familiar subjects such as a seascape or vase of flowers appear uncanny, and in some cases almost unrecognizably abstract. The land and its natural specimens are blurry, polluted, obscured by a chain link fence, out of reach—the sublime is hinted at and yet seems irretrievable, impossible. One can feel the artist’s subjectivity melding with that of their subject, and a type of gestural brushwork and mark-making that is rapid, deeply felt, and intuitive.
Portraits of strong women recur in this exhibition: a fashion model, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pregnant woman enjoying a moment of leisure, at trio of young women staring up at a literal glass ceiling, the first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. While the subjects themselves are inspiring, the handling of the artistic materials also conveys a sense of empowerment and urgency.
Lastly, there is a focus throughout on pattern and decoration, an intimate sense of materiality, and the use of humble materials such as cardboard and wire. Gestures are bold and unapologetic. Color chords are flamboyant and yet judicious. The exhibition is rounded out by a few sendups of the rigid Minimalist grid and the purity of monochromatic painting.”
Sam Adams is an art historian and curator specializing in contemporary art, holding a BA from the New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and both an MA and PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art from the University of Southern California. His publications focus on performance, theater set design, public sculpture, and electronic media.
Sam has taught at Tufts University, Emerson College, and Northeastern University , where he has advised students interested in museums, curating, design, art writing, and academic publishing. He has worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Research Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum as the Koch Curatorial Fellow.Accepted Artists List
Watch the Live Reception Video:
22nd Annual Frances N. Roddy Exhibition
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