Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Art

Lucinda Bliss: Tracking the Border January 18, 2017, 12:00 pm

Lucinda Bliss: Tracking the Border: An Interrogation of Political, Natural, and Interior Borders January 11 - February 25 Tracking the Border is the culminating event of a year-long project supported by a Kindling Grant from the Warhol Foundation. The project focused on the artist’s navigation of the 611 miles that make up the Maine-Canada border. The resulting work takes many forms, including installation, drawing, and photography, all of which will be represented in the Common Street Arts exhibit, alongside other, related bodies of work. Several years ago, Bliss’ passion for running began to influence her drawings–GPS records of her runs became source material for works on paper. This process then began to inform a range of approaches to considering place, environmental concerns, and issues of identity. Though the Tracking the Border project was initially inspired by global politics–Lucinda was in Paris during the attacks in the fall of 2015–throughout the year, her exploration became increasingly linked to personal questions about gender and power. Mirroring the conceptual shift, photographic processes became a more central part of the artist’s creative process. Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, 2017 4pm-6pm Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Friday: 12pm-5pm Saturday 10am – 1pm CLOSED: Sunday-Tuesday For more information visit: http://commonstreetarts.com/event/lucinda-bliss-tracking-the-border-an-interrogation-of-political-natural-and-interior-borders/

In the Studio: Picasso’s Vollard Suite January 18, 2017, 10:00 am

The Vollard Suite (1930–37) is the most significant prints series made by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). Containing one hundred etchings, a selection of which are on view at the Colby Museum, it was commissioned by the art dealer Ambroise Vollard in Paris. Inspired by his work in sculpture, Picasso made the relationship between artist and model in the sculptor’s studio the suite’s central theme. This relationship is one of the most symbolically charged in the history of art. Many male artists have regarded the studio as a masculine space of creativity and have viewed the female model’s body as a source of inspiration and a symbol of their ability to transform life into art. Picasso draws from these art historical precedents and the world of classical mythology to explore the nature of creativity. In the suite, Picasso’s studio is a sanctuary for aesthetic contemplation, self-discovery, and artistic mastery. In this imagined space, Picasso scrutinizes the philosophical and psychological underpinnings of his relationship to the model and, by extension, to art. Melding various styles, media, and art historical references, Picasso destabilizes fixed notions of artist and model. Both are shown in various physical and mental states as figures caught in a free-flowing process of creation. He mythologizes the artist’s creative power to direct his ever-changing relationship with the model, life, and art. Despite the suite’s expanded sense of creativity, Picasso is still grounded in an art historical tradition in which creativity is a gendered activity that the male artist enacts on the female body. Featured Image: Pablo Picasso, Minotaure aveugle guidé par une filette dans la nuit (Blind Minotaur Led by a Little Girl in the Night), 1934. Etching, 15 3/16 x 19 13/16 in. (38.7 x 50.4 cm). Colby College Museum of Art. The Lunder Collection, 006.2016. Photo by Gary Green. © 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Rivane Neuenschwander: Zé Carioca e Amigos (Zé Carioca contra o goleiro Gastão) [Joe Carioca and Friends (Joe Carioca vs. the Goalkeeper Gastão / 1961)] January 18, 2017, 10:00 am, Colby College Museum of Art

Between 1941 and 1943, Walt Disney and a team of his employees made several trips to Latin America. A manifestation of the “Good Neighbor Policy” initiated by the Roosevelt administration in 1933, these visits were designed to bolster pan-American alliances. However politically unifying Disney’s encounters were meant to be, they yielded curious, even contradictory results: in a string of films released beginning in 1942, his animators introduced José, or, more familiarly, “Zé,” Carioca, the “Brazilian jitterbird.” A cigar-smoking, soccer-loving parrot from Rio, Carioca embodied multiple cultural stereotypes, serving, in the words of Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander (b. 1967), “to crystallize the national image of the malandro (rascal).” Since 1961 the character of Zé Carioca has starred in a series of wildly popular Brazilian comic books, which Neuenschwander grew up reading. This complex figure—conceived as an instrument of capitalist diplomacy but by now also a national symbol—has inspired several bodies of work by the artist since 2004. For the series to which this piece belongs, she scrubs images and text from the original Carioca comics, leaving intact only the narrative’s graphic architecture. She then enlarges these comic-book panels and transfers them to a wall, inviting members of the public to write or draw directly onto them. With this gesture, Neuenschwander substitutes self- and collective expression for ideology masquerading as popular culture. Image Featured: Rivane Neuenschwander, Zé Carioca e amigos (O rapto da donzela) / Joe Carioca and friends (The Abduction of the Maiden), 2005. Wall paint, chalk, eraser, wood tray, dimensions variable. Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, USA. Photo by Whitney Curtis

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