Following Up, Part 3: "Swept Away"
Elise Wagner, three by Tracey Adams, two by Cherie Mittenthal, Lorraine Glessner, Toby Sisson diptych
While I'm still in catch-up mode, I want to show you an exhibition I participated in earlier this season. From May 18-June 23, the Cape Cod Museum of Art mounted Swept Away: Translucence, Transparence, Transcendence in Contemporary Encaustic. Curator Michael Giaquinto selected 31 artists from around the country whose work focuses on that most salient aspect of encaustic painting: light.
The exhibition was held in conjunction with the International Encaustic Conference, an annual event I founded and now run in conjunction with Cherie Mittenthal and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. As I take you around I'll tell you a bit about the show and how it came about.
The Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, Massachusetts, nestled in the crook of the elbow of the arm that is Cape Cod
In June 2011 I visited the museum to see an installation by Lorrie Fredette. No photography was allowed so I asked to speak to the person in charge. That person was the curator, Michael Giaquinto. When I introduced myself as the director of the International Encaustic Conference, where I'd just come from, Giaquinto replied, "I love encaustic!" I recapped for him the highlights of the 11-day event (three days of actual Conference in Provincetown preceded and followed by workshops at Castle Hill in Truro). We exchanged cards. A few days later he called with this invitation: "Let's have an exhibition." Whoa, I don't know if it works like that at MoMA, but this was surprisingly collegial and easy.
Fast forward to May 2013: The skylit gallery during the installation of Swept Away
Curator Michael Giaquinto installing the wall you see below
Foreground: Achromatic works by Mittenthal, Glessner, Sisson
Cherie Mittenthal, Weather
Toby Sisson, A Coded Language
Infinite Growth by Catherine Nash, below, not visible in the picture, is at the far left on the wall
Here's how Giaqinto introduces the work in his foreword to the catalog: "As we visually separate the image from the material, we realize all that is contained on the surface and below the surface . . . Like the light itself, we move in and out of the layers of wax and pigment only to be encouraged to look more."
Continuing down the first long wall with color and geometry: Lynn Basa, two by Karen Freedman, Anne Cavanaugh, partial view of Lynda Ray painting
Looking more: Karen Freedman, Ruche 0352.55
Continuing still along the first long wall: Lynda Ray, two by Howard Hersh, Joanne Mattera; back wall: David A. Clark, Nancy Natale
Looking more: Lynda Ray, Fracture, two from Howard Hersh's Pulse series; my Rummu
Swinging around: Clark, Natale; second long wall: Laura Moriarty sculpture and prints, Dawna Bemis, Michael Billie, Sarah Mast
Looking more: David A. Clark, Color Up; Nancy Natale, Rouge
Laura Moriarty, Volcanic Mountain sculpture and prints
Sara Mast, Between Stars
Right wall, from foreground to midpoint: Two by Lisa Pressman, two by Donna Hamil Talman, Milisa Galazzi, Jane Guthridge, Paula Roland
Donna Hamil Talman, Evolving
Foreground: Milisa Galazzi, Waggle Dance
View of wall with two by Sara Nast (partial view), Paula Roland, two by Jane Guthridge, Galazzi, two by Talman, two by Pressman
Looking more: Jane Guthridge, Milisa Galazzi
Cornered: Pressman, Binnie Birstein, Lorrie Fredette, Jane Allen Nodine, Gregory Wright; swinging around: Cecile Chong, Linda Cordner
Looking more: Binnie Birstein, What Lies Beneath
Another view of the second long wall, from foreground: Jane Allen Nodine, Lorrie Fredette, Birstein;
detail of Nodine's Venetian Lace .019 below
Swinging around to the wall that's at your back when you enter: Nodine, Wright; Chong, Cordner, Marybeth Rothman, Elena De La Ville
Linda Cordner, Teal Dusk
Elena De La Ville, Torso/Leaf
With Giaquinto's blessing the Swept Away artists are now looking to travel this show. Since we come from 17 states covering every area of the country, there's a chance you'll get to see the reconstituted version in your area.
In the meantime the catalog for Swept Away is fully viewable online (I wrote the essay). A review by J. Fatima Martins in Artscope, a New England arts and culture magazine, is below. Click pics to readable size