Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rediscovery & Remembrance

During Christmas and New Year's, I went to Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas for a family holiday, to visit a friend from my schoolgirl days at the College of the Bahamas, and to do research on the story I'm writing. I lived in the Bahamas when I was growing up and I've spent a lot of time there in recent years. When in Nassau, I always visit the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, a small museum in the Villa Doyle, a beautifully restored example of British Colonial architecture. Wandering though the galleries, I was thrilled to see The Queen Staircase, (sic) (1986, house paint on board, 36 x 30 inches) by Amos Ferguson, a Bahamian painter whose work my mother collected. In this image, Ferguson portrayed figures going up and down the Queen's Staircase, an historic Nassau landmark. In the middle ground, three of the figures clasp babies in their arms. They dominate the composition, more prominent than the figures in the foreground and background because of their position, as well as their emotional resonance.

Ferguson usually painted in a flat two-dimensional style. His medium was typically house paint, often on cardboard. There was a logic, a sense of balance and symmetry to his work, as in this painting - in which the figures on the staircase, are dressed in yellow, pink, blue, pink and yellow - from top to bottom.

In the museum bookstore, I was delighted to find the book, Bahamian Art, which I bought as a reference. It profiles a number of Bahamian artists, including Brent Malone, one of my art teachers at Queen's College, the local high school I attended.

In the last few months, I've seen some memorable art exhibits and published several reviews: 

Stas Orlovski: Chimera @ Pasadena Museum of California Art in WhiteHot Magazine of Contemporary Art - a magical dreamlike animated vision which married old world sensibilities with new age technology.

Lisa Anne Auerbach: Spells @ Gavlak Gallery in WhiteHot Magazine of Contemporary Art - a witty and innovative compilation of knitting and word art.

I'm also a contributing writer for ArtPulse Magazine - a gorgeous quarterly publication in which reviews appear only in the print edition, not on the magazine's website. Here are some of my recent reviews published in ArtPulse Magazine:

For Issue 20: 

Robert Swain: The Form of Color @ Santa Monica Museum of Art - a stunning immersive scientific survey of the gradation of color.

June Wayne: Paintings, Prints and Tapestries @ Pasadena Museum of California Art - a retrospective of this important female artist who spoke out about feminism through her art.

Joe Lloyd: New Paintings @ Western Project - dynamic abstract paintings which use geometry and prism shapes as a point of departure.

For Issue 21:

Fabelo's Anatomy @ Museum of Latin American Art - my first feature length review for this magazine - on the mesmerizing paintings and anatomical drawings  of Roberto Fabelo, a contemporary Cuban surrealist.

Miaz Brothers and The Masters @ Fabien Castanier Gallery - haunting unportraits which convey only a hint of face and figure, leaving identity - the conventional point of portraiture - shrouded in mystery.

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