Sex, death, romance, magic, terror, wonder, alienation, and freedom: the night invites a myriad of often contradictory associations. For centuries, painters have been drawn to the mysteries and marvels of the night and its perceptual and poetic possibilities. From Rembrandt and his Night Watch to Georges de la Tour’s candle-lit scenes of the seventeenth century, James McNeill Whistler’s woozy Nocturnes, Vincent van Gogh’s dizzying Starry Night, and Edward Hopper’s lonely Nighthawks, artists have sought to capture the mood of the night. Of course, an exhibition about the night is also about the light that illuminates the darkness, from the moon and the stars, to candles, cigarettes, and the glow of cell phones. Many of the artists in The Lure of the Dark look back to predecessors, such as the Impressionists and Monet and Pisarro, to study the night en plein air, completing a painting in a single sitting or night. Featuring paintings — including new commissions — by a diverse group of over a dozen contemporary artists, including Patrick Bermingham, William Binnie, Cynthia Daignault, TM Davy, Jeronimo Elespe, Cy Gavin, Shara Hughes, Josephine Halvorson, Sam McKinniss, Wilhelm Neusser, Dana Powell, Kenny Rivero, and Alexandria Smith, The Lure of the Dark illustrates the ways in which the hours of darkness continue to provoke the contemporary imagination, providing apt metaphors for the diversity of human experience along with the anxious tenor of the day.
Curated by Joel Janowitz
SPACE AS NARRATIVE presents painters who reimagine our contemporary landscapes and spaces using the tools of spatial and painterly choice. Expressing ideas of space, place, memory and time, all of the exhibiting artists relish the slow paced act of painting and looking in a frenetic digital age. Interiors, exteriors, cityscapes and landscapes, these are the spaces we know and engage with and respond to every day.
Artists in the Exhibition:
Rackstraw Downes, Yvonne Jacquette, Elliott Green, Eric Aho, Dana Clancy, Andrew Fish, Cristi Rinklin, Nona Hersey, Keith Washington, Wilhelm Neusser, Sean Downey, Trevor Young, Joel Janowitz
The exhibition ‘ELSEWHERE provincial perspectives’ puts the periphery center stage and invites a view behind the scenes of lustrous cultural representation. In thirteen large-format paintings in sober contrast to the Goethe Institute’s opulent décor, Cambridge-based painter Wilhelm Neusser celebrates the melancholic beauty of the so-called province.
Berlin’s the place, no question! It may be poor, but it is definitely sexy! Here big politics and high culture are made. Berlin attracts those who want to feel the pulse of the times. An avant-garde fights here unafraid of the future.
Province is always ‘elsewhere,’ far away from the capital. Here buses run less regularly, doctors practice in the next largest town, and the local library is managed by volunteers in their mid-seventies who have trouble with the online catalog.
While the big city never sleeps the province is thought to be sleepy, depressed and left behind. Whoever wants to make it moves to Berlin. Whoever has made it though can survive in the province. Pitied as the home of those who have always lived there, those who move there praise it as idyllic. Whether as origin or as refuge ‘elsewhere’ defines us.
The exhibition ‘ELSEWHERE provincial perspectives’ puts the periphery center stage, questioning prevailing perceptions of the province. Thirteen large-format paintings made for the Boston Goethe Institute open up perspectives on a landscape whose spectacular quality is their melancholy. In sober contrast to the opulent Chippendale décor, the paintings celebrate the unique character of areas that appear on every map, yet are rarely the focus of our attention.
Reflecting on my own Rhenish upbringing, my current work explores the German notion of Heimat. A recent series, The Immerath Project, is named after a nearby village currently being re-located as a result of strip mining, its buildings torn down to give way to excavated expanses. Immerath acts as a stand-in for a region in which disappearance and development, nostalgia and progress go hand-in-hand. The Immerath paintings portray a scarred landscape, on whose plowed surface, like a palimpsest, traces of old layers remain visible.