BERKSHIRE ART MUSEUM - 159 EAST MAIN STREET NORTH ADAMS, MA 01247 (413) 664-9550
Faculty Artists from New England Colleges
Esculturas Grandes, Esculturas de Mesa,
Vessels, New York-North Adams Shuttle
Over 30 3-D artists exhibiting, from large indoor and outdoor sculptures, to table-top sculptures, to pottery. Opens late June through mid-October, Wednesday - Sunday 12-5; Free Admission to Berkshire County residents.
ESCULTURAS GRANDES AND ESCULTURAS DE MESA
George Le Maitre
ART IN MINIATURE
Gail Kolls Sellers
Esculturas Grandes, Esculturas de Mesa,
Vessels, New York-North Adams Shuttle
A painter takes a brush, dips into paint and upon reaching the canvas surface, spreads color across the plane. Depth and structure and dimension are created as an illusion, often by overlap or by employing perspective or shadow and color illusions - all elements to “trick the eye” into believing.
A sculptor has a different approach. A sculptor might pick up a tool or grab a hunk of material and attached it to something. The sculptor will look at the creation-in-progress from different angles. Dimension has reality - it can be touched. Paint might be applied to a 3-D creation, but as a layer on real material and not to just give the illusion of space.
Of course, these descriptions are simplified and narrow, but it does suggest a great difference in how an artist might approach a 2-dimensional blank surface compared to an artist who wishes to add or subtract from 3-dimensional material.
For the Berkshire Art Museum’s first three seasons, the vast majority of the works on display were hung on walls; only a few were sculptures or reliefs. Our 4th seasonal exhibition titled “VOLUME” presents artwork by artists who choose to create in 3-dimensional space.
With so many talented artists working regionally, it was not difficult to find interesting work. The variety of material on exhibition is great, as the exhibiting artists incorporate such materials as wood, plastic, glass, clay, metal, digitized/kinetic technology, fabric, paper, and so forth. Equally varied are the processes - from fabrication to cast, from traditional metal welding to interactive electronics, and so forth.
With four areas of focus in the VOLUME exhibition - large sculptural works presented inside and outside (“Esculpturas Grandes”), smaller works presented on podiums (“Esculpturas de Mesa”), ceramic pieces (“Vessels”), and sculptures by New Yorkers (“New York-North Adams Shuttle”), the Berkshire Art Museum - in its 4th season - has given all its new exhibition space for sculptural works.
BERKSHIRE ARTISTS OF THE CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS CENTER 1990-1999
Dale Bradley, Christopher Gillooly, Brandon Graving, Robert Henriquez, Henry Klein, Barbara May, Robert Schechter, Maria Siskind, David Zaig.
This exhibition showcases the work of nine artists who had a close association with the Contemporary Artists Center (CAC) and to the Berkshires. In addition to engaging the few artists who were already here, the CAC stimulated hundreds of artists to visit the area, some who later made the Berkshires their permanent home.
The vitality of the work created by these artists represents much of why the CAC became well known in art circles around the world. These artists utilize many types of art processes, including paint, print technology, large printmaking, photography and sculpture. Most of the works in the exhibition were conceived and/or created around the decade of the 90s, many inspired by the artists’ interaction with the CAC.
Artists already living in the area and who became very active with the CAC’s art programs included Dale Bradley (printmaker who had a studio in the mill and built up the CAC’s printmaking facilities), Maria Siskind (primarily sculpture) and Christopher Gillooly (photography and sculpture). Barbara May (painter, works on paper) came to the Berkshires around the time that the CAC was started, in part to share in the artistic renaissance that MASS MoCA projected to bring and later served as the CAC’s board president.
Artists who later moved to the Berkshires included David Zaig (then living in Cambridge, MA and who served as one of the main staff artists), Brandon Graving (who came from New Orleans as an attending artist and later became its master printmaker), Robert Henriquez (who was the very first attending artist from NYC and later became involved as a visiting artist), Henry Klein (who first came from Connecticut as an attending artist), and NYC artist Robert Schechter (who came to the CAC to work on the “Monster Press”).
Having an abundance of excess space in the Historic Beaver Mill (North Adams), Barbara and Eric Rudd founded the Contemporary Artists Center in 1990. During the first summer session, 19 artists came to reside, work and interact in the newly repurposed spaces. By the second season and each subsequent summer, more than 100 artists from around the country and world came to the CAC to live and create and exhibit. To interact with the attending artists, the CAC invited some of the world’s most important museum/gallery directors and artists, including such notable museum figures as Tom Krens (Guggenheim), Kirk Varnedoe (MOMA) and Walter Hopps (Menil) and such distinguished artists as Julian Schnabel, Jenny Holzer, Elizabeth Murray, Judy Pfaff, Grace Hartigan, Larry Bell, and many others.
During the 1990s, the CAC’s residency programs and workshops geared for large-scale printmaking encouraged attending artists to experiment. To show their new work to the general public, the CAC provided five galleries for an average of 15 shows each summer. Additionally, the CAC sponsored weekly lectures and gallery talks, performances, open studios and events such as “Downtown Installations,” where attending CAC artists created large installations in the many empty downtown storefronts. Rudd directed the CAC for ten years, and the CAC continued to operate for seven additional years before downsizing and moving out of the region.
The remarkable 17-year history of the CAC indicates clearly that the CAC - along with MASS MoCA which opened ten years after the CAC was started - was a major catalyst for many artists to move to the area. Today, hundreds of artists are working in mill studios and lofts throughout the northern Berkshires, further stimulating the region’s cultural vibrancy.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The Berkshire Art Museum presents four artists whose interest is based in architecture. Keith Bona uses the computer to make his architectural renderings of well-known local buildings, but emphasizing an abstractness of line and color. Peter Dudek constructs and stacks common building materials to produce abstracted versions of cityscapes. Howard Itzkowitz uses the pencil and pen to sketch interesting old buildings and cityscapes, many created during his travels in Italy. William Sweet makes architectural models using common cardboard materials. The two models in the exhibition, the Clock Tower building at MASS MoCA and the Historic Beaver Mill, played an important role in North Adams’ artistic renaissance.
SARAH SUTRO - COLORS
Sarah Sutro’s work infuses transparent layers of ink with themes of time,
infinite scale, and tabular structure. Large overlapping marks of natural color and black ink express the intersection of nature and culture, celebrating the aliveness and uniqueness of the natural world. In Bangladesh and Thailand where Sutro worked and lived, she learned how to develop natural inks from organic materials. The paintings are abstract, yet the work evokes a physical presence connected to land and water.
Sutro earned a BFA from Cornell and Yale, and an MFA from University of the Arts,
London. With solo and group shows in Boston, New York, San Diego, Berkeley,
Belgrade, Bangkok, Montenegro, Dhaka, and London, Sutro’s work is in collections
locally and internationally. A recipient of a Pollock Krasner Grant, she has been a
resident at the American Academy of Rome, MacDowell Colony, Ossabaw Island
Foundation, Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and Art Dulcinium,
Montenegro. Her work can be seen in Joseph Carroll and Sons Gallery, in the Boston
Drawing Project. Additionally, Sutro taught many years in colleges and universities in Boston, and was a Robert Frost Award Finalist. A book of her poetry, Etudes, has just been published through Finishing Line Press.
“That ‘70s Show” examines the artistically diverse 1970s through the lens of 15 Berkshire-connected artists. A veritable time capsule, the show assembles nearly 40 vintage artworks from that decade. Included are examples of Conceptual Art; documented Performance Art; documented Site-Specific Art; Geometric Abstractions; Photography; Photorealism; Realism; and more. Artists: Benigna Chilla; Peter Dudek; Warner Friedman; Gene Flores; Mike Glier; Joe Goodwin;
Julio Granda; Stephen Hannock; Robert Henriquez; Thomas Hoadley; Matuschka; William Oberst; Jim Peters; Sarah Sutro; David Zaig
“Fresh Paint Gallery”
Recent work by Berkshire artists
Older work by Berkshire artists
Iceberg Installation of Lexan Sculptures 1987-2011
Robotic “Walter’s Ontogen” 1999
A Blueprint for Preservation
“Then and Now” (opens July 30) features recent work by artists from “That ‘70s Show.” Together, the two exhibits chart the fascinating -- and often unpredictable – paths of artistic evolution.
Selections from the Permanent Collection: “Early Work of Eric Rudd 1966-1980”
MUSEUM ANNEX (200 steps away at 82 Summer Street)
“A Chapel for Humanity”
“Figuring In,” depictions of the human form by various regional artists.
Memorial Show of works by Viola Moriarty (1958-2013)
Works by Wilma Rofkin