Art Notes: An Exhibition in Meriden Considers Art in the Studio and Art in the Gallery
Works by Randolph, Vt., artist Mark Goodwin will be exhibited beginning August 3, 2013 with a reception from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Aidron Duckworth Mueum in Meriden, N.H. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Mark Goodwin, of Randolph, Vt., installs his paintings at the Aidron Duckworth Museum in Meriden in the same relative positions to where they hang in his home studio on July 30, 2013. Goodwin, a sculptor and painter, will exhibit the works of paint on paper, wood and cloth beginning August 3, 2013. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Mark Goodwin took measurements at home in his studio so he could approximate the paintings' positions in the similarly sized gallery at the Aidron Duckworth Museum on July 30, 2013. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
When he visited the gallery at the Aidron Duckworth Art Museum last year, Mark Goodwin noticed the size and shape of the room were roughly the same as those of his studio.
The similarity got him thinking about the difference between how art is made and how it’s exhibited. Rather than frame all of his work and hang it in orderly rows, he decided to bring the studio to the gallery.
On Tuesday, Goodwin and preparator Stephen Marcus were following photographs of two walls in Goodwin’s studio to recreate them in the Meriden gallery. The pieces were unframed, and in Goodwin’s abstract idiom somewhat fragmentary. He often paints with milk paint on boards or folded paper, whatever material is near to hand. The small works are a collection of textures, marks on which relatively little meaning has been imposed.
“It’s sort of like the room itself is the frame,” Goodwin said.
The Meriden show, which opens Saturday, will be the Randolph artists’s third solo show in as many years, but the first to take this form. The previous shows, at BigTown Gallery in Rochester, Vt., and at UMass-Dartmouth, wore the customary formality of a gallery show, the art lined up like church pews, ready to accommodate the parishioners.
“I sometimes think something’s lost between the studio and the exhibition space,” Goodwin said. “There’s an energy, a liveliness in the studio,” he added. The spontaneity of the artist’s work can be stripped away by the framing, the glass, the regimentation of a gallery or museum.
Other artists and venues have been playing with the relationship between creation and exhibition. The one that sticks in my mind is a 2010 show of paintings by Toby Bartles at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon. Included in the exhibition was the section of wall to which he affixed his small, square canvases and which he used to clean the excess paint from his palette knife. The scrapings of paint brought the artist’s gestures into the exhibition space. AVA has kept the wall on view.
In his current work, Goodwin, 57, has been taking odd bits left in his studio and assembling them into larger works that occupy the other two walls of the gallery. While those works hang in rows and will have labels next to them, Goodwin has made a map to identify the works that replicate his studio walls.
The way Goodwin works is intuitive, relying on curiosity about the qualities of the medium rather than the artist’s thoughts or ideas. In his artist’s statement, Goodwin writes: “I have noticed that with attention and concentration, everything becomes interesting.”
The Aidron Duckworth Art Museum in Meriden opens an installation by Randolph artist Mark Goodwin that pulls together work in a variety of media to create “a study in collecting, paying attention and relationships.” Also opening is “Interiority,” large works on canvas from 1979-1981 by Aidron Duckworth. A reception is planned for Saturday afternoon, 3 to 6. An outdoor exhibition of sculpture by Fitzhugh Karol, an Orford native now living in Brooklyn, N.Y., remains on view into the fall.
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of Col. Robert Gould Shaw with an exhibition dedicated to Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw memorial. While the original memorial is on Boston Common, the historic site at Saint-Gaudens’ former home in Cornish has the only other bronze casting of the massive relief sculpture. An exhibition in the site’s Picture Gallery incorporates some of Saint-Gaudens’ preparatory work, as well as historical artifacts from the period the memorial represents. A day of events is planned for Aug. 10. Admission to the park is $5 for visitors ages 16 and up.
∎ The Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish holds a sculpture workshop titled “What Lies Beneath: A Study of the Human Skull,” Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4. The workshop costs $40. For information or to register, call 603-675-2175, ext. 106.
Openings and Receptions
For White River Junction’s First Friday, the redoubtable Main Street Museum hosts Plattsburg, N.Y.-based artists and musicians Alison Lutz and Marcopolio at 8:30 p.m. Donations accepted. As usual, the museum also offers free, confidential HIV testing from 4-7 p.m.
∎ Scavenger Gallery in White River Junction continues an exhibition of new paintings, sculpture and woodware by Ria Blaas, and jewelry and work in bronze by gallery owner Stacy Hopkins. The gallery will host a First Friday reception with a tasting of wines from Artisanal Cellars, from 5:30 to 8.
∎ Also on First Friday, a group of artists with studios in the Tip Top Media Arts Building in White River Junction open their doors to the public.
∎ The Woodstock Gallery opens an exhibition of oil paintings by John Olson on Monday.
∎ BigTown Gallery in Rochester, Vt., opened “Folk Vision: Folk Art from New England and Beyond,” on Wednesday.
∎ Ledyard Gallery in Hanover’s Howe Library hosts “Brush Works,” paintings by Martha Davis and Katharine “Kappy” Fisher.
∎ The Woodstock Gallery shows new work by printmaker Sheryl Trainor through Sunday.
ArtisTree Gallery in Woodstock hosts “Unbound III,” a juried exhibition that encourages artists to reconsider the idea of the book.
∎ “A Garden Bestiary,” macro photographs by Peggy Richardson, is on view at the Hotel Coolidge’s Zollikofer Gallery. A reception is planned for Sept. 6.
∎ “The Many Faces of Israel,” photographs by Mort Wise, is on view at the Roth Center for Jewish Life in Hanover through mid-August.
∎ “Top of the World — Paintings and Artist’s Books of the Arctic,” work by Vermont artist Ken Leslie, is on view at Randolph’s Chandler Gallery. Leslie painted and made unique book structures while inside the Arctic Circle. Also on view will be paintings by Toronto-based paleoecologist and artist Bianca Perren and Inuit prints from the collection of Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum.
∎ Norwich Public Library shows “Travels Around,” photographs by father and son Doug and Steven Lufkin.
∎ “Watercolor Stories,” paintings by members of the local chapter of the Vermont Watercolor Society, is on view at West Lebanon’s Kilton Public Library.
∎ “Vermonty,” a suite of witty and winsome illustrations of rural Vermont by Shawn Braley, is on view at Tunbridge Public Library.
∎ Summer exhibitions at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center include fabric figures by Linda Rubenstein, photographs by Kelly Michaelsen, mixed media by Carolyn Enz Hack, oil paintings by Alison Vernon, collages by Barbara Newton and paintings and sculpture by Gowri Savoor. Guides to the exhibitions are available at the hospital’s information desks.
∎ “Changing Gears: The Digital Evolution,” digital paintings by Hartland artist Gloria King Merritt, is on display in The Great Hall in Springfield, Vt., through Aug. 23. Also in The Great Hall is a wonderfully potent exhibition of five paintings by Henry Swierczynski, a former engineer at Fellows Gear Shaper.
∎ Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art hosts “Word and Image in Contemporary Art,” a show curated in collaboration with 24 senior studio art majors that includes Ed Ruscha’s great 1963 painting Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas; “The Women of Shin Hanga: The Judith and Joseph Barker Collection of Japanese Prints”; “Evolving Perspectives: Highlights from the African Art Collection at the Hood Museum of Art” and “Objects and Power: Manifestations of Inequality.”
Art Notes appears in the “Valley News” on Thursday. Send email to email@example.com m.