February 24, 2013

In the Arts: Amsterdam artist's first U.S. show a rare opportunity

By PHILIP ISAACSON

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

“Figures,” 2008, at the Bates College Museum of Art, by Fransje Killaars.

© 2013 Fransje Killaars/Photographs by James Aaron Helms/Courtesy of Bates College Museum of Art

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“Maine Mills Figures,” 2013, at Museum L-A.

© 2013 Fransje Killaars/Photographs by James Aaron Helms/Courtesy of Bates College Museum of Art

Additional Photos Below

ON VIEW

FRANSJE KILLAARS: "COLOR AT THE CENTER"

WHERE: Bates College Museum of Art, 75 Russell St., Lewiston; bates.edu

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday; until 7 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Museum L-A, 35 Canal St., Lewiston; 333-3881

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday

CLOSES: March 22

ROBERT S. NEUMAN: "SHIP TO PARADISE" AND MAX KLINGER: "THE INTERMEZZI PORTFOLIO"

WHERE: Bates College Museum of Art, 75 Russell St., Lewiston; bates.edu

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday; until 7 p.m. Wednesday

CLOSES: March 22

The other half of the Killaars exhibition is at the Bates Museum itself. It continues the artist's effort to place color at the center of art in the form of rich cultural statements.

In "Figures," an installation that pretty much absorbs the upper gallery, the color-draped forms and textile lengths that were presented in Mill #1 reappear, but contrasted with 33 white or lightly toned antique garments.

The color-draped forms flow in an easy sequence from the entrance of the gallery. When the line ends, the viewer is required to turn, and in doing so faces a long vertical arrangement of the essentially colorless women's and children's garments.

Those articles, drained of their life force, seem to be surrogates for their former wearers who, like them, are drained of their life force. In this environment, color is at the center of life.

This ambitious exhibition is Killaars' first large solo exhibition in the United States, and Maine is fortunate to have it. 

ALSO OPENING US to the great "out there" are two additional shows at Bates.

One is Robert S. Neuman's "Ship to Paradise"; the other is Max Klinger's "The Intermezzi Portfolio." Both artists were previously unknown to me, and are fascinating.

Neuman's work is a contemporary commentary on the human condition prompted by Sebastian Brandt's "Shyp of Fooles," a 15th-century satire illustrated by Albrecht Durer. In various print media, Neuman takes us through the construction, voyage and ignominious end of a vessel unsuited for its ambition.

His draftsmanship is elegant, infinitely complex and crowded with references drawn from more sources than I can, or be expected to, know, and are richly gratifying. Neuman's fantasies are sophisticated kindly ambulations through time and cultures.

Max Klinger's (1857-1920) "Intermezzi" is a wistful assembly of etchings and aquatints embracing such themes as desire, fantasy and, of course, death. They are extremely beautiful and insistent.

Philip Isaacson of Lewiston has been writing about the arts for the Maine Sunday Telegram for 47 years. He can be contacted at:

pmisaacson@isaacsonraymond.com

 

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Additional Photos

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“Amor, God und Jenseits” (“Cupid, Death and the Beyond”), 1881, etching and aquatint by Max Klinger.

Courtesy of Bates College Museum of Art

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Robert Neuman’s “Ship to Paradise – Paradise Found,” 1983.

Currier Museum of Art image/Courtesy of Bates College Museum of Art

 


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