December 16, 2012

In The Arts: At home in Winslow's house

By PHILIP ISAACSON

(Continued from page 1)

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“The Painting Studio,” salted paper print by Alan Vlach.d Museum of Art.

Courtesy of Portland Museum of Art

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“Chlucco, The Long Warrior,” a four-color woodcut by David Wolfe, at June Fitzpatrick Gallery.

Image courtesy of June Fitzpatrick Gallery

Additional Photos Below

ON VIEW

“BETWEEN PAST AND PRESENT: THE HOMER STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECT”

WHERE: Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress St. 775-6148; portlandmuseum.org

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday (until 9 p.m. Friday)

CLOSES: Feb. 17

“PRESSING ON II”

WHERE: June Fitzpatrick Gallery, 522 Congress St., Portland. 699-5083

HOURS: Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

CLOSES: Dec. 29

Morell is one of the most admired contemporary photographers in the country. I have watched his progress since his student days at Bowdoin College, and am fascinated by the freshness of his subject matter and his remarkable ways of extracting it. His successive bodies of work have been, in their several ways, memorable.

I cannot be as fulsome for "Tent-Camera Image on Ground: View of the Sea from Winslow Homer's Backyard, Prout's Neck, Maine." Hamilton's single entrant, it is an apparently difficult camera obscura achievement, but is either too general or too subtle to enhance my sense of the milieu of the studio.

Vlach works in salted paper, an antique medium involving the production of photo-sensitive silver chromide and a great deal more. It brings a deeply stained roughness to the images, and I find that irresistible. This is photography in one of its earliest and most indelible forms.

Vlach's print "The Painting Studio" is formidable, as are his several views of Cliff Walk. As to the latter, I wonder whether Vlach had the landscape itself in mind or Homer's own images of it. Either way, it's a complement to a fine body of work.

"PRESSING ON II" at June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland, curated by Bruce Brown, is a 20-artist event.

Lively and varied, it offers less by way of adventure than it does by way of fine quality. Familiar names -- not necessarily in familiar mediums -- give it particular interest. There are many names in it that are new to me and worthy of brisk applause.

As its title implies, this is an exhibition of printmaking. As such, it is no surprise to find works by Charlie Hewitt or Tom Hall or a couple of monoprints by John Wissemann.

On the other hand, I did not anticipate prints from Kenny Cole or a lithograph by Alan Bray; I think of both artists as painters.

As to Hewitt, the persuasiveness of "Green Light" represents this formidable artist at a recent and fine point in his career.

Wissemann's works, in black and white and in geometric formation, provide animated notations about the business of harbors. Piers, trucks, lifts and the like appear, move on and reappear at selected moments.

I note two powerful lithographs by David Wolfe: "Chiucco, The Long Warrior" and "Wanahton, a Yankton Chief." They have a depth and pathos equal to their subject matter, and suggest themselves as units in a series to come.

Cole's silkscreens follow the paths of the surreal. In "Triumvirate Sky," three cameras on tripods point at a thinly crescented moon. One records the discovery of an atomic explosion, another depicts a drone warplane, and the third records the finding of a crucifixion group. In his "Evening Sky," heavy truck tires bounce around a sky channeled with colors that match its title.

I also note Bray's lithograph "Ghost." It tells of an ephemeral forest with one tree that punctures the foundation of a long-gone building. Tim Higbee's "Islesboro" is a luxurious soak in color.

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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“Forking Path 1,” a woodcut by Allison Hildreth at June Fitzpatrick Gallery.

Image courtesy of June Fitzpatrick Gallery

click image to enlarge

“Ghost,” a lithograph by Alan Bray.

Image courtesy of June Fitzpatrick Gallery

click image to enlarge

“Green Light,” woodcut by Charlie Hewitt at June Fitzpatrick Gallery.

Image courtesy of June Fitzpatrick Gallery

click image to enlarge

From “Between Past and Present,” “Roof Corner, Homer Studio, Scarborough,” platinum print by Tillman Crane.

Image courtesy of Portland Museum of Art

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From “Between Past and Present,” “Cliff Walk Near West Point,” salted paper print by Alan Vlach.

Image courtesy of Portland Musem of Art

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From “Between Past and Present,” “Razor, Found in Winslow Homer’s Studio,” wet-plate collodion tintype by Keliy Anderson-Staley.

Image courtesy of Portland Museum of Art



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