January 6, 2013

Art Review: Bullish on wide-ranging display of pioneering women's work at UNE

By DANIEL KANY

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

“Golden Splendor” by Beverly Hallam

Courtesy of the artist and Art Gallery at UNE

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“Embattled Bulls” by Dahlov Ipcar

Charles Ipcar photo/Courtesy of Art Gallery at UNE

Additional Photos Below

ART REVIEW

"MAINE WOMEN PIONEERS III: HOMAGE"

WHEN: Through March 3

HOURS: 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday to Sunday; 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Art Gallery at University of New England, 716 Stevens Ave., Portland

HOW MUCH: Free

INFO: 221-4499; une.edu/artgallery

ALSO: 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 17, conversation with the artists

One artist who does stand out, however, is Lissa Hunter (born 1945). Her "Rush Hour" moves from a painting of birds to charcoal drawing of the corvine figures directly on the wall under the entry title. Yet that is surpassed by her smartly whimsical chair installation, and that by her brilliant encaustic-painted basket -- and that by her dialectically electric fern painting/drawing.

Hunter's basketry is reprised by Katarina Weslien's (born 1952) "When We Walk We Talk." It has the presence and visual ambition to match any painting in "Homage," but it walks the line between basketry, collage and fiber -- and its transformational power (think Henry James) is showcased as it faces off against a suite of her thoughtfully meditative environmentalist video work.

Rose Marasco's (born 1948) fantastic photos of Maine granges remind us of the major role of women in grange culture. The rural Maine imagery, however, is thrown into sharp relief by silhouettes of couture-dressed women masking photos of same period NYC skyscrapers -- perky meditations on time-flavored masculinist monumentality versus ephemeral feminine fashion.

One great pairing comprises Frances Kornbluth's (born 1920) larger paintings. They are extremely similar in scale, size, shape and color, but they could hardly be more different, as one tilts towards landscape and the other insists on being abstract.

To illustrate that such a vast difference is so delicately -- but clearly -- balanced on the finer points of painting is an artistic triumph that Picasso would envy (he pursued this kind of distinction of legibility in late Cubism).

The unassailable conclusion of "Homage" is the triumph of active Maine women artists. It's not intended to be fully comprehensive; rather, it successfully posits a polemic about the critical density of the community of accomplished women in Maine art.

It is a highly enjoyable and successful show.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be contacted at:

dankany@gmail.com

 

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

“Silhouette No. 2 Flatiron” by Rose Marasco

Rose Marasco photo/Courtesy of Art Gallery at UNE

click image to enlarge

“Fern” by Lissa Hunter

Courtesy of the artist and Art Gallery at UNE

click image to enlarge

“Lowry Pond Basin” by Yvonne Jacquette

Kevin Ryan photo/Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York, N.Y.



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