Monthly Archives: June 2013

To Do: Artist Interventions with Adriane Herman

By Julia Einstein
Assistant Director of Family and Studio Learning

On Friday, June 28 come the PMA with your to-do lists, grocery lists, list of books to read or any list in your pocket! This month’s Artist Interventions was designed by 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work artist Adriane Herman. She and her team of “markers” will take over a gallery on the third floor with an assembly line, crossing items off your list.

Image credit: http://adrianeherman.typepad.com

Adriane and I talked about her upcoming Artist Intervention.

You’ve chosen to be near the painting Brushstroke VI by Roy Lichtenstein…
I am excited that the event will take place near Lichtenstein’s relief sculpture because it satirizes and pays homage to the great American tradition of personality-infused marks. I have to credit PMA Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art, Jessica May, who suggested Lichtenstein’s piece as a natural complement to my focus on the marks made when we cross things off our lists. May’s savvy connection is just one reason I’m so excited that the PMA has a contemporary curator and feel so lucky to have had this kind of collaboration from the museum.

And your “markers”?
Yes, there will be a panel of artists to cross items off people’s “to do” lists. It’s a kind of hypothetical public service, a “what if,” if you will.

You selected a great list of artists for your panel. (Lucinda Bliss, Bridget Spaeth, Clint Fulkerson, Alison Hildreth, Ayumi Horie, Jeff Kellar, Deborah Wing-Sproul, Henry Wolyniec, and Alix Lambert)
I’m inviting people to bring pieces of paper to the museum that depict, document, and essentially make up their lives, and offering them the opportunity to have items on those lists crossed out with dynamic marks by artists. The whole thing is a little silly and exaggerated—forced, you might even say! This is an exercise that might give people the chance to experience the relief and release of having everything “done.”

The Artist Intervention series is about interactive engagement in the galleries between visitors, art, and artists. What are your thoughts on this?
On one level I am simply agog about all things to do with lists and I want to talk to people about their lists; on another level I am interested in how this event could help some people see that their lives are relevant to an artist’s work and that my working process, if not finished work, might help them see their own lives in a new and possibly fruitful light. It doesn’t get better than that for me—that kind of symbiosis. We’ll see what happens!

Adriane Herman’s latest work on lists is about the mark made by crossing-out. She studies the details of each crossed-out line, looking at the gesture and for the inherent abstraction. PMA visitors can check out her exhibition, Finish Lines, at Rose Contemporary Gallery in Portland. Make plans to see her work in the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work when it opens on October 3!

New to View: Lithographs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

By Margaret Burgess
Susan Donnell and Harry W. Konkel Associate Curator of European Art

Bonne semaine! This week we unveiled a new display of European art at the PMA. You will discover an installation of four lithographs by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). This special display was inspired by The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism exhibition (on view until September 8th), which also features the art of Toulouse-Lautrec.

Toulouse-Lautrec grew up in a wealthy aristocratic family in France. His father was an amateur artist and encouraged his son’s budding talent for drawing. Early on Toulouse-Lautrec painted mainly horses and sporting subjects—enduring themes for him as we see in the lithograph Babylone d’Allemagne (above) with its horse and rider. Soon the theatres and music halls rapidly bubbling up in Paris captured Toulouse-Lautrec’s attention. He was drawn to depicting individuals on the margins of society—prostitutes, dancers, washerwomen—and his sympathy for these figures perhaps derived from his own feelings of otherness due to a physical deformity from which he suffered. Influenced in large part by Japanese prints (ukiyo-e) with their decisive lines, dramatic cropping, and use of color and diagonals, Toulouse-Lautrec developed his bold style. Paul Gauguin, whom he came to know, was also an important inspiration, and the influence of Gauguin’s use of strong outlines and flat patterning is also evident in Toulouse-Lautrec’s work of the late 1880s and 1890s. Toulouse-Lautrec capitalized on innovations in lithography at this time, which allowed for larger scale prints and the use of a greater spectrum of colors. By the 1890s, he had established himself as a premier lithographer and received significant commissions for advertisements—as seen in the lithographs in our display. Though he died young and his career was short-lived, Toulouse-Lautrec left an enduring legacy on the worlds of art and graphic design.

The works are generously on loan from Isabelle and Scott Black.

Come visit the museum and immerse yourself in the world of Toulouse-Lautrec and French modernism! You will find many connections between the Paley Collection and our holdings here at the PMA.

Cannon Rock Sessions

By Dana Baldwin
Peggy L. Osher Director of Learning and Interpretation

“The sun will not rise or set without my notice and thanks. ” Winslow Homer

This summer the PMA launches the inaugural series of a biennial program, Cannon Rock Sessions. Cannon Rock Sessions are inspired by the Winslow Homer’s work, his Studio at Prouts Neck, and by Maine’s landscape and coastline. This innovative program received its title from a distinctive site, Cannon Rock, immortalized by Homer in an 1895 painting. The landmark, shaped like a cannon, is distinctly visible from the Cliff Walk near the Studio.

Cannon Rock Sessions focus on a common theme and invite two acclaimed intellects together for a five-day residency that will include a series of conversations and interactions with small community groups. The residency concludes with a public dialogue between the visiting minds on Thursday, August 1 at the PMA.

The 2013 Cannon Rock Sessions focus on the theme “weather,” a topic that had direct influence on Winslow Homer, but also affects us all, every day. Weather is a subject that can be poetic and inspirational, or it can imply broader contemporary themes such as climate and energy. Our first two visiting minds, Maine-based artist Anna Hepler and Gulf of Maine Research Institute president and CEO Don Perkins, will contemplate and discuss the topic during their residency at the Black Point Inn. To fuel the conversation PMA will orchestrate three sessions in three days. Writer Sara Corbett, Adam Burk of TedxDirigo, and Derek Pierce principal of Casco Bay High School in Portland, will each facilitate a session. Additional participants in the sessions include area artists, climate specialists, data visualization specialists, high school science and art teachers, writers, and a tattoo artist among others.

Cannon Rock Sessions are meant to ignite further conversation among the participants, and to enrich the visiting minds thinking around the topic of weather. At the conclusion of the residence, the conversation opens up to the public at the Summer Dialogue in the PMA’s Bernard Osher Foundation Auditorium. Anna Hepler and Don Perkins will talk about their experience during the sessions and how their thinking about the topic of weather has shifted as a result of their participation.

The PMA is proud to be the steward of the Winslow Homer Studio at such an incredible site as Prouts Neck. Cannon Rock Sessions are designed to create dynamic dialogue across disciplines, people and organizations and then culminates in a public event. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of this progressive program!

Reserve your spot for Cannon Rock Session’s free, public event, Summer Dialogue, on August 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Cannon Rock Sessions is supported by the Sam L. Cohen Foundation and the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation, Inc.

Winslow Homer Studio programming is supported by the Lunder Homer Education Endowment.

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