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Defining the canon
It's a peculiarly American irony that the same man who basically invented the advertising model for the business of broadcasting radio and later television would have amassed a significant collection of modernist art.
The implied narratives of Per Kirkeby
The current show by the highly-acclaimed Danish artist Per Kirkeby at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art is a broad survey of his work, with examples of his paintings and sculpture from the 1960s up to a few years ago.
An afternoon’s wander
Galleries tend to hunker down for the annual Maine economic recession, and are more or less vamping until full spring. Which is OK, since they are often picking from gallery inventory, and they have some good things.
Have ideas, will travel
The world is, as Tom Friedman has noted, flat, which doesn't take much label-reading to ascertain.
A brilliant example
"Lois Dodd: Catching the Light" is the kind of show that reminds you why you got interested in art in the first place. The paintings are terrific and the big, first-floor gallery at the Portland Museum of Art has never looked better.
Just getting started
The hardest thing about starting an art career is finding your own voice.
Back and forward
Events in the art business have been evoking the past for me these days, a function, I suppose, of accumulating high mileage.
"Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine," a show of more than 30 Homer works depicting Maine and the sea, commemorates the opening the newly-restored Homer studio on Prouts Neck.
Having it both ways
Jeff Kellar's work is formal, cool, and reserved, bringing to mind the Dave Brubeck Quartet back in the "Take Five" days, dressed in dark suits and narrow ties with Paul Desmond blowing alto magic under his black horn-rim glasses.
For a few generations now there's been a current of artistic intellectual seriousness in coastal Maine lying obscured beneath the fog of Wyeth popularity and other clichés that fill the galleries, restaurant walls, and roadside stands.
Three Maine masters
The connections between Frank W. Benson (1862-1951) and Winslow Homer (1836-1910) and the Portland Art Society are pretty straightforward.
Walking across the first gallery at the Portland Museum of Art's fine exhibition, "The Draw of the Normandy Coast: 1860-1960," you encounter three paintings of the same subject that outline three of the different ways of thinking that were part of artistic life in the period.
Onward and upward
Some parts of Portland may get quiet in the summer, but there's plenty action in the art biz. And lots of cruise-ship visitors this year to quicken the streets a bit.
My friend the late Sidney Tillim has been much on my mind in recent weeks.
"A Thickening Rhythm" is a show of five artists, one of whom, Julie Poitras Santos, also curated the show, at Coleman Burke in Brunswick.
There are a few things to remember about Thomas Hart Benton, an iconic American artist who died in 1975 at the age of 85.
Every so often Greenhut organizes a "Portland Show," gathering works mostly about the city, or by artists who are identified with it, or both.
The work of Edgar Degas has been getting much attention from museums in the past few years.
Very fine years indeed
A long time ago in a galaxy . . . well, it was just New York and it may seem like ancient history, but it was real life and what happened is part of who we are. We do like our stories about those days, and they quickly accrete the patina, and lack of detail, of legend.
Radicals and friends
Degas and the PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART headline the news for early next year. We're so used to Degas and his point of view it's easy to overlook what a difficult and radical artist he really was.
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