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Ken Greenleaf

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A roster of excellent shows at CMCA

In twos and solos
A two-person show can be very tricky, raising the possibility of both bodies of work vying for attention, edging each other on, or inviting negative comparisons.
By BRITTA KONAU  |  August 29, 2012

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Little surprise

American painters cross the pond
At the tag end of a dispiriting day of gallery visiting I happened into the Bowdoin College Museum to see their collection of Warhol Polaroids matched with a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting. That's a sure recipe for ongoing gloom, but it was on my way, so I stopped.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  February 03, 2010


Highlights of Colby's collection
The big 50th-anniversary exhibition at the Colby College Museum of Art has only about a month left of its eight-month run, so it seems like a good time to revisit this sprawling and worthwhile show.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  January 27, 2010

By  |  January 01, 0001

Cut it out

Collage-making is about the details
"Collage: Piecing it Together" at the Portland Museum of Art is a somewhat rambling look at a process that came into use in the beginning of the 20th century as a cubist process bringing images, colors, and shapes together that were previously used elsewhere.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  January 06, 2010

Hope and energy

Looking ahead to Maine's art scene in 2010
As we launch into the next decade with a collapsing economy and apocalyptic themes bleeding into every facet of culture, it's particularly hard to be optimistic about the arts, as yes, they are often the first to go.
By ANNIE LARMON  |  December 30, 2009

A special Maine feel

Exhibitions to remember from 2009
This may be remembered as the year that the Center for Maine Contemporary Art smashed headlong into a fiscal brick wall, and at this writing it is not clear if, after its current show closes this week, it will open again in the spring.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  December 22, 2009

Jack of all trades

Ken Greenleaf moves from the word to the walls
Ken Greenleaf is a pretty familiar name around here. His byline has accompanied art reviews for this paper and others dating back to the late '70s. Among other things, I have heard him touted as an "authority on modernism."
By ANNIE LARMON  |  December 16, 2009

Arc printing

David Driskell’s PMA retrospective
For more than 50 years David Driskell, in his art and his distinguished academic career, has been a creative force in the intersection of modernist art and the African diaspora.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  November 18, 2009

Heartfelt Thanks

Letters to the Portland Editor, November 6, 2009
I just finished reading the piece Ken Greenleaf wrote about my dear friend of blessed memory, Bob Solotaire.
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  November 04, 2009

Jazz on paper

Romare Bearden's improv collage
A gem of a show, two shows really, has quietly appeared at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  October 21, 2009

Deep layers

Mark Wethli's latest work is some of his best
Throughout his long career Mark Wethli's work has been studied, careful, and formally rigorous.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  September 23, 2009

Retro for fall

Major artists of Maine's past go on display
Leaves are turning, roads aren't crowded; it's time to look ahead for interest in the fall art season.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  September 16, 2009

Growth + maturity

Portland's art scene has changed quite a lot
The Phoenix 's first 10 years in Portland roughly bracket the period during which I stopped writing about art.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  September 16, 2009

A decade gone by

Where Portland has come since 1999, and why we can't really even imagine what's coming in 2019
This week, we at the Portland Phoenix celebrate 10 years of serving Portland and Maine as your news, arts, and entertainment authority.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 16, 2009

Time for law to end torture

Letters to the Portland Editor, September 18, 2009
In a collaborative effort between human-rights activists and incarcerated Mainers, a bill to end the use and abuse of solitary confinement has been drafted and will be submitted to legislators soon.
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 16, 2009
cupid list

Idealist views

Three shows at the PMA explore truth
The path through my various responsibilities has led me to the Portland Museum several times in recent weeks, and along most of the floors. While passing through the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibit of photography I was struck by thoughts about templates created by dominant illusions, and how a consistent sense of an ideal world flowed through Cameron's work.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  August 26, 2009
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Building up

Inspired modernists Cutler and Thon
In the current show at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery at the Maine College of Art in Portland, we see two generations of 20th-century modernist painting.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  August 19, 2009
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Growing Maine art

PMA exhibit examines the influence of colonies
Long ago an art critic of my acquaintance remarked that New York was a border town to Europe, and until fairly recently that was true. Artistic ideas would be born in Europe, often France, and migrate slowly across the Atlantic and take root.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  August 05, 2009
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Lesson from a master

Legendary Met director will take your questions
Philippe de Montebello retired at the end of last year from his position as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York after 31 years. During his tenure, the museum nearly doubled in size to two million square feet and increased its collections by some 80,000 pieces.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  July 15, 2009
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More than words

The Farnsworth's Robert Indiana retrospective
What are we to make of Robert Indiana? His is generally considered part of the Pop art group of artists who came into prominence in the late '60s, along with Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Roy Lichtenstein, and though he is not perhaps as highly regarded in the art world, he has a wider popular following than any of them.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  July 08, 2009
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Weight + measure

Aaron Stephan's sculpture takes center stage
The centerpiece, conceptually and physically, of Aaron Stephan's show at Whitney Art Works is "Flat World/Round Map," a cast-iron sphere about six feet in diameter. While not exactly the largest ( "18 Columns" covers more ground and "The Burden Crates" is taller) it creates a center of gravity around itself.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  June 17, 2009
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Summer people

Artists have long visited Maine, too
Ever wonder why there is so much professional-level art made and shown in Maine, a state with a total population less than that of many minor cities? One answer is that following the fame of people like Winslow Homer, creative types flocked to Maine, often to artists' colonies.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  June 10, 2009
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Happy meeting

Divergent approaches, the same landscape
An artistic intersection between Joseph Nicoletti and Ying Li happened in northern Italy. These very different painters from widely differing backgrounds found common interest in the Italian landscape, and have made paintings whose similarities illuminate their differences.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  May 20, 2009
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Close focus

Mary Hart's small paintings demand attention
Aucocisco has opened its new premises with a show of small paintings by Mary Hart. The new space on Exchange Street is spare and elegant, and so, in their own way, are Hart's little paintings.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  May 13, 2009

The power of 'Cool'

A contemporary-art show at Bowdoin is a must-see
"New York Cool" is required viewing for anyone who has an interest in contemporary American art. Comprised of nearly 80 works, the show, at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art through July 19.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  May 18, 2009

Restoring a master

A new biography seeks to redefine Marc Chagall's place in art history
When Marc Chagall died in 1985 at the age of 98 he was internationally famous, wealthy, and had lived to see a museum built for him by the French government.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  March 30, 2009

Familiar paths

Terry Hilt sheds new light on Maine's coast
Terry Hilt's show of watercolors at Aucocisco provides an opportunity to consider the role of modernism in today's art.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  March 18, 2009

The sad ghost of postmodernism

It sticks around, but doesn't always work.
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  February 26, 2009

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