Opening Reception: Friday, July 13, 6-9 pm | Tough Girls and Lucid Dreamers No. 9, an evening of readings and performance: July 22, 6 pm!
The Borden Series
“Man will lose control over his machines. My work foreshadows this eventuality.
Over the course of the roughly 200,000 years of human existence the sophistication of man’s tools has been accelerating. The dawn of the Electronic Age in the 20th century radically increased the rate of acceleration. Now in the 21st century the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning point towards a future at some point before the end of this century when man’s machines will rule over mankind.
The Electronic Age, exemplified by computer-guided equipment informed by data stored in electronic clouds, offers few visual clues of the impending machine ascendency. Thus to illustrate the man vs. machine dynamics we face today my sculpture employs tangible machine parts, such a typewriter pieces, from the recently ended Mechanical Age. The human element within my sculpture appears either overtly with two-dimensional images of people mounted and placed within the sculptural space or more abstractly with three-dimensional forms such as crystals or organic matter. Implied gestural motion expresses the human/machine interaction. These “operations”, though ultimately illogical and non-kinetic, seem just mechanically logical enough to hint that a mysterious sentient force somewhere within the piece of art may be controlling them. Adding ambiguity to the issue of control, I often add handles, levers, buttons, etc. to suggest that the viewer of the art is also able to manipulate the performance of the machinery. This seeming mystery of mechanical control represents the ever-increasing incomprehension most of us experience of how our electronically guided devices and systems, omnipresent in our lives today, actually operate and whether or not man is still fully in charge of them.
The physical construction of my sculptural assemblages is purposely complex so as to augment the mystery of the implied mechanical functions. For all my structural attachments my pieces depend on torqued connections using either nuts and bolts or screws. The torquing allows for a very high degree of precision in the positioning of objects relative to each other. Positional precision is necessary to sustain the illusion that one element of the sculpture is directly affecting another mechanically. In addition to the structural compression inherent in torqued connections, my recent work has also included springs and turnbuckles to connect elements with structural tension.
My two-dimensional collages follow the same themes as my sculptures, but more abstractly since I rarely use images of machinery. In the two-dimensional collages of the Borden series, for instance, mankind is represented by bovine cartoon characters and the activating “machinery” that controls the characters is derived from the shapes and movement inherent in giant images of orchids cut from 1950’s magazines.”
Ted Chapin studied architecture and art history at Yale University, graduating in 1972, and received a graduate degree in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. From 1975 until 2003 Ted practiced architecture with a series of large firms in Philadelphia, San Francisco and then in Boston, where he was a Vice President of Elkus/Manfredi Architects. Starting in 2003 Ted has been a full-time artist, with art studios in both Provincetown and New York City. Ted has exhibited his work in Provincetown at the Esmond-Wright Gallery, Art Current Gallery, Gallery4Pearl and at numerous juried shows at PAAM. In New York Ted has shown his work at TheaterLab and at his Madison Avenue studio. From 2012 until 2017 Ted was President of the Board of the Fine Arts Work Center. He is currently Co-Chair of the Board and Co-Chair of FAWC’s 50th Anniversary Campaign.
“The series “The Left Shoe” represents my current body of work after coming out of a difficult time. I had experienced a bleary and unproductive winter mostly due to the new political climate. The election results and its aftermath had a dramatic and deeply emotional effect on me.
My previous body of work, “Displacement/Refuge,” had been inspired by the news of refugees, immigrants and of the displacement camps in Angola and Aleppo. Friends shared photos of those first boats arriving in Lesbos. While in Berlin, I met some of these desperate people. That world drama triggered my series of Displacement Camps.
In the spring of 2017, I found a rust-colored and well-worn pair of sandals perched on my neighbor’s stoop. For civilization, the shoe has been a symbol of both protection and movement. It gives the body a sense of balanced comfort and this is what I badly needed then. At first sturdy and maybe a little stiff, the shoe, with time, becomes tender, even kind, and a necessary and warm companion as we step onward to wherever we may go.
At first, I made small drawings of the shoe. They grew larger the more I saw how basic and simple the shoe was and will always be. By the end, I painted it with gouache over configurations of layers of my earlier images of Venetian slings and New York City dumpsters, to be found like a shoe left on a path or one in a pile in Dachau.
I have been an artist for over 45 years. My proposal to the Tate Modern will be within the next three to five years, including hundreds of drawings, paintings and sculpture of this single shoe.”
Barbara E Cohen received her B.F.A. from Tufts University and the School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with earlier studies in art history at Oxford University. She has received numerous grants including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Artists Foundation Mass Fellowship Program, Polaroid Artist Support Program, Blanche E. Colman Award and grants from the Cambridge and Massachusetts Arts Councils. She received an artist’s residency from the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Barbara has exhibited her paintings and sculpture in numerous galleries and museums across the country.
Barbara is the author of the book, "Venezia: Essenze," 2013, a series of painted Polaroids of Venice, Italy, published by the Italian editor, Damocle. She is also the author of "New York Love Affair," 2010, a collection of painted Polaroids of New York City, and "Dog in the Dunes Revisited," 2005, published by Fields Publishing. The original "Dog in the Dunes," 1998, a series of painted photographs of her black Labrador, Gabe, set in the dunes of Cape Cod, was published by Andrews McMeel. "Provincetown ‘East West’," a selection of her painted Polaroid landscapes of this small seaside town, was published in 2002 by University Press of New England.
Sand Paintings: People of Colors II
"Working with the sands of time for over thirty years – encrusting cars and a motel, sandblasting and filling a car – these sand drawings seem frail and intimate. Fracturing the stylized gloss of fashion magazine advertisements with the rawness of naturally colored sands exposes the bones and artifice of the human body on the flat page.
How is our perception of an image altered when a gritty veil or mask of sand is applied? The sand may be black, white, pink, orange or beige. What shades of color do we perceive? What shades of color do we defy?"
Jay Critchley Jay is a conceptual and multi-media artist, writer and activist whose work has traversed the globe, showing across the US and in Argentina, Japan, England, Spain, France, Holland, Germany and Columbia. He founded the controversial patriotic Old Glory Condom Corporation and was recently featured in Sculpture magazine. His 2011 show in Chelsea, NYC received key reviews in the New York Times, The New Yorker and the Village Voice. He created the inspired “Ten Days That Shook the World” in 2012 before the demolition of the 1953 Herring Cove Beach Bathhouse.
Jay recently returned from a two-month residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute where he launched his large-scale, multi-media project: The Whiteness House – tarred & feathered, dealing with whiteness, race and ethnicity.
His movie, Toilet Treatments, won an HBO Award at Provincetown Film Festival in 2002, where he was featured in 2015 in conjunction with his survey show at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum, Jay Critchley, Incorporated. The show also traveled to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.
He has taught at the Museum School at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and has had artist residencies at: Harvard University; AS220, Rhode Island; Harvestworks, NYC; Williams College, MA; Real Art Ways, Hartford; Milepost 5, Portland, OR; Fundacion Valparaiso, Mojacar, Andalucia, Spain; and CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine, France.
Jay was honored in 2012 by the Massachusetts State Legislature as an artist and director of the Provincetown Community Compact, producer of the Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, which has raised $5M for AIDS and women’s health. His one act experimental musical, Planet Snowvio, about the meeting of Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was recently read at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
He also presently his play at AMP in 2016, honoring the connection between Eugene O’Neill and Padraig Pearse of the Irish Rebellion: Bound East for Easter Rebellion.
Harmony and Contradictions
"I've worked abstractly with cut and pasted papers for many years. In 2010, after using pages of books in my work for some years, I was left with what felt like a skeleton of an old favorite. It was very old, and had a softly patterned paper on the inside surfaces of the covers. Reluctant to throw it away, I puzzled over it until I thought to cut the front and back covers off and try my hand at using one as if it were a canvas, panel, or a piece of paper. That is how the series began.
More recently, my desire to bring freshness, patterns, contradictions and nature into my work propelled me to explore different materials, slow down my process, and take the time to sit quietly with uncertainty in order to consider every possibility and permutation at each juncture. Whether it was minutes, a day, or months later, I circled back with scissors and glue only when I knew exactly what to do and resolved to take that step, understanding it might eradicate what I'd done before. Collage can be unforgiving, but my vision has become clearer.
I believe it was my trip to Delhi in 2012, where I was moved by the kaleidoscopic colors, movements and rhythms swirling around me that drove me to search for more pattern, texture and contradiction. I found lots of wallpaper--old and new, and worked to and a way to combine disparate and even clashing elements into a harmonious resolution, seeking affinities and resonance between seemingly incompatible elements.
I think of this work as being about human dreams, experience and desire, memory and the passage of time, but also about renewal, hope and looking ahead to forming new experience."
Nancy Rubens has lived and worked in New York City and Wellfleet for decades, focusing on abstract collages, most recently cutting and pasting papers on the insides of vintage book covers.
Rubens received a BA at Connecticut College and went on to study at the Art Students League of New York, where she began to focus on collage while studying with Leo Manso. Bruce Dorfman was an important mentor after she left the ASL, and years later, she was inspired by Mike Mazur while studying monotype with him at the Fine Arts Work Center. More recent exhibitions have been at Kathryn Markel Fine Art, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Susan Eley Fine Art, and Cheryl Pelavin Fine Art in NY, at Yale University, Cherry Stone Gallery, Schoolhouse Gallery, and the Cahoon Museum of American Art.