Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risk. This world of the imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense. It is our function as artists to make the spectator see our way, not his way.
Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman
Some of you may not be aware that three of the top liberal arts colleges in the U.S. are in Maine. Bates is in Lewiston, Bowdoin is in Brunswick and Colby is in Waterville. All are known not only for academics but for having outstanding art collections and exhibitions.
On a quiet day, we ventured over to Lewiston to take a look at the Bates Museum of Art. Wouldn’t you know it was closed for a new installation but hearing that we had come over from Rockport the director allowed us in.
Staff was putting the finishing touches on Anthropocenic. Now that is a mouthful and what it means is art about the natural world in the human era. The accompanying brochure describes the show as an exhibition of 17 artists and collaboratives from Maine, the US and abroad who make art about nature, the natural world and out effect on and interrelation with it in the 21st century.
As always with art, it is interesting to see how artists interpret a theme. I was intrigued by the collaborations of Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber. First, they built a model of their subject and then photographed it. There are many humorous details in their work.
Isabella Kirkland’s stunning prints are produced from her much larger paintings done in the tradition of still life and incorporating natural elements.
Throughout the main floor was abundant stimulation with materials cleverly used to make a statement.
Venturing down to the second floor, we were surprised to see a familiar name. The hubby and I took a street photography workshop in Paris from Peter Turnley last month and he made no mention of an exhibit at Bates.
Peter’s photos capture the essence of humanity no matter where they are taken. The more I see of his work the easier it is to understand why he is tops in his field.
Thanks to the director of the Bates Museum for letting us have a preview of a beautiful and interesting exhibit.
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