Preview of the Addison’s Galleries

“Fractured Narratives: Works by Lorna Bieber”

The “Fractured Narratives” exhibit showcases the work of Lorna Bieber and features numerous appropriated images that are reinterpreted through different manipulations.

Lorna Bieber was the Addison’s Spring 2009 Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Residence.

Faxon said, “When the Addison was closed, we wouldn’t have any art here and we asked [Bieber] to come here to work with the students… and we are now back with the exhibition showing her work.”

Bieber created her own unique photographic murals and montages by re-configuring common photographs and pictures from all kinds of publications by cropping, mix-and-matching and re-photographing photos.

Works by Christopher C. Cook, whose art is also featured, and Bieber are displayed close to one another in the galleries of the Addison’s first floor.

“What we liked about putting these two artists [Cook and Bieber] together was that both of them, in a quite different way, deal with component parts and then assemble them in a variety of different ways,” said Faxon.

Bieber’s works will be on display until January 8, 2012.

“Some Assembly Required”

As the title of the exhibit suggests, “Some Assembly Required” displays various types of works involving configurations.

The works featuring modern artists Siah Armajani, Kiki Smith and Mark di Suvero, drawn from the Addison’s own collection, are displayed in the hallways
and in the back galleries on the first floor.

All the works that are featured in “Some Assembly Required” incorporate a number of different parts.

“You have to take a number of parts and put them together… The artist has made the pieces and has defined how they go together… They only exist when you put them together. It’s a strange collaboration between the artist, artist’s ideas and the people who install them,” said Susan Faxon, Associate Director and Curator of the Addison Gallery.

In addition to the modern works, the exhibition will feature a series of photographs depicting the progression of a person’s life by Hollis Frampton,
who was a member of the class of 1955.

The exhibit will be open until December 31, 2011.

“Clearstory Squares and Unitych Variations: Paintings
By Christopher C. Cook”

The exhibit’s highlight is conceptual artist Christopher C. Cook’s multipanel painting, “Clearstory Squares,” a series of paintings created and exhibited at the Addison in 1986.

Cook was the director of the Addison from 1969 to 1989 but retired from the Addison to teach art in Andover’s Art Department until 1998.

“Clearstory Squares” will return to the Addison, along with Cook’s more recent works, and will be showed in the Addison’s first floor gallery. Another highlight is the temporary configuration of the exhibition that will be altered every three weeks.

“The exhibition will change its configurations four different times. So when it opens in October 14th, [‘Clearstory Squares’ piece] will be in one form and three weeks later, we will reinstall them in a completely different way because the painting’s panels are all interchangeable,” said Faxon.

She continued, “The Dance Department will possibly give a performance at the Addison in relationship to this changing of exhibition, which is fun.”

Four different arrangements of Cook’s “Clearstory Squares” or “triptychs,” as he calls them, will be on display until the show closes on January 8, 2012.

“RFK Funeral Train Rediscovered: Photographs
by Paul Fusco”

The RFK exhibition will feature a portfolio of Paul Fusco’s photographs that were recently given to the Addison as a gift from Stephen C. Sherrill ’71.

Fusco was a photographer who worked for “Look” magazine in the 1960s. He was commissioned to take photographs of the funeral train that carried Robert F. Kennedy’s body from New York to Washington, D.C. for burial at the Arlington National Cemetery after Kennedy’s assassination on June 5th, 1968, during his campaign for the presidential nomination.

On the funeral train, Fusco took photographs out the window, capturing images of people who came to the edge of the tracks to watch the funeral train go by.

“Some of [the photographs] are fuzzy because the train was moving. There were families, people in chairs, people who were crying [and] people holding signs. … They [the photographs] are all very moving,” said Faxon.

“It turned out that ‘Look’ magazine did not use them, and later the magazine went out of business shortly thereafter. 2000 or so photographs sat unknown for years and they have been discovered in the archives rather recently,” said Faxon.

The photographs were selected from a 2008 portfolio that was published to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. The photos are all originals.

The “RFK Funeral Train Rediscovered: Photographs by Paul Fusco” exhibit will be open until December 31, 2011.

“The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues”

“The Civil War,” curated by DeSimone, will be on display in three galleries on the second floor.

There will be a mixture of historic and contemporary works presenting the narratives of the Civil War.

Faxon said, “[DeSimone’s] point of view is that through the work that we own, it is possible to understand and examine the ideas and the ways in which the civil war was understood in the 19th century.”

The Addison owns work from the 19th century contemporary to the war itself, as well as works made by 20th and 21st century artists who reconsidered issues that were part of the Civil War and expressed them through art.

An African American’s narrative during the Civil War is depicted in Kara Walker’s eight minute video, “National Archives Microfilm Publication M999 Roll 34: Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands: Six Miles from Springfield on the Franklin Road,” which will be shown as part of the exhibition.

“[The video] uses puppets and silhouettes. It appears like a kaleidoscope. The video shows outrages and difficulties that African Americans had to go through… It is very heart-wrenching,” said DeSimone. DeSimone said that the Civil War is such an important event and hopes “The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues,” will have the audience reflect on how the war affects us today and why we keep going back to it.

This year is also the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

“Many institutions and museums are organizing exhibitions reflecting the Civil War [and] ours is slightly different in that we are looking at both 19th and 20th century interpretations of the War,” said Faxon.

“The Civil War” exhibition will be open until January 2012.

“80 @ 80”

“80 @ 80,” filling the five front galleries on the second floor of the Addison, will feature approximately 80 works of art, gathered together for the Addison’s 80th anniversary. Jaime DeSimone, Assistant Curator at the Addison, curated this exhibition.

In addition to celebrating the Addison’s 80th birthday, this exhibit also aims to showcase the great works in the Addison’s permanent collection.

“[The exhibition] will show great treasures that everyone knows and loves and is glad to see again,” said Faxon.

She also said that the “80 @ 80’ exhibition will present more recent works, either because they were created more recently or because the Addison acquired them more recently.

Through “80 @ 80,” DeSimone aimed to present progressive American Art that viewers will be able to relate to and be inspired by.

The Addison’s own 18th and 19th century paintings and contemporary works from the 20th and 21st centuries will all merge together in the “80 @ 80” exhibit.

The exhibit will feature some notable works by artists such as Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, whose work was shown at the Addison’s first opening in 1931.

Works by contemporary artists Jennifer Bartlett, Mark Bradford, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Nevelson and Frank Stella will also be on exhibit.

Generous support for “80 @ 80” was provided by the Sidney R. Knafel Fund.

The exhibition will bee open until December 31, 2011.