Arts

And the Addison Gallery Presents. . .

**“Natural Selections”**

Delicate, painted petals against a stormy gray sky. Two men lying by a glistening river.

With depictions of landscapes and scenes ranging from realistic to abstract, the Addison Gallery of American Art exhibition “Natural Selections” is designed to complement “James Prosek: The Spaces in Between.” The two exhibitions attempt to capture the artist’s deep-rooted connection with nature.

Curated from the gallery’s permanent collection, pieces in the exhibit are divided into rooms based on specific natural subjects like sky, light, flora, fauna, land and cosmos.

 

“Italian Landscape,” one of the featured paintings by Washington Allston, portrays a quaint, intricate scene of a valley, lake and people nearby. To create the oil painting, Allston used mainly earthy browns and greens to emphasize the piece’s meaning. Allston was a pioneer of the 18th-century Romantic movement of landscape painting in America.

“It’s a picture that I call the first great American landscape,” said Brian Allen, Director of the Addison, during a tour of the exhibition.

The exhibition also includes a variety of paintings by Winslow Homer, a 19th-century painter best known for his maritime scenes. One of his most iconic works currently shown at the Addison, “Eight Bells,” portrays two sailors trying to determine the position of their boat. Homer adeptly captures the determination of the sailors against the volatile nature of the open waters.

“You’ve got that moment of danger; are they going to be able to do it? Are they going to be able to survive? But in that condition, they used their equipment with such confidence, such sureness. It’s a story of man’s dominance over nature,” Allen said.

Among the many iconic paintings featured in the exhibition is John Singer Sargent’s “Val d’Aosta- Man Fishing.” According to Allen, Sargent was the leading portrait painter of the upper class in 19th-century America, but grew weary of the job. Instead, Sargent began painting scenes of everyday life. “Val d’Aosta-Man Fishing” employs the use of vivid colors. The paint strokes appear hastily applied, reminiscent of the qualities of a long-exposure photograph.

“Natural Selection” was made possible by the support of the Mollie Bennett Lupe and Garland M. Lasater Exhibitions Fund. The exhibition is on view until winter 2014.

 

**”Flashback-November 22, 1963****”**

Analyzing the role of media in the wake of public tragedy, “Flash Back- November 22, 1963” displays mixed-media works that immortalize the lasting effects of President John F. Kennedy’s assasination.

“Images and narratives are deconstructed and reconstructed, cropped and edited to fit document formatting and journal perspectives, and then become part of the historical narrative. We stop questioning the space between the image and the story, blurring the fine line between history, memory and reality,” wrote Jamie Kaplowitz, Education Associate and Museum Learning Specialist at the Addison, in an e-mail ton._The Phillipian._

The show is divided into four main parts. The first gallery focuses on Kennedy’s last days and the media’s extensive coverage of his assassination. The central and titular portion of the exhibit, “Flash Back – November 22, 1963,” consists of a number of Andy Warhol pieces crafted to resemble campaign posters.

The second gallery examines the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, from multiple perspectives using both contemporary and historical sources.

Focusing more on the public’s perspective, the third gallery explores artistic representations of conspiracy theories and myths surrounding Kennedy’s assassination. The principal piece in this gallery is “Jackie Kennedy, The King of Hearts,” a portrait of the stoic First Lady holding a king of hearts playing card, featuring John F. Kennedy as the king. A bullet pierces the middle of the card, and pieces of the card fly upward. According to a statement by Tina Mion, the piece’s creator, the portrait addresses the theory that Kennedy was suicidal, as he was riding through Dallas with no bullet protection when he was killed.

The final gallery is dedicated to Kennedy’s funeral procession and the aftermath of his death. The centerpiece of the space is a sculptural representation of the funeral procession itself. The focal point of the sculpture is a larger-than-life wooden figure of threeyear-old John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting a minute representation of his father’s casket. The exaggerated size of young Kennedy serves as a reflection of the impact of the gesture for the First Family and the nation.

“Flash Back – November 22, 1963” is on view from September 1, 2013 to January 12, 2014.

 

**”the kids are all right”**

Upon entering the exhibition, visitors immediately confront artist Julie Mack’s “TV: Academy Awards Night, NYC,” a piece that immortalizes the idea of family in the face of the technological revolution. The photograph depicts a family of four sitting on a living room couch with focused facial expressions, more enraptured by the television than each other’s company.

“The images blur the line between truth and fiction, and ask viewers to question where real begins and ends. ‘TV: Academy Awards Night, NYC’ show[s] the stereotypical nuclear family posed in stereotypical poses and settings, but with a self-conscious tone,” wrote Kaplowitz.

Capturing the different meanings of family through vivid photographs and video, “the kids are all right” is the Addison’s new lens-based media exhibition. The exhibition explores the variety of 21st-century family beyond the traditional constraints. Alison Ferris, the curator of the exhibit, displays the work of 38 up-and-coming photographers and videographers, such as Lisa Lindvay, in the exhibition.

“For these artists in the exhibition ‘the kids are all right,’ all born between 1960 and 1990, what we think of as the stereotypical nuclear family is just one of the many arrangements they have experienced in the world around them in their lifetime,” wrote Kaplowitz.

Alternating between video and photograph series, one of the hallways of “the kids are all right” houses a thought-provoking image, “Dinner,” by Lisa Lindvay. The three individuals in the image, a father and two sons, appear to be simply sharing a fast food meal together. However, the disheveled appearance of the father and empty, exhausted looks in the sons’ eyes hint at a deeper, emotional meaning to the image. The artist’s explanatory statement reveals that the three individuals in the image are the family of a woman whose condition has deteriorated because of a cognitive disease.

“The kids are all right” is on view from September 14, 2013 to January 5, 2014.