The Art Gallery at UNH
 

Photo-Sculptures and Boston Expressionism Featured in UNH Exhibitions

By Michelle Gregoire
UNH News Bureau

September 27, 2000


DURHAM, N.H. -- Two very different exhibitions will run simultaneously this fall at The Art Gallery at the University of New Hampshire. Opening Saturday, Oct. 28, and running through Dec. 17 are "Against the Grain: The Second Generation of Boston Expressionism" and "Light Construction: Photo-sculptures by Doug Prince." Several of the artists are expected to attend a preview reception Friday, Oct. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m.

"Against the Grain: The Second Generation of Boston Expressionism," explores an under-recognized period in Boston art history, reconsidering the movement known as Boston Expressionism during the 1950s-'70s. Guest curator Evan Ide (B.F.A. 2001) selected works by a range of artists including Arthur Polonsky, Leonard Baskin, Harold Tovish, Barbara Swan and Sigmund Abeles. The exhibition includes works from public and private collections, as well as The Art Gallery's own collection.

"This is a rare opportunity to see many of Boston's important figurative expressionists together in one show," explains Ide. Not only were these artists joined by the same artistic philosophies, but also by friendship." Rejecting the abstract expressionist style of artists like Jackson Pollock, the Boston Expressionists worked "against the grain," retaining the figurative element in their work.

Pamela Edwards Allara of the Fine Arts Department at Tufts University, wrote, "The expressionist artist deals with private, not public concerns, and his belief that these two areas can be separated is based on the perpetuation of the Romantic myth of the artist as isolated and frequently misunderstood. Expressionism in Boston is a belief system. It is the evidence of a consistent set of assumptions about the function of art, which has been molded by the city's cultural climate."

"Light Construction: Photo-sculptures by Doug Prince," features his work with new technology and classically beautiful black-and-white images to create real and surreal photographs that provoke the imagination. Prince's photo-sculptures, which he calls "photo-boxes," are three-dimensional works that are approximately six inches square. The artist prints images on translucent film, places them between Plexiglas panels, and layers them in a Plexiglas viewing box. The boxes are lit from behind, giving the layered images an eerie three-dimensional quality.

Looking back on his early influences, Prince remarks, "Building pictures with film and plastic probably goes back to normal childhood play with small environments: miniature landscapes under an oak tree, electric trains and Lincoln logs. This kind of play allows a child to grasp the larger reality of the outside world and make it an internal world that can be better understood and controlled. The magic of these miniature worlds continues to fascinate me."

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Prince received his M.F.A. in photography from the University of Iowa and is now a staff photographer at UNH. His work is known internationally. The exhibition of his work was organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.

Both exhibitions are funded in part by the William Penn Foundation and the Friends of The Art Gallery. The exhibitions, the opening reception, and the following related events, all at the Paul Creative Arts Center, are free and open to the public:

Friday, Oct. 27: Slide lecture, "Boston Modern: Figurative Expressionism as an Alternative Modernist Discourse," by Dr. Judith Bookbinder, Room A219, 5 p.m.

The following events are part of the ArtBreak Series, running from noon - 1 p.m., Wednesdays:

  • Nov. 1: Slide lecture by exhibiting artist Doug Prince. Room A219.

  • Nov. 8: Lecture on collecting by antiques expert Richard Thorner. Room A219.

  • Nov.15: Gallery talk on Boston Expressionism by guest curator Evan Ide.

  • Nov. 29: Fiction reading from her book, "Fragile Women," by Professor Margaret-Love Denman, UNH Department of English. The Art Gallery.

  • Dec. 6: Slide lecture by exhibiting artist Arthur Polonsky. Sponsored by The Art Gallery and the UNH Department of Art and Art History. Room A219.
  • Gallery hours are: Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. The gallery is closed Fridays and university holidays, including Nov. 22-26. School and group tours are offered free with advance reservation and can be scheduled by calling the Outreach Program at 603-862-3713. For more information, call 603-862-3712 or e-mail art.gallery@unh.edu.

    EDITORS and NEWS DIRECTORS: For slides or photos, contact Amanda Tappan, publicity coordinator, at 603-862-3713.

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