For some time now artist Elizabeth Atterbury has been testing the authority and autonomy of the photographic image; she exploits its twin capacities for frankness and withholding. Indeed, many of her recent photographic prints could not be more explicitly incoherent. How far can one peel representation away from the thing it depicts without detaching it altogether? Frequently drawn to pliable but precarious materials such as paper and sand, Atterbury constructs ephemeral tableaus specifically for the purpose of recording and, in so doing, transfiguring them. For the seventh installment of the Museum’s currents series, this Portland-based artist extends her analysis of the photogenic properties of objects in new two- and three-dimensional work, creating a site-specific installation. If Atterbury’s photographs pose questions about the limits of pictorial literacy, her objects further fray distinctions between artifact, prop, model, and sculpture. Within the museum setting, these indistinctions antagonize traditional habits of museological display, documentation, and reproduction. Elizabeth Atterbury has participated in group exhibitions at Heaven Gallery in Chicago, and KANSAS and Bodega in New York. She has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Document in Chicago, and kijidome in Boston. In the Middle, An Oasis, a monograph of her work, was published by Bodega Press in 2013. Atterbury holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Portland, ME. This exhibition is part of The Maine Photo Project.More »
Known for his monumental wall reliefs and sculptures of animals from the 1970s, Maine-born artist Bernard Langlais (1921–1977) produced a rich and diverse oeuvre in his 56 years. From modernist painter to visionary environment builder, Langlais created art driven by a deep sense of place, and an unrelenting search for materials and subjects that reconciled his rural roots with postwar artistic movements and ideologies. In celebration of an extraordinary bequest by the artist’s widow, Helen Friend Langlais, of her estate to Colby College in 2010, the Colby College Museum of Art will present the first scholarly retrospective of Langlais’s dynamic career. The exhibition is drawn primarily from the Museum’s Bernard Langlais Collection and also presents loans from several local museums and private collections, a testament to Maine’s deep holdings in the art of this native son.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated monograph with essays by Hannah W. Blunt, Diana Tuite, Vincent Katz, and Leslie Umberger.More »
This installation features a rotating selection of artwork by Alex Katz (b. 1927). Among the most recent acquisitions on view is a double aluminum cutout entitled Juan and Choichun from 2013. Also displayed is an array of portraits that Katz produced in the 1950s depicting fellow artist Bernard Langlais, the subject of the adjacent retrospective.