Art in Maine, 1956

July 15, 1956 - August 31, 1956

This exhibition includes painting and sculpture works by some of the many artists who live in Maine either year round or during the summer months. Paintings on display include works by Mildred Burrage, Willard Cummings, Joseph De Martini, Stephen Etnier, Dahlov Ipcar, William Kienbusch, Ellen Peirce, Waldo Peirce, Anne Poor, Henry Varnum Poor, William Grant Sherry, Sidney Simon, Reuben Tam, William Thon, Andrew Wyeth and Marguerite Zorach. Sculptures by Robert Laurent, Abbott Pattison, and William Zorach are also displayed.

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An Exhibition of Drawings

April 27, 1956 - May 23, 1956

Drawing is not what one sees but what one must make others see. With this statement by Degas in mind one could ask: what are the differences between looking at nature and looking at a good drawing? Through selection and emphasis the artists is able to enhance qualities of nature which we ordinarily miss in looking at the world around us. What are these qualities of nature? Gesture and pose, fleeting in actuality, can be fixed by the artists and given a finality they lack in real life.  Structure can be singled out for emphasis by an artist and made visible to us. Space, wholly lacking in physical drawing itself, is made in the subtle cooperation between lines and tones. The plastic form of three-dimensional solids, suggested by modelling, separates the true draughtsman from the clever drawing master. Light, like space, is not in itself tangible, but the artist translates this quality into a drawing by relating objects to each other. As we follow the artists in this exhibition as they explore the richness of nature we are also carried along with their ideas–their sense of fact or fancy, of sensuous pleasure or intense emotion, of the impersonal vastness of landscape or the warmth of human relationships–in short the limitless gamut of feeling which is the ultimate subject-matter of all the arts.

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The artist in the 20th century is often thought of as embodying the purest form of individualism. The best of our artists do just this, but do it despite adverse conditions.  Today, the revolutionary character of most art forms make the achievement of individual expression a difficult thing. It is tempting to follow a group which represents the shell rather than the core of tradition, and such “shell-groups” provide an easier refugee for the lesser artist as compared with the challenge of embodying traditional values in new forms. The pressures to conform to these groups are strong, whether they come primarily from the “right” or the “left.”  Jack Levine represents the artists who have consistently refused to follow the easier paths of conformity. His art of social protest serves a broader purpose in reminding us that social injustice is still very much with us and that the fight against it must stop. The beauty of the artist’s creation can be used to oppose lawlessness, hypocrisy, and inequality.

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