Contributor Robyn Day reviews the Bruce Davidson exhibition now up at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston [continued at Big Red & Shiny…]

Untitled (Young Man Holding Baby in Luncheonette) from East 100th Street series Bruce Davidson (American, born 1933) 1966—68, printed 1969 Photograph, gelatin silver print
*Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Museum purchase with funds donated by Haluk and Elisa Soykan and the Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund
*© Bruce Davidson /Magnum Photos
*Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

New Blue and White / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

New Blue and White exhibition Museum of Fine Arts Boston, work by Harumi Nakashima

New Blue and White / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
February 20, 2013 - July 14, 2013

New Blue and White at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, showcases inventive works in blue and white by 40 international artists and designers.

Contemporary sculpture, ceramics, fashion, glass, furniture, and more offer a new twist to age-old imagery

Over the past millennium, blue-and-white ceramics have become an international phenomenon—familiar as Dutch Delftware, Ming vases, and Blue Willow china, among other forms. Today, the popular ceramic medium continues to offer inspiration, especially to the more than 40 international artists and designers whose works are presented in New Blue and White at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). On view from February 20 through July 14 in the MFA’s Henry and Lois Foster Gallery, the exhibition highlights nearly 70 objects made over the course of the past 15 years across a wide array of media. Many of these works offer a contemporary twist to traditional blue-and-white imagery using abstraction, digital manipulation, contemporary subject matter, and even trompe l’oeil to surprise and delight. They range from small porcelains to room-size installations and include never-before-seen creations by artists such as Mark Cooper, Annabeth Rosen, Pouran Jinchi, and Kurt Weiser, and recent MFA acquisitions of work by fashion label Rodarte and ceramic sculptor Chris Antemann. Also on view are ceramics by Nakashima Harumi, Robert Dawson, and Steven Lee. The exhibition is presented with generous support from The Wornick Fund for Contemporary Craft. Additional support is provided by The John and Bette Cohen Fund for Contemporary Decorative Arts, and the Joel Alvord and Lisa Schmid Alvord Fund.

“The works in New Blue and White deftly show how one remarkable set of material traditions, which have had a profound international impact, can inspire new generations of artists. They make surprising, beautiful connections across time and cultures, helping us understand our history and our present,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA.

At its simplest, blue and white refers to the application of cobalt pigment on white clay. It originated in 9th-century Mesopotamia and subsequently captured the imaginations of artists throughout Asia. Through a frenzy of trade networks and stylistic exchange, these coveted works made their way to Europe and eventually the New World. With them went multiple narratives focused on ideas as varied as wealth, power, beauty, family, exoticism, colonialism, and commerce. Inspired by this rich and varied global legacy, today’s artists create works that tell contemporary stories incorporating cultural, social, and historical references. To illustrate this, four themes will be presented to guide visitor engagement with the objects in the exhibition: Cultural Camouflage; Memory and Narrative; Abstract Interpretations; and Political Meaning.

Exhibiting artists: Ann Agee (US), Chris Antemann (US), Katsuyo Aoki (Japan), Felicity Aylieff (England), Robin Best (Australia), Stephen Bowers (Australia), Boym Partners [Constantin Boym (Russian) and Laurene Boym (American)], Caroline Cheng (England), Mark Cooper (US), Claire Curneen (Ireland), Robert Dawson (England), Barbara Diduk (US), Michelle Erickson (US), Front Design (Sofia Lagerkvist, Anna Lindren, Katja S’vstr’m, Charlotte von der Lancken) (Sweden), Gésine Hackenberg (Germany), Molly Hatch (US), Giselle Hicks (US), Sin Ying Ho (China), Pouran Jinchi (Iran), Hella Jongerius (Netherlands), Charles Krafft (US), Steven Lee (US), Li Lihong (China), Beth Lo (US), Livia Marin (Chile), Harumi Nakashima (Japan), Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy) (US), Annabeth Rosen (US), Richard Saja (US), Eduardo Sarabia (US), Paul Scott (England), Richard Shaw (US), Tommy Simpson (US), Caroline Slotte (Finland), Min-Jeong Song (Korea), Vipoo Srivilasa (Thailand), Kondô Takahiro (Japan), Brendan Tang (Canada), Studio Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe (Neils Van Eijk, Mirian Van der Lubbe) (Netherlands), Peter Walker (US), Kurt Weiser (US), Ah Xian (China).

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John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)
Sketch for Chiron and Achilles
Oil and graphite on canvas, 1922–24
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts


Exclusive First Looks: Mario Testino’s ‘In Your Face’ Exhibit

Photographer Mario Testino is best known for creating celebrity portraits that appear on the covers and pages of magazines likeVogueGQV magazine, and Vanity Fair. This weekend, the first-ever U.S. exhibit of his photographs opens at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Titled “In Your Face,” the retrospective will cover his 30-year career with 125 images chosen by Testino himself, ranging from his celebrity subjects like Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow to fashion spreads featuring Gisele Bundchen and Kate Moss. See a preview of the exhibit, including some exclusive images, in our slideshow.

For more information on the exhibit, which runs from October 21, 2012 to February 3, 2013, visit the Museum of Fine Arts Boston website

Evening dress in two parts. Bodice and most of skirt of white satin with self figure of broad ribbon serpentines with crossing sprays of highly decorative flowers and fruit including pomegranate; bodice with low rounded neck in front, lower edge cut in tabs, sleeves elbow length with white chiffon forming top slightly puffed portion; skirt front of white satin cut straight with flounce of knife pleats along bottom edge, fullness of skirt at back in soft pleats, pleated puffs on side, bows of white satin finished with tassels of silk and artificial pearls, artificial pearl fringe along front edges of overskirt. Some additional trimming originally on dress, but now missing.



Exhibition Tuesday!

Artist Shinique Smith created Mother Hale’s Garden, a permanent laminated glass and mosaic  artwork on the facade of the new Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot located between 146th and 147th  Street in Central Harlem. Smith’s exuberant brush strokes and vibrant collage  were translated into glass and ceramic mosaic that spans the building’s exterior. This past weekend, Smith’s solo exhibition Bright Matter opened at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston features 30 of her key works from this past decade with more than a dozen new pieces, on view until March, 2015.

Images: 1-2. Shinique Smith, Mother Hale’s Garden, 2013.

3. Shinique Smith, Splendid, 2014.