Art Complex Museum

Exhibitions - 2015



Look Again: ACM Collection Inspires the Boston Printmakers

May 17 – September 6, 2015

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Martin Lewis, United States, Chance Meeting, 1940 -1941, Drypoint, ACM 92.078 (left), Ellen Nathan Singer, Tenafly, New Jersey, In Passing, woodcut on rice paper, 2014 (right)

The Art Complex Museum (ACM) has a rich and comprehensive print collection. It encompasses seventeenth century Dutch etchings and engravings as well as modern Japanese, American and European nineteenth and twentieth century etchings, engravings, woodcuts, wood engravings, lithographs, and drypoint prints. It also includes a large number of contemporary prints in a variety of techniques, including work purchased by The Boston Printmakers for the museum collection from the North American Print Biennial - one of the most prestigious events in printmaking.

The Boston Printmakers and the museum have collaborated on a number of projects since the 1970’s. For this exhibition, Contemporary Curator, Craig Bloodgood and Collections Manager, Maureen Wengler assembled an “all star” portfolio of prints from the ACM collection and then asked members of The Printmakers to create responses. The result is thirty-four images from the ACM print collection including works by Ando¯ Hiroshige, Edward Hopper, Thomas Nason, Grant Wood, Käthe Kollwitz and Rembrandt van Rijn and fifty-eight works by the members.

The Boston Printmakers was founded by a small group of senior students and faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Massachusetts College of Art. They held their first meeting at the Wiggin Gallery at the Boston Public Library in autumn, 1947. Their host at this first meeting was the late Arthur Heintzelman, a distinguished etcher and the library's Keeper of Prints. Also attending were Ture Bengtz, head of the Graphic Arts Department at the Museum School and Otis Philbrick, head of the Painting and Graphics Department at Massachusetts College of Art. Bengtz would later become the first director of The Art Complex Museum in 1971. Today, the Boston Printmakers have close to four hundred members from all parts of the United States, Canada and Mexico.


Rotations: Objects from the Permanent Collection

May 17 - September 6, 2015

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George W. Bellows, 1882-1925, United States, Green Sea, 1913, oil on panel

In order to accommodate the growing number of objects that the Weyerhaeuser family collected, they were rotated in and out of the rooms of the family home. The collection is the foundation of the museum. Rotations Gallery was designed for exhibiting what is now the ACM’s permanent collection which continues to grow in its four main areas: American Paintings, Asian Art, Works on Paper (including American and European prints) and Shaker Furniture and Crafts. A myriad of other art forms, artifacts and contemporary acquisitions ensure that the viewer has a varied experience from many cultures and time periods as the rotating tradition is maintained.


Diana Barker Price: Untamed Forest

May 24 – August 16, 2015

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Diana Barker Price, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Potion, 2014, photograph

Untamed Forest includes new photography by Diana Barker Price from two ongoing series, Moments of Enchantment and Elixirs. Price says, “When I photograph the forest for Moments of Enchantment, I have a constant sense of my place between the roots underfoot and the interwoven canopy of branches above. I feel connected to what once existed, as if the pine needles and fallen logs hold memories of the past. And as I wander through the open spaces, the growing bushes and swaying boughs make promises of future possibilities.” She creates images that occur between the transitions of day and night, calm and storm, reality and fantasy, fleeting moments of magical light that become forever real once they are photographed.

For a few days each year after the autumn leaves drop into the pond water, she photographs images for Elixirs. Brilliant leaves from beech trees, clethra and cork bushes collect along with golden pine needles at the water’s edge. Price notes, as sunlight flashes through overhanging brush, the leaves ride the ripples like small boats and form naturally rhythmic patterns. Using a longer exposure time, she captures an intoxicating mixture of recognizable images, abstract forms and illusions. Reflections of blue sky and powdery clouds swirl with leaves, creating fragrant bouquets and luxurious potions that are the wild essence of water, trees and light, she concludes.


Sailing: Michael Eudenbach, Michael Kahn and Onne van der Wal

August 23 – November 8, 2015

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Onne van der Wal, Jamestown, Rhode Island, Wright on White, 2005, black and white photograph

Michael Eudenbach, Michael Kahn and Onne van der Wal are three of the most well-respected marine photographers working today. A self-taught photographer, Michael Eudenbach began shooting and developing photos at age ten using a classic twin lens reflex camera. He spent several years on the oceans as a member of a professional sailing crew. An extreme sports enthusiast, he enjoys scuba diving and flying, his paraglider, camera equipment always in hand. Eudenbach’s photos take us into a world that is both spectacular and peaceful. Taking his shots from the most daring angles - the top of a mast or from his paraglider - he immerses us in a dynamic world of perpetual motion while capturing the essence of the moment.

With his 1950’s camera, Michael Kahn travels extensively to photograph the world’s finest boats and pristine seascapes. He collects his images on traditional black and white film and produces luminous silver gelatin prints in his darkroom. His traditional technique united with his distinctive sense of form, vision, and composition have helped him to be one of the most memorable photographers of our time.

Kahn began taking pictures with a camera his mother gave him when he was thirteen and was introduced to traditional black and white photography while he was still in school. In an interview for the Holden Luntz Gallery, Kahn recently said, “I have never equated my work with any style, I simply make my photographs. I never look back at the old photographers for inspiration, I feel that if I did, I may not create a certain image because it has already been created. On the same note, my work falls into the category of Pictorialism, I definitely take a very precise approach to a scene and then bend or mold the image to meet the interpretation of the event using historical photographic manipulation in the darkroom.”

Onne (pronounced "Onn-Uh") has been a nautical, sailing and yacht photographer for over twenty years. Once a professional sailor, Onne got his start in nautical, sailing and yacht photography while sailing with the 1981-82 Dutch Whitbread Around the World Race Team on their winning boat, Flyer. When Onne returned from their winning circumnavigation, the press was eager to see the many sailing photos he had shot with gear given to the eager young sailor and sailing photographer by Olympus Cameras. These yachting photos are still often published today and were his first commercial works, as they came to represent the photographic style and elements for which he is now well-known.

Onne was born in Holland to a family with a deep heritage of sea-going and sea-loving ancestors. He was raised on the water in Hout Bay, South Africa and at an early age was sailing and planning his "escape" to the sea. He worked on commercial fishing boats and spent any free time sailing and racing as well as maintaining local racing boats until, at the age of twenty-three, he left South Africa to skipper and manage larger racing sailboats. Onne has sailed the Atlantic more than ten times, and has raced in many other trans-oceanic events. Most recently his ocean sailing has been on nautical photographic expeditions, which have taken him as far north as Spitsbergen in the Norwegian Arctic and as far South as Antarctica.


Cannot be Described in Words: Drawing/Daring
Deborah Davidson, Guest Curator

September 20, 2015 – January 16, 2016

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Randal Thurston, ECHO, (detail), 2014, cut paper

Something is communicated in a drawing that has remained a constant for centuries - an intimacy of expression that is otherwise the province of writing. Cannot Be Described in Words: Drawing/Daring features works by eleven artists who engage in a variety of mediums and are all interested, in some way, in the materiality of drawing. They share a sense of daring: exploring new approaches, scale and mediums that expand the definition of drawing and add to what that definition can be. Their drawings are projective, that is, they depict something that is imagined before it is drawn. The drawings range from installations to works that are iterations of sculptural space, to the use of traditional materials like charcoal, which are pushed beyond their expected limitations.

Featured artists include: Jill Slosberg-Ackerman, Ilona Anderson, Sheila Gallagher, Audrey Goldstein, Raul Gonzalez, Chuck Holtzman, Fred Liang, Cynthia Maurice, Ethan Murrow, Randal Thurston and Debra Weisberg,


Rotations: Objects from the Permanent Collection

September 20, 2015 – January 16, 2016

In order to accommodate the growing number of objects that the Weyerhaeuser family collected, they were rotated in and out of the rooms of the family home. The collection is the foundation of the museum. Rotations Gallery was designed for exhibiting what is now the ACM’s permanent collection which continues to grow in its four main areas: American Paintings, Asian Art, Works on Paper (including American and European prints) and Shaker Furniture and Crafts. A myriad of other art forms, artifacts and contemporary acquisitions ensure that the viewer has a varied experience from many cultures and time periods as the rotating tradition is maintained.


Meredith d’Ambrosio: Landscapes of the North Countries

November 15, 2015 – February 14, 2016

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Meredith d’Ambrosio, Duxbury, Massachusetts, Round Pond Bog, 2014, oil on canvas

Meredith d'Ambrosio's life story reads like an Edith Wharton novel. For years, the Boston vocalist struggled with a mother and father who rarely spoke to each other, leaving her somewhat unprepared to deal with an early love and then a marriage that quickly fizzled. Through it all, Meredith managed to remain focused on studying visual arts, a safe harbor of sorts from the tension and strife in her personal life.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, while still an art student, Meredith began to get work singing and playing piano at Boston jazz clubs. She also began hanging out at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she met pianist Roger Kellaway. During the 1960s, Meredith began to make a name for herself as a jazz singer-pianist, accompanying herself at clubs in the Boston area. By this time she also was a single mother, with all of the joys and hardship that come with that status. She recorded her first album in 1978 at thirty-seven years old, recording thirty-five songs in a seven hour session. To date she has recorded a total of fifteen albums accompanied by world renowned jazz musicians.

Her late husband, pianist Haydn Higgins once said, “I first became aware of Meredith by way of a Boston disc jockey, Ron Della Chiesa on WGBH. After playing one of her recordings he informed his audience that this lady could be heard in person at the Asa Bearse House, a Hyannis restaurant. I had no sooner sat down to listen, when she proceeded to perform four songs I had never heard, each one a gem. Since I pride myself on an extensive knowledge of jazz and popular song repertoire, this is no small feat, and I was extremely impressed. We became friends that evening but it wasn’t until a few weeks later that she casually mentioned that she was an artist and asked if I would be interested in seeing her work. I was completely unprepared for the sight that greeted me when I walked into her modest rented room. Tacked to every wall were watercolors of such startling power and beauty that my jaw literally dropped open. I spent the next half hour without a word, examining one after another, overwhelmed by her talent,” Higgins concluded.





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