Art Complex Museum

Exhibitions - 2015

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

September 20, 2015 – January 16, 2016


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


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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