Critical Mass., Part 2: Cape Cod Museum of Art . . .

and Other Cape News

Before this series: The Chain Letter Show
Part 1: Jennifer Riley, Damian Hoar de Galvan, Nancy Natale 

Click here to Send Me To Miami

The Cape Cod Museum of Art

DENNIS, Massachusetts-- Who knew there was such a lovely museum tucked away on the Cape I didn’t until I drove to Dennis, at mid-Cape, to see Lorrie Fredette’s site-specific installation, shown below. A low-winged, wood-shingled structure in unmistakable New England style with a classical touch, the Cape Cod Museum of Art mounts exhibitions by artists associated with Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.  If you're thinking "provincial," let me redirect you to thinking "Provincetown," which was and is the summer home of many artists of art historical renown, and to consider a region rich in creative energy, with home-grown and transplanted artists who live and work here here year round. 

Located just off of Route 6A (a byway to the Route 6 artery, which takes travelers directly through the arm of the Cape), it is situated on the lush and manicured grounds of the Cape Cod Center for the Arts, which also includes a theater and a cinema.

Lorrie Fredette: The Great Silence 
After 12 days in Provincetown, where I co-produced The Fifth International Encaustic Conference with Cherie Mittenthal and Truro Center for the Arts, I made a detour to the museum to see Fredette's installation,The Great Silence.

Looking into the gallery: Lorrie Fredette's installation suspended from the skylight; collages and paintings by Edward Giobbi

Drawing from the individual forms and group structure of viruses and bacteria, Fredette creates installations whose beauty belie the deadliness of their origin. Here in the main gallery it's a suspended installation of beeswax-covered muslin forms inspired by the smallpox epidemic that killed much of the population of Cape Cod in the late 1600s. The gallery’s long skylight illuminates the work so that it hovers, celestial and refulgent . . . and yet its Damocles-like suspension creates a frisson of danger, as if the entire thing could quietly descend, envelop  and consume you. I only wish the installation had been a bit lower, so that it pressed  just above the head of the tallest visitor. Or is that me going for the overly dramatic?

Artist Lisa Pressman has just posted a blog interview with Fredette in which you see some studio views and the boxes full of these pods prior to delivery and installation.

The Great Silence is up through September 25.

Looking up
Below: Looking into the gallery from a different vantage point

Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony 
The museum has several other concurrent exhibitions, including Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony, which looks at the work of the luminaries and locals who have worked over the decades at the tip of the Cape in the country’s oldest continuous art colony. Thematically it's a jumble, which as it should be; it reflects the diverse and often anarchic artist population that has been an essential part of P-town's history since the very beginning of the 20th Century.

In the smaller of two galleries given over to the Provincetown show, a large abstraction by Jack Tworkov: Indian Red Series #1, 1979, oil on canvas
Tworkov estate, courtesy of Mitchell-Innes and Nash Gallery, New York City

Perspectives is up through August 7.
More information on both exhibitions here.  

[Related: If you can't get to Provincetown, the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut is showing The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America's Oldest Continuous Art Colony 1899-2011 through October 16. In her blog Two Coats of Paint, Sharon Butler has posted a marvelous six-minute video of  Hans Hoffman teaching there. ]

What's going on with  the arts in Provincetown now
. Check out, which has an arts and theater section, and a regular column, Notes from Land's End, by Laura Shabott
. If you're visiting the area, pick up a copy of the free Provincetown Magazine, which runs the most comprehensive listings of art events anywhere, along with weekly features
. Spring for a copy of Provincetown Arts, an elegant, glossy annual ($10) published the first week of July, which considers the upcoming season--exhibitions, artists, studio visits, theater, poetry, books--with good writing and insider access
. Check out the Provincetown Arts Association and Museum, which offers free entry on Friday evening, 5:00-10:00 p.m.

And In Truro
In the town next door, made famous by Edward Hopper, Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill offers year-round classes, workshops, talks and and events. The annual Benefit Auction will take place there on Saturday, postcard below. Cape-connected artists such as Joel Meyerowitz, Selena Trieff, Sal Del Deo, and myself will have work up for bidding. The Castle Hill website has all the info on the home page.

Let the bidding begin . . .

One caveat: If you're driving out to the Cape, stick to the speed limit when you go through Barnstable. The cops there lie in wait at the side of the road ready to pounce, handing out $260 tickets for drivers eager to get to the tip of the Cape. I know.


Donna Dodson said...

Ouch on the speeding ticket! That's painful... but thanks for the post. I love Lorrie Fredette's work and am glad to see her continue to grow and make new work, on a more ambitious scale, with more variables of light, architecture and space.

Linda Stillman said...

A beautiful installation. I wonder what it looks like in moonlight.