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Jasper Johns cools it

Secret sharer
The title of Jasper Johns's 1975 painting The Dutch Wives refers to a slang term for, alternately, a prostitute or sex doll or a glory hole.
By: GREG COOK  |  June 01, 2012


‘Traces: Persistent & Fleeting’; and Kathy Halper’s ‘POS’

All the small things
Jon Laustsen's new Lilliputian-scaled sculpture is a shack made of wooden shipping pallets precariously balanced atop a stack of more shipping pallets and a familiar real estate yard sale sign rejiggered to read "21st Century/For Sale."
By: GREG COOK  |  May 29, 2012


The ‘2012 RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition’

Stars on parade
The star, literally, of the "2012 RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition," the school's annual showcase of its graduating graduate student talent at the Rhode Island Convention Center is James Franco.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 23, 2012


Alex Lukas’s post-apocalyptic landscapes, plus the New Topographics of Barbara Bosworth and Stephen Tourlentes

Doom sayer
The skies are seared gray and scuffed by clouds that could be smoke from toxic fires along the horizon.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 16, 2012


‘Quigley’s Magic Show’; and Marguerite Keyes’s miniatures

Brain storms
"Quigley's Magic Show" at Buonaccorsi + Agniel (1 Sims Ave, unit 102, Providence, through June 9) is a psychedelic creature double feature by Providence wife and husband team Kyla and James (Gunsho) Quigley.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 15, 2012


The McMillans’ video installatons are open to interpretation

Some assembly required
Megan and Murray McMillan's videos unfold with dream logic.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 08, 2012


Watertown vs. Walmart

Thinking Outside the Big Box
Some 75 people stand holding signs along Watertown's Arsenal Street on Saturday morning as Mike Mandel shouts their goal: to keep Walmart from moving in up the road.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 07, 2012


Daria Tessler at Craftland; AS220’s ‘Delicate Shudder’

‘Realm’ of wonder
The realm of Daria Tessler's "In the Realm of the Seedkeepers," an exhibit of drawings at Craftland, seems to be an often hushed, mystical place.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 01, 2012


Alex Katz’s MFA retrospective is no abstraction

Keeping it real
When Alex Katz launched his career as a realist painter in the 1950s, it was a daring move.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 01, 2012


Photography ‘In Character’ at the Addison

Photography is always seducing us with its whispered promise that what you see is what you get.
By: GREG COOK  |  April 25, 2012


‘Distillation’ at RIC; Salvatore Mancini at Candita Clayton

The purity of paint
At first, the approaches of abstract painters Lisa Russell and Mary Bucci McCoy can appear opposite.
By: GREG COOK  |  April 17, 2012


Lucas Foglia’s ‘A Natural Order’ looks at self-sufficiency

Of humans and nature
In 2006, after finishing undergraduate studies at Brown University and photographing a series on community gardens managed by Providence's Southside Community Land Trust, Lucas Foglia bought a minivan, put a bed in the back, and drove south "to photograph people who had responded to current day events ..."
By: GREG COOK  |  April 10, 2012


Matt Rich and Zoe Perry-Wood

Fascinating rhythms
If street art made a baby with Frank Stella's 1960s geometric abstractions, the offspring would look something like Matt Rich's show "Ghost Muscle" at Samson (450 Harrison Ave Boston, through April 28).
By: GREG COOK  |  April 13, 2012


Mirthful morbidity

“Penguins, Zombies, and Nudes” at Craftland
Greenville painter Greg Stones writes that he sketches a basic landscape or figure study, "then I try to think of what would make the painting especially awesome. Penguins, zombies, and nudes are invariably the answer."
By: GREG COOK  |  April 03, 2012

Shapeshifting totems

The Peabody Essex explores Native America

The Cree artist plays his drag show for laughs, but underlying it are serious questions about white genocide of Native American societies, about the stereotyping of Natives, and about gays in America, as well as Native American society.
By: GREG COOK  |  April 02, 2012


‘#Occupy’ at Yellow Peril; Roger Shimomura at RIC

Artist’s statements
The art world and the Occupy movement have a somewhat awkward relationship.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 27, 2012


Maxey’s sprawling landscapes; Blackburn’s altered spaces

Exteriors and interiors
After years of visiting her second home in her husband's native United Kingdom, Providence artist Madolin Maxey says it finally occurred to her to paint the hedgerows, rolling hills, giant boulders, and ancient stone crosses in Devon in southwestern England, where their house overlooks the River Dart as it winds northwest from the English Channel.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 21, 2012


Buck Hastings’s ‘Vibes & Stuff’ at AS220; ‘Acquire/Inquire’ at RIC

Accidentally on purpose
The first painting in Providence artist Buck Hastings's series Vibes & Stuff at AS220's main gallery features quick, flat brushstrokes that give a curious paint-by-number feel to what appears to be an abstracted shrub.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 14, 2012


Radcliffe Bailey and ‘Six Artists from Cairo’

Global unrest
From a distance Radcliffe Bailey's 2009 installation Windward Coast looks like a rolling ocean of big, burned matches, or maybe straw.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 13, 2012


Spencer Finch’s ‘Painting Air’ at the RISD Museum

Mission: Impossible
The question at the heart of Spencer Finch's art is: how to recreate fleeting impressions, like the green-blue-brown surface of the Hudson River or the sunlight filtering down from the Pantheon's dome in Rome.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 06, 2012


Jerry Uelsmann hallucinates for you

Darkroom magic
Jerry Uelsmann's photos are like hallucinations.
By: GREG COOK  |  February 29, 2012

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