By Jared Bowen | Thursday, March 22, 2012
March 22, 2012
Sammi Tunis in Futurity (Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva)
Consider a vision for peace during the Civil War, having the courage to sponsor art that fits with your vision of legacy, or a bold look at the dystopia that could grow out of violence. Jared talks about some of the fresh takes coming to theater, gallery and film — in Boston and beyond.
Runs through April 15th
Oberon in Cambridge
Based on the book by Molly Rice and César Alvarez; directed by Sarah Benson.
As the Civil War rages around him, the Union soldier Julian Munro dreams of bringing peace to the world and an end to human suffering. Under the guidance of Lord Byron’s brilliant daughter, Ada Lovelace, Julian attempts to invent an omnipotent steam-powered brain designed to save humanity before it destroys itself.
"Once" is the celebrated new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film. It tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the songs they create together.
This production was workshopped in Boston at the A.R.T. last summer and features one of the A.R.T.'s institute students.
A saucy new production of one of the greatest musicals in Broadway history. This Cole Porter classic stars Stephanie Block (Wicked, 9 to 5) and Joel Grey, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.
As the S.S. American heads out to sea, two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love…proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail.
On view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through June 3rd
Gertrude Stein, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael's wife Sarah were important patrons of modern art in Paris during the first decades of the twentieth century. This exhibition unites some two hundred works of art to demonstrate the significant impact the Steins' patronage had on the artists of their day and the way in which the family disseminated a new standard of taste for modern art.
Beginning with the art that Leo Stein collected when he arrived in Paris in 1903—including paintings and prints by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Édouard Manet, and Auguste Renoir—the exhibition traces the evolution of the Steins' taste and examines the close relationships formed between individual members of the family and their artist friends.
Based upon Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, the first in a trilogy.
In theaters Friday
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
By Talia Whyte | Monday, March 12, 2012
Susan Gilliam Thompson talks about her public art at Roxbury Crossing (video by Talia Whyte).
BOSTON — Artist Susan Thompson participated as a “living legend” in a trolley tour, examining the contributions of Roxbury women to Boston history. The tour was hosted by Discover Roxbury as part of a women’s history month celebration. Other women both living and deceased given praise on the tour included community organizer Melnea Cass, METCO head Jean McGuire and Dr. Susan Dimock, the founder of what is now known as the Dimock Community Health Center.
I have passed through the turnstiles at Roxbury Crossing many times and never knew the history behind the beautiful textiles. I think it is really great to have such a tour because it helps give more context to things people may see on a regular basis in their daily lives, but don’t take much notice to, like passing through a T station. More importantly, the tour is designed to help attendees better appreciate the contributions of the many people from a neighborhood that is generally seen in a negative light in the media.
“The tour is designed to help people from other communities better understand all that is great in this neighborhood,” said Discover Roxbury executive director Derek Lumpkins at the end of the tour. “We hope we can make all communities stronger this way.”
Don't miss your chance to bid during the 30th annual WGBH Fine Arts Auction, from Saturday, March 3 to Saturday, March 24. Juried paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, ceramics, and jewelry will be available from world-renowned artists, including Peter Batchelder, Joan Colomer, Robert Kipniss, Jon Sarkin, and many others.
Also, be sure to tune in for the auction finale on Saturday, March 24 from 6-8pm on WGBH 44 and 8-10pm on WGBH 2.
Sponsorship for the WGBH Art Auction is generously provided by our Premier Sponsors, Landry & Arcari Oriental Rugs and Carpeting and Circle Furniture. Additional thanks to our Lead Auction Sponsors, Art New England, Stanhope Framers, Trefler & Sons, L&F Photographic Reproduction Services and Carbonite. Special thanks to Capers Catering, Be Our Guest and High Output.
By Jared Bowen | Thursday, February 23, 2012
Kathy Butterly, Under Cover, 2002. Clay and glaze. Collection of Barrie Schwartz and Patrick Hayne.
Feb. 23, 2012
BOSTON — With one striking exception, the Institute of Contemporary Art is awash in lush color at the moment. At the outset, it would appear to be the output of bubbly artists.
“I’m really flaunting color,” said Kathy Butterly
“Orange is orange and it just gets to be orange,” added Roy McMakin. Sue Williams elaborated. “I think of them as attractive colors. I don’t use browns. I don’t use neutrals," she said.
Look closer, though, and the ICA’s new show Figuring Color is about the meaning of color—how it relates to the body, to emotion, to comprehension. A red curtain references the height of the AIDS crisis. A skin-toned chair is a seat, but also looks like your own. Cheerfully rendered paintings, viewed up close, belie their subject matter.
Three of the four featured artists talked with WGBH about their use of color. Sue Williams said, “I like contrast a lot, opposite colors contrast. Bright. I want them to because paintings can’t make light so I want them to have brightness.”
In her more recent pieces however, like Record Profits or American Enterprise, the subject matter is anything but bright. They’re the manifestations of her activist side she says, her frustrations about US Military intervention rendered on the canvas.
“It is one place where people see what I do so that’s why they used to be more abstract and became more figurative because I wanted it to be connected to what I was interested in. And being abstract, it wasn’t compelling to me anymore,” she said.
Since he was a child, Roy McMakin says he’s been rather obsessed with furniture. This work of 19 independent sculptures was conjured from memory. It’s what he remembers of furniture in the homes of his parents and maternal grandparents.
“The idea to unify them all with the same color of gray was partly to unify them. At one point, because it’s a memory-based piece, I was thinking I could go with my memory of those colors, but I felt like I wanted them to be significant in some other way, kind of pulled out of normal objects a little further,” he said.
“I feel as I get older I understand the psychology of color more. And I’m using some really intense color,” said Butterly.
Kathy Butterly’s ceramic sculptures toy with the notion of bodies. Their colors compel, and embarrass.
“Some of the earlier pieces, which are very provocative, seductive in a way, naughty, they happen because that’s what was happening in my life. I was falling in love and I was thinking about my body and just…that was my world,” she said.
Butterly says her works are largely psychological self-portraits, but her environment also influences her color choices. “A lot of the time I’ll be listening to public radio. I’ll be listening to what’s going on in the world and the wars and whatnot, and maybe it’s not so clear in the works that that’s what I’m thinking about, but it does get infused. So there might be like a camouflage color on the body,” she said.
The sum of In Figuring Color, at the ICA, is wonderfully complex.
By Jared Bowen | Thursday, February 23, 2012
Feb. 23, 2012
Chris Loftus, Bill Nolte, Ryan Landry in Little Pricks. Photo by: Michael von Redlich
BOSTON — Premiere performances, bold comedy and daring exhibitions prove Boston's art scene is to be taken seriously.
American Repertory Theater
Now through March 11th
The set is georgeous, and Jung Chang consulted a great deal on getting the details just right in this first ever production of her best-selling book. See Jared's full report for Greater Boston and participate in the Wild Swans community memoir project, created in collaboration with Harvard's metaLab and Zeega.
The Little Pricks
Presented by Ryan Landry and The Gold Dust Orphans
Machine in the Fenway
Now through March 11
Landry is at it again, this time interpreting Lillian Hellman's "The Little Foxes," mocking the one percent with characters conniving to get rich quick by means of a slavery scheme. With outrageous costumes and great wit, you can't help but let out a laugh.
Figuring Color: Kathy Butterly, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roy McMakin, Sue Williams
Institute of Contemporary Art
Now through May 20th
A major exhibition exploring the use of color and form to convey ideas about the body. McMakin’s fleshy chairs mimic the human form, Butterly’s intricate ceramics are rich with bodily humor and desire, Gonzalez-Torres’s installations of candy and plastic beads abstractly evoke physical absence and presence, and Williams’s electrifying canvases convey the viscera of war and politics.
About the Authors
Jared Bowen Jared Bowen is an Emmy-winning reporter with WGBH-TV’s nightly news magazine program, Greater Boston with Emily Rooney.