Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Douglas Weathersby, Andrew Witkin

And Boston conceptual art

From The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research archives: Our January (see note at bottom) review of “Douglas Weathersby's "The ES Inaugural Retrospective and Storage Loft” (pictured above) at Judi Rotenberg Gallery and Andrew Witkin "Others Among Others" (pictured below) at LaMontagne Gallery:
Over the summer, José Luis Blondet, curator at the Boston Center for the Arts, invited Boston artist Andrew Witkin to do an unspecified project in a hidden corridor at the BCA's Mills Gallery. The hall is a narrow, staff-only space behind one of the gallery walls. Staff used it to store ladders and supplies. The rest of the gallery was booked up, but Blondet thought the odd space might suit Witkin's practice of thoughtfully arranging furniture, rocks, papers, and other stuff.

Witkin enlisted the help of Douglas Weathersby, a local conceptual artist whose business, Environmental Services, doubles as a cleaning and an artmaking service. Weathersby, who won the ICA's Foster Prize for hot local artist in 2003, is best known for "shadow drawings," in which he sweeps dirt in a room into the shape of shadows of furniture placed there.

With input from Witkin and help from BCA interns, Weathersby cleaned out the Mills Gallery corridor, pried off panels that were blocking out windows, and built shelves. He painted the whole space matte white, except for the ceiling, which he painted a glossy white, so that light from the newly revealed windows would bounce off the ceiling and into the gallery over the gallery wall, which doesn't quite reach the ceiling. That light is the only public evidence of the piece, since the room itself is still closed to the public. "It's very subtle," Blondet acknowledges.

Witkin and Weathersby both have solo shows in town this month, so I've been thinking again about this collaboration — closed, cerebral, on the border between art and "This Old House" — and the prominence of conceptual art in Boston.
Read the rest here.

“Douglas Weathersby: The ES Inaugural Retrospective and Storage Loft," Judi Rotenberg Gallery, 130 Newbury St, Boston, Jan. 8 to Feb. 1, 2009.

“Andrew Witkin: Others Among Others," LaMontagne Gallery, 555 East Second St, South Boston, January to February 14, 2009.

[Please forgive our tardiness in posting this review. It is The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research's goal to write about exhibits while they're on view. But The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research has been going through some transitions since January, including relocating our world headquarters. We hope this will improve our ability to serve you, Dear Reader. But in the interim, we have fallen behind in some of our posting. We aim to rectify this a bit by posting occasional archived pieces like this one over the coming weeks.]


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