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The 2003 DeCordova Annual Exhibition Opens

LINCOLN, MA.- Originally titled the Artists/Visions series, The 2003 DeCordova Annual Exhibition has showcased the works of emerging, mid-career, and established artists since 1989. The premise of this exhibition has always been to show the work of a limited number of contemporary artists from the six New England states and to emphasize the quality and variety of works rather than any single or overarching theme. With the goal of highlighting some of the best, most innovative, and gifted artists working in the region, the Museum has selected eleven artists working in a variety of media including painted digital montage, photography, installation, printmaking, sculpture, and painting.

The 2003 DeCordova Annual Exhibition will explore a wide range of subjects, such as architecture, family, domestic spaces, everyday objects, and nature. While the show is not organized thematically, some conceptual connections emerge from the works: beauty in the ordinary, the transformation of found objects into fine art, the synthesis of art and technology, the familiar as strange, and the comforts and dangers associated with domestic objects and spaces.

The 2003 DeCordova Annual Exhibition participating artists are:

Hannah Barrett (Jamaica Plain, MA), Painted Digital Montage-In Hannah Barrett’s bizarre satire of family portraiture, questions of identity are left intentionally open-ended. Familiar indicators of individuation-size, scale, dress, location, facial expression, or gesture-are left ambiguous, or frankly confused.

Bruce Bemis (Gloucester, MA), Installation-Reminiscent of the flickering projection of an Edison-era kinetoscope, Bemis’ work subverts this nostalgic experience by immersing us in the moving light as reflected through a garden globe of water, rather than conventionally projecting it on a rectangular screen, thus transforming the gallery into an underwater environment of sea nymphs and Nereids.

John Bisbee (Brunswick, ME), Sculpture-Referring to his artwork as "bioindustrial," Bisbee employs 12-inch spikes to create sculptures that express his energy and restlessness, as well as his willingness to work with potentially dangerous material. He transforms their industrial toughness and sharp points into an amazing array of abstract forms that can be loosely organic or tightly geometric, or both at once.

Morgan Cohen (Arlington, MA), Photography-Morgan Cohen turns his camera on such seemingly unremarkable places as the corners of rooms, shadows and stains on walls, and the drain in a bathtub; yet, by using both natural and artificial light to highlight color and form, he elevates them to a level of spiritual and sexual mystery.

David Cole (Providence, RI), Sculpture-David Cole merges a traditionally female and domestic activity-knitting-with materials symbolizing masculinity and male labor, fabricating traditional icons of softness and security, such as blankets and a teddy bear, out of hazardous and uncomfortable materials, among them FiberglasTM and lead.

Lars-Erik Fisk (Burlington, VT), Sculpture-Lars-Erik Fisk’s Volkswagenball is one sculpture from a large series of works in which the artist transmogrifies familiar objects-a tree, a tractor, a barn, a school bus, a UPS truck, a brownstone row house-into spheres: the most pure and perfect of forms, a shape that lies at the heart of physics, philosophy, religion, geometry, and astronomy.

Heather Hobler-Keene (Dover, MA), Painting-While her work is reminiscent of Philip Guston’s cartoon paintings and the vibrant palette of Peter Max’s prints, it represents Heather Hobler-Keene’s unique vision, the essence of which lies in her individuated whimsical forms. Both familiar and strange to us, they evoke various associations: jigsaw puzzles, children’s toys, amoeba, and viscera or reproductive organs.

Steve Hollinger (Boston, MA), Sculpture-Steve Hollinger creates light-activated mechanical sculptures. Relying for the most part on found objects, these assemblages shock and amaze us because of their mystery, not their mechanics. His bat skeleton, which emulates flight, or his beating heart, are things of wonder.

Jennifer Maestre (Concord, MA), Sculpture-From a distance Jennifer Maestre’s abstract sculptures seem soft, fanciful, and approachable-yet as one draws near, they reveal themselves as prickly, threatening, and possibly dangerous to the touch. The objects seem biological-like simple aquatic organisms-yet they are constructed of manufactured products (sharpened pencil stubs).

Jane Masters (Providence, RI), Printmaking and Drawing-Since 1995, Jane Masters has been creating wallpaper made from hand silk-screened prints attached directly to the wall. Her work references organic forms such as shells and plants, textile design, Islamic patterns, decorative architectural design, and geometric abstract painting associated with the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s.

Laura McPhee (Chestnut Hill, MA), Photography-Laura McPhee’s documentary photographs of mansions and marketplaces in Calcutta reveal the vestiges of colonialism and the amalgamation of cultures in India. With their vivid colors and eclectic details-Dutch tiles, Italian renaissance courtyards, or Spanish arches-the homes in McPhee’s photographs appear as if from an imaginary world.

This exhibition is organized by Director of Curatorial Affairs Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, Curator Nick Capasso, Curator of New Media George Fifield, and Curatorial Fellow Francine Weiss.

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