Exhibitions: Current | Upcoming | Past
Time and Place
September 10 – October 15, 2015
This summer I had the opportunity to visit my childhood home for the first time in 15 years.
I went with an agenda — to explore and photograph various places of my past. I wondered if those places still held some essence of my time with them. Would I still feel the imprint of belonging? Would the sensations or vibrations of those places still resonate within me and I within them?
I looked for the physical traces of my past and dutifully photographed them, but later in the journey, other things emerged. Older memories are enveloped, by default, in a cocoon woven by tiny threads connecting our past experiences to our present selves. Over time a landscape is modified in countless ways, both trivial and large. Contradictions are bound to emerge. Memories, like snapshots, become framed by the context of the time and place in which they occurred. The relationship I have to place and to my history made looking, and remembering, very subjective.
From what began as simply confirmation of place and time, arose an opportunity to acknowledge the ambivalence I felt about the past, to let go of my agenda, and let the place be what it is now.
Both artists in this exhibition make reference in their work to the passage and imprint of time. And both, in singular ways, reference notions of landscape, geography, and place.
Mary Hughes exhibits works from her Topographies series in which she explores the concept of mapping, mark making, and the passage of time. Her works are at times mazelike, composed of layers of colored lines and marks that overlap and undulate across the surface of her paintings, feeling at once dimensional and abstract — a satisfying overlay of topographic, diagrammatic, and conceptual plotting for the mind to wonder though.
Hughes is a native Bostonian who began her painting career at ten years of age during a vacation in Maine with her grandparents. Her grandmother, an amateur painter, gave her a postcard of the Atlantic coast with a wave crashing on rocks, which Hughes then meticulously copied in oil.
The landscape has remained a constant inspiration in her artwork, including en plein air painting in locations such as southern France, the west coast of Ireland, and inland New Hampshire. Even in the abstract imagery that defines her current work, references to nature are evident.
With Time and Place, Frank Poor continues his series of objects based on the architecture and countryside of the southeastern United States. Through these works he reflects upon his own past, memory, and place. Although trained as a sculptor, photography has become integral to the work he produces now. His interest in architecture grew out of the changes he witnessed as a young boy in his hometown of Woodstock, Georgia. In the mid 20th century, Woodstock, like many small towns across the South, began to replace original structures, both public and residential, that reflected the aesthetic of small communities, with generically designed architecture. Lost was the cultural currency of communities, a sense of place and context and history, which Poor recaptures in the work he creates.
Poor follows in the footsteps of artists such as William Christenberry, but forges his own path. Poor's works are a montage of photography and sculpture, both are a reference to the environment that exists now, but is not necessarily a reflection of it but rather an homage to a time and place that has all but disappeared in rural communities everywhere.
In this body of work, I explore the concept of mapping, mark making, and the passage of time. My drawings and paintings are made from the layering of meandering lines that are formed in reaction to previous layers. The shapes made recall contour maps, topographical lines, or nautical charts. The organic forms reference the landscape, but are at the same time a reference abstract patterning and mark making as an act of confirmation. In some works, the environments created are contained within the edges of the canvas and in others, expand beyond the boundaries, appearing to represent a piece of a much larger universe. Although influenced by nature, these "maps" are also about the passage of time or the wanderings of the mind rather than the physical world.
For years now, I have returned to my native Southeast to photograph architecture and landscapes. These visits have been a way of reconnecting with my primary visual language. The resulting images are printed on various substrates and become the surfaces of three-dimensional architectural objects. The images of buildings are thus merged with their three- dimensional models. This presents two contradicting ways of telling, one through image and one through form. For me, that contradiction mirrors the slippage between our memories and what can be known about a place. That slippage has increasingly become the subject of my work.
MFA, Massachusetts College of Art
BFA, Boston University School for the Arts
Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery, Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA, 2015
Boston Biennial 3
Atlantic Works Gallery, Boston, MA, 2014
Milton Art Museum Juried Exhibition
Milton Art Museum, Milton, MA, 2013
Winter Members Show: Impressions
Copley Society of Art, Boston, MA, 2012
Flourish: Alumni Works on Paper
Sandra & David Bakalar Gallery, Boston, MA, 2011
Mary Hughes, Spiral Series
Copley Society of Art, Boston, MA, 2009
Anderson Art Ranch
Aspen, CO, 2009
Vermont Studio Center
Johnson, VT, 2008
Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Lecturer, Department of Art + Design, 2002-present
MFA, Rhode Island School of Design
BFA, Georgia State University
Frank Poor: Displaced
701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC, 2015
Frank Poor: Cast Shadows
Van Every Smith Galleries, Davidson College, Davidson, NC, 2013
Frank Poor: Traces
Artspace, Raleigh, NC, 2012
Hunt — Cavanaugh Gallery, Providence College, Providence, RI, 2015
701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC, 2013
Wish You Were Here
Drift Gallery, Portsmouth, NH, 2013
Awards and Honors
Fellowship Grant Merit Award
Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, 2012
Brown University, 1991
Rhode Island School of Design, 1990
Columbus State University, Columbus, GA
Visiting Scholar, Spring Semester, 2011
Rhode Island College, Providence, RI
Adjunct Faculty, 2005 to present
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Visiting Critic for Semester-end Reviews, 2001 to 2007