Thursday, August 25, 2016

Artist Notes: Douglas Abdell

In the last few years I have been producing much less work. Here you can see the last work that I have finished:

" Código del Mediterráneo " 2009 - 2010, mármol de Makael, Almeria, madera, cm. 57 x 144 x 90

I have been living for the last 13 years in Southern Spain ( Malaga area ), before I lived several years in Madrid . The wood in this sculpture came from Madrid ...the wood is steps from a building over 250 years old ....if you look closely you can see that they are worn by people stepping on them for so many years. The marble is from Makael, Almeria.

P.S. here are two webpages of different periods if you have not yet seen them

Monday, August 15, 2016

Artist Notes: Pamela Granbery

Large photo of Pam Granbery and performance in Virgin Islands

Pamela Granbery, Performance photo, Virgin Islands, The Gallery, Borrego, Ca

"I have been reworking ideas from the late 60s, some of which have text. They are all performance pieces situated in the environment. I also had a gallery The Gallery in Borrego this winter, the glass case has costumes and artifacts in it."

Pamela Granbery is a painter/performance artist who lives between Rhode Island in summers and California in winters. A graduate of Bennington College, and the Whitney Program, she worked with the likes of Helen Frankenthaler, bounced on the knees of Rauschenberg and Tony Smith as a child, and taught at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been widely shown and collected in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and beyond.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dennis Cowley: True Photographer

Alec; pin hole photograph

Dennis Cowley has a sense of the particular. It defines his photographs. It defines his vision. It defines him. Indeed, Dennis Cowley's photographs are all about definition.

Oliver; pin hole photograph

Most of his work has been black and white dark room photography. A lot of people just don't get that. Not in a digital age. But here is the thing, Dennis Cowley believes that photography is something you earn. Maybe it comes from growing up military. Or Catholic. A question of discipline and devotion. Who knows?  But Dennis Cowley is steadfast in this belief: you have to earn it. With that comes touch, and depth, and mystery, and nuance, and character, and honor, and value, and experience, and above all, truth. Yes, about all truth. True photography.

Each advancement in digital photography only caused him to double down. So, oh yeah, take this "made on an iPhone." Try made with a pin hole camera!

Stacey and Addison Parks, Long Nook Beach, Truro
Pin hole photograph

The particulars in Dennis Cowley's photographs are something he delights in. As a viewer we can as well. It is like beach combing or treasure hunting. His photographs never fail to yield that surprise, that deep satisfaction that comes from close inspection. From discovery. We are always rewarded.

It is a very quiet statement, which is just like him, which is just how he likes it.

Dennis Cowley, Bow Street, Cambridge

Addison Parks
Spring Hill, August 2016

Thursday, August 04, 2016


Plica vocalis gallinae (Vocal cord of a chicken), 2010,
silver halide print, 27 x 20.5 in (69 x 52 cm)

Heide Hatry takes "what you see is what you get" and turns it on its ear. Frankly, it would be very difficult to know exactly what we are getting in her work. And even more frankly, that is just the way she likes it.

There is a funny and telling story about someone unwittingly opening a refrigerator in the basement of her building, where she was keeping one of her pieces, a human head made of meat. Presumably they were hoping they might find a cold beer. What they found instead scared and shocked them so much that they felt they had no choice but to call the police. When it was all sorted out, everyone had a good chuckle about it, including the police, and the guy who was terrified by what he thought he had stumbled upon, but no one got a bigger kick out of it than Heide Hatry. 

What that person experienced was a complete affirmation of everything she is trying to accomplish in her work; if only everyone could stumble upon her work in such an unsuspecting way. And, for the most part, they do. Heide Hatry springs something on the viewer that they do not see coming. Practically ever time. This is no small artistic achievement.

For some 15 years Hatry has used animal skin and what is called offal, animal "by products," as a medium to make her work. Some are sculptures, others installations, some are performances, others are documented in film or photography. Whether portraits, figures or flowers, there is a sexuality about the work that is confident, confrontational, even contentious. It is what it is.

Becci anitum inferioresLower beaks of ducks, Hong Kong, China 2011

That Heide Hatry's father raised pigs on their farm in Germany gives us just enough background. Where she goes in her work is in the best tradition of artist as obsessor, artist as provocateur. Only someone truly driven could accomplish what she has. The results can only be described as awesome and marvelous, nothing less. It doesn't really matter what else we think. What else we think and feel about meat and animals and carnage. Her work transcends disgust for such things. It leaves such things in her wake. Heide Hatry has places to go and things to make happen.

Addison Parks
Spring Hill, August 2016

Martin Mugar and the Feminine Aesthetic

Martin Mugar grew up with three sisters, and a mother who encouraged him to be an artist. You could say that he was surrounded by the feminine aesthetic. It has always informed his work, and it informs it still. Even while at Yale, that bastion of male narcissism, it was a visiting painter, Joan Snyder, and not the entrenched monolith Al Held, that made a lasting impression on him.

What am I taking about? Right at this moment we are faced with a choice between a man who says only he can fix it and a woman who practically coined the phrase "it takes a village."

Martin Mugar's work is not about him. It is about something else. He is not there in his paintings. There is no there there in his paintings. There is no fist at its heart that was Picasso or Pollock or de Kooning, or even Held for that matter. Martin Mugar gives us a place to go. A sanctuary. The kind of sanctuary his mother and sisters gave him. His paintings are all light and spirit and space. I once called them his daughter's box of butterflies. Call it love. Call it nurture. Call it nature.

Martin Mugar's mother had a piece of land in New Hampshire. It didn't do anything. It was just there. A place to go. A place to be in touch with something that the real world of our fathers could never fathom, never touch. A special place. And that's what his paintings are.

Addison Parks
Spring Hill, August 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Franny Golden: La Vie en Rose

Franny Golden is a painter. Seems like an obvious thing to say about someone who puts paint to canvas with a brush, but there is a spirit to painting, and Franny Golden embodies that spirit. Someone who translates everything around them into painting. Some who lives and breathes and shares that in painting. Someone who sees the best in everything around them and shares that in painting. That is a painter!

Her paintings have a watery diaphanous quality that is both jubilant and poignant, brave and optimistic. Whether portrait or abstraction, still life or landscape, they are all made of this. Of hope. Of belief. Of care. Of love. They carry her paintings, like her paintings carry her, and us.

Franny Golden's beautiful watery paintings wash over us. Their iridescent colors are likes scarves over a lamp, her lines like hangers that support them. The light shines through. La vie en rose.

It should be no surprise that Franny Golden now lives in France after a lifetime in and around Boston and on Cape Cod. It is where she belongs. It is who she is. A painter.

Addison Parks
Spring Hill, Summer, 2016

Franny Golden

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bill Thompson's Excellent New Adventure


32.5 x 33.75 x 7 (83 x 86 x 18cm) urethane on polyurethane block 2016

Carroll&Sons Installation

You have to love Bill Thompson's new work, it is so much fun. It is as though his older work from the last few years just had kids. It is also as though he has been reborn. The work feels so fresh. There is something happy contagious about the energy which bounces off the walls in these latest biomorphic reliefs. You just want to take one home.

beetle 328 x 16.5 x 7

  urethane on polyurethane block 2015

The most important thing that happens in them is that instead of one color, there are two. This takes us back to his work 25 years ago. Those were flat rectangular surfaces. Two colors, two shapes, talking. The new work comes off the wall, sensuously wheeling in space, with two colors having it on, having us on. Laughing!

Monkey, 2016, Urethane on polyurethane block 25 x 26.5 x 7” 

As much as I appreciate and admire the earlier monochromatic reliefs, I am sorry, I can't help it, I like these new non-metallic paint polychromes even more. The second color opens up the work like opening up a window. Brilliant. There is the warmth of sunshine. The sounds of birds and children playing, sounds like "boink" and "splat," and "ssssssss." You can almost taste them in your mouth. Bubblegum. M&Ms.


27 x 29 x 7 (68 x 73 x 18cm) urethane on polyurethane block 2016


20.25 x 11.5 x 6.5 (51 x 29 x 17cm) urethane on polyurethane block 2015

Addison Parks
Spring Hill, July 28, 2016

Carroll&Sons Installation

Carroll&Sons Installation

June 18 - July 28, 2016

PHONE: 617-482-2477 FACSIMILE: 617-482-2549

Monday, July 18, 2016

Alisa Henriquez: Museum of Art, University of Maine

Makeover Culture Disfigured No. 7, 2016, Digital prints, found paper, foam core, resin on wood panel

Alisa Henriquez (The Constructed Body; The University of Maine Museum of Artforces us to gather ourselves. With her formidable visual compilations, her collage aesthetic, her large mounting walls of horizontal oval surfaces, like mountain pools breeding new life, she wows us with a complete arsenal of explosive form and meaning.

The world she puts before us is many things: analog and digital; found, appropriated, photographed, and painted; graphic design, text design; flat and then richly suggestive of three-dimensional space and form; black&white and dynamic color, psychological and sensual. Shocking and daring. Intimate and unnerving. Apocalyptic Venus Fly Traps. Unblinking gender-political discourse.  A powerful and compelling in your face challenge to a dehumanizing consumer practice and endgame. Stops and starts. Twists and turns. Body parts that feel bent through a distorted lens. A socio-media fun house mirror. A lot of fun but razor sharp edges. Dramatic changes in focus. A vision kaleidoscopic. Dazzling optics in every sense of the word.

Makeover Culture Disfigured No. 3 2016 digital prints, magazine images, found paper, acrylic paint, glitter, fabric, synthetic hair, resin on wood panel 52” x 68”

Alisa Henriquez is making something happen for a brave new world. To push outside the box. To get beyond painting and embrace the possibilities that a more installation oriented art creates. To make so many things happen at once. To celebrate the vibrant complexity that is our lives. 

Like some fierce investigator, she is trying to figure out what's going on. In that spirit, we are right there with her. Shapes and images collide, and crash, in a wonderful cacophony of Babel-like collage chaos that she orchestrates, that she pulls together, that like some postmodern-day super hero, she saves the day.

Her works pile up like totems, or friezes, like sumptuous Mary Shelley Frankenstein figures of a sort, but with her own radical brand of social and cultural criticism, her own art lexicon, that we can read and discover and piece together, forcing our eyes upwards, dwarfing us, like Surrealist wall carvings or paintings, but from Ancient Greece or Egypt. We marvel at them. We recognize some fragment, and then another, and might wonder how they fit in the puzzle beautifully spread out before us. Bits and pieces of design and art history and art flotsam and jetsam driving home her vision. A vision fast and furious in Alisa Henriquez's brilliant patchwork tsunami warning of what's to come.

Addison Parks
Spring Hill, July 2016

Digital prints, magazine images, acrylic paint,
 resin, glitter, fake fur, vinyl, rubber on wood panel, 
54 × 27 in

Digital prints, magazine images, acrylic paint,
 resin, glitter, fake fur, yarn on wood panel, 
66 1/2 × 32 1/2 in

Alisa Henriquez, 2014, Eclipse, Digital prints, magazine images,
 acrylic paint, oil paint, on wood panel, 58 1/2 × 23 1/4 in

Alisa Henriquez
May 13 - September 10, 2016
The University of Maine Museum of Art
Bangor, Maine 

Alisa Henriquez was born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Vancouver, Canada where she first studied at Emily Carr College of Art and Design. She went on to earn a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and a MFA in Painting from Indiana University. She also attended the Yale Summer School of Music and Art with the support of the Ellen Battel Stoekel Fellowship. She is an Associate Professor of Painting at Michigan State University. A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY exhibits her work.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Victor Lara: Passion in Paint

Victor LaraUntitled painting; acrylic on canvas, 
7ft 9in x 12ft 10in, 2010 – 2015


My own sense when looking at Victor Lara's most recent paintings is that once where there was turmoil, now there is a garden. What was once an abstract reincarnation of something like Michelangelo's Last Judgment, with all of its writhing layers of humanity, ascending and descending, we now enjoy something more serene, more pastoral, and while possibly more layered and complex, more Giverny, more Monet's water lilies.

Victor Lara, Untitled painting; acrylic on canvas, 
7ft 9in x 12ft 10in, 2010 – 2015


One has to appreciate both, but the latter is easier on our blood pressure. This most recent work recalls Lara's small water colors of more than thirty years ago. 

Victor Lara, Untitled, watercolor,
4 x 6 inches, 1982, private collection

Victor Lara, Untitled, watercolor,
4 x 6 inches, 1981, private collection

Victor Lara, Untitled, acrylic on canvas,
 48 x 24 inches, 1992, private collection*

Victor Lara, Untitled painting; acrylic on canvas, 
6ft 6in x 4ft 6in, 2005–2012

The recollections start with the color and light, but also the delicate but powerful spirit of nurture/nature. Coupled with the raw finger-painted energy of the mammoth paintings of the 1990's we now find ourselves riding his undulating masses of shifting forms on sumptuous abstract waves of rich and fertile revelation.* These new paintings are impossibly alive, bursting with affirmation, ripe and glorious with unfolding vitality and invention, like some place we have never been, teaming with effervescence and the kind of magic and miracle that we might find at the bottom of the ocean or in some hidden valley or on another planet. 

Victor Lara, Untitled, acrylic on canvas,
RISD 2011 Biennial

What Victor Lara promised in his drawings 40 years ago he has delivered in his painting in this new millennium. And more. Victor Lara is a great painter. It may be one thing to mention Michelangelo or Monet, but Lara is a great painter for his time, our time, all time. His paintings unfold like the night sky. They unfold like a box full of Russian nesting dolls, one after another. They unfold like a lotus flower inside of a lotus flower inside of a lotus flower. Or better, a universe inside of a universe inside of a universe. One day a very big fuss will be made about his work.

Addison Parks

Spring Hill, July 2016

Victor Lara, Untitled painting; acrylic on canvas, 
8ft 6in x 6ft 7in, 2003-2015

Victor Lara, Untitled painting; acrylic on canvas, 
8ft 6in x 6ft 7in, 2003-2015

Victor Lara, Untitled painting; acrylic on canvas, 
6ft 7in x 5ft 7in, 2005–2009

Victor Lara, Untitled painting; acrylic on canvas, 
11ft x 9ft 6in, 2001–unfinished

*Unfortunately I only have an example of a medium small painting from the 1990s.

Born in Austin, Texas, Victor Lara was educated at the University of Texas, Austin, the Cleveland Institute of Art and Yale University, where he received his MFA in 1967.  He has been a professor of art, teaching painting and drawing at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) since 1973.