Last week the Young Members of DeCordova (YMOD) massed on Newbury street for a gallery walk. Both L and Professor M joined me and up to 75 other YMODers for a tour of nine Newbury street galleries. Honestly, we managed to visit only eight of them, and I’ll write about even fewer here, but it was a grand night out by all accounts.
At Gallery NAGA we saw Joseph Barbieri’s “New Ducks and Scenic Scenes” and got a great kick out of the ducks, especially the artist themed ones such as “Rich Artist” and “Another Day Another Dollar” Barbieri’s landscapes (of Italy, I think) were pretty enough but lacked a certain duck content, although one of the trees did look a bit like a chicken in silhouette.
At the Arden Gallery M was transfixed by the translucent rubber sculpture of Niho Kozuru in the front window and we all enjoyed Bob Jackson’s Dogs Playing Poker in the back room, furthering in the rubber theme. My favorite was the one with a cigar in its mouth.
The Nielsen Gallery mounted a handful of different artists’ works, including Forrest Bees, Porfirio DiDonna and Martin Ramirez. Ramirez’s work was very reminiscent of that of Adolf Wolfli, and apparently both were institutionalized much of their lives and drew with what meager supplies were made available to them by guards and doctors.
Finally, (well, it wasn’t the last place we visited, but it’s the last one I’m writing about today), at Barbara Krakow Gallery we saw Stephen Prina’s show, The Way He Always Wanted It, which was just installed and we could still smell the paint on the rolling shades hung from the gallery ceiling. In addition to the blinds (which we were told had come with chains that were too short but the new, longer chains would be installed in time for the opening the next day), Prina also showed Untitled/Exquisite Corpse: The Complete Paintings of Manet, illustrated as a rectangle at the scale of 1mm=11.39cm for each of Manet’s 556 paintings, and larger ink on paper representations of three. The Harvard Film Archive is showing two of Prina’s films in conjunction with this show.
In a back room I spied an excellent Liliana Porter piece, Forced Labor.
Galleries are a lot like tiny museums, but they are also a lot different. Comparing this free evening to an afternoon at someplace like the ICA certainly makes one think. I’ve only mentioned four of the nine YMOD destinations, which are only a fraction of the total Newbury Street galleries, themselves only a part of all the galleries in town. I encourage you to get out there and see what there is to see.