Marsden Hartley portraits,
Maine works from collection
also will be on exhibit

LEWISTON — Viewing elements of the Maine landscape from different levels of scale, very distant to very near, four photographers explore the boundaries between human activity and the natural world in a Bates College Museum of Art exhibition this summer.

“Points of View: New and Recent Photographs by Jay Gould, Gary Green, David Maisel and Shoshannah White” as well as “The Painter of Maine: Photographs of Marsden Hartley” will be shown through Oct. 24; “Maine Collected,” will go through March 26, 2016.

Bates museum exhibitions and events are open to the public at no cost. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The museum is located in the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St.

For more information, please contact 207-786-6158 or museum @bates.edu, or visit bates.edu/museum.

‘Points of View’

This exhibition comprises new and recent photography by Jay Gould, of Baltimore; Gary Green, of Waterville, Maine; David Maisel, of Marin, California; and Shoshannah White, of Portland, Maine.

Gould integrates scientific topics into installation and constructed photographic projects. In his series “Uncertain Passages,” he explores his fascination with the possibilities of a parallel universe and meditates on the unobservable reality that theoretically underpins our existence.

Gould’s work seeks to balance the attempt to photograph an idea that may prove not to exist with the poetic license that comes from working with currently unsolvable paradoxes.

Green has been on the Colby College faculty since 2007. Green’s “Terrain Vague” series attempts to expand upon a notion put forth by Spanish architect Ignasi de Solà-Morales, whose term “terrain vague” describes the abandoned, ambiguous or marginalized urban land that contrasts with a city’s otherwise coherent organization.

Empty storefronts, spaces between modest homes and vacant lots reflect the beauty, despair, yearning and disappointment that define our time in history in many places.

In his series “The Forest,” Maisel’s aerial photographs of environmentally impacted sites explore the aesthetics and politics of humanity’s radical interventions, framing issues of contemporary landscape with equal measures of documentation and metaphor.

Made in 1986, Maisel’s works in “Points of View” show the impact of clear-cutting in remote western Maine. Maisel reveals a profoundly wounded topography and the scale of mechanized activity often unseen from ground level due to “green strips” of trees left standing around lakes and rivers.

White’s photographs juxtapose imagery of native plant species against contemporary urban surroundings, and explore repeating patterns in plant growth at different levels of scale.

Using microscopic cameras at the Bates College Imaging and Computing Center, White has photographed a fungus called mycelium. Underground webs of fungus have a sophisticated symbiotic relationship with the root systems they inhabit, providing communications beneficial to the plants around them.

During the course of the exhibition, White will use a root-imaging scanner to create new imagery, for display in “Points of View,” from sites across the Bates campus.

“Points of View” is supported by a grant from the Davis Family Foundation, with curricular programming supported by the Bates Learning Associates Program. The exhibition is part of the Maine Photo Project, a statewide photography collaboration of more than 30 nonprofit cultural organizations in 2015, organized and supported by the institutions of the Maine Curators’ Forum.

The Maine Photo Project is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission. Learn more: mainephotoproject.org.

‘The Painter of Maine’

Recognized as one of the great American modernists, Marsden Hartley was born in Lewiston, so it’s fitting that one of the Bates Museum of Art’s most notable collections is the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection and Archive. The museum has often exhibited objects from the collection, especially from its extensive holdings of Hartley drawings.

But “The Painter of Maine” focuses on photographs depicting Hartley rather than art that he made. It begins with photographs of the artist as a young man, including images taken during travels in Europe and the U.S., and ends with informal images in Corea, Maine, from the early 1940s.

A second focus of the exhibition is an extraordinary series of formal images taken shortly before Hartley’s death, in 1943, by George Platt Lynes. In addition to one frequently reproduced image of Hartley at the end of his life, the series includes more than two dozen rarely seen photographs of Hartley in different poses and with a variety of props.

The exhibition also includes a fine, pensive portrait of Hartley taken around 1940 by Alfredo Valenti, an artist best known for photographing actors and actresses.

The Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection and Archive includes the last remaining effects from Hartley’s studio and home in Corea, given by his heirs to Bates in 1951. Four years later, Hartley’s niece, Norma Gene Berger, made an additional gift to the college of the artist’s belongings. The collection now holds more than 100 Hartley drawings, two small early paintings, memorabilia, ephemera including letters, personal effects and many photographs.

‘Maine Collected’

‘Maine Collected’ features selected works by living artists connected to Maine from the Bates Museum of Art’s permanent collection, a collection with significant strengths in Maine art.

This exhibition includes work in most media and a wide variety of themes and styles. Representing a Who’s Who of Maine artists, the exhibition features: Karen Adrienne, Ahmed Alsoudani, Jonathan Bailey, Lucinda Bliss, Jonathan Borofsky, Alan Bray; Amy Stacy Curtis, Susan Dewsnap, Sean Foley, DeWitt Hardy, Paul Heroux, Charlie Hewitt, Anne Harris, Alison Hildreth, Frances Hodsdon, Tanja Hollander, Eric Hopkins, Frances Hynes; Dahlov Ipcar, Yvonne Jacquette, Pamela Johnson, Alex Katz, Donald Lent, James Linehan, Anne Lofquist, Fred Lynch, William Manning, Rose Marasco, Marjorie Moore, Elke Morris, Joseph Nicoletti; Olivia Parker, Dennis Pinette, William Pope.L, Abby Shahn, Wally Warren and Katarina Weslien.

The museum has collected the work of Maine artists and artists of national and international significance working in the state, adding context to the Hartley Memorial Collection described above. Museum holdings are strong in modern and contemporary American and European works on paper, and Bates has growing collections from around the globe including Africa, China, Japan, Vietnam and the Americas.

These three summer exhibitions expand upon the Bates museum’s presence in an exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art this summer. “Director’s Cut: The Maine Art Museum Trail,” on view from May 21 to Sept. 20, represents the collections and philosophies of the eight member institutions of the museum trail, including the Bates Museum of Art. Learn more: www.portlandmuseum.org/.


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