Darren Waterston: Uncertain Beauty @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. Painter Darren Waterston’s installation Filthy Lucre — the centerpiece of Uncertain Beauty — is a contemporary re-imagining of James McNeill Whistler’s 1876 decorative masterpiece Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room, reconstructed as a sumptuous ruin. Inside, viewers will find Waterston’s re-interpretations of Whistler’s paintings, along with stalactite-like ceiling fixtures and crumbling shelving replete with 250 hand-painted ceramic vessels. Glaze will appear to ooze down the wall, and the shimmering central peacock mural will partially melt into the floor in a puddle of gold. A soundscape featuring voice and cello composed by the New York-based trio BETTY will be heard intermittently through the space, punctuating the silence with hauntingly beautiful reverberations. The installation hints at parallels between the excesses and inequities of the Gilded Age and the social and economic disparities of our own time. At the same time, the work raises questions about patronage and the relationships between artists, collectors, and institutions. Opens Saturday, March 8. Opening reception: Saturday, March 29, 5-7pm. Performance by Filthy Lucre soundscape composers, BETTY: Saturday, March 22, 8pm. Artist talk: Thursday, August 7, 6pm. Panel discussion presented in partnership with The Mount: Thursday, August 28, 6pm (Through February 1, 2015)The Earth is Our Mothers @ Daniel Arts Center, Great Barrington. Weavings and mixed-media assemblages by Wendy A. Rabinowitz that explore women’s unique stories and themes of sustainability. (Through April 6)
(Through March 30)Nancy Johnson & Dori Latman: Recent Painting @ 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson. (Through March 30) From The Apennines to the Hudson Valley @ Martinez Gallery, Troy. A solo exhibition of works by noted iPhone photographer Dan Burkholder. (Through March 31) Blue Plastic Bubbles: Paintings by Lamar Peterson @ University Art Museum, Albany. Inspired by CNN, children’s books, elementary school bulletin boards and horror movies, Lamar Peterson is best known for his candy-colored, meticulously-rendered narrative paintings of the black suburban everyman and his nuclear family. Also on display: American Playlist: Selections from the University at Albany Art Collections featuring works that cut a wide swath across American art, history and culture from the early 1900s through 2013, including personal responses from the UAlbany community. Reception: Tuesday, February 25, 5-7pm. Artist’s talk: Tuesday, February 25, 4pm. (Through April 5) Jason Middlebrook @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. For the past decade, Jason Middlebrook has been exploring the complex relationship between man and nature in his sculptures, installations, paintings and large-scale drawings. Responding to the unusual scale of MASS MoCA’s gallery, the artist will be working with planks that in some instances reach tree-like heights, while others will retain a human scale. Middlebrook will also debut a new monumental mobile that will function like a fountain within the gallery. Titled Falling Water after Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Kaufman residence, the work continues the artist’s exploration of manufactured nature while adding a twist to Wright’s notions of living in harmony with the environment. (Through April 7) Joseph Montgomery: Five Sets Five Reps @ Mass Moca, North Adams. New York-based painter Joseph Montgomery creates compact abstract assemblages (many measuring only 12 x 10 inches) by layering a range of materials — a base vocabulary of sorts — including wood, clay, cardboard, fiberglass, paper, and wire. These elements take on the appearance of painterly gesture, each functioning like a brushstroke. The earliest of these works developed from the artist’s attempts to veil or destroy paintings which he found too earnest or too personal. These rejected works become a support for his subsequent collages and are at times cannibalized as material fragments in newer works. (Through April 7) Guillaume Leblon @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. This first solo exhibition of Paris-based sculptor Guillaume Leblon’s work in a U.S. museum will feature a selection of works made over the last decade, in addition to two major new projects created for MASS MoCA. While his works refuse a single reading, they often conjure images of the ruin and the passage of time, bringing the present and the past into contact. Leblon can transform everyday components into sculptures that attain a relic-like quality or the aura of a classical statue.. (Through April 7) A Fair Wage: Drawings by a Working Artist @ Spring Street Gallery, Saratoga Springs. A solo exhibition of drawings by David Greenberger. 110 Spring Street, 518-587-6433. (Through April 11) David Greenberger: one updown @ Tang Teaching Museum and Gallery, Saratoga Springs. In a companion exhibition to David Greenberger: One Upon, opening next month, Elevator Music 26 features over 100 short recorded pieces by David Greenberger and a variety of celebrated musical collaborators from the past twenty years. (Through April 13) Graphic Jews: Negotiating Identity in Sequential Art @ The Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs. A selection of graphic novels by contemporary Jewish artists that tell stories about Jews, offering both a closer look at sequential art and insight into some of the many ways Jews have figured and reconfigured their Jewish identities. (Through April 13) David Greenberger: One Upon @ The Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs. Greenwich artist David Greenberger explores the individuality, integrity and humanity of the elderly. For over thirty years Greenberger has combined fragments of their conversations with music created in collaboration with professional musicians, to transform the “rich language of personal poetics” into short sound pieces that give listeners a window into the minds of older people. This exhibition transforms the Tang’s mezzanine into an intimate theater space where one audience member at a time listens to a two-minute performance by David Greenberger and his band, A Strong Dog. (In conjunction with this event series, Elevator Music 26 features over 100 short pieces by David Greenberger and his musical collaborators from the past twenty years.) Two-Minute Performances in a One-Seat Theater: Sunday March 9, 2–5 pm, Tuesday, March 18, 11–2 pm and Thursday April 3, 6–9 pm. (Through April 13) Ansel Adams: Early Works @ The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls. An exhibition of forty early works by the legendary master of American landscape photography that illustrates the evolution of his style, from the warm-toned, painterly images of the 1920s, to the sharp-focused” straight photography work that is associated with his co-founding of Group f/64 with Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham in the 1930s, and, after the War, toward a cooler, higher-contrast style. Also on display is Photo-Secession: Painterly Masterworks of Turn-of-the-Century Photography, an exhibition featuring original masterworks from an international circle of painterly photographers known as The Photo-Secession. The American triumvirate of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Paul Strand are represented along with other key figures in pictorialist photography from both sides of the Atlantic, including Clarence White, Gertrude Käsebier, Alvin Langdon Coburn and Frederick Evans. (Through April 20) Roots and Rhythms 2014 @ Shelnutt Gallery, Troy. An exhibition in honor of Black History Month that includes many artists who have shown their work in the Shelnutt Gallery over the past decade: Kwame Marcus Anderson, Gregory Coates, Francelise Dawkins, Lamerol Gatewood, Femi J Johnson, Marlene Marshall, Reginald Madison, Montalvo Brothers, George Simmons, , Sergio G. Tornero, Stephen J. Tyson, Ron Walton and Frank Wimberley. (Through April 20) Zanele Muholi @ Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown. Internationally recognized South African photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi bears witness to the experiences of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed (LGBTI) individuals from South Africa and other African countries. In a social context in which homosexuality is often perceived as un-African and an affront to national identity, her photographs provide affirming depictions of same-sex intimacy and desires. In this exhibition, three of the artist’s widely acclaimed photographic series are joined with documentary footage created by Ikanyiso, a media collective founded by Muholi in 2009 to further confront discrimination and broaden the visual representation of black queer life. (Through April 27) Gail Giles: Pathways & Waterways @ The Chatham Bookstore. A series of large charcoal drawings, done on-site as well as in the studio, mostly from inspiration at the Hudson River’s edge. (Through April 27) Berkshire Collects @ Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield. Forty Berkshire County residents share their passionate pursuit of every imaginable kind of object, from rare motorcycles to wind-up toys, exotic insects, vintage guitars, antique toasters, Pez dispensers, and a host of other artifacts and memorabilia. (Through May 11) Winter Light: Selections from the Collection of Thomas Clark @ The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls. A selection of approximately twenty winter landscape paintings including works by Aldro Thompson Hibbard, Hobart Nichols, Ernest Lawson, Arthur James Emery Powell, Arthur Clifton Goodwin and Walter Koeniger. (Through May 11) Wendell Minor’s America @ Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge. Award-winning illustrator Wendell Minor drew his way through childhood in Aurora, Illinois, inspired by America’s heartland and the richly illustrated magazines that were so much a part of life at the time. Determined to forge a career as an artist, he sold his beloved 1955 Chevy to pursue his studies at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Florida, and moved to New York in 1968, with little more than his portfolio in hand. Since then, his striking visual narratives and elegant designs have appeared on nearly two thousand book covers and more than fifty children’s books. This exhibition celebrates the artist’s four-decade career,with more than 150 artworks gleaned from his expansive visual chronicles, and commentary reflecting on his collaborations with prominent authors, scientists, and historians.. (Through May 26) One Work @ The Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs. A selection of large-scale artwork in the Tang collection that showcase a range of approaches to subject matter and media including painting, photography, sculpture, and installation. The artists include David Brooks, James Esber, Elger Esser, Anya Kielar, Julian LaVerdiere, Katy Schimert, Jonathan Seliger and Beverly Semmes. (Through June 1) The Mystery of the Albany Mummies @ Albany Institute of History and Art. An investigation of two ancient Egyptian mummies and their coffins, one dating from the 21st Dynasty and the other from the Ptolemaic Period, acquired by the Institute in 1909. (Through June 8, 2014)
Anselm Kiefer @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. MASS MoCA opens a 10,000 square-foot building devoted to the art of Anselm Kiefer. The exhibition will include Étroits sont les Vaisseaux (Narrow are the Vessels), an 82-foot long, undulating wave-like sculpture made of cast concrete, exposed rebar, and lead; The Women of the Revolution (Les Femmes de la Revolution) , comprised of more than twenty lead beds with photographs and wall text; Velimir Chlebnikov , a steel pavilion containing 30 paintings dealing with nautical warfare and inspired by the quixotic theories of the Russian mathematical experimentalist Velimir Chlebnikov; and a new, large-format commission created by the artist specifically for the installation at MASS MoCA.