Watertown Art Gallery Hosting Opening Reception for Newest Exhibit

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83 spring exhibit

Watertown art gallery Room 83 Spring will host an opening reception for its latest exhibit, which features three artists. 

The exhibit runs through April 30 and a reception will he held Saturday, March 12 from 5-7 p.m. The gallery, locate at 83 Spring St. in Watertown, is open Thursdays 3-7 p.m., Saturdays 12-4 p.m. and anytime by appointment. For more information go to room83spring.com.

The gallery sent out the following information:

Room 83 Spring is pleased to present Color + Construct with artists George Creamer, Duncan Johnson, and Ellen Rich.

With a preference for shop tools and humble materials, simple, scavenged or construction grade, Creamer, Johnson, and Rich address color as palpably real. They exploit contrasts; slow build to immediate, aesthetic to impure, rough to refined. Optically insistent with a tactile allure, the experience of this work evokes Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and Elizabeth Murray.

Chisel, carve, putty, sand, and scrape.

Hammer, nail, saw, fasten, and weave.

Paint, cut, paste, make, and meld.

Each artist’s process is invested with the labor of hands, a primacy of touch, an ethic of real work and the freedom of play. With an affinity for chromatic object-centric works, Creamer, Johnson, and Rich share an impulse which is constructive, responsive, and relational – from color to color, shape to shape, and maker to made. Intangible and contingent, color is made physical, embodied – and through a series of concrete operations brought to a haptic resolve.

George Creamer employs oriented strand board as a ready-made into which he imbeds richly pigmented polygons. Painterly decisions are additive and subtractive and are often left plainly evident and are integral. The ghosted shapes that result from the process are both factual and spatial. Creamer’s tools, materials, and technique align with those of a tradesman, blurring the distinction between high and low, artwork and real work.

Duncan Johnson harvests found color from dump piles. An artist hunter/gatherer, Johnson’s work initiates in acts of reclamation and reuse. A ritual of accessing, conditioning and refining of raw material for further use follows in the studio. His progression then reverts to a process of discovery revivified – material led and intuitive towards cohesive, meticulously resolved works.

Ellen Rich’s brood of color-driven shape and form is organic and generative. Exuberant assemblages of paper, paint, and Styrofoam synthesize elements of harmony and surprise. Life-like, sometimes messy, always generous, Rich conjures her individual entities from colorful stacks and heaps on her studio floor and worktables. Cut and paste yields unpredictable passages – wild and welcoming.

About the Artists

George Creamer is Professor of Painting, Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Former Dean of Graduate Studies. He holds a BA from Middlebury College, and received his MFA, from Yale University, School of Art. Creamer has also taught at Mount Holyoke College, Tufts University and School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Exhibitions of his work include Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (1984, 1991), Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, Akin Gallery, Boston; Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston: DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, Ma; Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, Saxon-Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, Rosa Esman Gallery, New York.

Duncan Johnson earned a BFA at Pratt Institute in 1987 and lives and works in Vermont. He was awarded a Pollock Krasner Foundation Artist Grant in 2010, an Academy of Arts and Letters award in 2009 and an Individual Artist Grant from the Vermont Arts Council, also in 2009. Johnson has exhibited in museums and art centers including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville FL, Brattleboro Museum of Art, Brattleboro VT, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, Huntsville TX, Museum of Art University of NH, Durham NH, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Pittsfield MA, Rosewood Art Center, Kettring OH, and Pelham Arts Center, Pelham NY, among others. Johnson shows at Kobalt in Provincetown and has exhibited at Marcia Wood Gallery since 1996.

Ellen Rich’s studio is in the South End of Boston where she currently works with cut paper to form abstract color-driven paper sculptures. After graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and receiving a Traveling Scholarship her work has been exhibited in a variety of venues including the Genovese Sullivan Gallery, the Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, the Trustman Gallery at Simmons College, the Maine Center for Contemporary Art, the New England School of Art and Design and most recently the Essex Art Center. Her buoyant, color-rich art occupies a space somewhere between two and three dimensions and is in the collections of Wellington Management, Meditech, Simmons College as well as many private collections.

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