Curators often look for a unifying theme when titling a group show. It gives viewers a conceptual frame for seeing an assortment of pieces as a cohesive, comprehensible whole rather than as an arbitrary array of artworks with little stylistically in common.
At the Chaffee Downtown gallery, the fourth annual “Full House” exhibition features five Vermont artists. The card game referenced by the show’s name is not one of strategy but of artistic choice; the Chaffee opens with a made hand of artists Peter Lundberg, Skip Martin, Joshua Rome, Brigitte Rutenberg and Claemar (Kleng) T. Walker. Four comfortable chairs surround a table near the back of the gallery; viewers might consider sitting down and taking the time to look.
The East Asian cosmological concept of yin-yang, or complementary opposites, receives vivid — and sometimes humorous — visual expression in a show by a pair of Japanese artists at the Flynndog gallery in Burlington.
Say the words “Vermont” and “architecture” together, and the image of a barn — say, Waitsfield’s Round Barn — may spring to mind. But what about the Canal Street School in Brattleboro, an elegant beaux-arts work from 1892 by McKim, Mead & White, who would complete their masterpiece, Manhattan’s old Penn Station, 18 years later? Or House II in Hardwick (1970), one of Peter Eisenman’s first attempts at embodying architectural deconstructivism?
Vermont artist Johanne Durocher Yordan chose an interesting point in her artistic journey to stage her current exhibition. Without looking at the labels of the works on view at Burlington’s Vintage Inspired, a viewer could be forgiven for thinking two artists were sharing the show. That’s because Yordan’s exhibit is bifurcated.
Gisela Alpert is svelte and slim, but she likes her artwork big and bold. A Montréal native with a background in landscaping, Alpert paints much-larger-than-life-size close-ups of flowers. She has also chiseled the top portions of a pair of 16-ton, 12-foot-tall black concrete slabs that are part of her elaborate design for a small park at the entrance to a shopping plaza in Milton.
This installation, titled “Unity,” was commissioned by Burlington developer Ernie Pomerleau as an audacious addition to his recently completed Hannaford supermarket project.
Timothy Jude Smith is not the first person to note the existence of ironically named housing developments, aka suburbs — that is, names that evoke flora or fauna the development has actually displaced. But, as a graduate student in Ohio, Smith began to observe a particular phenomenon: suburbs named after Walden Pond, the rural outpost in Concord, Mass., made famous in the writings of Henry David Thoreau.