Mass MoCA finds wonder in the everyday

Ryan and Trevor Oakes put their own spin on 14th-century architect and designer Filippo Brunelleschi’s linear theory in “Have No Narrow Perspectives” (2008–09 — stainless steel, enamel, epoxy), part of “Explode Every Day “ at Mass MoCA beginning Saturday. (Courtesy Ryan and Trevor Oakes — mass moca) A new show at Mass MoCA takes the notion of wonder and […]

Karen Moss

If artist Karen Moss’ work is all about environment, that doesn’t mean it’s limited to only one. From the urban to the natural to her own psychic space, Moss’ imagery comments on humanity and the way in which it seeks to connect with all that is around it — often removed from the very thing it hopes […]

The Space Between @ Mass MoCA

The galleries at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art are renowned for the challenging, inventive creations featured in them, but a new show at the museum challenges visitors to pay attention to the areas between the galleries. With “The Space Between,” which opens on Saturday, April 16, Williams Graduate Curatorial Intern Nina Wexelblatt has fashioned […]

Alex Da Corte @ Mass MoCA

The colorful work of the artist Alex Da Corte has the bursting presence and aesthetic immediacy of pop art, but it’s what lies underneath that matters. Da Corte, who’s based in Philadelphia, has a new exhibition, “Free Roses,” that opened March 26 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. The show features a major new […]

Lexa Walsh

The Oakland-based, socially-engaged artist Lexa Walsh creates experiences for her audiences, and that’s exactly her current mission at Williams College on multiple fronts. With her winter study program Mapping The Museum, Walsh has worked with students to take over the Williams College Museum of Art for a night, in addition to creating two upcoming projects […]

Jim Shaw @ Mass MoCA

Jim Shaw’s ‘Entertaining Doubts’ at Mass MoCA To walk around “Entertaining Doubts,” artist Jim Shaw’s new sprawling show at Mass MoCA, located in North Adams, MA, is to step into the mind of the artist and wander, sometimes without a guide. That may be the best way to uncover its mysteries, actually, taking in what you […]

Tanya Hollander @ Mass MoCA

The photographer Tanya Hollander spent New Year’s Eve 2010 ruminating about the nature of friendship in the digital age. Are Facebook friends really your friends? Does the way we communicate with friends — texting, instant messaging, by phone or Skype, or just seeing them in person — make a friendship mean any more or less? To help answer these […]

Anne Morgan Spalter

In Anne Morgan Spalter’s world, physical structures take on spiritual dimensions literally. The artist uses her own customized computer software to transform the architectural structures of humankind into even more precise constructs. Using mosaic patterns that build on design concepts in Muslim art, her software reveals what the human eye can never see on its […]

Alaa Awad

Bringing the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 to the streets of North Adams, painter Alaa Alaa will finish up his month-long stay in the Berkshires with an art show of oils and watercolors at MCLA Gallery 51 and a sprawling new mural on Center St. that furthers the message of justice for all. “Everyone has to […]

Gayle Wells Mandle & Julia Mandle

With a show at MCLA Gallery 51 and an accompanying exhibit at the Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY, mother and daughter collaborators Gayle Wells Mandle and Julia Mandle are creating art from their sociopolitical common ground. Their current body of work in collaboration stems from Gayle’s time living in Qatars. Gayle spent her […]

Roger Shimomura

The paintings of Roger Shimomura are fun, cartoonish and delightfully over-the-top, but what lurks behind them is a serious history of racism in America, and an examination of how naturalized cultures are expected to bow to the dominant one, with no compromises. Shimomura’s work is part of “Freedom, Just Another Word For …” showing at KidSpace […]

Johnny Carrera

Johnny Carrera’s upcoming installation at Mass MoCA is technically an extension of his book, “Pictorial Webster,” but it’s also something that never would have happened if not for a chance encounter in his grandmother’s house. Carrera’s prints will be featured in the show “Life’s Work,” which opens at Mass MoCA on Saturday, March 23. As […]

Tom Phillips

British artist Tom Phillips has found inspiration in alteration, and the result of that constitutes a long term project from which he still makes discoveries. Phillips has spent the last four decades working and reworking the Victorian novel A Human Document, by W.H. Mallock, into a series of collages that comprise A Humument, which will […]

Mark Dion

Artist Mark Dion has made it possible for visitors to Mass MoCA to actually enter and browse his own mind in his new installation. Dion’s “The Octagon Room” opens at Mass MoCA on Saturday, March 23. “An interesting experience with the piece is a contrast between the outside, which really does give the impression of […]

Jerry Gretzinger

For Jerry Gretzinger, a decades-long art project started with a simple doodle that exploded into an entire alternate world. Gretzinger is bringing his universe to Mass MoCA, starting today through Oct. 14. His studio is set up in the Hunter Center and his map will be entirely displayed for the first time ever “Jerry’s Map,” […]

Nathan Sawaya

Artist Nathan Sawaya’s material of choice can be found in almost any kid’s room, but his Lego creations go far beyond the complexity of any Lego kit. Sawaya’s work is part of “Curiosity,” which opens at KidSpace at Mass MoCA on Saturday, June 23. Sawaya’s artistic journey with bricks almost didn’t happen when, just out […]

Mario Doucette

Canadian painter Mario Doucette has been committing history to canvas, but in his investigation of the Acadian Expulsion, he’s part of a movement to reclaim the truth that has been systematically stolen in Acadian heritage. Doucette’s work, which is on display at Mass MoCA as part of the “Oh, Canada” show, examines and critiques the […]

Ben Shapiro “Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters”

A new documentary about photographer Gregory Crewdson captures not only his creative method, but his life-long relationship with the Berkshires, which fuels his photography. The film “Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters” makes its area premiere at the Berkshire International Film Festival on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Crewdson’s renown has centered […]

Diana Al-Hadid

To look at one of Diana Al-Hadid’s sculptures is to enter a point of perception that leaves you struggling — is this an architectural structure? The ghost of one? Or accidents meant to evoke structured, physical space? The Syria-born artist focuses on place as monuments to memory in her work — not necessarily specific locales, but more general swathes […]

Michael Eastman

Personal history can mean beauty, and just as human beings wear their histories on their faces, buildings retain their own stories on their walls and furnishings. Photographer Michael Eastman seeks to allow these spaces to present their own stories, apart from whoever might inhabit them. Eastman — who lives in St. Louis, Mo. — says that the word “decay” […]

The Impossible Project

Just when it seemed like Polaroid film was a relic of the past, an eccentric European company, The Impossible Project, reconfigured that relic from the ground up, ushering it further into our future. The Impossible Project was invited by Wilco band member Pat Sansone, himself a well-known Polaroid photographer, to help curate an exhibit for […]

Nari Ward

Artist Nari Ward’s new work at Mass MoCA investigates the worlds in which memory and reality overlap, with his native Jamaica and a cryptic Russian science fiction art film as the inspirations for the installation’s setting. “Sub Mirage Lignum” opens on Saturday, April 2, at 5:30 p.m. For the installation, Ward has gathered post-industrial detritus […]

Katharina Grosse

For her new installation in the huge Building 5 Gallery at Mass MoCA, German artist Katharina Grosse is piling on the color — literally. Grosse’s installation consists of well-placed, huge mounds of dirt and rocks that vary in their authenticity but cut a rainbow of color through the space and offer visitors a chance to actually walk […]

Michael Oatman

Sometimes inspiration just drops in your lap, but artist Michael Oatman claims something even better: His presentation at Mass MoCA is a homemade space ship that actually dropped from the sky, right on top of the museum. All Oatman had to do was approach it as an archaeologist. His presentation “All Utopias Fell,” will finally […]

Federico Diaz

As modern science continually reveals, the universe is filled with things that we can’t see but that shape our perceptions despite their invisibility. Artist Federico Diaz is working to translate the intangible into terms our human senses can not only understand, but also touch, with his new sculpture, “Geometric Death Frequency — 141,” which opens at Mass […]

Leonard Nimoy

Actor Leonard Nimoy’s new photographic work, “Secret Selves,” peers into the hidden alleys of personal psyches in giant-sized prints bursting with color — these are fantasies hidden no more, but screaming to the world from gallery walls. Culled from a 2008 photographic session, “Secret Selves” shows the result of what happened when Nimoy asked 100 people to […]

Profile: Petah Coyne

Sculptor Petah Coyne is known for her use of unusual materials and her allusions to literature in her work. With a retrospective that also features two new works, Coyne continues her obsessions with one of her largest sculptures yet. Her show “Everything That Rises Must Converge” opens at Mass MoCA on Friday, May 29. Coyne […]

Joanne LeFrak

New Mexico artist Joanne LeFrak specializes in shadows — both the physical ones and those left by time — which she uses to craft both gallery art and reminders of the past. Her work is part of “Invisible: Art at the Edge of Perception” at Mass MoCA. LeFrak’s current method of creating work is simple — she scratches on Plexiglas — but the […]

Profile: Andrew Carnie

Artist Andrew Carnie’s pursuits have come full circle — he started out as a student of science, and now he continues his interest through his creative work. Carnie’s installation “Magic Forest” will be featured in “Landscapes of the Mind: Contemporary Artists Contemplate the Brain” at the Williams College Museum of Art, starting Saturday, Jan. 30, and running […]

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle

Like a magician of space and time, artist Inigo Manglano-Ovalle has frozen a moment in a precise location in order to offer a glimpse into past. His installation “Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With” is currently showing at Mass MoCA. Manglano-Ovalle has crafted works such as “Phantom Truck,” a full-scale realization of the […]