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Photographer Nicholas Nixon’s exhibition, Persistence of Vision, centers around one of his most renowned series. The Brown Sisters began with an accidental discovery, not in the way of technique, but by capturing an image that proved worthy of recreating yearly for over forty years. Nixon describes making the first Brown Sisters picture in 1975 while feeling “on edge” around his now-wife’s family. He asked his subjects — his wife, Bebe and her three sisters, Heather, Mimi, and Laurie — to pose however they liked. “This day was just really, really, really hot,”…

The new year brought a story that seemed to be a long time coming. A group of Facebook architects harshly criticized the company for its involvement in the spread of fake news and voiced their concern that the company has  “created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” They cite, in part, Facebook’s ad-driven model, that created a portal to draw in and keep users. Into this growing public discussion surrounding our affinity for screens enters Screens: Virtual Material at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, a…

When is resistance futile, and when is it an effective tool for change? Throughout history and across the globe, women, people of color, and other marginalized groups have resisted against the abuse of power. The film exhibition List Projects: Civil Disobedience, which ran July 18 through October 29 of 2017 at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, invited us to take a look back at how we’ve resisted — sometimes successfully, sometimes not — at historical turning points: the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Liberation, and the Gay and Gender Rights…

Adam Pendleton’s forearms resting on Yvonne Rainer’s hands is a hopeful image. Not kumbaya, we’re all brothers and sisters no matter our race, gender, sexuality, or age kind of superficial hopeful. Instead, it’s a hopefulness born out of the possibility for exchange, of taking the time to learn something from one another face-to-face and to bear each other’s weight. To film this video portrait, Pendleton met Rainer at her favorite New York City diner, which she calls her “office” away from home. Pendleton boils down the three-hour meeting to thirteen minutes of…

Marca X is a cross-institutional endeavor created by the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), the Boston LGBTQIA Artist Alliance (BLAA), the Harvard Ed Portal, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. This collaboration presents art that is focused on listening, seeing, and empathizing. I say “empathizing” because the artists gathered at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts and Harvard Ed Portal Crossings Gallery do not want or need sympathy. Instead, they ask that the audience acknowledge their vulnerability, their agency, and…

Big Red & Shiny is pleased to welcome Boston-based artist Ria Brodell to our residency series, Inside/Out. Brodell’s painstakingly rendered gouache paintings depict pre-twentieth-century historical figures who strayed outside their assigned gender and sought alternative ways of living. “Butch Heroes” memorializes their stories—sometimes tragic, other times surprisingly hopeful. Fueled by extensive research and modeled after the Catholic Holy Card, Brodell’s paintings honor their subjects in a way they likely were not in their lifetimes. Each jewel-toned painting acts as a window to the past, shedding light on the history of gender fluidity. In their…

She’s Not Here, on view through January 26th at VERY, features work by New York-based artists Heather Rowe and Meredyth Sparks. Although the artists work independently, in this installation their collective works propose an eerie narrative rooted in domestic nostalgia and question our sense of reality. Through sculpture and a video projection, Rowe recreates the story of a supernatural haunting of a woman in the 1970’s—which also became the basis for the 1983 horror movie The Entity. Sparks employs reconstructed sculpture and cut and sewn digital paintings that fracture our perception of…

With its walls hung with Graham McDougal’s dizzying prints, and pedestals scattered across the floor with Bayne Peterson’s undulating sculptures perched atop them, Providence College’s Hunt-Cavanaugh Gallery takes on the feeling of a television set between channels, a physical manifestation of the vibrating static and whirring buzz. With the exception of a pair of large knot-shaped sculptures and a print depicting a monochrome gallery space, the works in A Dialogue on Distortion, curated by Jamilee Lacy, are all abstract. The linear compositions of McDougal’s prints are mirrored in the plywood from which…

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