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The Nave Gallery- INVESTED LANDSCAPE II, Landscapes Through A Diffracting Lens

One of my favorite galleries in the Boston area is more accurately in the Davis Sq area. The Nave, besides being a place where young curators (including me) have regularly cut their teeth producing unexpected shows in a lovely, non-commercial space, has constantly exhibited artists regardless of the level of their careers or the length of their resumes.

Invested Landscape was curated by Katie Jurkiewicz, Nancy Winship Milliken, and Ted Ollier (who is helping us with our Kickstarter, full disclosure), who are also all exhibiting in the exhibition. The core theme to this group show is the changing relationship that artists have with landscapes. The works on display consider the landscape without relying on standard plein air observation techniques. Instead each artist explores the landscape with a new method: discussion, sound, mapping, etc. Similar to Gail Biederman's work at Real Art Ways in Hartford, these artists create a vision of space and earth without recording a straightforward image of the ground that they can see around them.

Stand outs include Catharyn Tivy's postcard objects. Like other op-art objects, easy if experienced but hard to explain. They are the front and the back of a postcard that has been cut into strips and interlaced into a lenticular object, that when viewed from one angle shows the front and from the other, the back. The objects combine the two separate things that postcards contain; the generic image and the personal communication. Here they combine the two into a competing opposition.

Marzia Ransom's work is a huge pinhole camera and one of the resulting images. The Nave has been a strong supporter of photography, AlterEgo II curated by Greer Muldowney was the most recent show at the Nave, so seeing this kind of work here makes complete sense. I think living in the shadow of the countless Boston area photographers makes you numb to seeing photo sometimes, but this five foot image of trees and buildings in repetition creates a striking impression. The images push and pull themselves down the paper capturing slightly different light conditions resulting in various burnouts and dark portions, emerging and blending with each other.

Heather Johnson's work are sentence excerpts embroidered and placed all around the gallery. Their connection to each other, the landscape, and us is vague, but their so confident and specific that it's easy to ignore that fact and get involved with finding the next one and building a narrative out of them. Each is a snippet of description that has been detached from their original moments. The entire room is the installation for Johnson, and the motion you take to get to each statement is as much part of the work as seeing a single statement.

Rimas K. Simaitis's video of a kaleidoscopic exploration vehicle, kind of a helmet of mirrors that alters the world around it into a mass of reflections and colors. It's disconcerting and farcical the whole way through.

Voyage #2 from Rimas K. Simaitis on Vimeo.

Invested Landscape is on view at The Nave Gallery until Sept. 22.
The Nave is open Saturday 1:00-5:00 and Sunday 1:00-5:00

About Author

John is an independent writer and curator. He was the Editor in Chief of Big Red & Shiny from 2012-13 and Journal Editor through June 2014. John has written for Art New England, Art Papers, Artsfuse.org, Artwrit.com, DailyServing.com, the New American Paintings blog, Printeresting.org and others.

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