CMCA 2018 Summer Exhibitions

Tom Burckhardt | Jocelyn Lee | John Bisbee

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockland, Maine, is excited to announce its summer 2018 exhibition lineup featuring three solo shows by artists Tom Burckhardt, Jocelyn Lee, and John Bisbee. The three artists will be recognized at CMCA’s annual summer gala, The Art Party, to be held on Friday evening, June 29. The event celebrates CMCA’s two-year anniversary in its new location and building designed by internationally acclaimed architect Toshiko Mori. Tickets to The Art Party are available online at or by calling 207-701.5005.

Tom Burckhardt, Studio Flood, 2016-18, cardboard and paint, installation

Tom Burckhardt: Studio Flood, June 9 – October 7, 2018

Studio Flood features a life-size, walk-in installation executed entirely in corrugated cardboard and black paint, and centered on the image of an artist’s studio that has experienced a catastrophic flood. Here the floor plane, now an extended surface of water, appears above our heads. One’s world is turned upside down, both figuratively and literally. In the floodwater, black monochrome canvases—emblems of intellect, will, and discipline—are floating and have been wrenched from their creators’ control and set adrift.

Tom Burckhardt has been called “one of the most interesting artists of his generation,” by art critic John Yau. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; National Academy Museum, New York, NY; and City Museum, Aalst, Belgium. An iteration of Studio Flood was exhibited at Pierogi gallery in New York City, in fall 2017 and premiered at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, Kerala, India in 2016. Burckhardt currently lives and works in New York City and Searsmont, Maine.

Jocelyn Lee, Jenna and fallen apples, 2016, archival digital print

Jocelyn Lee: The Appearance of Things, June 16 – October 14, 2018

Representing nearly ten years of work by photographer Jocelyn Lee, The Appearance of Things encompasses still life, portrait, and landscape photographs, as well as many images that fuse these genres. This mingling is partly what the work is about: creating a shift in perspective where a body (portrait) becomes a landscape; a still life becomes a portrait; and a landscape becomes a body.

Printed at large scale, the photographs beckon the viewer to a cinematic immersion in the image. The installation of the work as triptychs and diptychs juxtapose various bodies in divergent earthly environments and shift scale significantly across the images. The works are meant to engage the body of the viewer and become galaxies of their own through the use of space and the dilation and contraction of scale.

The New Yorker has called Jocelyn Lee’s photographs, “the very essence of transient beauty.” Lee was born in Naples, Italy, and received her BA in philosophy and visual arts from Yale University, and her MFA in photography from Hunter College. She currently lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. In 2013 she received a NYFA Fellowship, and in 2001 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is represented by Pace MacGill Gallery in New York, Flatland Gallery in Amsterdam, and Huxley-Parlour gallery in London, where she was recently featured in a critcally-acclaimed solo exhibition. A monograph on The Appearance of Things, with an essay by Bill Roorbach, and printed by Meridian Printing, accompanies the exhibition at CMCA.

John Bisbee, American Steel, 2018, welded nails, installation

John Bisbee: American Steel, June 30 – October 14, 2018

American Steel is the first solo exhibition in Maine of sculptor John Bisbee’s work in nearly a decade. Bisbee, a resident of Brunswick, Maine, is celebrated for his masterful work created exclusively from forged and welded nails—as he says, “only nails, always different”—transforming their simple form into sculptures that defy the imagination.

Constructed entirely by hand using age-old techniques, Bisbee’s objects draw on a deep well of American historical and vernacular imagery. As Glenn Adamson, former director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, writes in the catalog essay, “They are made in a spirit of solidarity with workers of all kinds; each nail expresses the idea of things joined together. Yet the exhibition also has a critical edge. Bisbee uses poetic language, narrative imagery, and potent emblems to express his concern with our country’s direction.” American Steel is thus a statement on current affairs. The work is, in Bisbee’s words, “an abstraction of who are we are, right now.”

John Bisbee received his BFA from Alfred University and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has had more than two dozen solo exhibitions across the country since 1993, including at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont; Snite Museum of Art at University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana; and a mid-career retrospective at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, in 2008.

The exhibition, American Steel, and the accompanying catalog are made possible through the generous support of the Roxanne Quimby Foundation, and supporters John and Linda Coleman, James and Lisa Mooney, Robert and Elizabeth Nanovic, David E. Shaw Family Foundation, and Cold Mountain Builders.

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