“Being Here,” on exhibit Aug. 4 through Dec. 23 at the Zillman Art Museum, features a stunning selection of recent watercolor compositions by Maine-based artist Marcie Jan Bronstein. In this exhibition, Bronstein beautifully harnesses the unique qualities of watercolor, often thought of as a unforgiving medium that doesn’t lend itself to revisionist impulses, in images that are both subtle in one instance, and bold in another.
A focal point of the exhibition is a dramatic grid of nine works titled “Oasis.” Marks that suggest ropes or swaged, transparent drapery inhabit these works. One may also see subtle references to architecture, such as seemingly stylized stairways and open portals of expansive light. Seen as a unit or as individual panels, the calming monochromatic colors employed in “Oasis” — ranging from pale blues, lavender and buttery yellow — invite multiple interpretations for viewers.
In other compositions, Bronstein depicts crystalline forms as if the objects are mutating under a microscopic lens. One also sees the artist’s web-like strands that reference occurrences at the cellular level or stretched ovoid forms that are reminiscent of polished beach rocks, potatoes or pill-like capsules. Through Bronstein’s varied marks, blooms of transparent watercolor, and enigmatic forms, she creates rich opportunities for reflection and interpretation.
The Zillman Art Museum, located at 40 Harlow St. in downtown Bangor, opens three new exhibitions in August. ZAM is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. ZAM’s summer/fall shows open to the public on Aug. 4 and run through Dec. 23. Admission to the Zillman Art Museum is free in 2020, thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.