During May, Dowling Walsh Gallery will host a solo exhibition by Aaron T Stephan; a window installation and book release of “Blue Violets,” by Cig Harvey; and a group exhibition titled “Mud Season.”
“Aaron T Stephan: Untitled Monuments” runs May 7 to 29. Stephan is an artist living and working in Portland. His work presents a wry look at the world around him, focusing on a complex web of information carried by everyday materials and objects.
This exhibit arises from the complexities of public monuments and their ability to reproduce deeper structural problems. This has been seen during the past year not only in the toppling of long-standing monuments but also through the ways in which the pandemic aggravated deeper cultural divides.
Cyanotypes are the original medium for making blueprints, an object that represents the span between a plan and an actuality. Monuments are also physical representations of a set of ideals, in the same way that blueprints stand as an idealized design of a real object.
In “Untitled Monuments,” the translation of the monument to paper suggests a speculative process of questioning that is more flexible, less permanent, and more grounded in personal experience than the top-down narratives received from systems of authority.
Stephan’s large sculpture, “Simple Twist of Fate,” shows a singular, gestural movement that changes the entire building structure of a unit, exploring simple methods of change and influence.
Cig Harvey’s window installation will be shown from May 1 to 29. Harvey is an artist whose practice seeks to find the magical in the everyday. Rich in implied narrative, Harvey’s work is deeply rooted in the natural environment and offers explorations of belonging and familial relationships.
In tandem with the release of Harvey’s book “Blue Violet,” the artist will present a window installation at Dowling Walsh during May, a sensory experience of live flowers, photographs and neon works.
“Blue Violet” is a vibrant meditation on the procession of seasons, sensory abundance and the magic of everyday life. Part art book, botanical guide, historical encyclopedia and poetry collection, “Blue Violet” is a compendium of beauty, color and the senses. Exploring the five senses, “Blue Violet” takes the reader on a personal journey through nature and the range of human emotions. Images and text in a variety of forms (prose poetry, recipes, lists, research pieces, diagrams) focus on immediate experience to understand the vibrancy of the senses on memory and feelings.
The group show “Mud Season,” which runs May 7 to 29, presents works by Reggie Burrows Hodges, Jamie Wyeth, Ann Craven, Daniel Minter, Lois Dodd, David Driskell (1931- 2020), Marsden Hartley (1877-1943), Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) and Stephen Pace (1918-2010).
These works are examples from artists who have and are working deliberately to present to us new vantage points of scenes we thought we already knew.
Dowling Walsh Gallery is at 365 Main St. in Rockland. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment on Sundays and Mondays. Visit www.dowlingwalsh.com, or call 207-596-0084 for more information.