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In our nature

Frank Gohlke at the Addison, ‘Pulp Function’ at the Worcester Center for Crafts, and ‘Expanded Sculpture 2’ at 119 Gallery
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  April 2, 2008
Frank Gohlke, Grain Elevator and Lightning Flash, Lamesa, Texas (1975)

“Accommodating Nature: The Photographs of Frank Gohlke” at Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, 180 Main St, Andover | April 12–July 13 | 978.749.4015 

“Pulp Function” at Worcester Center for Crafts, 25 Sagamore Road, Worcester | April 17–May 26 | 508.753.8183

“Expanded Sculpture 2” at  Gallery, 119 Chelmsford St, Lowell | April 8–May 3 | 978.452.8138
In the 1994 documentary Crumb, underground cartoonist Robert Crumb reveals that he used to ask friends to drive him around town so that he could snap photographs of power lines and telephone poles. He would later refer to these images to give his drawings an extra, almost subliminal grounding in reality. It was in this same spirit of vérité presentation — without editing out the ostensibly unattractive or marginal — that photographer Frank Gohlke turned his camera on the American landscape in the early 1970s, making a clear break with the tradition that prizes landscape photographs depicting astonishing natural beauty untainted by man’s hand. Gohlke’s early photographic explorations of his Wichita Falls (Texas) childhood, his images of destruction and rebuilding after a tornado struck that town in 1979, and his long-term project photographing the effects of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 are all on view in “ACCOMMODATING NATURE: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF FRANK GOHLKE,” which opens at the Addison Gallery of American Art on April 12. Gohlke looks at nature not as something that we gaze on from a distance but as the often defiant or disappointing environment where we live: grain elevators dotting the vast expanses of the Midwest; the Sudbury River in Massachusetts in the late 1980s, overgrown and threatened by pollution.

Paper, which so often serves as the humble underpinning of an artwork, steps into the spotlight in “PULP FUNCTION,” which opens at the Worcester Center for Crafts on April 17. Organized by the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton and curated by Lloyd E. Herman, founding director of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, the show presents more than 80 objects exploring creativity in paper, in media as diverse as jewelry, clothing, furniture, books, and sculpture. Works include Sylvia Seventy’s cast-paper vessels, Mia Hall’s tissue-and-paper-towel wedding dress, Long-Bin Chen’s Buddha head made from Chinese phone books, and Leslie Miller’s intricate work with cut paper.

Opening at 119 Gallery on April 8, the group show “EXPANDED SCULPTURE 2” offers three-dimensional work by five artists using video projection, animation, and three-dimensional prints in addition to such traditional sculptural materials as wood and metal. The new work that Andy Zimmermann, Alicia Renadette, Vivian Pratt, Donna Dodson, and Bebe Beard will present includes Zimmerman’s Black Flutter, which is made up of 396 welded metal lily pads that form an undulating surface onto which video is projected.

On the Web

  • Naughty by nature
    Spring Arts Preview: Landscape, road trips, weddings, and Spain
  • Road trips
    Luisa does Isabella in China, Gohlke does America
  • Summer daze
    Cool pickin’s on Newbury Street and in the South End
  • More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Frank Gohlke , Robert Crumb , American Art Phillips Academy ,  More more >
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 See all articles by: RANDI HOPKINS

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