The Alden Gallery will present a show of new work by Alice Denison and Catherine McCarthy opening on Friday, August 25, 2017, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the gallery’s exhibit space at 423 Commercial Street. The show will be on view through September 7.
Alice Denison, a graduate of the MFA program of MassArt and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, has been showing at the Alden Gallery since it opened in 2007. For her new series for 2017, “Pieces,” she transfers sections of the decorated surface of a vase onto patterned panels. “In each work,” she says, “an organized pattern is imposed over a random design and sometimes imposed over itself, so pattern both describes and occludes the shape of the object, which is a larger scale than the painting, so the whole isn’t presented. “Pieces” is another step down the path that I’ve taken, using decoration expressively and metaphorically. Here, I set out to find a way to use pattern in smaller scale work, while retaining the complexity and feel of monumentality from my larger work. The solution was a surprise to me, and given what was on my mind—on many minds—during this winter, it seems right.”
Catherine McCarthy is an award-winning Boston-based artist with an extensive history of exhibiting nationally, including four solo museum shows: at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where her work is part of the permanent collection; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in Kansas City; the Knoxville Museum of Art; and the San Jose Museum of Art. “She has always been fearless in her experimentation with different paint applications on one canvas,” writes Boston Globe art critic Cate McQuaid. For her 2017 Alden Gallery show, McCarthy says, “I continue the practice of making pictures within pictures. The embedded images—vignettes—act as windows to scenes of conspicuously different tenor—higher drama here, a calmer mood there… They come from historical paintings, often dating from the 16th and 17th century. My choice of images, so drenched in metaphor, is intentional—I paint with my tongue in cheek, considering notions of attitude and consequences. Because these paintings are small, almost miniature in scale, they beg the act of intimate inspection. With them, I hold up a mirror. I ask the viewer to enter into the work, invite reflection, and, ultimately, to see—in both the physical and metaphysical sense.”