July 24 - August 12 2015

Steven Baines| Karen Cappotto | Michael Cunningham + Richard Dorff | Mimi Gross | Heather Kapplow | Laura Wulf

Opening Reception: Friday, July 24, 6-9 pm.

Readings by Helen Duberstein Lipton, Lori Horvitz and Amy Hoffman. Saturday, July 25, 7 pm.

Readings by Nickole Brown, author of Fanny Says, and Jessica Jacobs, author of Pelvis with Distance. Saturday, August 8, 7 pm.

Steven Baines

Did You Get What You Came For?

Steven Baines’ paintings can act as metaphors for the passage of time, the brevity of human life as in Vanitas and Momento Mori paintings. However they are not heavy or morbid. They are optimistic and humorous, like sad, dark lyrics in a catchy lighthearted melody. Sometimes within romantic settings and other times within bright bold abstractions, figurative images have been chosen for their symbolic value to represent the fragile and transitory nature of life: luxuriantly plumed birds, moths, monkeys, ripe fruit, bubbles, bones and UFO’s. Baines’ work also aims to encourage an escape, aiming to be beautiful, tragic, dramatic, even romantic, but something about it seems to have an innate sense of humor which can question the sincerity. This line between sincerity and the absurd is something we find also creeping into his work. Sincerity wins but it’s just a little wobbly.

Steven Baines lives in New York City and works from his studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where his primary focus is on oil painting. He received his BFA in painting from The School of Visual Arts. Baines has exhibited his work at Stephen Romano Gallery, New York, White Columns, New York, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, The South Street Seaport Museum, New York, Local Projects, Queens, Artists Space, New York, Pat Hearn Gallery, New York, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, AMP Gallery in Provincetown, and several others. He has also shown with Stephen Romano Gallery at art fairs such as The Metro Show, New York, ART Now, New York and Pulse, New York/Miami.

Karen Cappotto

Entering Meadowville

"Crooked is the path of eternity." - Nietzche

The inspiration for the idea of “Meadowville” originally came about when I went to 52 Creek St. to retrieve my friend Cesar’s personal effects from the quaintly odd mint green cottage he had called home for the past several summers, and which had just sold. It was one in a group of 3 single dwellings, the single room eclectically furnished with bits and pieces of vintage treasures amassed here and there over the arc of 15 summers where he was surrounded with essentially the same group of renters who had affectionately titled themselves ‘the sisters of village meadow.’

I had been packing my own things to head up to a remote part of northern Vermont to take residence at an artist retreat for 6 weeks. It was possibly the coldest day of the longest harshest winter on record….yet I had the overwhelming sensation to set aside the temperature and quietly sketch the scene before me. A familiar one room structure; the backdrop for so many summers and the spot that frames my memory of really seeing Cesar for the first time….and I thought, wow, had we gathered at a different venue or some slick new stainless steel condo the visual cues would have been so very different. I understood that this was a moment to record. That the issue of housing year-rounders here has always been a struggle. Even the first settlers packed up and moved elsewhere….but now gentrification had really begun to shape the summer folks. The renters, the summer pals who gathered here religiously, our legacy as artists and heritage as outcasts…the extended family of bohemian spirits…the sisters, the village, the meadow were disappearing.

The first revelation came to me through the visiting poet and feminist theologian Brian Teare, who read his poem “Star Thistle” from his book “Companion Grasses”…, an ode to his friend who had died from AIDS in 2008. In the poem, he made the connection between the invasive weed star thistle, non-indigenous, in true nature form, with no personal agenda, it attacks and destroys his beloved meadows in northern California to the aids virus who has, as Provincetown intimately understands, taken root tragically in so many lives. In star thistle meadows only bees can survive. All other animals eventually leave or are starved due to the thorny properties of the invasive non indigenous weed. It is said that the honey from star thistle bees is the sweetest yet the color is grey, a challenging nectar to market in any economy if you are relying on expectations of what honey should essentially look like.

The invasive nature of progress or that gentrification has on a small spit of land, because of valuation, means only a few can really afford to be here. Coupled with a short season, and demands that our summers be divided into one note themed weeks, has the unintentional result of limiting the range and variety of individuals that once joyfully coexisted here each and every summer. By employing the metaphor and one note of the star thistles carpet, and applying it to the meadow I love here in Provincetown, I began to see evidence of “grey honey” in my own life. Unable to stop the passage of time, I was now seeing the other side of “mid-career”, the shiny glow of youth and young woman long passed... The idea of being deliciously sweet seemed to offer little comfort.

Now I begin a series of paintings about the idealized notion of summer, youth, and unique qualities I see disappearing. My aim is to create a fictionalized landscape comprised of collaged elements taken out of time from this actual town at the end of Cape Cod and from my own personal narrative…vapors that still seem to exist, albeit in tag sale set of dishes or a bench seated quietly over time…against the historic seaside structures still standing amongst us. MY humble attempt at visually opening a gate to a lane leading us back towards those magical “meadowville” moments we all carry within us.

Karen Cappotto is inspired by evidence of the handmade in a world where technology prevails. She is known for her distinct way of combining vintage materials. Her collage works are, in part, a meditation on the tension between the artisanal and earlier articulations of mass production. Using a palette comprised of vintage periodicals, maps, ledgers, and antique papers, she recalibrates and reframes the sites of a previous authorship into a newly imagined terrain. Karen studied at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown MA, Boston College, and Manchester College at Oxford University.

Cappotto’s work is in various museum and private collections and she has received multiple awards and prizes for her mixed media constructions. One of her most distinct collage pieces, “kitchen sink drama” was awarded joint first prize in the 2010 International Picture Works Competition, the prize also including a national poster/postcard blitz worth over 25,000 euros. She has also been included in the Land and Sea Contemporary Artists, by Deborah Forman published Spring 2013. Cappotto exhibits regularly in Ireland (where she also resides), Palm Beach, and Charlotte, NC. In addition, Karen just completed a six-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Karen is a long time summer resident of Provincetown, and maintains her design and painting studios here. She teaches mixed media workshops privately and at Provincetown Art Association and Museum as well as Truro Center of the Arts at Castlehill during the Spring.

Cappotto’s paintings particularly came on the radar after winning the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Grant for painting, having two successful Museum shows in a year and launching a new company called Peg + Dick© (www. peganddick.com), a fine art standard collection of prints and trays now picked up by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Cappotto prints have been seen in Elle decor, This Old House, 666 Park Avenue (TV), and were featured in Kitchen of the Year 2012 in Rockefeller Center.

“An Abstract Expressionist not seasoned by the dark urban angst of New York, Diebenkorn rained skeins of light upon vistas organized by lines of connection, almost not real, but indicating a yearning to span wide gaps. When I saw this, I saw the logic of Cappotto’s Bridge I, an oil painted on a wood panel showing the sketched span of a bridge connecting the wide blue water to the land masses that were separated by the water. The bridge emerges as scratches asserting the struggle to link, offering a strange association between the blended layering of her collages and the frank geographic connections she makes in her paintings.” —Chris Busa, Provincetown Arts Magazine, 2012.

For an in-depth interview with Karen Cappotto, please visit: motherlode.tv/interview/karen.

Michael Cunningham + Richard Dorff

Dis/Enchant, a collaborative sound/story installation

(Sound engineered by Sue Metro)

As a child, I was never quite satisfied with “happily ever after.” That is, I was always baffled by the phrase, “And they all lived happily ever after,” which my mother or father delivered, with evident satisfaction, at the end of almost every fairy tale they read to me. I inevitably asked, “What do you mean, ever after? Did they live forever? And were they happy all the time, like every second?” Being five years old, I had no idea how irritating a five-year-old can be. I don’t remember how my parents answered, or dodged the question. I just know that it can’t have been answered to my childish satisfaction, because it has remained unanswered, in the back of my mind, for decades since. A Wild Swan, my collection of fairy tales, is essentially a body of riffs on the question: What happens after “happily ever after?” What happens after the spell is broken, after the prince carries his true love off to his palace, after Beauty marries the Beast, after Jack has gotten rich by climbing the beanstalk and stealing all the giant’s treasures? These are, after all, stories unto themselves. They’re the secondary stories, the ones spawned by the initial ones. I mean, Happily? I mean, Ever after? –Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham’s books include The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, Specimen Days, By Nightfall, The Snow Queen, and Land’s End: A Walk Through Provincetown. His story collection, A Wild Swan and Other Tales will be published in November 2015. He teaches at Yale University.

Richard Dorff is a visual artist and set designer working in the realm of sculpture and installation. Previously, he designed the sets for Fort Point Theater Channel's Indiscreet Discretion and On With Living and Learning's Hidden Faces of Courage. In 2014/15, he created the installation pieces for a production of Krapp's Last Tape and In the Summer House, both in collaboration with the FPTC. In addition, Rick exhibited Rock Scissor Paper, an installation at the Atlantic Works Gallery, and took part in No Ruse, a conceptual art action by Heather Kapplow and Liz Nofziger.

Dorff is currently a co-artistic director of Fort Point Theater Channel and a founding member of Atlantic Works Gallery in East Boston.

Mimi Gross

August Afternoon, 2 1/2 D

Atmospheres; illusion; illusive moments; time and light, changing.

Installation: a portrait; a group; a park; a beach; a road.

Mimi Gross is a painter, set-and-costume designer for dance, and maker of interior and exterior installations. She has had several international exhibitions, including work at the Salander O’ Reilly Galleries, and the Ruth Siegel Gallery, New York City, the Inax Gallery, in Ginza, Tokyo, and Galerie Lara Vincey, in Paris. She has also shown work at the Municipal Art Society and at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York. Her anatomically-themed artwork is on permanent display, courtesy of the New York City Parks Department, at the Robert Venable Park in East New York.

Her work is included in numerous public collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Brooklyn Museum, the Jewish Museum, le Musee des Art Decoratifs in Paris, the Nagoya Museum of Art, the Onasch Collection in Berlin and the Lannon Foundation, as well as the Fukuoko Bank in Japan and New York’s Bellevue Hospital.

Gross has been the recipient of countless awards and grants including from the New York State Council on the Arts, twice from the National Endowment for Visual Arts, the American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters, and a “Bessie” for sets and costumes.

She held the McMillan/Stewart Endowed Chair in Painting at the Maryland College of Art in 2010-2011, and has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Penland School of Crafts, Syracuse University, SUNY Purchase, as well as other universities and educational institutions, giving workshops and advising students, as a visiting artist.

From 1960-1976 Gross collaborated with Red Grooms on many large, multidimensional installations, including the fabled “Ruckus Manhattan”.

Since 1979, she has collaborated in a fruitful (and on-going) partnership with the dancer, Douglas Dunn and his company, designing sets and costumes for his performances. She also collaborated with the poet Charles Bernstein. Her on-site drawings of the World Trade Center from 9/11 and after are included in the volume, “Some of These Daze”, published by Granary Books.

Heather Kapplow

Days After the Darkest Day

Created in the early mornings of the last ten days of 2014, these daily images capture the (supposedly) brightening sky following the Winter Solstice. The series involves 10 images and the medium is FP100c 3.25" x 4.25" instant film, multiply exposed on a Polaroid (250) Land Camera.

Heather Kapplow is a self-trained conceptual artist based in the United States. She creates engagement experiences that elicit unexpected intimacies using objects, alternative interpretations of existing environments, installation, performance, writing, audio and video. Her work has received government and private grants and has been included in galleries, film and performance festivals in the US and internationally.

Laura Wulf

Hand-Etched Color Photograms

"When photography was invented in the mid-1800's, it effectively freed painters from the responsibility of representation and paved the way for the modern exploration of painting materials and of the painting process. Photography today finds itself in a historically parallel moment, due to the development of digital photography. Some artists are currently investigating the fine line between fact and fiction, creating fictional "documentary" images, while others are exploring how photographic materials can be used, other than for strictly reproductive purposes.

This work reconciles the technology and the mediated experience of making a photograph with the tactility and the immediacy of making a drawing. First, in the darkroom, I expose the paper multiple times, as a photogram, without the use of a negative. Then, back in the studio, I scratch with a sharp tool or sandpaper directly into the emulsion of the paper.

I was involved with photography long before I began to draw, but when I encountered drawing I discovered a new kind of engagement with, and a deeper understanding of, the creative process. The compelling question for me became, "Could I work more directly with photographic materials or would I have to start all over with a new medium?" This body of work is the result of finding a question worth asking.

The work explores the color potential of chromogenic photo paper, serendipity in a completely dark room and mark-making on an unforgiving surface. Each piece is unique and expands the notion of what a photograph can be-not simply a reproduction of something that already exists but an object in and of itself, something completely new.

When I first started making this work in the late 1990s the pieces were a celebration of the processes that I encountered daily as a printer in a color darkroom. With the emergence of digital technologies, many color darkrooms have closed and this work has become more difficult to produce, adding a new layer of elegy to the work."

Laura Wulf's first visit to Provincetown was in the summer of 1963, 3 months before she was born. She returned to the Cape as a teenager to work for a few summers and once she left New York and landed in Boston, the Outer Cape continued to draw her back. The sand and the sea and the stripers run in her blood stream. She received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1996. Her work has been shown in Boston at the Green Street Gallery, the Barbara Krakow Gallery, the DeCordova Museum, Gallery Kayafas, the Hallway Gallery, and 13Forest. In New York City she showed with the Foley Gallery. www.laurawulf.com