Three Solo Exhibitions Open at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art
ROCKPORT, ME.- For the first time in more than 25 years, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art will present, in effect, three solo exhibitions by three generations of well-established and distinguished artists with strong Maine connections: Will Barnet, Yvonne Jacquette, and Dozier Bell. The exhibitions open Thursday, August 5, and will continue through Saturday, September 25.
Will Barnet’s exhibition, Master Printmaker: Selections from Five Decades, combines widely known representational prints of family and personal memories with a series of very rare, less well-known abstract prints from the 1950s and ’60s. The exhibition offers a strong cross-section of Barnet’s interest in printmaking, which reaches back to his early days in the 1930s at the Boston Museum School and Art Students League in New York. Barnet, now 99 years old, taught at the Art Students League for four decades. His teaching there and at Cornell and Yale Universities and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art influenced many famous American artists.
While Barnet’s work is largely representational, his interest in abstraction began early and can be gleaned in more recent work from his elegant figures depicted as flat surfaces. Barnet experimented in both painting and printmaking with eliminating realistic space by substituting space based on rectangular horizontal and vertical forms. Yet, he drew his choices of colors, shapes, and interlocking forms from his deep responses to the natural world around him.
Barnet has received several of the most prestigious awards available to artists and his works are in many of the foremost museums in America, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art, as well as in many of Maine’s top museums. He has enjoyed more than 80 solo exhibitions.
Yvonne Jacquette’s exhibition, AERIALS: Paintings, Prints, Pastels, emphasizes the theme for which she is renowned: elevated views of cities and landscapes. She began these works as watercolors, drawn sketches, or photographs created in or taken from skyscrapers or rented airplanes. Jacquette later expanded upon them in her studios in New York City and Searsmont, Maine. Nocturnal views offering dramatic use of contrasting colors and an increasing move toward abstraction coupled with dots of color are Jacquette trademarks. Spatial configurations, often coupled with multiple perspectives, become ever more inventive and often create in the viewer a sense of balance and imbalance and even floating freely through space. The majority of the more than 40 works in the exhibition include lesser-known pastels; there are five sizable black-and-white editioned woodcuts, as well.
Jacquette has taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and at the world-renowned Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and she has enjoyed many solo exhibitions. Her work is included in all major museums in Maine; the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; and the Yale University Art Gallery and Library of Congress and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., among many others.
Dozier Bell, a Maine native and Waldoboro resident, presents Momenta, a combination of large, beautiful, brooding paintings and drawings accomplished over the past decade. This work marks a shift from her long-standing interest in reflecting an inner spiritual and psychological life to reflections upon her life experiences.
Bell attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and earned an MFA at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied with Neil Welliver. She also has studied with Yvonne Jacquette. Bell has participated in 55 group shows nationwide and 27 solo exhibitions (including ten in various New York City galleries). She received an honorary doctor of fine arts from Maine College of Art, as well as several fellowships and grants.