Photo Show, Two Exhibitions Open Sept 28 at MMoA

Mystic, CT – Textual pop art that invites meditations on time and language. Brutal but floral sculpture alongside vivid colors inspired by Van Gogh. And, finally, tradition makes way for modernity in the photo medium.

All of this will go on display Thursday, September 28, when Mystic Museum of Art presents three new exhibitions, including: Photo Show 39, which will feature 145 works in the Davis, Halsey, and Schuster galleries; John Boone: Pairs, which includes six pairs of paintings and mixed-media by the noted Brooklyn pop artist; and, Wendy Edwards/Jerry Mischak, which marks the first full exhibition in the recently-renovated gallery space at 15 Water Street, known to many as the former Emporium store.

Mystic Museum of Art is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is free.

Mixing two- and three dimensional works, Wendy Edwards/Jerry Mischak includes three large-scale floral paintings by Edwards and seven sculptures by Mischak. Professor of Visual Art at Brown University, Edwards focuses on the interaction of color relationships by combining abstraction and naturalistic imagery. A Senior Critic at Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Rhode Island, Mischak creates collage, drawings, sculpture, and wall pieces, in part inspired by Franz West and Robert Rauschenberg. He is best known for large-scale duct tape sculptures. The married East Providence, RI couple have exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

For the 15 Water Street exhibition, the vibrant colors of Edwards’ paintings were inspired by a desire to resuscitate and explore faded colors witnessed in the margins of works by Vincent Van Gogh. The paintings present a contrast of textures, as expressive brush strokes leap out from solid color. Mischak’s “Constructions” intermingle architectural brutalism with natural elements. Made primarily of plaster and concrete, the raw forms also evoke classical sculpture.

Held in dozens of private and public collections around the world, the works of textual pop artist John Boone originate with a hand-painted digital alphabet, which Boone says is the constant and arbiter of all his work. Through repetition and hypnotic minimalism, Boone achieves unique dualities, as the familiar is rendered unfamiliar, the folkloric becomes futuristic, the precise becomes ambiguous, and mass production results in the singular. A New Jersey native, Boone now splits his time between Brooklyn, NY and Stonington, where he maintains a studio at the Velvet Mill.

Special to MMoA’s show will be Time Pieces-Free Time and Time Zones, which will include a still image under a reflective Plexiglas where the viewer’s image resides alongside an eight-minute program with 200 idioms about time. Other works will explore work, numbers, and the simple word “Oh.”

A decades-old tradition, MMoA's annual juried Photo Show features new names and some of the region's most established photographers. This year, 145 works were accepted of the 199 entered as judged by juror Joe Standart, known best locally for his large-scale portraits of New London residents.

Awards, given in three categories, reflect changing technology and methods in the photo medium. For black and white photo, awards include: Eileen McCarney, A Child Said, 1st Prize; Linda DiFrenna, The Prayer, 2nd Prize; and, Jerry Reed, Paperwork #1, 3rd Prize. For Manipulated Image: Randy Richards, Palmer Cove/Mid-Day and Sunset, 1st Prize; William Brennan, Meshanticut Pond, 2nd Prize; and, Barbara C. Crane, EBB (Part of Water Poem Series), 3rd Prize. For Un-manipulated Image: Mary Gazda, See Me, 1st Prize; Lisa Berger, Off the Rail, 2nd Prize;  and, David Culton, Trajectory (Weekapaug, RI), 3rd Prize.