By York County Coast Star / Seacoastonline.com
OGUNQUIT – The Ogunquit Museum of American Art (OMAA) recently announced its 66th season schedule, opening on Wednesday, May 1. The season features a renewed focus on American modernism across media with painting, drawing, sculpture combined with the written word and moving image. The museum’s season highlights a reinterpretation of a historical exhibition by the artist deemed the “father of modern art” coupled a film of Perkins Cove by an internationally renowned media artist and photography and sculpture by emerging contemporary artists in their first solo museum exhibitions in the United States.
The Ogunquit Museum season opens with a Maine premiere of “Seascape” by internationally renowned artist James Welling. The color film installation presents moving pictures of the sea and surrounding coastline accompanied by an original composition of sound. Seascape is on view May 1 through July 8. The film is an homage to the artist’s grandfather, William C. Welling, who studied with the American Impressionist Wilson Irvine (1869-1936) and corresponded with renowned seascape painter Frederick Waugh (1861-1940). Inspired by his grandfather’s original film and works on canvas, James Welling used contemporary technology to colorize the vintage black and white film, rendering a new sequence of moving images that reanimates the rocks, water and crashing waves of a bygone century. Seascape is a recent acquisition, purchased jointly in collaboration with the Portland Museum of Art. It marks the first joint acquisition between the two institutions and is the first work in film to be represented in either collection.
This media exhibition runs concurrently with “Shorelines: Coastal Sightings in American Art” on view May 1 through July 8. Shorelines is an exhibition of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photography that trace artistic engagements with the coast and our conceptual relationships with the sea. Compelled by the geography surrounding the shore — beaches, horizon lines, rocks and waves — artists have long explored a host of poetic, allegorical and conceptual ideas that for generations have identified coastal landscapes as subjects of profound inspiration and creative progression. Exhibition is made possible with the generous support of Pamela & William Sawyer and Marc & Andrea Giles.
“Modern Movement: Arthur Bowen Davies Figurative Works on Paper” from the Randolph College and Mac Cosgrove-Davies Collections and Arthur B. Davies Paintings from the Randolph College Collection is on view May 1 through July 11. Davies began to sketch and paint images of dancers in the mid-1890s and would dwell on that subject until the end of his career. Modern Movement suggests not only the illusion of movement within Davies’ works, but also the wealth of modernist styles and ideas which debuted in the Armory Show of 1913. That exhibition initiated a modern movement in the visual arts in the United States, with Davies largely responsible for selecting works and organizing gallery themes. Collector and co-curator Mac Cosgrove-Davies will speak on June 25, and The Isadora Duncan Dance Troupe will perform on July 9th as part of the Totally Tuesday Talks series. On loan from the Maier Museum of Art, the exhibition features rarely exhibited works on paper and oil paintings. Exhibition made possible with the generous support of Kennebunk Savings Bank.
In a second installation of the museum’s permanent collection, “The View from Narrow Cove” is on view May 1 through October 31. Inspired by the success of the museum’s 65th Anniversary exhibition, this arrangement features new and recent acquisitions, as well as selections from the museum’s extensive holdings in American Modernism and works connected to the history of Ogunquit’s legendary art colony. The exhibition presents new scholarship on paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture ranging from the late 19th century to the present. Exhibition made possible with the generous support of Cliff House Maine.
Following the First World War, a “Lost Generation” of American artists came of age as expatriates in Europe. Prompted by favorable currency exchange rates and a growing disbelief in the American dream, the “Americans in Paris” moment had arrived, and a rising Modernist movement influenced generations of artists and writers, including Henry Strater, the future founder of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Henry Strater at Home & Abroad is on view May 1 through October 31. The exhibition is made possible with support of Huston & Company, and Bradford Rug Gallery.