Like many of the artists whose work I feature and own, I discovered photographer Stefanie Klavens at the School of Museum of Fine Arts sale in Boston. One year I was eyeing the photo of the two double beds (second photo below). It looks to me like a dreary motel room, though it’s titled Guest Room. I was attracted to the colors and the color fields, along with the general downtrodden, or at least severely outdated, decor. My husband very much didn’t want me to buy it. I didn’t.
That’s ok, because the following year I purchased the gold-hued living room photo of Klavens called Henry’s Paintings. I didn’t make the connection between them then, though now looking at them, it’s obvious these two interior photographs were taken by the same photographer. It’s hanging in a grouping of four photographs in our family room over our sofa, in a sort of compositional echo.
My favorite work of this mostly interior photography series that Klavens calls “How We Live,” is the first image here. To me, the pink and green living room interior really stands up. Swap out the art and preferably the shag rug (though a hip inhabitant could make it work) and you’re all set. Anna’s Parlor could work too, with its Jonathan Adler vibe.
Klavens describes the series as “the small-scale drama of everyday life.” She dubs them “portraits of people through the places they inhabit,” depicting “life captured as still life.” Klavens is inspired by “banal” and “mundane” scenes that hide clues about how people live. She says, “The images are empty and uninhabited, yet one senses a human presence just out of reach.”
In addition to this interior photography and similar exteriors of swimming pools, hotels, and the like, Klavins has photographed a series called “Theaters and Drive-Ins.”
Stefanie Klavens studied at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where she received a BFA and was awarded a Traveling Fellowship. Klavens has an upcoming exhibition this summer at the 555 Gallery in South Boston.
This past week I’ve been working intensely on an urban development / real estate piece for the Boston Globe, interviewing a number of Boston’s top real estate developers and architects. The other day I had the pleasure of talking with Sam Norod, a principal at Elkus Manfredi. Wrapping up business chatter, we connected on other things, including art. Norod’s daughter, Hilary Tait Norod, is an artist in her late 20s who recently moved back to the East Coast. Of course I clicked over to her website to have a look.
I was drawn to her white abstract paintings. The White Series began as a challenge—with the exception of the black outlines, all the colors on the canvas have been mixed with different ratios of white paint. The shapes in the compositions develop from through layering the paint and other materials on the canvas.
Norod explains her series of white abstract paintings with this statement: White is the color produced by the reflection, transmission or emission of all wavelengths of visible light without absorption. When light reflects off of a white surface the full spectrum of color is displayed, even when we may not see it. However, in the production of white paint there is no use of color.
Here is a roundup of mostly abstract artworks, all in variations of white, and all by artists represented by Boston art galleries.
I love when I have the opportunity in my work to showcase local Boston artists and makers. For the last couple of months I’ve been working on a interior decor scheme for a model apartment at Troy Boston, a brand new, upscale, “green” rental building in SoWa. It’s a little outside my usual scope of projects and it’s been fun. You may have seen the initial post I did about it, when I was determining the color scheme for the apartment—Impressions: Creating a Color Palette of Charcoal + Dusty Rose. The final palette is indeed based on this post, with plenty of textural elements, including velvet, sheepskin, cork, plywood, and copper.
The best part has been curating the artwork. The art collection is the distinctive feature of the overall design and I hope people will view it as an exhibition rather than mere decoration. The pieces, which include paintings, photographs, sculpture, and mixed media pieces, are all done by New England-based female artists. Some of these Boston artists are talented friends (Lee Essex Doyle, Tess Atkinson, Grace Hopkins), others are young artists whose pieces I’ve purchased over the years at the SMFA Art Sale (Laura Beth Reese, Eugenie Lewalski Berg), others are artists I’ve become familiar with through blogging (Cig Harvey, Alicia Savage, Anastasia Cazabon, Anna Kasabian, Rachel Cossar, Winky Lewis, Jenny Prinn), and others are Boston artists who are new to me (Heather McGrath, Linda Cordner).
I knew from the start that I wanted to include a statement artwork of a partially obscured woman; a moody fashion-y photograph of an elusive woman. I was able to get a few, though no oversize pieces due to the prohibitive cost of printing. Nevertheless I think the collection will hold together well. At the end of this post, you can see my current hanging scheme for the main wall, and for over the bed. I also plan to print a few of my own Instagram photos to pin or (washi) tape up.
Here I present to you the Troy Boston Model Apt #1409 art collection featuring over a dozen Boston area artists. I hope you love it and will learn more about these talented women, all of whom have generously lent me their artwork.
The bus goes between the Back Bay and South End free of charge from noon to 4pm on the first Saturday of the month from through June, and will start up again in September.
The bus runs a continuous loop making stops at:
• Thayer Street at Harrison Avenue
• Newbury Street at Berkeley Street (in front of the Church of the Covenant)
• Newbury Street at Dartmouth Street (in front of Fitz Inn parking lot)
Each ride requires a pass. Passes are free and are available at all BADA member galleries.
This winter when I was checking out the galleries and shops in the newly converted 1880 mill building now known as 460 Harrison Ave. in SoWa, I wandered into Gurari Collections, which bills itself as a gallery for antiquarian contemporary arts. An intriguing label and fitting.
Its focus is at the intersection of art and science, featuring etchings, engravings, drawings, watercolors, paintings, and interesting objects borne from architecture and design, urbanism, the human figure, fantasies and follies, and science and the allied arts. The gallery is basically a walk-in curio cabinet.
A few days ago, gallery owner Russ Gerard contacted me, inviting me back for a visit. I shall certainly go sometime soon, and take photos, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share images from his website.
Column Capital Frontal – Wendy Artin
Cetaceous – Mollie Goldstrom
Calderum Motorim – Vico Fabbris
Perspective 39 – Jan Vredeman de Vries
Fountain 31 – Georg Andrea Bockler
Plan De Paris, 1739 – M.E. Turgot, Louis Bretez, Claude Lucas and Aubin
20 copperplate engravings