The Season’s Best Art Exhibits

November 28, 2011 9:00 AM

(credit: Katya Kallsen/Bruce Museum)

By Joanne Greco Rochman

Museums, originally considered shrines of the muses, couldn’t have been more perfectly named. Could there be any doubt that Rembrandt was visited by his muse? Just take a look at his drawings on exhibit at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich to discover the answer. Of course, you’ll also want to stop by the Fairfield Museum to see an exhibit that leaves little doubt as to whom the muses have found favor with. Here are our picks for must-see exhibits of the season.

rembrandt at bruce museum The Season’s Best Art Exhibits

(credit: Katya Kallsen/Bruce Museum)

Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Maida and George Abrams Collection

Through January 8, 2012
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
(203) 869-0376
Hours: Tue- Sat, 10 am – 5 pm; Sun, 1 pm – 5 pm
Adults $7; Students (5-22 w/ valid ID) $6; Seniors (65 & up) $6; Museum members and
children under 5 Free

An exhibition of ten drawings by the legendary Dutch Master, Rembrandt, as well as nearly fifty sheets by his pupils and followers make up an exhibition that includes works never exhibited or published before. Titled “Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, “ one can sense the breadth of this artist in his pen and ink drawings. Figure studies, character studies and landscape studies immediately reveal the genius at work. The exhibition, which runs through Januray 8, highlights one of the finest private collections of Dutch drawings in the world. Assembled over five decades, this collection has been exhibited at the Pierpont Morgran Library in New York as well as in the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard and the British Museum in London.

What sets this exhibit apart from the others is that it is the first time the strengths in the drawings of Rembrandt and his School have been the subject of a focused exhibition. Of special interest among his figure studies is his drawing “Old Man with a Walking Stick.”  With the greatest graphic economy, the artist captures the stooped form and shuffling gait of an elderly subject. A highlight among his landscape drawing is “A Farm,” which depicts a ramshackle farmhouse. Describing the scope of the drawings is one thing, but seeing them close up and personal and seeing the distinct influence Rembrandt had on his students is something else entirely.

This exhibit transports you to another time, back to the 1600s, when a youthful Rembrandt drew some fascinating works. To see what this artist created at the age of 27 is almost impossible to communicate in words. You need to see it to believe it.

kateeric The Season’s Best Art Exhibits

(credit: courtesy of the artists and Frey Norris Contemporary & Modern San Francisco)

One Plus One Minus One

Through December 31, 2011
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
(203) 438-4519
Hours: Tue – Sun, 12pm – 5pm
Adults $7, seniors (60+) & college students $4; Members, K-12 teachers, and children 18 & under FREE

“One Plus One Minus One” is on exhibit at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Kate Eric is the collaborative identity of Kate Tedman and Eric Siemens, who literally take turns on large-scale canvases. The work of these two artists spans their early work where the human figure is somewhat present, to the most recent work, which is completely devoid of human life. This artistic duo believes that “art without accident is evolution without mutation.”

Mónica Ramírez-Montagut describes the work of this husband/wife team in the following way: “Through their joint work, the artists create surreal scenes that transcend our human scale. Either minuscule molecular-like interactions or—seemingly quite the opposite—the dynamics of the cosmos and the universe, are formally expressed by the juxtaposition of different punctilious organic structures, clashing floating veils, and proto-animal parts in watery and almost antigravitational environments.”

Also at the Aldrich through December is “Type A: Barrier and Trigger, Jessica Stockholder’s “Hollow Places Court in Ash-Tree Wood” and Judi Werthein “Do You Have Time?”

katherinehepburn fairfield The Season’s Best Art Exhibits

(credit: courtesy of Fairfield Museum)

Bravo! A Century of Theatre in Fairfield County

Through March 18, 2012
The Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT
(203) 259-1598
Hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 4pm; Sat and Sun, 12 noon – 4pm
Adults: $5; Seniors & Students (6-22): $3; Children age 5 and younger: Free

Not all museums feature fine artists of the painterly crowd. For instance, the Fairfield Museum presents “Bravo! A Century of Theatre in Fairfield County.”  This exhibit, which runs through March 2012, applauds the rich history of theater arts and artists; and includes everything from photographs and memorabilia to costumes, props, manuscripts, and sets.

This is like a stroll down memory lane when Bridgeport ‘s theaters enjoyed their heyday; as well as the White Barn and American Shakespeare Theatre. What is so special about this exhibit is that the museum worked with nearly sixty regional theater organizations to present a rich slate of public programs along with “Bravo!”  Workshops, staged readings, and storytelling are scheduled throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of “The Fairfield County Review,” a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in “The New York Times,” “The Republican-American” and Hersam-Acorn Publications.

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