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List's season opens with two artists

The List Visual Arts Center 's 1999-2000 season gets off the block this week with two new exhibitions by Massachusetts-based artists. A reception on Friday, Oct. 8 from 5:30-7:30pm at the LVAC's galleries in Building E15 opens the shows, which will run through January 2, 2000.


Meanwhile, The Girls Were Playing , a new installation by Boston-based artist Mar������a Magdalena Campos-Pons, is her third in a series of installations exploring issues of memory, matriarchal lineage, domestic labor, race and femininity, and the artist's recollection of Cuba, from which she emigrated in 1990.

This project began in 1993 with History of People Who Were Not Heroes... A Town Portrait , and continued with Spoken Softly With Mama (1998), first shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

This new work forms a microcosmic landscape with hundreds of jewel-like blue, green and yellow cast glass stars, flowers and trivets spread out in concentric circles across the gallery floor. Video projected onto a skirt-like bundle of fabric depicts activities that repeat the motif of an endlessly repeated activity. Implicit in these vivid images is the landscape of childhood.

Meanwhile, the Girls Were Playing , curated by LVAC Assistant Curator Jennifer Riddell, offers a continuation from Spoken Softly With Mama though the work takes the narrative in a new direction.

Ms. Campos-Pons will discuss her work on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 2pm in the List Center's Reference Gallery.


A Unique American Vision: The Paintings of Gregory Gillespie , a major retrospective of works, includes paintings and painted sculptural objects surveying the artist's career from the 1960s to the present.

Mr. Gillespie creates works in which he transforms familiar art historical genres -- the still life, the landscape and the portrait -- into a vivid, phantasmagoric and surreal world of his own. The pieces in the exhibition plumb Mr. Gillespie's psyche as well as the history of painting, teeming with intricate and dense iconography. Critics have compared Mr. Gillespie's paintings to those of Rembrandt, while the artist himself cites influences ranging from Norman Rockwell to Lorenzo Lotto.

"Gillespie's paintings are particularly remarkable for their old-fashioned quality, in terms of medium and his figurative approach, while still grabbing the viewer in a thoroughly modern way," said Donald Keyes, exhibition organizer and curator of paintings and drawings at the Georgia Museum of Art. "His images seem so comprehensible, yet they contain nothing concrete to explain their meaning. His subjects take you through your psyche and then beyond."

An informal discussion between Mr. Gillespie and Carl Belz, catalogue essayist and curatorial consultant for the exhibition, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7pm at the List Center.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 6, 1999.

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