My original intent was to review one of the four new exhibitions at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, but as museum’s often go, I am more drawn to the offerings of their permanent collection. This is not to say the four ancillary curated exhibitions are not wonderful, they are. I just need to focus my comments as there is so much here to see, and no matter when you might visit this museum, you will have a very fulfilling experience, especially if you engage one of the extremely knowledgeable guards who enjoy sharing compelling facts about the art.
It’s the sense of exaltation, the sense of revealment (or un-concealment, as Heidegger would put it) in Margaret Evangeline’s work that always triggers a lot of emotions in me. This calling-forth tone indicates. It doesn’t state or designate. Evangeline’s art rests halfway, poised between a point of revealment leavened with a sense of the untold, the unresolvedness of it all. This tone has an undeniable presence to it that is in itself a manifestation that allows a polyphony of feeling tones to emerge from the work.
For nearly 250 years, since the first documented occurrence in London in 1775, the artist retrospective has evolved and grown in significance to become a rite of passage within an artist’s career. Arguably, it is now considered an essential accomplishment for any serious artist, legitimizing their inclusion within the canon of art history, and signaling their arrival to a level of public, or at least academic, acknowledgement and recognition.
A Retrospective, 1966-2021 at theCatherine Fosnot Art Gallery and Center in New London, CT from September 23 to November 13, 2021
by John Mendelsohn
To create a retrospective exhibition of an artist’s work is to tell a story. It embodies a desire to shape the raw material of work made over many years into an inevitable, convincing narrative. The challenge is to not tell a tale so intriguing that it becomes more compelling than spirit of the art itself.