Events Exhibitions

Critic’s Choice

Critic’s Choice

On view at the Harlow Gallery June 6 – July 5, 2014 
Opening reception Friday, June 6, 5-7pm; the critic speaks 7-8pm
“Critic’s Choice: Daniel Kany”: An exhibition of works by Woong Chul An, Dozier Bell, Sarah Bouchard, Kenny Cole, Cindy Davis, Tom Flanagan, Daniel Fuller, Carly Glovinski, Ken Greenleaf, Jung Hur, Gabriella D’Italia, Ben Lambert, Jonathan Mess and Jeff Woodbury; semi-curated by Daniel Kany with curator-as-artist-curator Daniel Fuller.
Critics like to be challenged, not coddled. So don’t expect Daniel Kany’s “Critic’s Choice” to be a top 40 list with the same-old/same-old who’s-who in the Maine art world. Invited by the Harlow Gallery to curate a critic’s choice exhibition, Kany decided to dilute his curatorial authority with curator-as-artist (ICA at MECA director Daniel Fuller) between himself and the artists, so that the selected exhibiting artists could fire back with impunity.

Harlow Executive Director Deb Fahy explains, “Dan has been a strong advocate for the arts in Maine and he is extremely knowledgeable about the contemporary art world in general. We have enjoyed his interactions with the gallery. Last year he juried a show here with Bob Keyes and moderated a panel and, of course, he’s written critically about our exhibitions. Plus Dan is a local, he grew up in the Kennebec Valley, so we wanted to see what he would do with an invitational exhibition here at the Harlow.

The 14 invited participants are all artists about whom Kany has written, mostly from the hundreds of weekly columns the art critic has published in the Maine Sunday Telegram, but also from catalogs he has written in conjunction with gallery and museum exhibitions.

Kany describes his take on the show:

We have several excellent biennial and annual survey exhibitions in Maine, plus I get the chance to discuss the artists I think are the strongest and most important in Maine on a weekly basis. But there are also artists whose work raises critical issues whom I do not think are being discussed sufficiently in the statewide discourse about art. For example, I think curator Daniel Fuller might be the most important player in Maine’s contemporary art scene at the moment – not just for the work he shows, but for representing Maine’s contemporary scene in the national and international dialogues about contemporary art. Gabriella D’Italia, Jeff Woodbury and Cindy Davis, on the other hand, are showing around the state but not as much as I would like to see – because I think their work most elegantly outlines the most meaningful issues coming down the pike. I have many goals with this show, but none is more important than the attempt to kick-start a set of conversations about the relationship between contemporary art in Maine and significant currents of art and art discourse across the nation and around the world.”

“Critic’s Choice” features works by the 14 artists as well as bits of writing: Kany’s original texts, responses written by the artists that Kany will not see until the show opens and Kany’s comments about his original texts and why he selected the particular artists.

Our 2014 exhibition season has been made possible by the generous support of our Season Sponsors:  The Bank of MaineCapitol Dental CareDead River Co., Great Gatherings, the City of Hallowell,  Mr. Brooks Harlow, Jr., the Jennings FamilyKennebec Savings Bank and the Vallee Brothers.  

Critic’s Choice was made possible by co-sponsors Levey, Wagley & Putman, P.A. and The Mendall Financial Group LLC .


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