If you're local to the Boston area or, in fact, to New England at all, the Fitchburg (MA) Art Museum is experiencing a major resurgence. Nick Capasso is its director. Nick comes from being a senior curator at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA and brings a high level of experience, ability and perspective to his position. Transforming, contextualizing and updating a museum while paying homage to its history and respecting its own community is challenging given limited resources. FAM is a museum that sits in a small city that has seen some very tough times. But things are looking up for Fitchburg. The city is increasingly aware that it has a gem in its midst. With new shows, unusual ways of displaying art, new kinds of art being displayed, Nick and the staff at the museum are working hard to bring the museum into the 21st century.
Mona ©Neal Rantoul 2014
I am pleased to be playing a small part in this. My Monsters photographs will be on view at the museum from September 25, 2016-January 17, 2017. The opening reception is Sep. 25 from 1-3 pm and is part of a larger exhibition of works called "Plastic Imagination".
Although I live in the Boston area my Monsters photographs were not made there. I made them from a now-closed store right in Fitchburg called Halloween Costume World. So, in some sense my monsters are coming back home.
To pique your interest I quote from Alison Nordstrom's introduction to the work in the show's catalog (which will be for sale in the museum's store):
When an artist of a certain longevity, stature and tradition makes what appears to be a radical departure from his earlier concerns, it behooves us, as his audience, to consider the new work both in its own right and as a thread in the complex trajectories of a creative life. Even when the artist’s oeuvre has embraced genres as diverse as architecture, landscape and still life in a lengthy and prolific photographic career, we may still be surprised by the results of this artist’s curiosity. The exhibition and publication of Neal Rantoul’s recent series “Monsters” offers the opportunity to experience one artist’s way of seeing and to think with him about what it means to see and photograph.
And finally, from Nick Capasso's own introduction to the work for the show at the museum:
In Rantoul’s Monsters, order gives way to disorder and reality yields to illusion. Colors are garish, even grotesque. The images are confrontational, with close cropping and an overall shallow, claustrophobic space. The artist’s emotional palette shifts from the calm contemplation of a stable world to a riotous celebration of terror, humor, and anxiety.
You may have missed seeing this work at 555 Gallery last fall in boston. If so , now is your chance.
Museum hours are Wed-Fri 12-4 and Saturdays and Sundays 11-4 pm.
I hope to see you in Fitchburg Sep 25. A word of caution: the Museum will charge admission at the reception...$9 for non members.
The Museum's website is here.