Franklin Evans Review in The Boston Globe by Cate McQuaid

The Boston Globe  Arts

With artist Franklin Evans, an immersive experience


Franklin Evans’s “circumjacentoffsetloweredgeredorangeochergray.”

Franklin Evans drops viewers into his own weird wonderland. Once you’re down the rabbit hole, you may be as awed and dismayed as Alice herself.

Evans has two shows up now, at Montserrat College of Art Gallery and Steven Zevitas Gallery. Walk into his installation at Montserrat, and it’s like stepping inside a painting. Colors and lines are everywhere: on walls, on the ceiling and floor; in corridors of vertical strips of colored tape. The same is true, on a more modest scale, at Zevitas.

It’s breathtaking, and daunting. With his hues and gestures, with his art-history references, the artist solidly places us within the rubric of painting. But with most paintings, the viewer regards a discrete object. This one swallows us up. It is much bigger than us, but there are tiny things in it, such as texts too small to read. The effect discombobulates.

Evans engulfs us in his process, too. He starts with writings by minimalist icon Donald Judd, who was a critic attuned to technique. Snippets of Judd’s reviews appear throughout both shows, and provide launching points for Evans’s painterly meditations. For instance, Judd describes in detail an abstract work of squares within squares, orange at the center and gray on the edges.

High on one wall at Montserrat, Evans has a painting that fits that description. At Zevitas, several discrete paintings, all on unstretched canvas, accompany the installation, and in one, “circumjacentoffsetloweredgeredorangeochergray,” the same color scheme arises in a jittery patchwork of images. Although painted, they look photocopied or scanned, groggily blinking with references to artists such as Matisse and Sigmar Polke.

The installations, too, roil with art-history rumination. We’re not just inside Evans’s painting, we’re inside his imagination, which roams compulsively from his childhood to his art idols to naked people, and more.

The artist searches the Internet for images of his paintings, or those of others, and prints them out, no matter the quality. He recycles pictures of previous installations. In his paintings, he may start with a small reproduction of a fraction of a painting by, say, Polke (“polkedots,” at Zevitas). He’ll zoom in and reproduce repeatedly, then paint what he sees.

In the paintings, the result is clever and visually exciting, but half-chewed, as if Evans hasn’t quite integrated his art-history lessons. The installations, while brimming with historical imagery, crackle with originality. They demonstrate how one man’s overflowing mind reflects two great rushing rivers of culture — art history and the whitewater of the Internet.

More information:


At: Montserrat College of Art Gallery,

23 Essex St., Beverly, through Dec. 13.

Cate McQuaid can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @cmcq


Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

SEVEN Exhibit Featured in Boston Globe

The Boston Gl

Pared to its essence, drawing is the act of making a mark. “Seven: A Performative Drawing Project,” at Montserrat College of Art, puts as much emphasis on the action as it does on the result.

The fizzy, occasionally daring exhibition gives each of the seven walls of Montserrat Gallery to an artist for a week. Visitors can witness the artist at work; that’s what makes each drawing a performance. Up this week: David Teng Olsen, known for his fabulously detailed, cartoony works that insert figures into bustling abstractions.

When I visited last week, Autumn Ahn had recently finished her mural (they’re all untitled) via video chat from Paris. Ahn directed collaborator Amanda Antunes in a performance, painting a gesturalaltarpiece akin to black stage curtains around a video projection of a performance by Ahn dipping her hands in pigment and painting. The mural expertly explores the immediacy of mark-making over distance, and communication through, as Ahn put it in a video chat with me, a physical avatar.

John Gonzalez painted a simple square on the wall in white, and then in nearly 50 layers, went through shades of gray until he had a black square. His mural and Ahn’s read more like relics of a performance than paintings you want to spend time with. The gallery has cleverly recorded the creation of each work in revelatory stop-motion short videos, an especially necessary step for these two artists, but eye-opening for the others, as well.

Alexa Guariglia’s ambitious beast of a painting writhes with tangled calligraphic swoops and loops that end in hands. The video of her at work surprised me: She painted what I took to be the first step, a red ground, last. PercyFortini-Wright’s cheeky mural straddles street art and fine art; made with spray paint and structures the artist brought in, it was a quicker process than Guariglia’s.

Andy Bablo, a graphic artist, and illustrator Allison Cole started with sketches on the computer, which have manifested boldly in vinyl and paint. Bablo fashions the numeral seven in shards of color. It spills onto the floor in tiny black squares, which reflect Gonzalez’s big black square, made weeks later. Cole’s portrait of a diamond-eyed girl with black hair filled with flowers is wonderfully confrontational at such a large scale, yet still sweet.

With such different styles, “Seven” feels refreshingly democratic, and holds together aesthetically with everyone’s dramatic use of black. That’s sheer coincidence. But its sense of immediacy and spontaneity is no coincidence, nor the frisson of not knowing what will happen when that next mark is made.

Visit to see full feature!

SEVEN’s next Artist Reception is this Thursday (7/25, 4-6pm) with David Teng Olsen

Alumnus Michael Amaru SmartHUD Update

Alumnus Michael Amaru ’05, a Hamilton entrepreneur and graphic designer, was featured in The Boston Globe last year for his most recent project! He has been working on a prototype that he founded, invented and designed, called SmartHUD, which uses the same technology as fighter pilots to project information onto the windshield of a plane and applies it to driving a car.

After an auto accident, it became Amaru’s passion to end distracted driving. He began designing a a revolutionary in-car display technology display that prevents drivers from having to glance down to adjust music, update GPS’s or to check phones messages. The app will allow driver’s to hear incoming texts read aloud, select songs, use a GPS app, and make calls without ever taking your eyes off the road, or your hands off the wheel! “I think this will be a safer way to integrate the smartphone into a car,” Amaru says, “since you’re not holding it, or typing on it, or looking down to try to manipulate a Google map.” Read full article in The Boston Globe!

Amaru has just launched a funding campaign on indiegogo. Follow the link for more information:

“SmartHUD is a unique, all-in-one solution to current driver safety issues that integrates an easy-to-use smartphone application with a state-of-the-art laser projection technology.”– With sufficient funding, he hopes to shift into production soon!

Greg Cook Exhibits in Lowell

Montserrat faculty Greg Cook will be among the artists featured in Friends of the Zeitgeist, the first exhibition the Zeitgeist Gallery Lowell, formerly of Cambridge and Pittsfield, is presenting at its brand new space at 167 Market Street in Lowell.

The show features sculpture, painting, drawing, monoprints, video/sound and lightboxes by Asa Brebner, Greg Cook, John Engstrom, David Grant, Steve Kinney, Greg Kowalski, Angela Mark and Michael Shores, Markus Nechay, Patrick Pierce, Miranda Ryan, Bill Turvillle, Brent Whitney, Jeanne and Will Winslow, Elaine Wood and Rick Breault. Stop in while you’re at the Lowell Folk Fest this weekend.

Reception: Thu, July 26, 7 – 9 pm
On View: July 27 – Aug. 28
Hours: Wed – Sat 1 – 8 pm

Meanwhile, The Boston Globe featured a review of IntraCountry: Patriotic Expressions, a group show at Gallery Kayafas in Boston through Aug. 11 that also included Cook’s art.

Click below to see the review from The Boston Globe:

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Founding Faculty Ray Pisano Donates Sculpture

Montserrat College of Art’s Founding Faculty Member and noted sculptor Reno “Ray” Pisano was recently featured in The Boston Globe for his generous donation of a beautiful granite sculpture to the town of Nahant. The sculpture, titled “Tectonic Eclipse,” is currently located outside the Nahant Public Library. A ceremonial unveiling was held in early June. Pisano is a resident of Nahant whose work has been displayed locally and nationally!
Image: Reno Pisano, “Tectonic Eclipse,”  5′ x 5′, Circa 1990’s

Montserrat Galleries = Top 10 in Boston

Anne Siems, Hummingbird Girl, 2010, mixed media on panel

Congratulations to Gallery Director Leonie Bradbury for being recognized (again!) for Montserrat College of Art’s spring 2011 exhibit Debt to Pleasure. The exhibit was featured in The Boston Globe’s list of “Top Gallery Exhibits in 2011.”

“For unadulterated visual luxury, nothing beat A Debt to Pleasure, a ravishing yet unsettling show organized at Montserrat College of Art Gallery by gallery director Leonie Bradbury,” said Cate McQuaid from The Boston Globe. “Artists played off the hallucinatory beauty evoked in allegorical strains of art history, from 17th-century Dutch painting to 19th-century American folk art. Set together in a contemporary gallery, these works evoked a heightened sense of time’s gulf, and how we shape history to fit our present-day needs.”

Read the full article on!

Montserrat Gallery’s “For the Record” review on

Images of conflict, residue of discomfort
Artists witness war with objectivity in ‘For the Record’

By Cate McQuaid
Globe Correspondent / August 31, 2011

The show was put together by social historian Gordon Arnold, artist Rob Roy, and Montserrat’s gallery director, Leonie Bradbury, as a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. A symposium based on the exhibit will be held on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, featuring Robert Storr, painter, dean of the Yale University School of Art, and a frequent interpreter of the work of Gerhard Richter, a featured artist in “For the Record.’’ Read more…

Opening Reception: Thurs., Sept. 1, 5-8 pm
Montserrat Gallery, 23 Essex St., Beverly, MA

Montserrat students on today! slideshow of Montserrat’s Creative Community

Click below to get to the rotating slide show on

Artwork shown: Montserrat College of Art student Kalimah Muhammad ’11 of Beverly won the International Sculpture Center’s Student Award. “Safe #1” is made of wood, fabric and acrylic paint.

Faculty member Greg Cook in “The Globe.”

MFA’s men’s room turns sudden gallery
Artists’ surprise exhibit timed to one 40 years ago
June 16, 2011|By Geoff Edgers, Globe Staff

At about 7:03 last night, Chris Krohn, a tourist from Santa Cruz, Calif., did a double take as he entered a men’s room at the Museum of Fine Arts. There were crowds of people gathered outside, in the doorway and inside: men, women, some with cameras. “What bathroom is this?’’ Krohn asked. Read more…

Rob Guillemin (left) hung some of his father Bob’s (center) artwork in the men’s room of the MFA as curator and organizer Greg Cook looked on during their surprise exhibition last night. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)

John Colan’s HallSpace in the Boston Globe

Technology’s enchantments
From playful to ominous, cyberartists reflect a range of ideas through their materials
By Cate McQuaid
Globe Correspondent

The 2011 Boston Cyberarts Festival is well into its second week, and all around town you can find exhibits, performances, workshops, and concerts that in one way or another use technology to aesthetic ends. Read more >>>

An emerging idea

Cofounders of artists collective Rifrákt transform their mission to book form

The Boston Globe
Aug. 28, 2010
By Cate McQuaid, Globe Correspondent

Stephanie Goode (left) and Carolyn Hulbert (Montserrat College of Art Class of 2007) co-produced “25 Emerging Boston Artists 2010,’’ a coffee-table book that is made to order. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

Ten years ago, if a scrappy group of young artists wanted to get their work seen, they’d find a dusty loft in a neighborhood where the rent was cheap and call it a gallery. Any art scene habitué older than 30 remembers Oni Gallery and Bad Grrls Studio. These days, it’s harder to find spaces where you can throw a show on the wall. Rents are higher. Many of the old, cheap neighborhoods have been gentrified.

Rifrákt, a nomadic collective of artists that first met a year ago in printmaker Carolyn Hulbert’s Jamaica Plain living room, has taken other routes to showing their art. They have mounted exhibits in people’s homes, taken over Hallway Gallery in JP for the month of April when its owner got married, and now they’ve published a hard-cover, coffee-table book of 56 pages, “25 Emerging Boston Artists 2010.’’

“We didn’t know how big it was going to be,’’ says Hulbert, 25, in a conversation with her Rifrákt cofounder, photographer Stephanie Goode, 27. The two have met for a bite to eat in Fort Point Channel, where Hulbert works full time as a receptionist at a law firm and Goode retouches photography for an online shopping site. (Hulbert is a 2007 alumna of Montserrat College of Art) Read more…