MASS MoCA's latest exhibits
Outside this circle of light, chaos grows on all sides. But in the dark, people are holding on.
That’s the theme of companion shows that Susan Cross is curating at MASS MoCA this spring: “Pitch,” a solo exhibition of work by Allison Janae Hamilton, co-curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, and “Lure of the Dark,” an exhibit of paintings by 15 artists.
Hamilton brings together photography and field songs, tambourines and alligators to invoke the landscape of northern Florida where she spent her high school years. She recalls white-clapboard houses and tall pine trees. Most of the pines are gone now, felled to produce turpentine. Hamilton remembers the people who toiled here for low wages and long hours, and the West African stories and music that have lived on in their work songs.
In “Lure of the Dark,” Cross finds similar themes: time, courage, beauty, and vulnerability, as in TM Davy’s painting of himself and his husband, Liam, on the beach on Fire Island. Painting the night has a long history, Cross says. Cy Gavin, who has often painted iridescent seascapes inspired by his family history in Bermuda, now evokes a looming threat in the trees around his house in New York. He and others wrestle with the dark mood of these times, Cross says.
“Lure of the Dark,” is on view starting March 3; “Pitch” opens March 25. massmoca.org