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Spring in Boston
Mary Carlson, Megan Cronin, David Kelley, Ilene Sunshine
April 12 - May 19, 2012
Drive-By, 81 Spring Street, Watertown, MA
Spring in Boston's like a subway seat in rush hour
Lyrics for first verse of "Spring in Boston" by Ben Scheindlin
Drive-By is pleased to present Spring in Boston, an exhibition of Mary Carlson's porcelain birds, paintings by David Kelley, stitched works on paper by Ilene Sunshine, and a window/wall installation by Megan Cronin. Bass guitarist Ben Scheindlin's wry lyrics, above, describe the elusive season that Bostonians remember from all the springs we've never had. The work in this show captures that familiar sense of denied promise that we usually experience during our so-called spring months.
Mary Carlson's porcelain birds are modeled in clay and then hand cast. Before firing, the pieces are fragile and easily damaged, and they often crack or even break. Carlson leaves these flawed pieces "as is," sometimes welding broken pieces back on after glazing and firing. Her Robin, Bluebird and Goldfinch are imperfect replicas of the statuettes that bird lovers place on their windowsills, and so are apt harbingers of Boston's imperfect spring.
Spring can be colorful, ebullient, and even gaudy in its reaffirmation of life after a bleak winter. Yet In Boston, spring is more often cool, colorless, and reluctant. David Kelley's Cartoosh paintings derive their imagery from the stylized ornaments, called cartouches, found on older buildings around downtown Boston. Gray, convex ovals frame and sometimes bulge from the borders while scalloped, brightly colored layers peek out from behind. In the fashion of most Boston springs, Kelley's Cartoosh paintings represent the coexistence of the void and the verdant.
Ilene Sunshine describes her subtly powerful works on paper as "staged acts of transformation." Working with scavenged bits of uban detritus, she sews together gessoed leaves and pieces of plastic bags to create collages that marry the manmade to the natural. When asked to describe her intuitive decision-making process, Sunshine quotes Emily Dickinson: "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know it's poetry."
Megan Cronin revisits her vegetatively themed wall works to create a site-specific piece for Drive-By's storefront window. Based on her installation Waterline, Cronin will adhere bits of moss onto the glass window and adjoining gallery wall. Reminiscent of the residue of plant life that is left when a body of water recedes, Cronin's bits of green moss will float in Drive-By's window just as life reluctantly returns to Boston's neighborhoods.