Museum Multipass Part III: Local Color

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Yesterday, I showed off Mass MOCA’s collections in black and white: but this contemporary art playground is anything but monochromatic!

The first time I visited Mass MOCA, I was overwhelmed by the vivid labyrinth of color that is the Sol Lewitt retrospective. Awestruck by the bright world that surrounded me, I wandered through multiple floors of massive murals, where long halls lead visitors into a strange universe of striking hues and geometric shapes.

I was delighted to return to the Lewitt exhibition on my latest Berkshire museum adventure, and was also pleased to encounter several new, vivid installations, all adding incredible dashes of color to the industrial interiors of Mass MOCA’s former-factory galleries.

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Perhaps my favorite of the colorful works on temporary display was Liz Deschenes’ Gallery 4.1.1, a small family of “framed elements” that reflect the gallery space itself on their jewel-toned surfaces. They reminded me of a kind of deconstructed stained-glass window, and I wonder how they might look with the sun shining directly through them.

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Other special exhibitions of interest included Bibliothechapilia, a multi-artist love song to libraries and ways of collecting written knowledge, and Francesco Clemente’s Encampment, a sprawling group of painted tents. The large gallery in which Encampment was displayed never ceases to impress me with its frequent transformations. During my last visit, it hosted a playful wonderland of gossamer structures for an exhibition called Plastic Fantastic; with Encampment, however, the space seems much more vast, isolated, and imposing.

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The Sol Lewitt retrospective will be on display until 2033 (a date that seems frankly unimaginable to me at the moment), so there’s plenty of time to experience its stunning colors. The rest of these exhibitions, however, are fleeting and temporary–so if you’re in the New England area and need some color in your life, make sure you don’t miss out!

(You do, of course, run the risk of leaving the museum with dreams of covering the walls of your rental apartment with Sol Lewitt murals…)

Here ends my three-day, multi-museum posting party–I’m missing all of these artworks already! If you’ve fallen behind on my thrilling art hijinks, check out Part I and Part II of Museum Multipass for some very different types of art.

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