Contemporary Art in Boston

ART NEWS, Summer 2004.

Just two blocks from Rotenberg, another longstanding Newbury Street gallery is reestablishing its commitment to contemporary art. Vose Galleries, the oldest family-owned gallery in the United States, has been located in Boston’s Back Bay since 1841. Long recognized for showing 19th- and early-20th-century work, the gallery recently began devoting exhibition space to contemporary artists. Last fall, Vose organized a major two-part exhibition to launch the gallery’s new endeavor. The second part of that show, “Realism Now: Traditions and Departures, Mentors and Proteges” features 100 works by 50 contemporary artists through July 17.

“Vose stopped showing contemporary art in 1962, and after a 40-year hiatus, we are getting back into it,” says curator Nancy Allyn Jarzombek. “Traditional painting will always be the core for Vose, but this brings in ‘fresh blood’ in terms of both artists and people interested in contemporary art.”

In “Mentors and Proteges,” artists were asked to invite either a student or a teacher to show alongside them. The show investigates relationships between contemporary realists such as Chuck Close and Nancy Lawton, Will Barnet and George Wingate, and Iona Fromboluti and John Moore.

by Mary Jo Palumbo