The Art Complex Museum

Duxbury, MA


Charles H. Woodbury and His Students; B. Lynch: The Game of Folly

June 6 - September 12


Two very different exhibitions are now being featured at The Art Complex Museum At Duxbury. In the Bengtz Gallery, "Charles H. Woodbury and His Students" was organized by Michael Culver, Curator of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, to honor the 100th anniversary of the founding of The Ogunquit Art School.

Before opening his famed school, Charles H. Woodbury (1865 -1940) was one of the most influential artists to live and work summers in the small fishing village in Maine. He had over one hundred solo exhibitions and, today, his works are represented in numerous museum collections including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum, from which institute he graduated with a degree in engineering. (left: Charles H. Woodbury, Rushing Stream, n.d.)

Although Woodbury did many landscapes, his paintings of the sea have proven to be his most popular earning him an international reputation as one of America's finest marine painters. Throughout his career, he had a fascination with movement and pattern and told his students to paint in verbs not in nouns.

For the exhibition, "B. Lynch: The Game of Folly," the museum's Phoenix Gallery will be transformed into a giant playing field hosting thirty-two characters who represent the opposing teams of Order and Anarchy. The duel or game between the two courts of Folly is " (my) exploration of humankind's tendency to swing wildly from one extreme to the other," explains B. Lynch.

Lynch's satirical perspective is communicated through the use of caricature, visual punning and a witty juxtaposition of found materials like S.O.S, dial soap and yellow caution tape with exquisite glazing techniques and fully saturated hues. Her characters are simultaneously humorous and devilish. Several of her pieces have only recently been completed and are being exhibited for the first time at the museum. One of these, Scheherazade continues to intrigue Lynch because of the contradiction she represents. She is depicted as a voluptuous and sensual character who can stave off death through the use of intelligence.

Lynch wants the viewer to see many things in her figures. For her, they are a rabbit hole away from being animate and she provides the key to the surreal and unpredictable game site where they play.

In the Rotations Gallery, "More Folly," objects from the museum's permanent collection have been carefully selected to illuminate "B. Lynch: The Game of Folly." "This was made simple by the artist's many references to art history , mythology and pageantry," notes Curator of Contemporary Art, Catherine Mayes. "Her(Lynch's) sense of humor also helped us in our search," she adds. For instance, because B. Lynch uses costumes to indicate her characters' roles, the Shaker Cape was chosen. Shaker women are strongly identified with the cloaks they wore. However, the warm cranberry color and the luxurious satin lining in the museum's cape belies our sense of Shaker austerity.

Read more about the Art Complex Museum in Resource Library Magazine

For further biographical information on Charles H. Woodbury please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 10/18/10

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