Contemporary artist Sebastian Martorana incisively carves stone sculptures which traverse a range of subjects. Working primarily in marble, Martorana charges the oldest of artistic disciplines with the concerns of a contemporary generation. He has embraced a direct approach to sculpture. Martorana often works from observation, sculpting from life using tools fabricated to achieve the required effect over the surface of stone. Where elements of his work appear forthright and effortless, they are in fact the result of a skillful approach to artistic traditions, reveling in passages of texture, pattern, volume and form that are by turns humorous, familiar and politically-charged.
Subject Matters is organized by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. This concise survey of the past ten-years presents twenty-one sculptures drawn from both his studio and private collections. This will be the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in New England.
In its Maine premiere, Seascape, a color film installation by acclaimed Contemporary artist James Welling, presents moving pictures of the sea and surrounding coastline accompanied by an original composition of sound.
The film is an homage to the artist’s grandfather, William C. Welling, who studied with the American Impressionist Wilson Irvine (1869–1936) and corresponded with renowned seascape painter Frederick Waugh (1861–1940). Following Waugh’s recommendations and using the recently introduced Cine-Kodak Model B 16mm camera, Welling’s grandfather recorded black-and-white footage of Ogunquit Beaches in the early 1930s. Inspired by his grandfather’s original film and works on canvas, James Welling used contemporary technology to colorize the vintage black and white film, rendering a new sequence of moving images that reanimates the rocks, water and crashing waves of a bygone century. The resulting film entwines the narratives of modernism and 20th century painting with moving pictures and contemporary art. Seascape presents an intergenerational look at the influence of time, place and material on an artist’s practice, and highlights the importance of the Maine coast in the history of American art.
Seascape is a recent acquisition, purchased jointly in collaboration with the Portland Museum of Art. It marks the first joint acquisition between the two institutions and is the first work in film to be represented in either collection. Its installation at OMAA is the artist’s first exhibition in the state of Maine.
The Ogunquit Museum opens its 66th exhibition season with a second installation of the museum’s permanent collection. Inspired by the success of the museum’s 65th anniversary exhibition, this arrangement features new and recent acquisitions, as well as selections from the museum’s extensive holdings in American Modernism and works connected to the history of Ogunquit’s legendary art colony. The exhibition presents new scholarship on paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture ranging from the late 19th century to the present. The selections bring into view Ogunquit’s remarkable influence as a major art colony during a decisive period in American art history.
During the early decades of the 20th century, American artists established their own creative communities while actively resisting academic and aesthetic traditions, which came to define American Modernism. Today, the view from Narrow Cove and the history associated with the Ogunquit art colony, continue to compel artists, connoisseurs, and sightseers to the seacoast.
The exhibition is organized by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and features a fully illustrated re-publication of the 65th Anniversary exhibition catalogue with new highlights, in addition to a series of public lectures. This exhibition is generously supported by Cliff House, Maine.