[Art Museum Home Page]
Cape Cod Museum of Fine Art Cape Cod Museum of Fine Art


Bill Liebeskind: We Make Art: 1,001 Artist Portraits
April 24 - June 15
Gallery Talk: Thursday, June 12, 4 pm
Reception: June 12, 5:30 - 7 pm
        New York artist Bill Liebeskind has spent two years fashioning 1,001heads of artists from modeling clay. He’ll display this fun and funky collection on a series of shelves running around walls of the museum’s Polhemus Savery DaSilva Gallery. The heads – each about 2½ inches high – represent both historical and contemporary artists. All will be labeled. “It’s everyone you know and a few hundred you’ve never heard of before,” the artist says. He suspects that – apart from a few highly recognizable artists like Picasso and Dali – most people don’t really know what even famous artists look like. “We Make Art” should have visitors saying, “‘That’s how El Greco looked’ or ‘That’s how de Kooning looked,’” he says. Liebeskind shows his work at Gallery Ehva in Provincetown. 
        Prior to his artist series, Liebeskind made 101 small clay heads for another project, titled “Men of Color,” in 2009. “They’re fun to make, and they look cool,” he says. “I thought I’d make a few artists; and then I thought I’d make a few more. It became a pretty involved project and made me think.” With all the heads installed in one gallery, “This is a huge collection of ideas represented in one room,” Liebeskind says.

 Perhaps sculpting artists’ heads wasn’t a totally unexpected fascination for Liebeskind: He has frequently incorporated images of famous paintings by the likes of Jacques-Louis David, Diego Velázquez and Édouard Manet in his work. Often, though, he’s been inspired by current events, particularly those which have made a collective impact upon society, such as the destruction of the World Trade Center and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Liebeskind attempts to make sense of the chaos in the world by using such powerful imagery in his work. He also makes comic books.

 Liebeskind showed his work at East Village art galleries until the demise of the East Village art scene. Then he went underground, spending many years unrepresented by a commercial gallery. In 2009 he started the Gift Project, a forum for sharing art in a noncommercial way. He sent artworks to people all over the world for them to enjoy for two months, then pass on to others – with the understanding that the works should continue changing hands every two months indefinitely into the future. Liebeskind has since involved other artists in the Gift Project and views it as a “museum without walls.” He currently shows his work at Gallery Ehva in Provincetown.

 Liebeskind, who teaches at a public school in East Harlem, has been coming to Wellfleet every summer for the past 35 years. “I’ve lived in the same house each August for the part 20 years – a beautiful cottage in the National Seashore in Wellfleet” he says. “I definitely think of myself as a summer resident, but I don’t technically own a home here. People in Wellfleet know me and I know them – I definitely feel like I’m part of the Wellfleet community.”


James Gahagan: Spirit of Color
May 22 - June 29
Reception: June 12, 5:30 - 7 pm
    As an important member of what has been called the “second generation” of Abstract Expressionists, James Gahagan (1927-1999) is remembered for his bold yet intelligent use of color. “Spirit of Color: Paintings by James Gahagan” features some two dozen dazzling works in oil, acrylics and tempera.
    Even as a high school student in his native Brooklyn, Gahagan once hotly defended his use of “invented” colors in a landscape painting to his art teacher. Following military service in World War II, he elected to study with Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann, the renowned teacher and colorist, in New York. He went on to become associate director at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, a position he held from 1952 to 1958. He also served as Hofmann’s chief assistant on two major mural projects in New York.
    A moving force among his contemporaries in the 1950s, Gahagan counted such important abstractionists as William Freed, Lillian Orlowsky, Robert de Niro Sr., Sidney Gordin, Myrna Harrison, Myron Stout, Jan Muller and Joseph Stefanelli among his friends and colleagues. Following in Hofmann’s footsteps, he became a dedicated educator, holding teaching positions at Pratt Institute and Columbia University in New York; University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind.; and Goddard College in Plainfield and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, both in Vermont. He also started a summer art school on his property in East Calais, Vt., perhaps inspired by the success of Hawthorne’s summer school in Provincetown. Gahagan exhibited his work at the H.C.E., Tirca Karlis and Sun galleries in Provincetown and was a founding member of James Gallery in New York City. 
    While his paintings sometimes convey a sense of landscape, Gahagan’s work is almost always nonrepresentational while evincing a keen sensitivity to color relationships and spatial dynamics. Through many phases of his artistic development he viewed aesthetic considerations – as expressed through such formal considerations as composition and balance – all-important in his work. Eventually, however, he concluded that – for himself – he needed to take a broader point of view. “I had to find some way in the work to make other comments on my life experience, small as they might be,” he said in a 1991 interview. So his 1999 oil “Summer Arrival” – painted in the last year of his life – is suggestive, but merely suggestive, of sunshine, green grass, bright blue sky and a profusion of flowers.


John Babineau: Elements of Passion - A soccer fan watches the World Cup
June 12 - July 13
Reception: June 12, 5:30 - 7 pm
       Back in the summer of 1998, John Babineau combined his expertise in photography with his enthusiasm for soccer. As he holed up in a darkened room to watch the World Cup tournament on television, he shot images of the matches much as if he’d been a sports photographer at the actual stadiums. “Elements of Passion: A Soccer Fan Watches the World Cup” – a representative sample of his efforts – will run from Thursday, June 12, through Sunday, July 17, in the Ocean Edge Gallery.
       Babineau, who now lives in South Yarmouth, used black-and-white film for the project but later applied monotone color filtration in a traditional darkroom to enhance the content and distinguish thematic groupings. He made no effort to disguise the intermediary of the TV screen: Each shot appears in the familiar format of a rectangle with rounded corners and is somewhat “soft,” with subtle lines running across it horizontally. For Babineau, this “impressionistic” effect was the perfect way to record the on-field action – and the accompanying agonies and ecstasies – of a sport that’s full of gritty poetry.


Treasures from the Cahoon Museum of American Art
June 19 - September 7
         Over the summer, one Cape Cod art museum will devote one of its galleries to showing artwork from the permanent collection of another. “Treasures from the Cahoon Museum of American Art” opens Thursday, June 19, and continue through Sunday, September 7.
         This winter, the Cahoon Museum of American Art established temporary quarters at 9 North St. in Mashpee Commons during the restoration of its 1775 Georgian Colonial building in Cotuit. Given that its wall space will be much reduced for an indefinite period of time, the Cape Cod Museum of Art proposed this exhibition of works from the Cahoon’s permanent collection. Twenty pieces will be on view in the Polhemus Savery DaSilva Gallery, including many superb examples of the paintings of Ralph and Martha Cahoon, the celebrated folk artists who lived and worked in the old Colonial home for many years. Several works from Cahoon Museum’s choice collection of 19th- and early 20th-century American art will also be part of the mix.
        The hope is that both museums will benefit from this collaborative effort. The Cahoon’s charming and beautiful works will be a treat for Cape Cod Museum of Art visitors. At the same time, the exhibition is sure to win many new admirers for the Cahoon Museum.
Image: Ralph Cahoon, "Oriental Scene"


School to Careers Art Internship Exhibition
June 28 - July 13

William R. Davis: Paintings
July 3 - August 3

Karol Wyckoff Retrospective
August 7 - September 14

Contemporary Cape Cod Artists
Based on Deborah Forman's book, Contemporary Cape Cod Artists: People and Places
August 20 - September 14, 2014

Amy Heller: Cyanotypes
September 11 - November 9
Reception: September 18, 5:30 - 7 pm


Plein Air Painters of Cape Cod
September 18 - November 2
Reception: September 18, 5:30 - 7 pm

Ellen LeBow: Clayboard Drawings
September 11 - November 9
Reception: September 18, 5:30 - 7 pm

Rosemary Simpkins: Psalms Installation
September 18 - November 16

Printmakers of Cape Cod, a juried show
November 6, 2014 - January 4, 2015
Reception: November 13, 5:30 - 7 pm

Ann Guiliani
November 13, 2014 - January 18, 2015
Reception: November 13, 5:30 - 7 pm


About Us | Calendar | Collections | Events | Education | Exhibitions | Facilities Rental | Film Program | Library | Membership | Museum Shop