Must-See Boston Gallery Shows This Spring

Photo of Ashley Kane
Freelance Writer8 February 2017

Boston has a thriving arts community with many beautiful fine art and contemporary art museums. While many are worth visiting for their stunning permanent collections, several also have interesting rotating exhibits. Here are some of the best upcoming gallery shows happening this spring.

Fuse (February 3–April 1, 2017)

Fuse features work from Cassandra C. Jones and Alfred Steiner. Jones collects photographs from thousands of people and organizes them in a collage, installation, or video to tell a story about modern lifestyles and the façade of snap-happy images. The collages are often arranged into geometric shapes or intricate woven patterns. Steiner’s work includes paintings, sculptures, and installations that truly come to life with their visual impact. Stare more, see more.

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, USA +1 617 820 5173

2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize (February 15–July 9, 2017)

The James and Audrey Foster Prize is the Institute of Contemporary Art‘s biennial showcase of incredibly promising Boston-area artists. This year’s show will feature the works of Sonia Almeida, Jennifer Bornstein, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, and Lucy Kim – all artists whose work has been seen at a national or global level but has had limited exposure in Boston. The show will feature the artists’ sculptures, paintings, films, videos, and prints as well as “Foster Talks,” a new program in which audiences can speak with the artists to learn about their work and practice.

Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, USA, +1 617 478 3100

Spazuk: Hubris, Beauty & Greed (April 4–May 28, 2017)

Spazuk has perfected the technique of fumage over the last 15 years. He uses a candle or torch flame as a pencil to create paintings with soot, which he sculpts into beautiful expression. Much of his art focuses on shadows and light of the human body and birds. Check out Hubris, Beauty & Greed to see his work on canvas.

Adelson Galleries Boston, 520 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, USA, +1 617 832 0633

Spazuk | © Jean-François Renaud / Flickr

Spazuk | © Jean-François Renaud / Flickr

Matisse in the Studio (April 9–July 9, 2017)

Matisse | © Henry Lawford / Flickr
Matisse in the Studio is coming to the Museum of Fine Arts. The show will focus on Henri Matisse’s personal collection of objects and offer insight into his revolutionary, creative mind. The exhibit will be broken down into five thematic sections: “The Object Is an Actor,” “The Nude,” “The Face,” “Studio as Theatre,” and “Essential Forms.” View Matisse’s paintings and drawings, as well as bronzes, cut-outs, prints, and an illustrated book. There will also be works from his studio collection including a chocolate maker that he gave as a wedding present as well as a pewter jug, vase, sculptures, and masks.

Club Americano (April 22–June 4, 2017)

Museum, University
Club Americano, a one-room exhibition curated by Pablo Helguera, will explore historical and modern-day American identity. The project replicates 19th-century university clubs and gentlemen’s lounges and turn them into gathering places that welcome all people of all backgrounds to read, lounge, hold events, and view performances. The room will also have paintings and decorative arts from the MFA’s collection.

Nari Ward: Sun Splashed (April 26–September 4, 2017)

Nari Ward, born in St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica, emerged with an exceptional group of black artists in New York City in the 1990s. Nari Ward works with local sites to create major artworks out of unlikely materials. He incorporates found objects into sculpture, photography, video, performance, and collage. Nari Ward: Sun Splashed will include art made from shoelaces, a fire escape, soda pop, and even shopping carts. This exhibit will also focus on Ward’s native Jamaica, migration, and citizenship.

Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, USA, +1 617 478 3100

Nari Ward | © Ron Cogswell / Flickr

Nari Ward | © Ron Cogswell / Flickr

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