Flash of an Instant @ New Art Center

Mark Dorf

Mark Dorf

“Flash of an Instant” opened on April 5th and was co-curated by Caitie Moore and Sarah Pollman. Their proposal for the show was chosen as part of the New Art Center’s Curatorial Opportunity Program. The New Art Center in Newton holds an open call for proposals every year as a wonderful opportunity for artists and curators. The chosen exhibits also foster interaction with the surrounding community through a series of events held in connection with the main exhibit.

“Flash of an Instant” is an intelligent and fun show that explores the moment of looking, whether through photographic creation or interactive exploration. The show investigates the role of process and transformation in finished artworks through Anne Lilly’s kinetic sculptures, which mesmerize viewers, while John Steck Jr.’s photos slowly fade away. The act of viewing becomes participatory in Pablo Gnecco’s interactive installation, “NOT THERE” and viewers have to search for John Gonzalez & Thomas Willis‘ hidden artworks.

Mark Dorf

Mark Dorf

Mark Dorf seamlessly overlays geometric lines and planes onto the natural landscape, obscuring the line between what is and isn’t natural or original to the photograph.

Sculptures by Anne Lilly ("NOT THERE" by Pablo Gnecco and "Untitled (Touching Fur)" by Robin Meyers in the background)

Sculptures by Anne Lilly (“NOT THERE” by Pablo Gnecco and “Untitled (Touching Fur)” by Robin Meyers in the background)

Anne Lilly‘s kinetic sculptures take center stage in the middle of the gallery, their gentle movements mesmerizing the viewer. The precise and elegant sculptures are ever changing shape, always transforming from one thing to another.

John Steck Jr.

John Steck Jr. (Image courtesy of the New Art Center)

John Steck Jr.‘s gelatin silver prints are separated from the main gallery by a thick curtain that keeps out the light. The viewer is invited to enter the room and to pull a cord to turn on a light to view the photos. The prints will fade over time and every time they are exposed to light, their lifespan shrinks. Upon entering the room I instantly felt the heaviness of their temporality. I felt afraid to look too long, afraid to steal too much of the images away from other viewers. I had to ask the curators for a photograph of Steck’s images because I couldn’t even bring myself to take a photo, as if that too would make them fade faster. For me personally, the result of this time-based tension was that although I looked quickly, I looked more closely and more intentionally at the images, as if trying to memorize them.

John Gnecco

Pablo Gnecco

Pablo Gnecco’s installation, “NOT THERE,” asks the viewer to interact with a screen and some orange traffic cones to try to find the correct place to stand. The installation is simple, yet surprising, inviting joyful exploration as viewers attempt to “solve” the piece.

John Gonzalez & Thomas Willis challenge standards of curation by hiding their artworks. The elements that make up “I’m a Ghost” are spread throughout the gallery, on walls, windowsills, ceilings, yet they are easily overlooked. There is a chance you might notice the marks, but not realize that they are part of the show, or a chance you might miss them all together. If you know they are there, it becomes almost a game to search for them and then to double guess yourself as to whether you have indeed located them. What does it mean for art to intentionally try to blend into the background? I feel like showing an image of their work would be cheating, so you’ll just have to go to the show to find them yourself!

Robin Myers uses a very specific sense of color and and abstraction to activate the surface of her photographs. Sharon Harper investigates patterns of success and failure as art in “Sun/Moon (Trying to See Through a Telescope.)” Sam Harris also combines abstraction and the natural landscape in his photographs.


There will be a “Family Drop In: Cut & Paste” event on May 3 1-4pm as well as the “Carousel Slideshow V,” from 7-9pm, which is sure to be an event you won’t want to miss!

“Flash of an Instant” will be on view until May 9. The New Art Center is a beautiful space for any exhibit, please do stop by!

You can also read a short Went There for this event over on the Boston Hassle!

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