Things That Go Bump in the Frame
“Night,” a group show at Four Eleven Gallery (411 Commercial St., Provincetown), features work by six artists that explores the dark side. Highlights include Mary Giammarino’s evocative rendering of an ominously pulsating harvest moon over an autumnal landscape and Jenny Humphreys’s expressionist double skeletal portrait Queen of the Bats, who makes up with boldly painted brushstrokes what she lacks in flesh. Works by Caroline Carney, Helen Grimm, Pete Hocking, and Paul Rizzo round out the show.
“I love Halloween because by reminding me of death, it reminds me to live,” says artist and curating manager Pete Hocking. “This show gives our artists a chance to explore themes resonant with the holiday — what’s just out of the eye’s sight, the trepidation and liberation of the night, and the mysteries of life and death.”
The show opens with a reception on Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. and is on view until Nov. 10. See fourelevengallery.com for more information. —John D’Addario
Best of 2022 at Schoolhouse Gallery
Tess Michalik’s sumptuous oil painting Iris and Orchard — which plays with floral pattern motifs typically associated with wallpaper or textiles — is a standout in the current group show at the Schoolhouse Gallery (494 Commercial St., Provincetown). In Michalik’s hands, the patterns seem unhinged and possessed, like a strange merge between deKooning and Kate Spade. Flower petals are rendered in thick strokes of impasto oil paint, which has a life force of its own. The paint looks like it’s still wet, rippling with the energy of the artist.
The “Best of 2022” show features work from exhibitions over the past year. It is on view until Jan. 2.
Sarah Lutz shows a similar pleasure in the materiality of paint. She’s also really into circles. A deep, atmospheric yellowish space commands the center of her large canvas Strand (Day Break). Circular forms reminiscent of dividing cells populate the edges. She presents a whole lexicon of gestures in the way she paints circles: some are graphic linear forms, while others are drippy, spray-painted dots. One recurring circle is created by rotating a wet brush in a circular motion, leaving airy marks on a dense surface, like whispers.
If you missed the pair of exhibitions of Philip Malicoat’s work in the early summer, his 1937 painting, The Chess Players, is reason enough for a visit to the gallery. His use of color and composition is a lot like the chess game he depicts: deeply considered, strategic, and carefully executed.
Other highlights include Mark Adams’s large drawing of a man reaching into the water, searching for shellfish: the figure, sea creatures, water, and sky weave together in an image that feels as open and free as a day on the beach. And David Hilliard’s photograph of a seated man is similarly layered and complex, the figure self-referentially echoed in paintings and photos in the larger composition. —Abraham Storer
Painting the Fragility of Human Experience
The work of Frank Anigbo and Richard Neal is a provocative study in contrasts. Anigbo’s is delicate, with subdued color; Neal’s is at the other extreme, with its dramatic use of color and fiery imagery.
“Fragile,” their two-person exhibition at the Cape Cod Museum of Art (60 Hope Lane, Dennis), raises questions about race, domesticity, innocence, and violence. The artists and exhibition curator Lauren Wolk will hold a panel discussion with WCAI’s Mindy Todd at the museum on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.
Anigbo and Neal both work in Barnstable. Anigbo primarily depicts images of his family. In one meticulously painted image, a young child sits on a bed amid a cascade of white linens. In another, the artist’s pregnant wife sits nude on a chair, her hands on her bulging torso.
Anigbo’s concerns are often traditional. He is committed to accurate anatomical rendering and explores texture and subtleties of color. But social issues are also at the center of his practice. Amidst imagery depicting the life of his multi-racial family, the painting Killing Emmett Till Again serves as a somber counterpoint. The image of a white police officer on a horse with the legs of a black man dangling from the top of the painting is a chilling contrast to the equally strong Inez and Miss Hops, which depicts a young girl in bed drinking a bottle of milk as she clutches a stuffed rabbit.
Neal’s paintings raise a tenor of alarm. His large-scale works depict burning structures in explosive reds and oranges against dark skies and shadowy woods. While Anigbo employs a sensitive touch in keeping with his sentimental imagery, Neal’s paintings feel as dynamic as the fires he depicts. In Holy Hell, his broad expressionistic strokes are combined with a range of materials including textiles, netting, and spray paint.
Despite their differences, both artists deal with the imagery of home. In Neal’s case, all that’s left is a burning frame. In Anigbo’s paintings, we feel the tender joys of domestic life. Taken together, they depict a continuum of human experience — and the fragile state of everything we hold dear, a fragility particularly germane to Black Americans still vulnerable to the persistent flames of racism. —Abraham Storer
A Spooky Fun Weekend
A Halloween-themed medley of events — and lots of sexy lumberjacks — will take over the Crown & Anchor from Wednesday, Oct. 26 through Sunday, Oct. 30 for Spooky Bear Weekend.
A “Bear Mart” on Saturday features arts and crafts, with some proceeds going to the Soup Kitchen in Provincetown. Some of Provincetown’s biggest names in entertainment star in FRANK: A Night of Rocky Horror, celebrating the perennial queer cult classic. Storyteller Austin Tyler presents two evenings of real-life ghost tales and a “stand-up comedy séance” in Are You Afraid of the Dork?, and drag artiste Mackenzie brings her “demons” to the Wave Bar in Macni’FREAK (billed as “a queer body positive burlesque horror show”).
Spooky Bear Drag Brunch on Sunday features the stylings of Roxy Pops, Mackenzie, Elle Emenope, and hostess Morgana Deluxe. “Portly star of the pumpkin patch” Dina Martina takes to the Paramount stage with new songs and videos. Liza Lott’s show gets a spooktacular spin with Haunted at the Palace, while Thirsty Burlington’s iconic Cher tribute honors the immortal classics. And two evening parties — “Heroes and Villains” on Friday and “Grimm’s Beary Tales” on Saturday — will offer $500 and $1,000 cash prizes, respectively, for best costume.
The weekend is produced by the Northeast Ursamen, who will also be hosting “Bingo for a Cause” on Saturday benefitting Q Plus, a Connecticut-based community organization dedicated to supporting and empowering queer youth. “Spooky Bear has been going on since the late 2000s,” says Ursamen president Dave Greenberg. “It’s great to see it become one of Provincetown’s premiere events.” For more information, see onlyatthecrown.com/spooky-bear. —Eve Samaha