The de Menil Gallery Archive

Ars Memorativa

September 20– November 23, 2010
What happens when two accomplished artists just happen to be married to one another? How does it affect their art? Do they share common concerns? Or do they each go their separate ways. The fall exhibition explores this tension in the work of husband and wife artists Randal Thurston and Alyson Schultz.
Thurston creates evocative gallery and museum installations using cut black paper silhouettes, while Schultz is an oil painter. They live and work in Somerville, Massachusetts. Thurston has exhibited at the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts; the Allston Skirt Gallery, Allston, Massachusetts; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, Massachusetts; and the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts. Concerning his installation, “Wunderkammer,” at the Fuller Craft Museum, a reviewer from the Boston Globe wrote, “Nobody wields scissors like cut-paper artist Randal Thurston, whose baroquely intricate wall installations investigate mythology, history, and science.” Another reviewer called his installation at the De Cordova “creepy but oddly exhilarating.”
Alyson Schultz writes about her large abstract paintings, “I am involved with creating emotive landscape. . . . Although I start with specific sites and images in mind. . . the paintings evolve . . . to a more personal, evocative terrain. Central to the work are apocalyptic stories and contemporary parallels. Since medieval times, Babylon with the vision of “handwriting on the wall,” Lot’s wife, and the tower of Babel have been sources for artists. For me they have a contemporary echo in a world abounding in recurring images of violence and destruction.”