The Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA, February 6 - April 10, 2005

Complex Conversations: A World Apart

by CATHERINE MAYES, Chief Curator

Complex Conversations exhibitions were designed to invite two artists to exhibit together when there is a correspondence between their works. Painters Prilla Smith Brackett and Matt Brackett, mother and son, beautifully exemplify this goal in their Phoenix Gallery show, "A Place Apart." They each explore an old family home in Duxbury, but their perspectives on the house and their style of painting are very different....

Prilla Smith Brackett, well respected for her paintings of landscape, chooses to explore the interaction of parts of the house with the landscape, as seen from indoors looking out. We are invited to observe trees, windows, chairs and beds that are still, silent and empty. She has made landscape and architecture the referent for her memories and those of her family. In Prilla’s work, landscape is captured and framed by the squares and angles of the house. These fragmented images of landscape emphasize how memories become incomplete. She often applies layers of translucent color, almost like scrims, to her paintings. These ghost-like areas become metaphors for memories that overlap and weave into each other and are difficult to grasp completely...

The family home depicted in these paintings is soon to be sold, a victim of circumstances beyond control. Matt Brackett and Prilla Smith Brackett invite us to reflect with them in a 90-year history of family and place, of landscape and activity, of memory and imagination, of love and loss.

© 2005 Catherine Mayes