To most people, the “contemporary art world” is a place as obscure and abstract as the art itself, glamorized by a few flamboyant eccentrics (mostly men) and their well-heeled patrons. But for the past several decades, a modest artist-run gallery in Boston’s South End has quietly thrived, far from the limelight.
“It’s pretty remarkable to have an artist-run organization, you know, continuously in existence for thirty years, considering how much the art world and the art market has changed,” says photographer Mary Lang, who has been a member of the Kingston Gallery for more than a decade.
This month, she and 19 other members will display their work at the annual members’ exhibition, subtitled simply “Thirty Years as an Artist Run Gallery.”
There is no explicit theme to the show, and all of the work on display—from Lang’s iridescent photographs of water, to Karen Meninno’s vivid sculptures, to Mary Bucci McCoy’s coolly minimal canvases—was selected by the artists themselves sans a curator.
Notably, all of the current artist members at Kingston are women. While Lang cannot explain the phenomenon, remarking only that it seems to be a self-selecting group as men rarely apply, it underscores how thoroughly at odds the gallery is with the male-dominated mainstream art market. Which is, both by design and coincidence, exactly how Kingston has always been: tucked away in a small corner of Boston, unassumingly empowering artists to make art for art’s sake.
KINGSTON GALLERY ANNUAL MEMBERS’ EXHIBITION
SUN 9.5.12 – THU 9.30.12
45 HARRISON AVE