4.6 min readBy Published On: March 28th, 2011Categories: Arts and Entertainment, Lifestyle0 Comments

One may think that they have to travel far outside the zip code 02127 to see engaging contemporary art, but that is not the case.  

 
One such place to see contemporary artwork in the 02127 zip code is the LaMontagne Gallery located on the second floor of 555 East Second Street.   This contemporary art gallery is showing art work that is on par with work shown by our Commonwealth’s contemporary art museums. Unlike  most museums, however, the admission to  this contemporary gallery, like most other galleries, is free.
 

LaMontagne Gallery

 
The owner and founder of the gallery, Russell LaMontagne, started his gallery in 2007. His first gallery space was located in the Fort Point part of South Boston at 51 Melcher Street.  In 2009 he decided to move his gallery and make a solid commitment to be based in the 02127 zip code by buying the space where his gallery is now located.  Before deciding to locate his art business in South Boston  in 2007, Russell was one of the partners of the legendary New York City LFL gallery that “discovered” many new talented artists who  are now recognized nationally and internationally.  Russell continues that work of  showing  new talented artists with his ambitious exhibition program at his 555 East Second Street location.  Like so many of the business owners in South Boston, Russell is  family orientated. Often at the gallery’s openings you will see him with his lovely beautiful wife and his three adorable young daughters. 
 

In Search Of and Trapped Under Nice

 
The two shows on view until April 9th at LaMontagne Gallery are worth the trip. Both artists were born in Massachusetts.  In the Main Room is “In Search Of” a solo show by Andrew Mowbray* (who lives and works in Boston) and in the Project Space is “Trapped Under Nice” which features paintings  by Daniel Heidkamp (who now lives in Brooklyn, NY). 
 

One does not have to be an art expert to connect with his art work

 
Mowbray’s  art work is masterfully handcrafted, engaging, beautiful, smart, and is  layered with multiple meanings. His work is often hilarious. He is an artist who has an incredible range and mastery of so many materials and art forms. One does not have to be an art expert to connect with his art work.  With that I mean an art expert and a person not familiar with contemporary art can view his work and connect with it. In my opinion this is one of the hardest balances to reach. Many of the art objects he makes are functional or could be functional. They also act as  documentation and/or have been used in a performative action that Mowbray has done.  There is a  entertaining video in the gallery of Mowbray using several of the art objects in his current solo show. Mowbray has shown his work nationally and locally most recently  at the Davis Museum and in a solo show at the DeCordova Museum. He has also won numerous grants for his art work.
 

welcomed reminder of the radiant sunshine

Heidkamp’s tactile oil paintings are colorful enticing  portraits primarily of people and interiors that he is familiar with. His paintings are on a smaller scale and most are 24 inches x 24 inches or smaller.  It is clear he has a love of paint as medium and investigates its ability to be three dimensional with his built up luscious surfaces. These paintings are a welcomed reminder of the radiant sunshine of the coming summer months. Heidkamp is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and has shown his work in NYC, Denmark, and Germany.
 
The next show slated at LaMontagne is a solo show by Daniela Rivera* whose work was most recently featured in the ICA’s  2010 James and Audrey Foster Prize exhibition. She was born in Santiago, Chile and received her MFA in 2006 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Lucky for us she has decided to stay in the Boston area. This will be a show worth marking on your calendar. To sign up for the LaMontagne Gallery’s email list and for more information on gallery hours and these shows: www.lamontagnegallery.com
 

re:Strata

 
A shout out is needed about a solo show of  sculpture by Fort Point/South Boston artist Meredith Morten. Her art is on view until April 16th at the HallSpace Gallery in Dorchester. The title of her show is “re:Strata”.  This body of work was created by Morten during her residency at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary as part of her Fulbright Research Project- Time Collapse : Contemporary Sculpture Inspired by Prehistoric Artifacts of the Carpathian Basin.  HallSpace is located at 950 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester. The gallery is free and open to the public and for hours and more info: www.hallspace.org
 
 
*Full disclosure- I have shown both Mowbray’s and Rivera’s work in exhibitions I have curated and I am the owner of several works by Mowbray.
 
Written By Kathleen Bitetti
 

Images courtesy of the artist and LaMontagne Gallery

 
Image #1
 
Daniel Heidkamp
Copycat
2011
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches
 
 
Image #2
 
Andrew Mowbray
Oracle
2011
High density polyethylene
18 x 34 x 48 inches
Edition of 3