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October 17, 2013

Exploring the past

Trident show spotlights artists in "dialogue"

The new Trident Gallery in downtown Gloucester wants to offer a friendly challenge to viewers who can explore the past through its new show.

There will be a free public opening reception for the show titled “Three Artists in Dialogue with the Past” on Friday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the gallery at 189 Main St. in Gloucester.

The featured artists are Gabrielle Barzaghi, Nadine Boughton and Susan Erony, and the new exhibition features work by the trio of contemporary artists, all of whom engage the imagery and ideas of the mid-20th century and of earlier eras, according to Director Matthew Swift.

“Working each in a different medium, they create and critique images and narratives of the past, both imagined and historical, drawing viewers into worlds that are strange yet feel familiar, or look familiar yet feel strange,” Swift said in a prepared. “As viewers, we are led into dialogues with ourselves and with history as we confront anew the power of stories and images to shape our perceptions and convictions.”

Barzaghi’s major new work is titled “How to Stay Alive in the Woods,” which refers to a wilderness survival manual published in 1956; and her “Paleolithic Picnic” is a series of nine drawings illuminating a world that is primeval, and as familiar as a myth.

Boughton stitches together imagery from the popular magazines of 1945-1965 into digital collages that “blend nostalgia for the past with the darkness beneath the pleasures of modern living.”

Erony’s painting titled “The History of Eugenics, Part I” is a copy of an 18th century drawing by Dutch anatomist Petrus Camper, which shows a “progression” from ape to ideal human.

Her work provokes the viewer to consider of complexities of “transplanting ideas between cultures, of our appetite for reason and order, and of both the powers and the limitations of visual images,” according to the release.

Trident Gallery showcases exhibitions of contemporary art of Cape Ann in traditional and non-traditional styles, and the shows are accompanied by presentations and discussions.

This show runs through Nov. 24. For more information, visit

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 9780-283-7000, x3445, or at

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