• Edouard Manet, Bouquet of Violets, 1872.

    Edouard Manet, Bouquet of Violets, 1872.

    Impressionist Still Life

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    465 Huntington Avenue
    February 17–June 9, 2002

    The Phillips Collection
    1600 21st Street NW
    September 22, 2001–January 13, 2002

    Curators have lately been slicing the blockbusting Impressionists from every thematic angle: horse races, portraits, cityscapes, Mediterranean views. Now we find out what happens when a vision predicated on a thousand points of changing light collides with inert objects on a tabletop. The range of answers gathered together by Eliza E. Rathbone and George T.M. Shackelford is as varied as the roster of artists, which includes Courbet and Morisot, Bazille and Cassatt, Renoir and van Gogh, and is sure to make us look as hard at the objects chosen as the ways they are painted. Expect everything from empty bird’s nests and a langouste à la Parisienne to a pyramid of jawless skulls. Impressionism keeps getting harder to pin down.

  • Richard Tuttle, Overlap, A9, 2000.

    Richard Tuttle, Overlap, A9, 2000.

    Richard Tuttle, In Parts, 1998–2001

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
    25 Harbor Shore Drive
    December 8, 2001–February 10, 2002

    Richard Tuttle, master of the deceptively slight hand, used to be overlooked amid late-twentieth-century isms. Now, midcareer, he has our full attention. For this exhibition, Tuttle and curator Ingrid Schaffner bring together recent works shown in the US, Switzerland, and Italy (including two pyramid-shaped paintings fresh from the Venice Biennale). Despite Tuttle’s eye for detail, he never loses sight of the whole: Seen en masse, these works combine to explore the nature of lines, both narrative and graphic. The installation of the exhibition is dictated by the innovative catalogue (which includes a collaboration with poet Charles Bernstein), reversing the normal order of things.