Office of Public Affairs

9/26/19 — USM Art Galleries presents "Contemporary Responses to Modernism: A New England Perspective"


Press Contacts:
Danielle Vayenas, USM Director of Communications, 207-780-4150, 207-239-5715 (cell)

Maureen Puia, PR/Event Promotions Associate, 207-780-4200

USM Art Department Contact:
Carolyn Eyler, Director of Exhibitions & Programs, 207-780-5008 

*Images available here.

USM Art Galleries presents "Contemporary Responses to Modernism: A New England Perspective" 

GORHAM, Maine --  "Contemporary Responses to Modernism: A New England Perspective," will open with a reception on Thursday, Oct 10, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m, at the USM Art Gallery on the Gorham Campus. The exhibition curator, Joanna Fink, director of the Alpha Gallery in Boston, will present a gallery talk at 6:00 p.m. at the reception. 

The modernist movements of the first half of the 20th century radicalized Western art and continue to provide reference points for artists working today. The artists in this exhibition engage with the past in their own contemporary language, whether embracing the concept of movements such as Cubism or Expressionism, paying homage to specific masters, or challenging notions of who owns the canon. 

While the practice of engaging with Modernism is widespread, the focus here is on artists based in New England; several artists in the show have ties to Maine.

“It is said that all art was once contemporary. Artists break from and take from what has come before them. In our time, the art that we consider contemporary exists in dialogue with the modernist movements that forged new concepts of the possible,“ said Joanna Fink, director of the Alpha Gallery in Boston. 

Participating artists: Martha Armstrong, Ben Aronson, Gideon Bok, Sascha Braunig, Bernard Chaet, Susanna Coffey, Aaron Fink, Jon Imber, Dinorá Justice, David Kapp, György Kepes, Kayla Mohammadi, Jim Ritchie, Ann Weber. 

The exhibit will run through Sunday, December 8, (closed November 27-31). For USM Art Gallery hours, visit the USM Art Galleries webpage.

The USM Visiting Artist Series is sponsored in part by the Warren Memorial Foundation, continuing their multiple generous gifts to support the arts at USM for the 2019-2020 season.


Situated in Maine’s economic and cultural center, the University of Southern Maine (USM) is a public university with 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students taking courses online and at campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn. Known for its academic excellence, student focus and engagement with the community, USM provides students with hands-on experience that complements classroom learning and leads to employment opportunities in one of the nation’s most desirable places to live.