KENDRA FERGUSON BLACK & WHITE & RED

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Kendra Ferguson was born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana, spent most of her adult life in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Lovvik, Norrland, Sweden and now lives and works on Deer Isle, Maine. She has exhibited extensively in significant museums, institutions and galleries in the United States and Sweden. Her awards include two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants and the Maud Morgan Prize for sculpture from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Kendra Ferguson is also accomplished in building design and renovation. Her art is in the collections of leading museums in the United States, England and Sweden including Boston Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, New York, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Henry Moore Institute, Artists' Archive, Leeds, England, Houghton Library (Philip Hofer Collection), Harvard University, Albert and Vera List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Yale University Art Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden, City of Solna Art Collection, Sweden, and Sweden's State Art Collection, Statens Konstrad, Stockholm.

Kendra Ferguson's work is also held in the private collections of such artists as Sol LeWitt and in the collections of an extensive list of international art connoisseurs. A graduate of Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Evanston, Illinois, Kendra Ferguson's early career was centered on newspapers and magazines.

You never can tell how the year will start out. Mine began by thinking of dancing class at age 12. Of imagining looking over the balcony of the elementary school I attended in Montana and watching the children, my classmates and myself, dancing down below on the glistening maple basketball court one Friday night. The small drawings, entitled Dance Class are the dance of two young people finding themselves in that sacred circle we call love. It's a delicate dance, young love, something held dear. Graceful steps in those circles. Welcoming hearts. A gentle choreography. And, thus, this exhibition opens on Valentine's Day.

I often think of the act of drawing as choreography. As Eliot said, "At the still point, there the dance is....Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance and there is only the dance."

In 1994 and 1996, I made series of red circle drawings on papers 22 inches, 6 inches and 12 3/4 inches square. The first series of 40 drawings on round papers was made during Lent in Cambridge. I thought then that the red circles formed a countenance, that I put forward a face in my work. I continued the red circle drawings in Lovvik, a small village located six hours north of Stockholm on the Gulf of Bothnia. I drew these red lines (forbindelser, connections) as we were leaving our home after nine Swedish summers a few hours south of the Arctic Circle. After the reorganization of family in Cambridge, I picked up the same 22-inch template one and a half years later and continued making red circles of aquarelle and incising more lines with agate.

What sense and peace there was for me during that period was contained in those red circles, timeless images. I found in them sacred vessels, the rim of the chalice, the sacraments, the red haloes in medieval Scandinavian paintings. Mostly, I found certainty, certainty that the end of the red circle would meet its beginning and within each red whole, I found freedom to construct new stories. With the new year, I was surprised to find papers with red circles drawn and to return to them, surprised to understand that the circles which had so occupied me long ago created unexpected associations in Maine enfolded in dance from Missoula.

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