Friday, July 12, 2024

The studio portion of Brett Angell’s “Night Studio” at the 25/8 artspace in Cambridge’s Harvard Square. (Photo: Claire Ogden)

On view in the narrow windows of the 25/8 gallery in Harvard Square, “Night Studio” is a playful ode to how artists work in the dead of night, with all its creative possibility. The exhibition showcases the work of Boston’s Brett Angell, who recently exhibited his distinctive cigar box paintings at Brookline’s Praise Shadows Art Gallery.

Thanks to the gallery’s 24-hour access, viewers can enjoy the wonders of “Night Studio” long after surrounding museums closed their doors. It’s one of the most inventive uses so far of the new space, and full of small treasures. A mock studio sets the stage for the exhibition to the side. Paint brushes, sketchbooks and lamps crowd a table; the books contain sketches for many of the moon, bird and spaceship motifs that echo through the rest of the show. A jacket – presumably Angell’s – hangs on a wooden chair, as though the artist is settling in for a long night’s work.

The art from the “Night Studio.” (Photo: Claire Ogden)

Paintings dress the walls, many laden with alien and tentacle imagery. Angell even makes use of the window sills, arranging over a dozen paintings there. For such a small space, there’s a truly incredible amount of work on view –  yet it doesn’t look crowded. It’s no surprise that the salon-style hangings of Angell, a senior staff member at the MFA, are masterful. He has all the resourcefulness you’d expect from a professional exhibitions preparator, making masterful use of what’s available to him.

“Night Studio” is a must-see; and thanks to 25/8’s 24/7 hours, it’s easy to squeeze in a visit whenever your schedule allows.

The show was curated by Yutong Shi.

25/8 artspace, 2 Linden St., Harvard Square, Cambridge 

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