Boston Globe feature: At VERY gallery, ‘Transfixed’ earns its title

Painting titled Body Stare 2 by Boston University College of Fine Arts alum, Charles Suggs

Charles Suggs, “Body Stare 2”

CFA painting alum, Charles Suggs (CFA’20), was featured in the Boston Globe on December 28, 2021. By Cate McQuaid


When you run a salon-type gallery out of your studio, you can do anything you please. VERY’s proprietor, painter John Guthrie, makes audacious connections in a mesmerizing three-person exhibition, “Transfixed.”

Charles Suggs (CFA’20), a BU College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts alum, pins viewers with the fixed stare of a Black man in the monotype series “Body Stare.” The man, depicted bare from the waist up, gazes at us through sorrowful, haunted eyes filled with a vulnerability that, more than anger, held this white viewer accountable. Suggs works over each print with agitated marks that read like scars. “Body Stare” is a somber, understated counterpoint to Confederate monuments. It represents the man white supremacy has erased: humane, strong, battered. Suggs’s prints should be plastered at monument sites in the wake of their removal.

Tammi J. Meehan’s paintings hang on either side of Suggs’s prints. Thematically, they have nothing in common: Suggs depicts a figure; Meehan’s abstractions spring from her mind’s eye. But like Suggs, Meehan is a nuanced and energetic mark maker, and her ethereal paintings make a canny complement to his loving, blunt focus on the body.

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