The latest show on the main floor of the Bates Museum of Art in Lewiston is stunningly beautiful. Artist Lalla Essaydi in "Les Femmes du Maroc" combines photography with Arabic calligraphy to present her decidedly non-romanticized vision of Arab women using poses corresponding to the familiar 19th century paintings of Ingres, Delacroix and others. Each picture has a clarity, symmetry and tonal consistency that seem just right for the subjects. The exhibit in total has a resonance that serves to amplify the wonder of each picture.
The Landscapes of Maine show on the lower floor at Bates contrasts 19th century works by Delbert Dana Combs with more modern works by Maine artists such as Weliver (above right), Thon and Babb. My preference leaned toward the modern and the works on display were a very good cross-section. Both shows end December 18th and if you have the opportunity, it is time well spent.