At Mills, blood speaks volumes in art by Eagles

Blood is Jordan Eagles’s principal medium, potent with meaning and ripe for exploitation. There’s no getting lost in the artist’s forms, now on view at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Mills Gallery, and forgetting. Blood, with its messages of life and wounding, is front and center. (Eagles also has a small show at Lamontagne Gallery through Thursday.)

Eagles, based in New York, acquires cattle blood from a New Jersey slaughterhouse. He pours it into Plexiglas trays and boxes, which give the works their structure. His pieces — part painting, part sculpture — rely on process: how the blood is poured, and sometimes dried, and sealed in coats of clear resin. Visually, it’s a breathtakingly versatile substance.

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British artist Marc Quinn famously froze his own blood into a bust of his head. Austrian Hermann Nitsch used it in feverish-sounding performances that referenced crucifixion and ritual sacrifice.

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