With our reviews, we lead the discussion about what is valuable and why.
Our writing team covers exhibitions and performances in Philadelphia and elsewhere. We also cover books and movies. We look, take notes, ask questions and listen. We take pictures, make video and audio recordings. We think about what we see and have opinions. And we write our hearts out, every day.
Works by two painters with different sensibilities and subjects but similar color choices have a great conversation at the University City Arts League. Ilana Napoli gets in on the conversation and tells you about it in her review. The show closes today (March 24) at 5PM. Run over and see it!Read More
Donald Hunt revisits an artist he loves, José James, whose performance at the intimate club, the Foundry, surprised with the artist doing an impassioned and political rap turn in addition to his beloved R+B songs from the post-election-inspired album, ‘Love in a Time of Madness.’Read More
Michael Lieberman encounters archival performance art from the streets of the world and wonders about contemporary humans fixated on their cellphones and whether we are growing a population of cyber-flâneurs who are not really connected to the streets at all.Read More
Chip Schwartz ruminates on a group exhibition that parodies a birthday party. The morose and irony-tinged paintings and sculptural objects suggest the artists have long since taken off the rose-tinted glasses of childhood.Read More
Artblog’s newest contributor, Ephraim Russell, writes about a highly-researched and thought-provoking exhibition by Tyler Kline, that asks how and whether art can respond to present-day technological advances that are changing our environment and may be changing our very humanity.Read More
In Unwritten Wills, Nandini Chirimar uses still life drawings explore the themes of memory and loss. The objects profiled in these works belong to Chirimar’s late father and her nanny, before they both passed away within a span of a year in 2015. Through these meticulous illustrations the artist has formed an intimate connection with her father and nanny’s life histories. The creative decision to present some of these personal items in their original form, like one of the metal trunks and its contents belonging to her nanny, alongside their two-dimensional renderings in pencil made me feel like I was sharing in a tangible and immediate experience with the departed. The artist transforms the solitary, contemplative act of drawing itself into an act of commemoration and remembrance of her departed loved ones.Read More
Art made of “trash” is a concept that has both political and social meaning in Material Memory. As the product of Olanrewaju (Lanre) Tejuoso’s time at The Village of Arts and Humanity’s SPACES residency, Material Memory represents several firsts for the organization. It is first time a SPACES artist’s residency has aimed to provide an intangible (rather than concrete) social impact, and the first one that has resulted in an exhibition.Read More
LA is full of oddities, inevitable in a sprawl so expansive and diverse–Halpern’s eye has the ability to make the native seem alien and vice-versa. An image of a smoldering brush fire on a rocky slope, for example, seems pedestrian. Elsewhere, a woman outfitted stylishly in white fur, with jarring, raccoon-eyed makeup seems dropped to earth from space. But, captured in Halpern’s close-up style, she is as believable as the next person on the street.Read More
Moving between Dawoud Bey’s Harlem, USA, and Shawn Theodore’s The Church of Broken Pieces, both currently on view at the African American Museum of Philadelphia, is like shifting between worlds. Bey’s photos depict the streets and people of Harlem in the 1970s, a place that to us in 2017 seems like a lost world, his use of traditional documentary black-and-white photography enhancing that sense of distance. Theodore’s larger-than-life, staged street portraits are less documentary than metaphysical or theatrical, evoking a mysterious future through the drama of the set-piece in the street.Read More
The Hirshhorn exhibition, curated by Mika Yoshitake, is serious and respectful of the artist, even if it overemphasizes the more spectacular work, and it accommodates an intimidating number of visitors with well thought-out and executed logistics. It offers those unfamiliar with Kusama an introduction to her world, and will undoubtedly leave everyone wanting more.Read More
These tessellated paintings are naturalistic by an abstractly-expressive-mimetic process, a reconciliation of the human creative impulse with the superior natural forces of creation that encompass it. In other words, Whitten’s work seems to be at an ethereal place, where art production rhymes with the ebb of creation at its highest state.Read More
Spain is not a country that I immediately associate with either historical or avant-garde animation, so I was curious–what is Spanish animation, and what makes it distinctly Spanish? Will these films be interesting for normal people who aren’t obsessed with Spain like I am, or will my boyfriend resent me for dragging him out to see obscure Spanish short animations on a Friday night?Read More
Fjord’s gallery is brimming with Freedman’s assorted colorful papier mâché and found object sculptures that exist in constant dialogue with his ideas, stories, and sketches; they are the physical manifestations of his ceaseless cerebral exercises.Read More
Descendants of trash pickers and connoisseurs of the found object, wearing overalls and hard hats, and “interrupting the waste stream,” the RAIR artists turn trash into artwork of one sort or another, and challenge our perceptions of the discarded.Read More