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.
Funk music has been identified as being a particular expression of music that allows the artist to confront daily events which may have been grueling or challenging. With 2016 hopefully a distant memory to the audience, Lettuce “put the stank on” the TLA crowd–transporting them to an alternative universe where the music is groovy and fear is non-existent.Read More
Voirin, who has long photographed herself and her body, presents herself in a quiet fit of honesty. She is any woman becoming something else, someone else. It is hard not to study the process and invade her privacy. It is an intimate and public act, but a gratuitous one. It is however, an available, accessible one.Read More
From the walls of color in his series that continue throughout the Breuer, to his earlier work, the oversized snapshots, the smaller pieces that take on death, black identity in America, and his deep, painfully humorous comics, Marshall is an artist who has worked and played his way into the all-important arts conversation.Read More
The double bill at the Film Forum will take you 90 minutes. It’s a must-see 90-minutes. The documentaries on Elizabeth Murray, (“Everybody Knows…Elizabeth Murray” by Kristi Zea) and Carmen Herrera (“The 100 Year Show” by Alison Klayman) immerse you in the biographies and studio practices of two great artists who had spark and ideas, worked hard, never gave up, and are examples to us all.Read More
This past year, Jamie Newton has been making ephemeral sculptures, captured solely in photographs which are then uploaded to his Instagram account, concretewheels. His project is a year-long visual poetic diary of constructions created from nature’s golden crumbs.Read More
Fabozzi’s paintings pulsate with visual energy. He has selected a series of monuments, seeking to connect the viewer to the role and function of each one. From the British Museum in London, to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, each edifice’s original three dimensional representation seems to have dissolved into a complex pattern and two dimensional spatial play of geometric shapes, hard-edged lines, and layers of color on the canvas.Read More
Why don’t we know about Paula Modersohn-Becker? The book reveals she showed her work but a few times while she was alive, she died young at age 31, and the modernist style and nudes, made in the last year of her life, 1906, were a shock when discovered. No one quite knew what to make of her work. “Greatness” an early critic said; in the same decade of 1910s another said “odd.” This book is the first in English to give a definitive account of her life, exhibition and critical history, and art historical assessment.Read More
Sylvie Franquet’s reMembering is nothing less than a treatise on how art history has plundered the female form and women’s idle hands. Franquet’s intimate, reconfigured tapestries now on view at London’s October Gallery recall my own mother’s needlepoints of tulips and roses, little girls and blue skies–laborious forays into home decoration. Well made, but uninteresting–a condescending opinion of mine, I admit, that haunts me today. Indeed, I once asked my mother to produce a pair of text works; she acquiesced, but grudgingly, complaining, “I don’t like your conceptual works! How about a nice flower!”Read More
The approach to Napoleon’s doorway is jarring, as visitors are met by the repeat-pattern, floor-to-ceiling American flag wallpaper inside that makes the average patriotic displays at a 4th of July picnic appear like an affront to the U.S. Constitution by comparison. Numerous visitors at the First Friday opening were visibly uneasy at this unanticipated, flag-waving jingoism in their midst, but beneath the edifice lies a powerful critique.Read More
the written image. presents a thought provoking array of works which, in a variety of ways, visually examine the symbolic and conceptual complexity of words and language. The exhibition has been skillfully curated by Susanna Gold, and the presentation in her bright Bryn Mawr home, which spans a series of rooms, is refreshingly pleasant.Read More
Something about the design of the geodesic dome captures the imagination, and the evolution of the design demonstrates how certain abstractions transmogrify when released into the consciousness of a society. Johnson’s work shows us the jump from abstraction to a series of structures which seek to embody both utopian and utilitarian ideals. Geodesic domes may be an imperfect example, but Johnson’s project does capture something of the mystery surrounding the idea-to-object process, and suggests that the results are intriguingly impossible to predict.Read More
For their December 4–5 performances at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theatre, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia opened with a pair of jovial works by Gioachino Rossini (d. 1868) and Charles Gounod (d. 1893) (two composers renowned particularly for their contribution to opera), and then dedicated the rest of the program to works by living composers–including world and US premieres.Read More
This publication is the result of one of those relatively rare but exciting discoveries in the depths of a large museum’s store rooms–an album of drawings by one of the great illustrators and print designers, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Moreover, it likely corresponds to the original drawings for one of his announced, but never-printed, best-selling books of illustrations. It was billed as Master Iitsu’s Chicken-Rib Picture Book; Iitsu was one of Hokusai’s more than thirty aliases, and the term “chicken-rib” refers to a Chinese literary term for something trivial but worthwhile–like the bits of chicken left on the rib bones.Read More