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.
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
Hornick wants to take us on a voyage through the collection that is both physical and spiritual, asking us to participate in her own mystical and shamanic experience of the paintings and sculptures of the Barnes.Read More
The five nominees for short live action films showing at the Ritz at the Bourse don’t waste much time getting down to business, starting with the French entry, “Ennemis Interieurs,” directed by Selim Azzazi. The fictional story is set during the Algerian civil war (1991-2002) and at a time when French citizens on French soil were being targeted by terrorists. The two main characters of the film, known simply as the Applicant and the Interrogator (both from Algeria), enact an interview for French citizenship. If you ever have been through an interview for citizenship in the west–and I am speaking from experience–there aren’t too many pleasant moments in which you feel like you are welcome during the interrogation about your background, name, or religion.Read More
With the charming exception of Disney-Pixar’s avian mini-adventure, “Piper,” this year’s Oscar nominees for best animated short film is a mixed bag of tales of whimsy, nostalgia, coming-of-age, tragedy, and personal loss. Whether it’s an existential crisis of a girl in “Blind Vaysha” or the unrequited affection and generosity of a friend in “Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” all nominees offer a personal vision and emotional subtlety that vary in tone, style, subject and inspiration.Read More
The absurdities that Magritte quietly broadcast are possible in this and any universe; meaning, one realizes, is ultimately in flux. But Berger and Magritte charge the viewer with the responsibility of working out the real, and ultimately that which is critical and consequential. How to do that, how to decode reality? Perhaps only with our greatest tool and its full arsenal of flavors: language. Language, which got us in trouble to begin with.Read More
Art that wants to be small – how intriguing. But isn’t it a strange notion, one that you would probably not consider unless you were thinking about extremes of size?
I want to say that art works (or not) based upon a myriad of factors, size being only one of many. But here we have eighty-five works of art — a multiplicity of viewpoints, media and materials – that actually work well together and, for reasons that I think are idiosyncratic, want to be small.Read More
By controlling the atomizer, the thing that makes paint into microscopic droplets, the street artists were fighting the atomization of modern man. It was a rebellion against the psychic colony—f–k your copy! It’s what EKG touches on his “Technologies of Human Nature,”a wall-sized hierarchical chart created on black paper with orange oil sticks. He attempts to summarize street art’s ideological foundation, when he writes “bomb the semiotosphere!”Read More
Although there were a few paintings and photos on display, the focus of Philadelphia Renaissance is the art of the collage. At first glance, the works assembled on the northern wall of the gallery appear to be similar in style and palette. But upon close scrutiny the individual signature styles of the various artists became apparent.Read More
Epic Tales from Ancient India is the thinkiest show I’ve seen here in years. It is no less than an introduction to the literature and history of India. The literature and history in the subcontinent’s various languages is concealed on the back of miniatures but this forced on me my second most favorite activity, viz., research.Read More
Entitled The Artist Need Not Suffer, the exhibition quickly forces you to wonder how tongue-in-cheek the title is. Paternoster’s work is an unsaturated foray into anxiety, self-doubt, introspection, and dissatisfaction with the human condition… all of which seems suspicious considering the title.Read More
In contrast to the typical fear associated with this day, the Daedalus Quartet embrace it wholeheartedly, using the day itself as inspiration for their sold-out concert program of mostly new works in the Penn Museum’s Chinese Rotunda (co-presented by the Penn Music Department and Bowerbird).Read More
What Kallat seeks to explore in “Covering Letter” is a near miss between two of the 20th century’s most influential minds. This juxtaposition of these two is a near-collision of worlds, east and west, right and wrong, peace and war. One had spoken and maybe one had listened. The viewer is left with this—what could have been, what could be.Read More
The film captures the mood of sorrow and pain, and the quest for freedom, that has always marked the plight of the refugee, and which surely marks the tragic plight of the 65 million people who recently have been forced to leave their homes around the world. It is well worth five minutes of your emotional time.Read More
Through a slow reveal of subtle color relationships, sophisticated tonal shifts, contrasting glossy and flat surfaces, and carefully articulated edges, Belcourt masterfully explores the figure ground relationship in her paintings. This formalist play is not a new device in painting, but her commitment to this approach in an age when appropriation is ubiquitous is unique.Read More