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.
“The Keeper,” the recently closed multi-floor exhibition at New York City’s New Museum, seeks to unravel the mystery of compulsive artistic creation and collection. The show comprises a wide range of media, including sculpture, paintings, illustrations, and photographs. It also includes a smattering of non-art objects, such as clothes, rocks, and found objects. According to an estimate by Artnet, the exhibition showcases over half a million objects by 30 artists and collectors.Read More
You might not think of a library as a concert venue, but on September 14 the Free Library hosted a rollicking rhythm-fest of a concert. Philadelphia-based percussionist Pablo Batista and his 7-piece Latin Jazz Ensemble played to a packed house on the beautiful 4th floor west-facing skylight room as the sun set over the city skyline.Read More
Mierle Laderman Ukeles is a visionary whose work over the past 45 years has enlarged both the form and content of the art of our time. While revered among artists interested in feminism, performance art, social practice, and institutional critique, and a significant influence on two younger generations of artists, many of whom may not recognize her name, her work has not achieved the broad renown it deserves until now.Read More
Having seen all of the new operas presented by Opera Philadelphia in the past few years, Breaking The Waves is the best one out of the pack. It’s touching story, memorable score and libretto, and daring staging (the first opera I’ve ever seen with nude scenes!) make for a resounding contemporary American opera that will have a long life.Read More
The works of emerging/mid career artists, Amber Johnston, Brian Richmond and Michelle Marcuse in the current Fleisher Wind Challenge Exhibition represent a small sampling by these notable Philadelphia artists. But a sense of their chosen direction is evident.Read More
Jonathan Monaghan, the New York-based artist, exhibited his series of digital collages that mix Manhattan architecture with 5th Avenue luxury sofas, divans, and love seats in a questioning survey of our cities and sense of reality. At his exhibition at the beautiful gallery 22,48 m2 in Paris, Monaghan seeks to literally open a window on the myth of our cities, the notion of luxury and the dreamscape of our fantasy, echoing the sense of longing and mystery Italo Calvino speaks of in his Invisible Cities.Read More
Notes of a Native Song (title inspired from Baldwin’s non-fiction book, Notes of a Native Son), is a 90-minute song cycle with theatrical elements created by Tony-award winner Stew (composer, text) and Heidi Rodewald (composer) to showcase the impact of Baldwin’s life and work.Read More
For audience members, the experience of “Room 21” felt like the musical equivalent to taking in the heterogeneous groups of artworks hung on the walls of the museum, creating juxtapositions that resonate in unexpected ways and prompting reflection on the connections and tensions among different cultural and artistic traditions.Read More
Overall, Gilli’s performance articulated a complexity that was welcome and it did so within a project space that promises more interesting interventions. What was distinctive about the performance was its staging of the artist’s thought process in a moment of its development.Read More
Together, the paint box, palette, and paintbrush reminded me of the relics of saints–the remains of holy men and women, or the objects, earth, or clothing that came in contact with them during their lives. Too precious for human hands to touch, too powerful to stay buried in the ground (or archive), they can only be accessed through the containers that surround them. The saint’s (or artist’s) power is manifested by his ability to produce miracles through his relics. With His Study of Life, Orellana offers us the possibility of a sort of post-modern miracle, making a tongue-in-cheek yet deeply serious exploration of the religion of art, and of the ghost in the machine.Read More
You don’t have to be a dog or cat lover (indeed I am not); you don’t have to be a Philadelphian; you don’t have to know anything about the artist’s past or present personal or professional life; you don’t have to know anything about her politics or her activism (or her pets); you don’t even have to know anything about art to enjoy When You Wish, Sarah McEneaney’s exhibition of 16 new works now up at the stately Locks Gallery. There is nothing esoteric, mysterious, pretentious, assuming, conceptual, or even symbolic about this collection of McEneaney’s work.Read More
Judith Stein’s 20-year labor of love, the book “Eye of the Sixties,” came out this summer and it’s great. The biography follows the life of enigmatic gallerist, Richard Bellamy, from his rise from college dropout/lost boy/self-taught poet and art lover in the 1950s to the global tastemaker he had become in the 1960s and 70s to his death in 1998 at age 70.Read More
As someone who knows and has seen these artists develop their practice, I find many artistic commonalities and formal intersections in the show. In the pairings on view in the multi-room space at Vox, the strongest is undoubtedly the collaboration between Alber and Caponera. PLAYDATE #3 is the work of five months of teamwork, planning, and camaraderie.Read More