Posts By alison mcmenamin


5 into 1 – Fresh work from new graduates of Philadelphia art colleges at Moore College of Art and Design

–>Alison tells us why 5 into 1 is a show worth seeing.  The recent graduates from some of the city’s art schools — she calls them the most emerging of the emerging — demonstrate their chops at sculpture, painting, video and installation.—the artblog editors—————————> The annual Spring exhibition 5 into 1, created by Philadelphia Sculptors fourteen years ago and curated this year by Adam Mazur, draws together work by students newly graduated from the city’s five art schools—Moore, PAFA, Penn, Tyler and UArts.  With its timing at the end of the school year, 5 into 1 is one of the first opportunities for ... More » »


Wind Challenge ends season with strong showings by Elizabeth Hamilton, Jake Kehs and Julianna Foster

—With this exhibit, the Wind Challenge proves again its importance as a proving ground for emerging artists, as Alison tells us below.–the artblog editors——————->The third and final installment of this year’s Wind Challenge at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial includes work by Elizabeth Hamilton, Jake Kehs, and Julianna Foster. The three artists were chosen among 247 applicants for the juried exhibition that was created over 20 years ago to highlight local talent. Elizabeth Hamilton’s work is comprised of humble gestures. Whether using thread to mend broken dishes or attaching fake flowers to photographs of neighbors’ front lawns, she adopts ... More » »


Abstraction and Pop in colored thread and tape – Anne Lindberg and Mark Khaisman at Pentimenti

A fascination with color and materials unites Anne Lindberg’s and Mark Khaisman’s solo shows at Pentimenti. Using colored thread (Lindberg) and colored packing tape (Khaisman), the artists create bold works that draw from the history of Pop Art and Minimalism.   From a distance Anne Lindberg’s thread drawings in Chroma resemble paintings. But these studies of color are composed of vertical threads sewn into paper. Of the artist’s seven pieces, two are entirely composed of black threads. By varying their thickness and spacing, Lindberg is able to create different shades of gray and black.  One of these works even follows the gradation ... More » »


The Search for Dispravosláviye – Rob Matthews and Shanna Waddell tackle the idea of the cult at Tiger

In The Search for Dispravosláviye at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Shanna Waddell and Rob Matthews are thinking about belief systems. Waddell’s works are focused on sixties’ counter culture and cult groups that exploited the cultural revolution. For Rob Matthews, it’s a questioning of dogmatic beliefs and skepticism toward certain religious practices. The show curated by TSA member Rubens Ghenov is on view until January 27. Shanna Waddell draws inspiration from sixties’ psychedelia. In her Medicine Cabinet Altarpiece series, she uses a jarring, fluorescent palette to represent the radical counter culture and its utopian promise. In the two works from the series ... More » »

Eric Porter, Insulation, Giclee Print, 17.5" x 26", Courtesy of LG Tripp Gallery

FOCUS on abstract photography at LG Tripp

The FOCUS is on abstract photography at LG Tripp through January 12. It’s the fifth year that the gallery, better known for showing abstract painting, is holding its annual abstract photography exhibition. Each year FOCUS invites seven artists who are thinking about photography’s material qualities and its potential to work abstractly. Of the artists represented this year, Jennie Barrese and Ken Cushman are New York-based, while the remaining artists are all local. Mounted in shadow boxes, Johanna Inman’s close-up views of old books resemble objects. With their paper surfaces hidden behind glass, it isn’t immediately clear if they are photographs ... More » »

Euphoria, For the Rev, No. 2, oil on canvas, 60" x 72", Courtesy of Schmidt Dean Gallery

Animal stand-ins for humans – Kate Javens’ Euphoria at Schmidt Dean

It’s not surprising that Kate Javens chooses animals to represent humans. With their rich, symbolic meaning, animals allow Javens to convey qualities other than physical appearance. Javens’ series of animal portraits, Euphoria, is a memorial to Harlem community organizer Reverend Linnette C. Williamson, who is portrayed by elephants in five of the show’s nine works. In “Euphoria, For the Rev, No. 1″ and its mirror image “No.2“, painted in a cooler palette, an elephant is depicted with its mouth open and trunk flung in the air, expelling noise.  As a preacher and vocal advocate for her Harlem community, the image ... More » »


New Work and Then Some at Space 1026

Longtime friends Rob Sato, Ryohei Tanaka, and Ako Castuera reunite with their show New Work and Then Some curated by Kris Chau at Space 1026. Like many artist cohorts, their works also share an affinity. The three bodies of work on view until October 26 possess an otherworldly quality and supernatural strength. Los Angeles-based artist Rob Sato creates fantastical scenes of chaos and destruction. These imaginary realms often incorporate futuristic elements and suggest a military state. In the watercolor painting “Cache”, hovering compartments take the shape of a robot. The purpose of these hovering cubes is ambiguous, but they suggest ... More » »


Amass – The cosmic cosmetic sponges of Margery Amdur at Projects Gallery

Before I went to see Margery Amdur’s wall assemblages in Amass at Projects Gallery, I saw a few images of the work — made with untold numbers of cosmetic sponges —  on the gallery’s website. The works photograph beautifully, and in person, they live up to these images. They’re intricate, with each cosmetic sponge working to build a complex form. Layered with dry pastel, each sponge is filled with rich, saturated color. With their organic quality, the wall assemblages recall rock formations and coral reefs. In more simple constructions, they’re building blocks and have a child-like exuberance. Able to hold ... More » »

Jay Muhlin, “Elif, waterfall”, 2012, Archival Inkjet Print, 30”x40”

Third Annual Photography Competition at PPAC – surrealism is alive and well

There are a lot of winners in The Philadelphia Photo Art Center’s 3rd Annual Photography Competition. With work from forty-four artists, the juried exhibition spans the PPAC gallery and the Crane building’s first floor hallway. The show is a mixed bag of photographic styles, with documentary photography and work that has been manipulated either digitally or is physically dominating. With its rainbow stripes, the Stoli Vodka rug in Alan Charlesworth’s “Rocks Bar” is a blatant marketing pitch at the gay community. The incorporation of the rainbow background can be seen as a sign of growing cultural recognition. However, Stoli’s declaration ... More » »

Giovanni Casadei, “Ferris Wheel”, oil on board, 9 x 11 inches, Courtesy of Gross McLeaf Gallery

The good old summertime – Wish You Were Here at Gross McCleaf

It’s summer at Gross McCleaf, and many of the artists are working in the style of en plein air painting. Landscape dominates Wish You Were Here, a show of twenty-two artists on view until July 27. Following the late nineteenth century tradition, the artists focus on the season’s natural light. While it is unclear if the paintings were actually composed in nature, it is obvious that each of the artists is fascinated by the changing character of light and with the elements of air and water. Giovanni Casadei’s “Ferris Wheel,” captures the atmosphere of the seashore. The boardwalk and amusement ... More » »

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