–>Edward’s review of Diedre Murphy’s Murmurations at Painted Bride compares the landscape paintings with a part of contemporary pop culture that may surprise you. —the artblog editors————————-> Murmuration, a very evocative term for a flock of birds, also suggests the quiet voice of order that calls them into formation. Artist Deirdre Murphy‘s Murmurations, a series of paintings and graphic works on the subject, uses a cacophony of elements to describe this miraculous natural phenomenon— and manages to have a little fun in the process. The strongest works on display are six panoramic, yet relatively small, acrylic paintings. Created on boards ... More » »
Video installation has progressed greatly since the days of the chattering box in the darkened room. Jason Varone’s It Isn’t Always Going to Be This Great seamlessly integrates moving and still images in ways that might not have been possible only a few years ago. Curated by Grizzly Grizzly member Michael Konrad, the installation cleverly combines painted textures, words and some rather disturbing footage of aerial bombardment. Varone has designed a diverse yet unified show Though it comprises very different elements, Varone’s installation is singular in its unity. A pair of large snake-like forms undulates floor to ceiling and wraps ... More » »
A stone block on Girard Avenue is something to step on, but the same stone block upended inside the Rebekah Templeton gallery, also on Girard Avenue, is not. As we have known since 1917 when Marcel Duchamp first upended a urinal and placed it in a gallery, context is everything. Daniel Petraitis’s exhibition Can I Live To My Last Day uses context to make viewers rethink that which they encounter in their daily routine. This artist’s daily routine differs from most of ours in one respect: he lives on a drug corner. A Bic lighter he finds on the street ... More » »
A trip west of City Avenue is, for some Philadelphians, a detour into warp space. Although they live only minutes away, many residents of Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff’s home turf have never heard of Haverford and Bryn Mawr. Denizens of the Main Line, it would appear, are likewise ignorant of inner city culture. Urban Pop at the Main Line Art Center (March 20-April 12, 2013) proposes to bridge that gap by exhibiting work by artists who, if not of the urban core, have at least absorbed its visual vocabulary. DISTORT is, as the all-caps moniker implies, a graffiti writer. ... More » »
Hearing about photographer Ed Panar’s exhibition “Animals that Saw Me” at Tiger Strikes Asteroid (to Feb. 24) left me skeptical. How did the artist know it was the animals that saw him? Isn’t this just animal portraiture? Looking at the work and speaking to curator Jaime Alvarez cured me of my skepticism. A graduate school colleague of Panar’s at the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, Alvarez explained that Panar photographs obsessively, shooting roll after roll (yes, he still uses film), and only printing a small selection of the pictures he has taken. Panar’s photographs are really a sampling of everything he ... More » »
Richard Harrod’s latest installation A Larger Refrigerator (Marginal Utility, 1 April-28 May 2011) puts a chill on familiar interior views. The artist’s depictions of mundane spaces use a variety of tricks thwart our entry and monkey with the norms of representation. A well-known figure in the Philadelphia art scene and a widely-exhibited artist, Harrod was a recipient of the Pew Fellowship (1997) and has shown internationally. Previous work by the artist presented cobbled-together worlds in similarly disconcerting fashion.
Flying over snow-covered mountains in western Pennsylvania long ago, I was struck by the ambiguous appearance of this wintry landscape, as viewed from 30,000 feet. Was I looking at mountains—or and dunes in the desert, waves in the ocean, ripples in a pond? Chad Gerth’s urban photographs and Lydia Jenkins Musco’s constructions of urban materials [Tiger Strikes Asteriod, February 4 - 27, 2011] both explore the difficulties the eye faces in making sense of the world.
How do you make ordinary art into Black art? Surface Politics, [Salon Joose, October 8-November 20, 2010] asks that question by juxtaposing a series of works in the context of a black-owned gallery. Organizer Theodore Harris, who is well-known for his overt statements about war, religion, and politics, has invited artists of varied ages and media to participate. Harris collaborated with aesthetic philosopher Sharon Chestnut on this show; Chestnut and Harris will lead a dialogue on November 5th, 6-9 pm at the gallery, under the aegis of the Institute for Advanced Study in Black Aesthetics.
Kara Crombie’s video Mother’s Birthday [Vox Populi, October 1-31, 2010] offers a new take on the cobbled-together American family. A rag-tag collection of characters from different races and centuries offer a play-within-a-play in honor of their drunken plantation-belle of a mom. Basking in the unreal glow of computer-generated twilight, they remind us how we as Americans have come to know each other through the shallow representations of popular culture. Crombie’s ability to piece together high and low, new and old is compelling, and likely a factor that helped win her a 2010 Pew Fellowship. Along with the other artists featured ... More » »
Chris Lawrence’s installation Ultracoital Oasis at Extra Extra [September 10-28, 2010] is the work of one depraved do-it-yourselfer. The artist very effectively assembles materials of the type you find at Home Depot—but not at all according to the DIY guidebook.Next Page »