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Posts By ben meyer

Peter Tsokas, Fish Collage, 11.25 x 14.5 in., mixed media

Outsider 1 – Art from the Center for Creative Works at Bluestone Gallery

Sculptures by blind, autistic artist Cindy Gosselin are acutely affecting representations of emotion from a reality without visual information. “Fish Collage” by artist Peter Tsokas, who does not speak and is autistic, broadcasts an immediate experiential sensation of an underwater world conveyed to the viewer via a powerful imagination. Both artists are included in Outsider 1 at Bluestone Fine Arts Gallery. The exhibit showcases artists studying at the Center for Creative Works in Wynnewood, a school for developmentally disabled adult artists. The students’ exuberant and unique visual works range from colorful portrayals to abstract and complicated expressions of moments, sensations and ... More » »

Judith Schumacher, Whites 7 x 3, hydrocal and steel

Woodmere’s 71st Annual Juried Exhibition – a mixed bag that skews suburban

Some of the best pieces on display at the Woodmere Art Museum’s 71st Annual Juried Exhibition are paintings using broad splashes of color to ignite the eye’s attention. This exhibition, juried by Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art instructor Alex Kanevsky, includes several sculptures and mixed-media works, but it’s the drawings and paintings that attempt new spins on realistic or traditional styles that stand out amongst this selection. Arcenio Martin Campos  has two oils on display, both of figures rolling into free splashes of exuberant paint. Sterling Shaw’s enjoyable acrylic “Congested” and “Grapes” both use engaging coloration and play with light ... More » »

Gallery photos courtesy of Tiger Strikes Asteroid.

Things fall apart – A collection On Loan at Tiger Strikes Asteroid

Entering Tiger Strikes Asteroid’s current show is like going into the parlor of some half-cracked, old art collector. The mixed-media works on display in On Loan, which was curated by TSA member Nora Salzman, have been arranged into a harmonious concord that’s almost as interesting from a curatorial perspective as the works are themselves. The domestic theme common in the works — like the stack of mens’ undershirts, wallpaper on one wall, rocking chair, porcelain dishware, and decorative figurines – adds to the living room feel. But the homely exterior is undermined by pervasive elements of decay or decomposition that ... More » »

Antony Gormley, Clasp II, 2010. Steel, 75 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 14 1/8 in, on display in the Phillips collection. Courtesy of antonygormley.com

Spiritual energy: Jasper Johns and Antony Gormley at Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection

Jasper Johns and Antony Gormley have both reached a rare, almost unbelievable degree of fame for living artists, although in two different ways. After five decades of work, Johns, who was once featured as a character in The Simpsons back in the ’90s, seems to be a household name. The cartoon version of Johns was depicted stealing slices of bread, coat hangers, and a lightbulb from an art gallery. Gormley, on the other hand, is mega-famous in the art world only, renowned in the United States and his native U.K for his sculpture work, but otherwise easily reducible to “the ... More » »

“Super Mik,” Hiba Schahbaz; gouache and watercolor on wasli, 7 x 6 in.

Tradition braided with ritual in distinctive drawings and video at Twelve Gates Gallery

A unique blend of hard, traditional definitions and soft ambiguities are to be found in the work of Menaka Gopalan and Hiba Schabaz, currently on show at Twelve Gates in Old City to July 15. While the three short films by Gopalan use images of culture like artifacts in a variably personal and historical dynamic, Schabaz works in the 500-year-old tradition of the Persian miniature to create contemporary portraits and quasi-traditional still-lifes. Gopalan identifies her work as diving into the meaning of rituals and spectacles to investigate or annihilate them while searching for an inner meaning. The repetitions of figures ... More » »

Twins, Sean Robert Fitzgerald, oil paint on canvas

In Celebration of the Barnes – Young artists at the new CSA Gallery

Within spitting distance of the new Barnes Foundation on the Parkway the new CSA Gallery on Callowhill Street is displaying a range of mixed-media art works by eight young artistic voices responding to the Barnes’ infusion of artistic energy into Philadelphia.  In Celebration of the Barnes ranges from pieces incorporating rust and woven fabric to geometric and organic paintings.  Throughout, the exuberant, fresh patterns contrast with unruly splatters and strokes of color. The passionate brush strokes and rich colors in many pieces here feel like they spring from a tradition that follows in the footsteps of artists like Goya, Seurat, and ... More » »

“The Cave’s Mouth,” archival pigment print

A journey through ‘Pangaea Ultima’ at Slingluff Gallery

A rejuvenated natural world of flora and fauna in the post-human future is presented in Pangaea Ultima, a series of digitally manipulated photographs by Philadelphia artist Nick Pedersen currently up at the Slingluff Gallery. Just as dinosaurs existed at a time when the earth had only one super-continent, dubbed Pangaea, some scientists project that the continuous shifting of tectonic plates will eventually bring the earth’s continents back together to form a new, giant land-mass, “Pangaea ultima,” some 250 million years into the future. Pedersen’s work is a visual interpretation of this idea, where bears, vultures, cats, and bison thrive and ... More » »

“I See You” – Alyssa Johnson

The aesthetics of data at Little Berlin

In the short story, “The Library of Babel,” Jorge Luis Borges describes an infinite library of books containing every possible permutation of the letters of the alphabet, where librarians move endlessly from chamber to chamber reading texts and searching for meaning. The overwhelming volume of information easily available in the modern, digital era has virtually reached the chaotic tumult of words described by Borges, and seems to have affected each of the eight Philadelphia artists exhibited in Database, currently up at Little Berlin. The mixed-media show based on curator Angela McQuillan’s prompt to create a work based on the visualization ... More » »

Ululation #3, 24 x 34 x 1 in., mylar, paper, 2012

Milk Drunk and Down and Out the Rabbit Hole – Jacque Liu and Shane McAdams at Pentimenti Gallery

Jacque Liu’s show Milk Drunk, currently up at Pentimenti gallery, is titled after a comment about the artist’s newborn son made by a nurse. True to this theme, the works on display evoke an amorphous, rich, pre-lingual state of consciousness. Liu’s works in this show include folded drawings somewhat reminiscent of the work of Agnes Martin, mylar constructions, and object installations. The use of translucent mylar in drawings and constructions adds to the ephemeral nature of Liu’s work, giving pieces a soft aura and altering and cloaking of more traditional colors. Likewise, folds and buttons on the mylar works imply specific ... More » »

"Acreage" by Jenna Weiss

Investigating Provisional Art in Kensington’s Fjord Gallery

Using careful compositions that are deceptively simple but engage the viewer on many levels, Considering the Provisional at Fjord Gallery explores the aesthetics of “provisional art.” With work by eight young painters from New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Oakland, the exhibit was partly put together in response to a May, 2009, piece by Raphael Rubinstein in Art in America magazine. Rubinstein caused a stir by identifying provisional art as a new theoretical approach to aesthetics.  The provisional art premise has since been adopted for a show of contemporary work at Modern Art, London. Now, Philadelphia co-curators Liam Holding and Sean Robert ... More » »

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