Posts By roberta

beach blanket and line on floor

Sketches from California have a lot of spit and polish at Fjord

[Roberta encounters the beach, some seals playing in a fountain, landscapes and kitsch in a group show at Fjord. — the artblog editors) The word sketches usually means quick, fresh, unfinished.  For Sketches from California, a group show of works by artists from the UC San Diego graduate art program, artist and curator Frankie Martin specifically asked for and got works that are quick and fresh.  But to this viewer, the pieces look as finished as a lot of what passes for finished these days.  There’s spit and polish in the videos, drawings, and installations and thoughts or thought-fragments that make ... More » »

garden gnome inside

Special happening at Roth opening at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery last night

[Roberta sees a surprise performance at a gallery opening last night. -- the artblog editors] The exhibit Roth opened last night at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery.  In addition to the group show — which celebrates the first Dieter Roth exhibit at the University of the Arts in 1966 and which is great — the new floors, newly-flattened interior wall (remember that circular wall?) and spiffed up ceiling in the gallery bring the gallery’s infrastructure nicely into the 21st century! Speaking of walls, this happened last night. The piece is by Erwin Wurm and it’s called Theory of Painting, 2007/2014, instruction drawing. I am ... More » »

black paper sculpture on a pedestal.

Begin Where You Are at the Icebox – A great chunky Philadelphia roundup

[Roberta gets reminded of a previous show when she sees Begin Where You Are, a generous gift to the Philadelphia community. -- the artblog editors] In 2002, Jeremiah Misfeldt curated an emerging artist show,  Greater Philadelphia, which happened at around the same time as MoMA-PS1’s inaugural Greater New York and was clearly a response — take that New York.  Jeremiah was then acting Exhibition Coordinator at Moore College of Art and Design, and the show was in both the Paley and Levy Galleries at Moore. Greater Philadelphia was excellent — big, rowdy, and unexpected. And it affirmed for me what I had been ... More » »

the public library

Book review — How do we love thee, public library? Robert Dawson counts the ways

[Roberta reviews a photographer's attempt to document American public libraries. The resulting tome provides a good public service for all. -- the artblog editors] Dawson’s citizen-archiving Robert Dawson‘s photo book, The Public Library, is a wonderful example of citizen-archiving. Dawson is not an academic; he’s a photographer and a library-lover, and his 192-page hardcover book trumpets its library love with straightforward joy and ownership, like a volunteer marching band playing a Sousa march in your neighborhood Fourth of July parade. The many color and black-and-white photos taken by the photographer over the last 18 years of traveling around the US are great. ... More » »


About a Boyhood

Roberta goes to the movies and sees a great piece of ensemble acting in a warm, human story. In the almost three hours Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood takes to tell the story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from age five to eighteen, the haircuts change, and the pop music of the background does too. But the kid and his just folks family, living their pretty darned normal Texas lives, stay normal and true. Their lives are chronicled with such quiet and intimate storytelling that by the end they feel like friends. Boyhood (IMDB, Wikipedia) is outside the recent Hollywood tradition of family portrayals.  This is not a movie that is hijacked by 1) an ... More » »

Kirk McCarthy, detail of grouping on shelf

June in Chinatown – Great member shows at Vox, raucous New Dreamz at Space 1026 and more!

I saw a bunch of good things this June, including performance, video and a wonderful installation by Kirk McCarthy at TandM Gallery on the 4th floor of the Vox building. Here’s my brief overview. Libby and I were out First Friday but because things were running late, we were too, so we only saw two things –  the 5 into 1 show at Moore (very good – congratulations to all the graduates in the show, including artblog contributors, Lucy Heurich and Veronica Perez!) and the New Dreamz performance at Space 1026 (amazing, brave and funny, with moments of eye-rolling silliness). ... More » »

3711 Melon St., Mantua, with its crown of flowers

Funeral for a Home – The importance of a symbolic act

The funeral I attended May 31, 2014, was as much symbol as real — a community forum about a neighborhood’s past and hoped-for future as well as an emotion-charged good-bye. The Funeral for a Home began a year ago Funeral for a Home, or more colloquially, Memorial Home Going Service, was the culmination of a year-long community project of Temple Contemporary and the Dufala Brothers, which invited the art world and the public and the community of Mantua to study the loss of housing in that neighborhood and its cost to the neighbors and to the city. With discussion sessions, a ... More » »

The first meeting of the Faculty Advisors to the ASR Program. We met at Slought.  In this picture, counterclockwise from the left, Dona Nelson, Maeve Coudrelle, Aaron Levy, Jonathan Wallis, Donald Hunt and Angela Wang

Meet artblog’s new Artist and Social Responsibility program!

Last night, we met with a big group of Knight Arts Challenge winners and representatives of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation at a celebration where Knight announced a batch of 19 new grants to Philadelphia’s performing and visual arts organizations and artists.  The event at the Kimmel Center Roof Garden featured lovely short speeches by Knight Vice President for Arts, Dennis Scholl, and Knight Philadelphia Program Director, Donna Frisbee Greenwood.  There was also a performance by the cabaret group Bearded Ladies, and a lot of happy people hugging and taking pictures. And here’s the big news: artblog is ... More » »

Richard Renaldi, The Big Top, Geneva, Ohio (2012)

New York Roundup – Photos, jazz and mobs on the Highline

(Roberta goes to New York and sees a bunch of good things –the artblog editors) It’s always good to have a list, and between mine, Steve’s and my sister Cate’s, we saw a lot last weekend.  Much of it was good but there were some things we rolled our eyes at, and of course we only scratched the surface of the huge basket of goodies that is New York.  We also met up with friends, Chuck and Iris, saw a play and heard jazz.  Grey Art Gallery Cate’s list brought us to the big show Energy That is All Around, ... More » »

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, a few years back when Stella and I visited.

Happy Mardi Gras! We’re off to New York today for the Whitney Biennial and the NY Art Fairs

Andrew Jeffrey Wright has been skewering the Whitney Biennial in his recent Bananazz comics — take a look if you’ve missed them! Meanwhile, Libby and I are off to New York to see the real thing today. Lots of Philadelphia artists in the show (the late Terry Adkins, Ken Lum, Joshua Mosley, Dona Nelson), and a Philadelphia curator, Anthony Elms, of ICA.  We’ll also check out the Art Fairs – Armory Show, ADAA, Volta, Scope….  Many pictures will be forthcoming!  (Picture is from Mardi Gras in 2004, pre-Katrina, when Stella and I went down to New Orleans.)

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