Posts By sam newhouse

“Making Eyes,” installation view. Found Styrofoam packaging, magazines, toilet paper wrappers, paper and paint.

Making one out of two – Meshing art practices of Ben Will and Sarah Eberle at Grizzly Grizzly

(Sam sees the Citywide exchange show at Grizzly Grizzly in which Sarah Eberle and Ben Will colaborate for the first time on an installation that looks as harmonious as a nicely planted garden. –the artblog editors.) The show Making Eyes begs the question: is the show’s title really intended as a lovey-dovey sentiment or is it a literal reference to the creation of new modes of visual perception? The exhibit by Rebekah Templeton gallery owners and artists Sarah Eberle and Ben Will, is an installation that is part of the Citywide Initiative of exchange shows in which many alternative gallery spaces like Grizzly Grizzly and Rebekah Templeton exchanged spaces ... More » »

Alphabet Book, gloss paper/accordion binding. Each “page” is made up of letters cut out from magazines, in alphabetical order.

Reimagining lines – Ruth Scott Blackson’s woven, drawn, and manufactured pieces

The simplest ideas are often the strongest, Ruth Scott Blackson says of her artistic approach. And several works in her exhibition Line After Line, up now at 110 Church Gallery, show just how rich the results of a humble inspiration can be. Some of Blackson’s drawings, weavings, collages and objects resemble the complex Op art of Philadelphia’s Edna Andrade, while others have the labor-intensive heft of a Vija Celmins  piece, but Blackson’s works possess a playful spirit that is all her own, and which may come from her background in performance and video art. A bookbinder by trade, Blackson has recently begun to move away from ... More » »

From “Faces of Independence: Liberty Resources 30th Anniversary Project”

Philly photographer Harvey Finkle schools Penn law students on the art of protest

(Sam takes in a roundtable discussion at University of Pennsylvania about activism and art and hears Harvey Finkle talk about his activist photographs, which speak loudly of people in protest over civil and human rights.–the artblog editors) The words and work of social worker turned photographer Harvey Finkle were perhaps the most valuable lesson offered at the recent day-long round table on “visual legal advocacy” held at the University of Pennsylvania law school. “Preparing to Protest: Direct Action, The Arts of Protest and Media Impact,” organized by Professor Regina Austin, featured Finkle as a panelist. Law students learned how protest ... More » »

The Noble Amateur, installation view.

Enlightenment man – Lewis Colburn’s The Noble Amateur at Napoleon

(Sam reviews Lewis Colburn’s recently-closed show at Napoleon gallery, with work that raises issues about the role of the artist in society.) The works of Lewis Colburn defy easy categorization, but they are generally concerned with storytelling and conceptions of history and truth; and Colburn seems to see art as a playful way to stimulate viewers’ imaginations. His latest installation, The Noble Amateur, presses deceptions on the viewer, such as man-made works that mimic natural growth, and hand-made pieces that resemble found objects, but noticing these tricks is part of the fun. The artist recently joined the member gallery, Napoleon, and this month the gallery ... More » »

Yoko Ono/John Lennon, Rape, film.

Crimes and misdemeanors – No Bingo for Felons at Arcadia University

(Sam’s sees work inspired by crime, criminality and the grip that violence has on our imaginations in a show at Arcadia University Art Gallery.–the artblog editors) No Bingo for Felons at Arcadia University explores the parallels between artistic acts and legal transgression. Guest curated by Julian Hoeber and Alix Lambert,  the exhibit includes portrayals of guns, bombs, police officers and crime scenes. With works by Honore Daumier, Yoko Ono, Zoe Strauss, and Dirk Skreber, among many others, the show takes a satirical perspective towards the legal system and forms of authority. But it is unclear whether this show ever answers it’s proposed ... More » »

Sarah Peoples, Tree, wood chips, glue, paint and nylon flocking

Absurd and abstract experimentation – Sarah Peoples and Adam Lovitz at PAFA

(Sam visits PAFA for an artist’s talk and finds the playful works speak loudly about what they’re about. –the artblog editors) At a recent talk at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) with two of the school’s alumni, Adam Lovitz and Sarah Peoples, moderator and artist Todd Keyser questioned the artists about why they find it necessary to explore many, varied paths in their visual art. Lovitz and Peoples’ work is featured in Who Say it Be, a show which they won as part of PAFA’s MFA Faculty Exhibition Award, granted at the end of their first year as ... More » »

An image from “Instructions to the Internet.”

Us vs. Them – Chris McManus at Vox Populi

—Sam reviews a show by Chris McManus that deals with the Internet, and he finds the installation hilarious, creepy and uncomfortable.  –the artblog editors—————-> In a gallery full of weird exhibits, Vox Populi member Chris McManus’ installation, “one of us,” stands out in this September’s offerings due to its combination of the creepy, the hilarious, and the socially uncomfortable. “one of us” comments on inclusion and exclusion in the internet era. First accessible only to tech-savvy nerds, the internet has now been almost universally accessible for years. But some of the most frequent behaviors online include trolling or tormenting people, ... More » »

Tom Lauerman, Three Quarter Quonset, wood from clementine crates

Cities without size, cities without color — Urban Environments at Grizzly Grizzly

City dwellers face unpredictable environments. Whether descending into subterranean tunnels or ascending into office towers; biking merrily along while inhaling large quantities of carbon monoxide or walking through the stench of human waste that wafts from Center City’s overtaxed sewage system, a day in the city is a moment-by-moment negotiation between the inanimate and animate, the accidental and intentional, the old and new. In a dialogue between the works of three artists all concerned with architecture and city spaces, Urban Environments at Grizzly Grizzly shows pieces that portray the artists’ subjective conceptions of the urban world. A collaboration between two artists ... More » »

Heliotrope, detail view

Invisible Cities – A studio visit with Colin Keefe to see his fine ink drawings

—>Sam visits the studio of Colin Keefe, maker of intricate, ink drawings based on cities and cellular forms. Keefe, whose works you can see this month at Grizzly Grizzly, also runs the occasional gallery, Mount Airy Contemporary, from a space behind his house. –the artblog editors——————-> Colin Keefe creates his art while standing, drawing with a Micron pen on paper hung flat on the wall of his studio. He occasionally rotates his drawings to concentrate on different areas, alternately approaching compositions from a horizontal, vertical or upside-down perspective. The roots of his finished works are sparsely detailed diagrams on standard ... More » »

A view of The House That Was Here. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ode to a vacant lot — Maria Möller’s art installation in South Philly

—>Sam visits an empty lot in Point Breeze where artist Maria Moller has created a temporary elegy to the past and the people who once lived in a house no longer there. –the artblog editors——————–> The House That was Here Within the tight grid of urban landscapes, vacant lots hold space that we rarely stop to consider. We take for granted these holes in the terrain, whether they are abandoned factories, polluted brownfields, or formerly residential pieces of land, and rarely ponder the stories they have to tell. But as part of an art project financed by the Philadelphia Redevelopment ... More » »

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