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The film, about a talented, articulate and ambitious artist, raises an important question. Why is an artist overlooked? A movie can’t answer definitively, but in 84 fast-paced and colorful minutes Art Bastard delivers a hint of why a rebellious yet loveable personality and his rollicking, politically-charged and mostly humorous paintings are under the New York art world radar. In the words of the movie’s smartest commentator, the oracular Richard Armstrong, Director of the Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, “It’s about chance and geography.”Read More
Kip’s and Fischer’s respective works underscore a sense discomfort in the act of looking or a reliance on subjective frameworks in the process of recollection. I find their work particularly relevant as they address the relationship between routine and confusion, and between observation and obscured memory, within the context of architecture. From their structures, I gather that to think about edifice is not to reflect on deliberate forms of shelter and safety, but, more so, to consider how the built environment metaphorically serves as a foundation for the lived experience.Read More
Some of the most compelling sequences in Wright’s documentary consist of the artist’s reflections on perception, perspective, and space. After a painful breakup with his longtime partner, Peter Schlesinger, Hockney made a series of etchings based on Wallace Steven’s poem, “The Man With the Blue Guitar,” which was in turn based on Pablo Picasso’s famous 1903-04 Blue-period painting, “The Old Guitarist.” Hockney was drawn to the poet’s insistence on “things exactly as they are,” using his etchings to play with realistic and illusionistic depictions of space, all within the emotional frame of the artist’s life and relationships with others.Read More
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will debut a new program beginning June 5 titled Philly Free Week.The program gives Philadelphians free access to the outdoor labyrinth, the Isaiah and Julia Zagar exhibition “Dear Julia” and daily gallery talks. On the kick-off date, there will be music by Bridgeset Sound and a photo booth.Read More
The tension between rules and improvisation is at the heart of much musical practice, but it is unusual to see it played out in the context of a collective audience performance. As a participant, the experience was thought provoking and occasionally frustrating, and I left with a new appreciation for the importance of rules for all of us who listen to and perform music.Read More
Wu Hung’s Contemporary Chinese Art will be required reading for anyone wanting an introduction to the subject, and will also be useful to readers who want to understand the history of international art of the period, since Wu presents Western movements with as much clarity as he charts the uses Chinese artists made of them. It is a more nuanced and complete picture of a recent art culture than any other I know. The essays in The Dynamic Library present a variety of historical and theoretical approaches in clear language that are likely to interest scholars in the humanities, artists interested in classification, and anyone who owns enough books to be concerned with how to sort them.Read More
Mike Durkin and the performers of The Renegade Company offered an amusing and thought-provoking interpretation of Bosch’s medieval masterpiece. The deliberately loose and open structure of the performances allowed us as audience members to pick and choose our sins, and gave us space to reflect on their meaning.Read More
NEA awards $807,000 to local arts organizations to foster learning and engagement. Congratulations, all!Read More
Artblog contributor and editor, Flora Ward, talks with me about her recent reviews of two exhibitions that intrigued her greatly. We also talk about her journey to Philadelphia from South Carolina, Toronto and elsewhere. Listen to the 18-minute conversation we had at the lovely Radio booth at the Galleries at Moore.Read More
Like Romare Bearden’s collages, Musson brings together a spirit of formal experimentation with a deep-rooted cultural awareness. The title of his canvas Knowledge God may refer to the 1995 song of the same name by Raekwon, of the Wu Tang Clan. The repeated patterns of the Coogi fragments echo like musical phrases across the canvas, creating a sort of sweater sound collage. Just as Bearden’s collages often evoke sense of communal ritual (as in his series, The Prevalence of Ritual), Musson draws on shared reference points that span high-brow to low-brow to create visually arresting and thought-provoking work.Read More
The safari began on the fourth floor with a visit to photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge’s gallery and Fine Art Print Shop. Stockbridge discussed several of his projects with the safari, including “Kensington Blues.” This on-going project documents the people of one of Philadelphia’s most impoverished and underserved communities.Read More
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