Among my presents this season was an impromptu getaway to New York with Steve. The weather didn’t cooperate very much — it rained buckets and then turned cold. But we stayed indoors at the Met and the Museum of the City of New York and at night ate Indian food and heard some jazz at the Jazz Standard, featuring the Kenny White Quintet. No complaints! Metropolitan Museum of Art I consulted with Andrea before heading up there and she steered us to a couple very nice exhibits. Steve particularly enjoyed Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China at the ... More » »
News At least now there’s no ambiguity as to what they’re after – Temple Gallery is now Temple Contemporary! In keeping up with the times, they’ve re-focused on reacting to local, national and global issues in real time. A calendar of their free events, chosen by scholars, local high school students, and community leaders from across Philadelphia, can be seen here. Indy Hall’s recent renovations have brought not only improved quarters for its loyal coworkers, but a series of new works by Sean Martorana, one of Indy Hall’s resident artists. “The Essence of Life and Line,” curated by Martorana and fellow Indy Hall-ers Kara ... More » »
With the New Museum as anchor, galleries big and small are flocking to the Lower East Side giving it a brand new feel. Not quite the Mall of the Bowery but getting there. So on our visit to see The Ungovernables, the second roundup of emerging artists at the museum, we stopped at a couple of nearby galleries, steered by our friend, Hrag Varganian of Hyperallergic, who we ran into and who seems to have his pulse on the scene, for sure. The Blue Period, a wild, immersive installation by Brooklyn-based artist Jon Kessler fills the downstairs space at ... More » »
Photography is king, if the measure is to be found in Art in America’s annotated list of the top 12 books of the year. Of 12 books, five of them are photography books!! Not that I’m declaring painting dead. Just saying, photography is transcendent. Another sign of the times and the shifting impact of technology on art is MIT’s book reprinting a selection of posts from Ai Weiwei’s blog. At this Occupy and Arab Spring moment, the Chinese artist’s views seem more international and more widely relevant than ever! The list is by artist/critic Stephen Maine, who writes for artcritical.com ... More » »
By Dennis D’Alesandro Hive/Cave, a group show containing more than 35 artists at Pageant : Soloveev through July 17, sees Philadelphia as the breeding grounds for a disparate collection of insect-like hives where busy artists shack up and take shelter. Once settled in these spaces, they are able to simmer, grow, collect, and spit out their art like sugary vomit to nourish their neighbors and children.
It was rather ominous to see, a few weeks ago, a group of twelve wrapped sculptures populate the courtyard of Somerset House (a neoclassical building in Central London that once housed The Royal Academy and now is home to The Courtauld Institute and various art events). Ominous because their creator, Ai Weiwei, had himself been under wraps, imprisoned by the Chinese police and not heard from since the beginning of April (recently, he has been allowed a a visit from his wife). Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads is both the first contemporary art installation in the historic courtyard and the first ... More » »
Imagine the Rubell Collection or the Scholl Collection, two of Miami’s premier private museums, right here in Philadelphia. We just learned that The West Collection is actively searching for a big space for displaying some of the larger pieces in their fabulous and expanding collection of contemporary art. We bumped into the Director Lee Stoetzel at the Fairmount Park Art Association’s annual meeting, and he confirmed the organization’s interest in finding a space large enough to display some of the collection’s larger pieces. They’ve been looking in Northern Liberties he said. West is the Barnes of today, integrating its edgy ... More » »
The Making of Art (Buchhandlung Walther Koenig: Cologne, 2009) ISBN 978-3-86560-586-3 Target Practice; Painting Under Attack 1949-78 (Seattle Art Museum, 2009) ISBN 978-0-932216-64-9 Those of us involved in the art world never seem to tire of looking critically at the way that world works. Self reflection has been the basis of a number of exhibitions in recent years; I saw two devoted to artists’ studios: The Studio at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (discussed on Jan. 3, 2007) and Picturing the Studio at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009-10). The Making of Art, at the ... More » »
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei spoke in New York the other day at a forum about social media and activism. The artist rarely makes an appearance in the US. Read David Ng’s post at Culture Monster for more. Ai said he spends 8 hours a day on Twitter, both tweeting and reading other people’s tweets. He considers Twitter his primary news resource. Libby told you about Ai’s work, which is featured now in a solo show at Arcadia University.
Just when you thought that you were finally making headway through the riches of the Philagrafika shows, 90 clay shows and events are starting to open all around town. The multiple shows are in conjunction with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference in Philadelphia from March 21 to April 3. I went to two that were early off the blocks, and they are as different as can be.Next Page »