At its core, the photography exhibition currently occupying the elegant space of the Arthur Ross Gallery is a showcase for one of Penn’s proudest achievements of the last year: digitizing its photography archive. “9 Perspectives on a Photography Collection,” is drawn from Penn’s photography archive and organized around an interesting idea — that when nine photographers select the images to be exhibited the result will show the collection’s strength in its parts and in its whole. Organized by Lynn Marsden-Atlass, University Curator and Director of the Arthur Ross Gallery and Gabriel Martinez, artist and Senior Lecturer of Photography in the ... More » »
How, I say to myself, am I going to write about this show that brings up issues of What is Contemporary Art? and What is art of any kind? It’s a show that wrestles with beauty, concepts, the handmade, and even more narrowly, the made and not made, and the material and immaterial. It also wrestles with group show constraints–the meaning of being jammed into one space with others whose work impinges on your own in some way–and talks to your own, redefining and expanding, in the best of worlds. The show is A Closer Look 8, the show at ... More » »
Some of what’s on view at Vox Populi this month is mystifying and theory-driven; some is digitally-savvy and soulful, and some is digitally-savvy and formalist. Happily, there’s also a piece that is downright lovable in the up-from-the-basement DIY way.
Friday I went to the Vox building with Cate and a few of my St. Joseph’s students. We were early and so missed the huge crowds which was good for seeing the art. This is in no way a comprehensive review of the many shows on view but it seemed that revolutions were the recurring theme of the evening.
This month’s Vox exhibit is nearly all video and really all pretty great! It looks like more and more video artists are part of the Vox membership, and this show reflects the shift. The only non-video in the show, a sculpture installation, is by Brent Wahl, who also makes videos. Here’s who and what: Black Hole, a video by Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka; I had to play with the image to show anything other than a pure black rectangle, so I’m afraid it’s a bit misleading.The first ever collaboration between married video-makers Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka is a ... More » »
This week’s Weekly has my year end wrap up. Below’s the copy with some pictures. More images at flickr. It Was a Very Good YearIn spite of hardships and lack of leadership, the art scene thrives. Video projection at Little Berlin. The up and coming alternative space carved out a video viewing space curtained off from the rest of the gallery and added seating — getting it right from the start! It’s been a shockingly good year for visual arts in Philly thanks to new utopianism leading the way. Young artists rose up like a wave, opening cooperative venues like ... More » »
This week’s Weekly has my a-list review of Vox Populi’s new member’s show. Below is the copy with a few pictures. More photos at flickr. MY VOX IN A BOX Brent Wahl, Tear, at Vox Populi’s new members’ show. Tear is nicely ambiguous–it’s a tear drop shape but the dance it does is like a tear on a tear. And the red color makes it a blood drop which connotes a tear in the skin…or other bodily organ. Vox Populi’s new members show romps in a playground where the scary, the existential and the humorous are separated by a heartbeat, ... More » »
Karen Lightner at her desk Museums are not the only permanent collections of art in town. I was reminded of this while I was talking to Karen Lightner, who heads the Print and Pictures Collection at the Free Library. I stopped in to talk with her while I was looking at the Continuum: Photography in Philadelphia, which Lightner curated. The exhibit is an annual show mounted each year to coordinate with the Robert F. Looney Memorial Event. Looney was curator of prints and photographs at the library from 1963 to 1986, and his wise choices are part of the reason ... More » »
Suitcase, by Leah Bailis A last minute quickie on the shows at Vox Populi, which, two days ago, was still sitting on the fence about where the gallery will move, once it’s are forced out of the Gilbert Building in mid-January. Cinder Blocks, by Leah Bailis With all the stresses of the gallery having to move Leah Bailis’ exhibit The Architecture of Independent People, with its cardboard sculptures of absence and loss in life on the move seemed particularly apt. But it was her cardboard replicas of cinderblocks piled in a corner that stole my heart, partly because of its ... More » »
untitled painting by Joe Protheroe Post-Minimalism and Post-Photoshopism and Post-Illustratorism have all joined forces to abhor the straight line and perspective, abhor the mass produced, abhor the slick perfection and abhor the uniformity that Minimalism and computer graphics–and advertising–promised. Those were the formal issues that struck me silly when I walked into Slought to see The Day After, an exhibit of work by recent MFA graduated of Penn, Tyler and PAFA. To put it another way, this show is sad and angry, a declaration of innocence lost and dreams tucked away. The Day After is literal in these students’ lives, ... More » »Next Page »