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 » »
–>Andrea tells us about three catalogs whose great design, solid writing and copious illustrations make them a great read and a great encounter with the work. –the artblog editors————————–> Stefanie Barron with Lauren Bergman Ken Price; A Retrospective (Delmonico Books, Prestel, New York and Munich in association with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art: 2012) ISBN: 978-3-7913-5255-8 This catalog, published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is one of the most beautiful art monographs I’ve ever seen, quite beyond the extraordinary, if under-known, work of its subject. West coast artist Ken Price’s first, solo museum exhibition ... More » »
First impressions help to define our interactions with people and things. Usually, first impressions guide a person as to how a relationship (whether personal or professional) will progress. For example, if I wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt to a job interview, chances are I won’t be getting that job. This being said, my first impression of Deb Sokolow’s show was a bit off the mark. Sokolow’s abstract collage works rely heavily on narrative for their impact. This is not a show one can comprehend at first glance. Entering the room, I was taken aback by the stark presentation. Her works ... More » »
NextFab Studio is a high-tech shop in West Philadelphia that enables architects, industrial designers, and artists to create prototypes or small runs of products. Its staff of twenty includes engineers, designers, electronics specialists, photographers, and others who are available for training and technical help. I met Shelley Spector there last week to see what she’s been doing during the past six months that she’s had a residency at NextFab through Breadboard, an organization at the University City Science Center that promotes community outreach around technology and manages the Esther Klein Gallery, among other projects. Any artist who makes ‘things’ ... More » »
The moodiness of collage nearly overwhelms the show of work by John Stezaker at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery in his show The Nude and Landscape. But then the sharpness of Stezaker’s intelligence and eye pull it back from the brink, seducing with beauty, complexities, surprises and ideas.
Dan Walker has a thing for glue. The former lawyer and somewhat former film producer and writer with Force Majeure, (he’s still making films), launched his first exhibition of paper bits, tape and rubber stamps and glue in Paris, a perfect place to land when you are ready to get “unstuck” from your past and literally put your diaries on display. Born 1964 in London, the lawyer-turned-producer/writer-turned artist has always carried and worked in Moleskine books, organizing a disparate collection of the ephemera from his life, and adding texts in an effort to give these small compositions a direction (even ... More » »
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for quirky work outside the mainstream. So when the husband of artist Ann Irwin asked for an essay on Irwin for a book documenting his late wife’s work, I quickly said yes. A show of her work, Transmutation and Metamorphosis: The Collages of Ann Irwin, is opening July 9 at the Michener Museum, in Doylestown. The book, published in 2008, is a love note to an indomitable spirit, put together by husband Lester Roy Zipris, Irwin’s son Lucas Irwin (the author), and her friend book-designer Diane K. Becotte, three years after ... More » »
Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage at the Princeton Art Museum through June 26, 2011 realizes the alchemists’ dream of turning dross into gold - in that Schwitters created his marvelous collages and assemblages from recycled garbage. This first U.S. survey of the artist’s work in twenty-five years does not attempt to cover his entire production; the roughly 80 works include several of the Merz assemblage paintings, a large number of exquisite Merz drawings (collages on paper), several small sculptural works and a reconstruction from photographs of the Hannover Merzbau, which was destroyed in WWII. While much of the work is ... More » »
Richard Harrod’s latest installation A Larger Refrigerator (Marginal Utility, 1 April-28 May 2011) puts a chill on familiar interior views. The artist’s depictions of mundane spaces use a variety of tricks thwart our entry and monkey with the norms of representation. A well-known figure in the Philadelphia art scene and a widely-exhibited artist, Harrod was a recipient of the Pew Fellowship (1997) and has shown internationally. Previous work by the artist presented cobbled-together worlds in similarly disconcerting fashion.
Picasso Guitars 1912-1914, on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) through June 6, 2011, is an intense and thrilling experience for anyone concerned with art and visual thinking in the early 20th Century. What it reveals, at least to someone who has worked and thought in three dimensions, are Picasso’s first, profound experiments with one of the key concepts of Twentieth Century plastic arts: negative space. Moreover, the exhibition indicates that like abstraction, for which music was both inspiration and justification, Picasso’s interest in negative space grew out of thinking about music; not musical form and language, but ... More » »