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 » »
News Economic news - As much as we long to believe in the vision of recovery the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has painted for us with glowing news of Philadelphia’s rebounding cultural sector, another depressing barrage of bad news for the arts flies in the face of their optimism. NPR is confronting the specter of major budget cuts, while 1616 Walnut, the building that houses the Fleisher-Ollman Gallery and the GPCA is being sold to be developed into residential space. Both the GPCA and Fleisher-Ollman are moving to new locations (the Cultural Alliance’s new home is the Philadelphia Building at 1315 Walnut, while ... More » »
Peeps, those little marshmallow sweets that fill an Easter basket, have become a craft trendlet. First my friend Cindy told me her daughter’s workplace was in a Peeps diorama contest. Cindy emailed me the Wee Willie Wonka entry. Then my friend Andy sent along an ABA Law Journal contest. Who said lawyers don’t have a sense of humor? He also linked me to a Chicago Tribune contest, but the energy there seemed kind of low. I don’t get the Easter passion for Peeps, but I do get being silly. Besides, Peeps are a fine art material too. I’m thinking about Gabe ... More » »
Two men known for their art work about gay sex, spoke about the work and the sex at the Print Center Feb. 23. Now thirty years after AIDS became a public health issue, artists Gabriel Martinez and Chad States expressed their attitudes toward gay sexual practices in the age of AIDS and how those attitudes were expressed in their art. Print Center Curator John Caperton moderated. For all the differences between the two artists–Chad States is younger and is more carefree and open about his sexual practices. He read a story about his first anonymous sexual encounter as a teen, ... More » »
The big news about Solitary Pleasures at Slought is not the graphic content showing masturbation, although there is plenty of that. The news is that two powerful works by 70s era feminist artists Carolee Schneemann and VALIE EXPORT create a zone of inquiry about taboos that is well beyond the titter and haha stage usually reached when the subject of onanism comes up.
Back when royal courts were major art purchasers, painters like Francois Boucher, Rubens and many others got to exercise their sexy muscle on behalf of their royal employers, painting titillating works based on mythology. Many of these erotic paintings (some specifically for the boudoir) now sit in major art museums around the world, a reminder that the erotic in art once had great appeal for patrons who liked a little (or a lot of) sensory pleasure in their paintings and sculpture. As Jonathan Jones said recently about old master paintings in Britain’s National Gallery: “A great painting can be shockingly ... More » »
This is part 2 of a 2 part post. Part 1 is about the talk delivered by show juror Joao Ribas. Ribas’ choices for the Arcadia Works on Paper exhibit raise issues of sharing, reproducibility and loss of copyright control. They raise disturbing questions about the value of all art at a time when works on paper have never been more highly valued.
Rah Crawford’s signature image for the Amsterdam AAF. My favorite bit of Philly-on-the-road news is from Rah Crawford. Rah, who is possibly the commercial genius of the Philadelphia art world, created the spotlight image for the Amsterdam Affordable Art Fair! Like most of his paintings, the image is a cross between my old black light Jimi Hendrix poster and Elizabeth Peyton! I suppose it’s unreasonable to claim him for Philadelphia since he’s pretty much an ex-pat, having decamped for the Netherlands; but Philadelphia, the city that hates change, refuses to drop its claim on those who flee. He’s doing the ... More » »