Clashes of contemporary values and tastes permeate the familiar and the imagined in Jennifer Levonian‘s hand-painted stop-action animations. Fuming SUVs belch noxious smoke in a Whole Foods-ish parking lot as inside a naked woman practices yoga among the pumpkins. The engaging clarity of her watercolor images and ideas belie their complexity. We’re reluctant to call her work social criticism because she describes more than criticizes, tweaking with humor and leading viewers to draw their own conclusions. Levonian (BFA William and Mary; MFA RISD) first assisted on video animations as a child, with her father and sister. She is currently in ... More » »
This exhibition inaugurated Sue Spaid’s directorship at the Contemporary with a bang and a guffaw (and quite a few chuckles). LOL; A decade of antic art was a tightly-packed survey of artists or collaboratives whose work during the past decade involved satire, parody and pranks which ranged from engaged political seriousness to everyday fun. The exhibition ran from June 10-Sept. 4, 2011, and I apologize for getting there the final weekend, which makes this review retrospective. It was well worth the100-mile trip from Philadelphia.
Murray thinks about history and I think about art. I think we might have similar motives–trying to figure out the meaning of life and what is real–but just come at it in different ways. So when video artist Jennifer Levonian, a 2009 Pew Fellow in the Arts, gave a talk at the Library Company to introduce her new work on exhibit there alongside Civil War-era printed materials, we happily joined hands and caught a trolley to Center City.
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 only image I’ve ever seen of a woman shaving her armpits is in an ad or commercial for shaving products. But Jennifer Levonian’s stop-action animation Her Slip is Showing begins with just that. It’s a dead-on metaphor of a woman trying to make herself acceptable and beat back her natural self as she dresses for a childhood friend’s wedding shower.
After 18 years of handing out the biggest regional prize in the arts, Pew Fellowships in the Arts has changed its m-o. Well, they’re still handing out prizes– the coveted 12 grants of $60,000. But the process is changing in 2010 in two significant ways. First, and probably most importantly, Pew has switched from an open call for applications to a MacArthur genius grant secret nominating process. Second, there’s no longer a 4-year rotation of categories with painting one year, sculpture another, etc. etc. Now, it’s open season for all categories every year. This came as a surprise to us ... More » »
Natasha Bowdoin, I am the sun in the morning, I am a dog at night, 2006; cut cards and gouache on paper, 36 x 54 x 9 inches.image courtesy the artist And now for the medium of the season, cut paper!! Three exhibits exploring the limits of paper as a medium are ripping up the town– Paper[space] at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Thanks to Mom and Dad/The Chain of the Worlds at Pageant Gallery, and a cleaner heart a do it at Fleisher-Ollman Gallery, which dips into paper along with some other work. All three shows are worth the effort ... More » »
Jennifer Levonian, Smells Like English Boxwood, 2006-8stop motion animation using watercolor and collage Post Christmas is a slow time for gallery sales–which explains why some galleries go to emerging artists shows at this time of year, testing the waters to see who’s got the right stuff. Since the New Acropolis show in Jan. 2004, we have been looking forward to the annual melange of new and surprising art at Fleisher-Ollman to brighten up our post-holiday-season blues. This year,the exhibit is named Street Button. Jennifer Levonian, You, Starbucks, 2006stop-motion animation using watercolor and collage I especially enjoyed the videos by Jennifer ... More » »« Previous Page