News An exciting presentation of works by British artist Tacita Dean is coming to the region this month, to continue throughout the spring. To start with, Arcadia University Art Gallery is hosting Dean’s film JG, inspired by Dean’s correspondence with British author J. G. Ballard. This work employs the same technique seen in FILM, Dean’s 2011 project for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, and uses Dean’s recently developed and patented system of aperture gate masking. The exhibition commences with a lecture by Dean, organized by Gallery Director Richard Torchia, in the Commons Great Room on February 7 at 6:30 PM. Additional events at Arcadia continue through April 21, including a lecture on ... More » »
As recent national news has made painfully clear, ours is not a post-racial society, and much as I’d rather not see African American artists exhibited in the context of their common racial background, such exhibitions still have a place. That place is particularly important in Philadelphia, where the extent of art world segregation still surprises me; among the mainstream (read white) institutions, the Fabric Workshop Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) have a strong history of supporting artists of color; unfortunately the color line extends to many of the galleries and their audiences, as well. After Tanner; ... More » »
Age was something that happened to Other People, so it was startling to walk into P.P.O.W. Gallery to see a huge, poster-sized photograph of Martha Wilson in her exhibition I have become my own worst fear (through Oct. 8, 2011). I hadn’t seen Wilson in twenty-five years and, turning to her dealer, Penny Pilkington (whom I’ve seen intermittently during the more than twenty years we’ve been aquainted, so we’ve aged slowly for each other) I said, I guess we’ve all gotten older.
Sometimes people animate the art, which was certainly true of Beatriz Milhazes’ The Sun (2010), a baked tile floor exhibited by the Beyler Foundation, Basel which was irresistible to visitors who moved on all fours. As stunning as the large floor piece was, Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich was my choice for best looking space (given the caveat that I hardly saw the entire exhibition).
We ran into a lot of folks at the art fairs last week. Some we knew, others were artists and gallerists we were meeting for the first time. Either way, the art fairs are chat fests with conversations about art, sales and the exhilaration of being at the fair. Talk is the glue that holds the memory of the fair together this year. Other years it was the art. Here’s a brief report from Pulse, Volta and the Armory.
First is not necessarily best. We went to the Armory and slogged around and saw some great stuff but mostly we were struck by the low energy of the displays and the conservatism of what was on view. It’s the economy stupid — a lot of small scale stuff, serious stuff (no humor) and a fair deal of secondary market work even in the contemporary zone. (Armory was divided into “contemporary” and “modern” piers, the “modern” specifically to deal with secondary market….but we saw secondary market everywhere. We missed much of the modern section so these comments are directed to ... More » »
It’s easy to see themes when you see so much work all at once as we did in two days at four art fairs. I saw polka dots all over the place, I saw snail mail references in three venues and things about communities seemed to crop up everywhere. I guess it’s the anthropologist in all of us. We want to group things together and classify and study them. I have always loved doing it. And many artists seem to be doing this kind of armchair anthropology in their work at the moment. Part 1 of this post is here.
The Sublime Turner and Contemporary Fibre Art J.M.W.Turner The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834 (1835)Philadelphia Museum of Art Billed as the largest Turner exhibition ever seen in the U.S., the retrospective currently at the National Gallery of Art is a joy even for those who know his work well (through January 6, 2008, www.nga.gov; Philadelphia viewers will have a second chance, after its Dallas venue, when the exhibition travels to the Metropolitan Museum of Art June 24 – Sept.21,www.metmuseum.org). Turner’s work is always fresh, and this wonderful selection of 146 oils and works on ... More » »
This week’s Weekly has my review of the PAFA new acquisitions show This Place is Ours! Below is the copy with some pictures. More photos at flickr. And here’s Libby’s post. PAFA’s Got a Brand-New BagThe Academy lifts itself into the 21st century. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ new acquisitions show “This Place Is Ours!” rightly deserves the exclamation point in its title. Jim Houser, This Place is Ours! (right) and Eamon Ore-GIron, Exit Strategy, from Pafa’s new acquisitions show. The big show of more than 100 works of American art purchased since 2001 demonstrates a new vision ... More » »
We said it before and we’ll say it again, we had a good trip to Chelsea Friday and saw a lot of great stuff. Much of it is in its last week, so run if you want to catch it. These guys are fantastic. Robert Colescott at Kravets-Wehby We loved Robert Colescott At Kravets-Wehby for his raunchy straight-ahead sex, lies and Minnie Mouse imagery. Great painter, great compositions. He takes Jim Crow and makes it his own. We are reminded of energy and transgressiveness of Jorg Immendorff and his Cafe Deutchland paintings. Nick Cave at Jack Shainman Nick Cave‘s fashion ... More » »Next Page »