Tag Archive "philadelphia"

Bathtub in cart

Oh Snap — Barkley L. Hendricks’ photographs

[Kitty reviews a hit-or-miss show of native Philly artist Barkley Hendricks’ photos. Hendricks had a major career retrospective in 2009 at the Studio Museum of Harlem, PAFA (his alma mater), and elsewhere, which was much acclaimed. — the artblog editors] For years, a life-size oil portrait, “Miss T” by Barkley L. Hendricks, hung at the bottom of the steps in the Historic Landmark Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The painting represented a new era, when a then-young black artist–and PAFA grad–could embrace painting skills passed through the ages to portray the dignity and strength of a ... More » »

Letter press

Spotlight on The Soapbox, an independent publishing center

[Dre zeroes in on a community publishing center that gives locals the resources to design, print, and distribute their ideas. She also names a few local zine libraries–a relative rarity in which Philadelphia is rich. — the artblog editors] When The Soapbox’s cofounders Mary Tasillo and Charlene Kwon met at West Philly staple the Satellite Cafe, the seed of the idea of having a community-based print shop and publishing center was planted. The two had been put in touch by Jude Robison of the Philadelphia Center for the Book, back in 2009. Following strong intuitive energies, Tasillo and Kwon decided to buy a ... More » »


Tell the truth, Body! …Truthteller… and HERSTORY at AUX Performance Space

[We’re pleased to feature this post by local artist Thomas Choinacky, who participated in several performance art pieces recently and offers a review as a performance artist himself. — the artblog editors] By Thomas Choinacky HERSTORY: How truth is mocked Enter an odd retrospective framed as a humorous sideshow. Lighthearted clowns Christina Zani and partner Scott McPheeters guide us with tongue in cheek, commenting on and briskly recreating several parodies of famous performance works and artists. Zani immediately names the piece as appropriation within HERSTORY. (Note: She speaks with a performed “Southern” accent.) This immediacy places a negative connotation on each ... More » »

Cows on farm

The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project at Philadelphia Photo Arts Center

[Evan is deeply moved by the message of a multi-artist photography show, which turns its lens on those affected by Pennsylvania fracking. — the artblog editors] The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project at Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is an earnestly executed look at Pennsylvania’s ever-deepening problem with oil and gas companies and their “fracking” method of extraction. Noah Addis, Nina Berman, Brian Cohen, Scott Goldsmith, Lynn Johnson, and Martha Rial all approached this mammoth task in equally sensitive ways, inserting themselves into the communities and the personal relationships of those affected by big-business negligence. Struggle hits close to home The project began ... More » »

Paul Chan font

Alphanumeric systems gone awry — Paul Chan at Slought

[Michael is confounded, entertained, and wholly absorbed by Paul Chan’s explorations of symbolism and typeface. Scroll down for a peek at his resume in several of Chan’s Alternumerics font faces. — the artblog editors]  Just as word processors let you choose from fonts like Courier and Times New Roman, Paul Chan has provided thoughtfully crafted typefaces in Alternumerics that outshine their quirky WingDings predecessor. Why? In his current exhibition at Slought, Chan confuses the relationship between what is written and its subsequent meaning, initiating a new dialogue from the narratives drawn by his alphanumeric systems. Make Alternumerics your own Alternumerics includes a ... More » »


Interfaces — Outsider Art and the Mainstream at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

[Alex comments on a show comparing outsider artists’ work with that of “established” artists. He notes that the show’s formal, quasi-scientific arrangement mostly puts the pieces on par with each other. — the artblog editors] Do artists with formal education, fame and cultural prestige necessarily create “better” work than artists working with limited access to institutional support and resources? As somebody who studies and writes about art, I often face the aggravating experience of hearing people say, “My kid could make that!” when viewing modern or contemporary work. I now give the stock response, “But they didn’t, and that’s why ... More » »


Hello, My Name Is AUTOMAT — a sampling of Philadelphia’s newest gallery

[Michael relishes the opening of a new gallery showcasing emerging artists, which boasts a playful inspiration and a mix of lively works. — the artblog editors] Horn & Hardart opened its doors in 1902 as the first automat in the United States. This German-inspired fast-food “restaurant” chain began at 818 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, a collaboration between Philadelphian Joseph Horn and German-born Frank Hardart. The concept was that customers would select a prepared food item from a coin-operated vending machine and instantly receive the food. From food to fine art The Horn & Hardart chain declined in the 1960s with the ... More » »


The artblog Reader Advisor

[This month’s Reader Advisor posts are brought to you by our guest editors, the Nicola Midnight St. Claire, or Nicola, as she sometimes likes to be called. Today: Underbellies of the beasts, or, what lies beneath. — the artblog editors] ‘Fatberg’ is an iceberg made of fat, via the Guardian. ‘Rootsberg’ is an iceberg made of that time when Batman tried to conceal his family roots’ as slave owners, via Variety. ‘Fucksberg’ is an iceberg made out of a SEPTA bus mysteriously exploding into flames, via Philly.com. ‘Tearsberg’ is an iceberg made out of the tears you will cry when your ... More » »

Robert Alexander

A look at North Philadelphia in film — Unedited Philadelphia at the Wagner Free Institute of Science

[Kitty draws us into a night of history, photography, film, and community, in an evening spent remembering the stories of North Philly. — the artblog editors] Frozen in time All that was missing were the sounds of yesteryear: * As cops stood around, with assistant police commissioner Frank Rizzo in their midst, as the 1964 Columbia Avenue riot cooled down. * As “screaming” teenagers watched Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, James Brown, and others perform silently at the Uptown Theater. * As Langston Hughes read from his poetry book: “Hold fast to dreams…” at the Pyramid Club. * As Philadelphia printmaker ... More » »

decorated document with heart and birds

Reclaiming a folk tradition — Framing Fraktur at the Free Library

[Noreen explores the origins and evolution of Fraktur, a decorative style of documentation with deep roots in Germany, which is coupled with contemporary art in a current exhibition. This post was assigned and shepherded through the editing process by our guest editors this month, the Nicola Midnight St. Claire. Thanks, Nicola! — the artblog editors] In an age when computer graphics are almost entirely responsible for design, handmade birthday cards, wedding invitations, and journals are rare and special. This month, in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Free Library of Philadelphia presents a collection of such rarities on ... More » »

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