Tag Archive "philadelphia"


The Year of No — Bonnie Brenda Scott at James Oliver Gallery

[Michael reviews work in a combination of interesting media by a young artist whose approach seems at once personal and political. — the artblog editors] BUT HERE GOD PUTS THE FLOOD BUT HERE GOD PUTS THE FLOOD This text, which appears in two of the installations in Bonnie Brenda Scott’s exhibition at James Oliver Gallery, comes from a poem written by the artist about natural disasters and the origins of devastation. The complete phrase from the poem reads: “The tide comes in from all sides, but here god puts the flood.” I asked Scott about this, and she explained: “God puts ... More » »

Actors on stage

With Oscar, Opera Philadelphia looks back to the last years of a literary icon’s life

[Donald reflects on Opera Philadelphia’s latest triumph–a moving look at the last years of Oscar Wilde’s life. — the artblog editors] As a writer, poet, and playwright, Oscar Wilde is unrivaled. The only part of Wilde’s life that the outside world reviled was his desire to truly be himself and embrace his sexuality. Opera Philadelphia’s East Coast premiere of Oscar is a character study that shows us the specific struggles Wilde experiences as he unapologetically tries to live the fullest life possible. Oscar is a continuation of the American Repertoire Program, which Opera Philadelphia has developed into a fantastic canon of ... More » »


Dina Wind’s Transformations at Bridgette Mayer Gallery

[Diana examines a wall sculpture that is playful for its combination of found objects, and simultaneously subversive. — the artblog editors] The poet Stephen Spender once defined wit as “the ability to discover amusing analogies between apparently unrelated things and express them clearly.” As I was contemplating the late Dina Wind’s more than 20 sculptures from the 1980s and 1990s in the exhibition Dina Wind: Transformations, on view at Bridgette Mayer Gallery through Feb. 28, I was struck by the wittiness of her work, which is not “amusing” in a conventional sense, but in its ability to jolt the observer into ... More » »


Zabardust at Twelve Gates Arts

[Jennifer works through a Feminist, all-female show celebrating unconventional women and acknowledging the daily struggle of women in some cultures to be equally acknowledged. — the artblog editors] Zabardust is an Urdu term that can be translated into English to mean awesome, terrific, or even fabulous. It is also the conceptual framework and title for the current group show at Twelve Gates Arts, on 2nd street in Old City, Philadelphia. Organized by New York-based curator Jasmine Wahi, Zabardust includes various-media works by seven artists: Karlito Miller, Rachel Mason, Maria Berrio, Angela Fraleigh, Anjali Bhargava, Swati Khurana, and Leila Lal. The exhibition ... More » »


An ode to handiwork — Patrick Coughlin’s Tools of the Trade at NAPOLEON

[Noreen nervously navigates a show designed to play in the space between utility and decoration. — the artblog editors] In the narrow gallery space of NAPOLEON this month, the mixed-media sculptures of Patrick Coughlin crowd the space in conversation with the past, present, and art-making itself. Imbued with a strong sense of tradition and nostalgia, Tools of the Trade presents a collection of tools, some obsolete, some recognizable–but on a whimsically large scale. Playfully amplifying the past Coughlin, holding both a BFA and an MFA in ceramics, displays his background in hands-on craft. Like his prior work, the art of ... More » »


Their Mouths Filled With Earth — sacred monsters examined at GrizzlyGrizzly

[Alex explores the connections in a three-artist show of distinctly different works spanning the history of portraiture, depictions of women in art, and how we see ourselves. — the artblog editors] In the intimate space of GrizzlyGrizzly, Matthew Hansel, Christopher Davison, and Anthony Miler surround gallerygoers with a horde of unnerving painted portraits of faceless aristocrats, distorted children, and towering supernatural women, in various styles and media. Like being in a room whose shelves are lined with heirloom dolls, the viewer feels they have crossed the Uncanny Valley; and the unsettling association (and subsequent dissociation) with these forms creates an ... More » »


Unfold All Over at Space 1026 — new works by Lynnea Holland-Weiss

[Lauren allows the mood of Lynnea Holland-Weiss’ work to sweep over her, imagining the stories inside the artists’ paintings. — the artblog editors] There are many formal ways to introduce artwork in a critique, but I’m going to err on the side of casual and say up-front that I am absolutely mesmerized by Lynnea Holland-Weiss’ paintings. Holland-Weiss argues in the show’s press release that she is “setting a mood [rather] than creating a narrative.” But, I beg to differ: Doesn’t a mood create narrative? It does indeed–a joyous undertone breathing through a painting makes a viewer question the cause of ... More » »

Becky (Lake), 2013
Jessica Todd Harper
Archival pigment print on Epson Lustre paper printed 2014
26 5/8" x 40"

Photographer Jessica Todd Harper reveals her idyllic home at the Print Center

[Kelly is drawn into Harper’s immaculately composed, richly toned photographs of family; through her admiration, she wonders if these scenes can ever come true for onlookers. — the artblog editors] The “lovey,” otherwise known as the toddler’s comfort object: broken-in, comfort-giving, no-frills. It may be overlooked in “Marshall with Family and the World” by all who don’t have one at home. I have never seen a lovey that has bells and whistles, or even bright colors. This is Jessica Todd Harper’s version of parenthood in The Home Stage at the Print Center. Classic-looking images: ethereally lit and deftly composed, devoid of bells and ... More » »

We'll be back © Zoe Strauss

Photographer Zoe Strauss frames destruction, hope, tenacity at Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery

[Evan takes in a disaster-focused show by local photographer Zoe Strauss, whose interest in marginalized communities has won her attention and acclaim. — the artblog editors] Zoe Strauss is a photographer who has already asserted a deliberate and clear identity in her various endeavors by photographing instinctually and frequently, amassing a large library of color images often depicting the stories of the marginalized and struggling. She is conscious, as all photographers should be, not just of the material output of her camera but of the ramifications of her works’ use and the lasting effect of the final product. Many artists ... More » »

Installation view

Your Life Is Happening Now — Sarah Gamble at The Galleries at Moore

[Michael L. takes a critical eye to a collection of small ink works by Sarah Gamble, probing the depth of individual works and of the exhibition as a whole. — the artblog editors] Your Life Is Happening Now is comprised of 100 small sumi ink and watercolor works on paper from 2014 by Philadelphia artist Sarah Gamble, which have been beautifully presented in Moore’s Galleries. Cats, eyes, masks, and mouths It is easy to be seduced by Gamble’s washed black-and-white tones, reminiscent of those found in some traditional Japanese sumi-e painting. Gamble’s use of the medium to contrast positive and ... More » »

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