Tag Archive "philadelphia"

Fiber art

Anna Betbeze’s visceral world at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery

[Alex gets close enough to touch some textile works that evoke and elevate primitive practices. — the artblog editors] At the University of the Arts’ Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, the work of New York-based painter Anna Betbeze transforms the space into a colorful, heady environment somewhere between a post-apocalyptic campground and the depths of the deep blue sea. Her paintings–monumental textile works consisting of Greek flokati rugs, bath mats, and scraps of fur and wool–ooze from the walls on which they are hung, tapestries of battered refuse dotted with burns and stains. The composition and calculated deconstruction of the fibers creates lyrical ... More » »


13 quilts by the Needle and Gun Club at the Barnes Museum

[Kitty admires the many skills of three female FBI agents who discovered quilting, and who have translated their medium to replicating Impressionist artworks. — the artblog editors] You’d think that FBI agents had enough to do, what with tracking down violent criminals, transcribing wiretaps, and taking regular target practice. Not so for three female agents. They discovered a complementary passion–quilting–in a high school evening class, and later named their venture “The Needle and Gun Club,” after one agent popped her trunk after target practice to show her latest quilt. By then, the group had expanded to include relatives of the ... More » »


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 » »

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