Despite all the technical know-how that goes into producing this work, there is something distinctly painterly about Portlock’s approach to image-making. and his futuristic landscapes owe a great deal to the golden age of American landscape painting in the nineteenth century. What separates Portlock’s work from the Hudson River School’s optimism is the artist’s pragmatic engagement with the difficult issues facing many American cities in the 21st century, such as the growing socioeconomic divide between rich and poor, the housing crisis, and environmental degradation. He presents a vision of Philadelphia that is terrifyingly realistic, for depending on where you live, litter-filled streets and boarded-up buildings are all too familiar. As a new resident, I still see the scars of poverty and gentrification that crisscross the city, but exposure and familiarity can blunt the impact of painful reality. Bringing together historical references, contemporary issues, and digital technology, he helps us to see our city with new eyes.Read More
Levitt’s work typifies the inner world of a person utterly and easily delighted with life—the lives of others, of objects, of despondent and celebratory moments. Her photographs portray a sensitive and honest world unclouded by the politics or social mores of her time.Read More
The nature of Devil’s Pool is truly gorgeous, but what Kaufman’s eye dwells most lovingly on is the people, especially their gestures, the body language of those standing on the rocks, flying through the air, or hanging around in the water. She’s also good with faces.Read More
For the museum, this exhibit of Indian contemporary photography is a great complement to the PMA’s commitment to Indian art. For Philadelphians, the show is a great introduction to work that has not been widely exhibited here before.Read More
This beautifully produced and spectacularly illustrated book offers a six-continent tour of twenty-
five sculpture parks; readers are unlikely to know of most of the collections, which can be visited only with considerable planning, if at all. Three are exclusively private, one is open on a single day every year, and another is best viewed from a hotair balloon.
A deep blue sky melts into a silvery fluorescence at the horizon, permeated with the crisp black silhouettes of branches shattering across the frame.Read More
There is something fascinating, even profound, about the notion of an African immigrant community in China, as there is about the large population of Chinese, who have received much attention, now living in Africa. Little Road North is part of the narrative that documents and studies the viability of such immigrant communities.Read More
Dave Heath (b. Philadelphia 1931) was abandoned by his family at an early age, growing up in the Philadelphia foster care system. This lack of a true sense of belonging clearly shaped both his need to connect with the world through photography and the sense of longing and solitude that hovers thick in the air around his work.Read More
A Monet-like photograph of water lilies fading in water (Stephen Shore), a monstrous face drawn over a dark backdrop (William E. Parker), and printed leaf-cutouts installed in conversation with images of birds on the exhibition walls (Eileen Neff)–all these photographs might seem disconnected on first impression, but this would be deceptive.Read More
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