Wearing your heart on your wall, inside variety

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“Homage to the Barnes” at Seraphin Gallery installs some fourteen small, gilt-framed paintings and a drawing on a wall in the contemporary art gallery known for edgier stuff. The wall is a curatorial show of solidarity with the beleaguered Barnes. “We hope they move to Philadelphia,” says Assistant Gallery Director Lorraine Seraphin Rainey, just in case you want clarification. (image above is the “Homage” installation)

“Homage” sports work by Arthur B. Davies, Joseph Stella and others — traditional Cezanne-esque landscapes, some portraits and still lifes and one excellent small pencil drawing by C.K. Chatterton (shown above). Seraphin deals in the 19th and 20th Century works as a sideline to the contemporary work they show.

For my money, the best part of the outing was seeing the Barnsian moment that arose from the placement of a Victor Vazquez photograph, the Santaria-imbued “Birdman,” on the wall facing the fussy, Western work. “Birdman” seems fixated as if trying to figure out what it is he’s seeing on the wall before him.

Vazquez, who lives in Puerto Rico, will debut new work in the gallery in February. Rainey says the artist has been working in video lately. Let’s hope we see some. (image bottom is “Birdman”)

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