A girl’s world

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While Greater New York is taking its licks for not enough women artists included in the show (see Roberta’s post), here in Philadelphia, Space 1026 is finishing up its second exhibit in a row with not a male artist in sight.

This one, Full Fathom 5, in its final week–five artists from Providence–like the one before (see post), was not a conscious decision to show women only, said the show’s curator, artist Max Lawrence. The preponderance of females has more to do with the increasing number of women involved in 1026, now, and their heavily female network.

You know, boys know lots of boys, girls know lots of girls. It’s the way of the world. At least at 1026 they didn’t claim that they are showing women because they couldn’t find a fair share of qualifying men.

Two printmakers stole the show–Jung il Hong, who installed a shooting gallery lined with her overwhelmingly pretty silkscreens. There’s a real bb gun, tons of detail, targets and a pink-pink-pink trippy patterning and decoration effect in what’s normally a boy space (top photo, detail inside the shooting gallery).

Roberta and I stopped by Saturday afternoon, and Lawrence showed us some prints of hers that weren’t hanging–images that joined detailed Asian pattern and gesture and natural world with suburban housing and graphic details from the world around us. This work is fantastic, and Lawrence said the Philadelphia Museum of Art was interested (left, one of Hong’s prints).
The other printmaker, Jenny Nichols, offers a mordant slice of political point-of-view, a rip on the military-industrial complex, with zoned-out people attached to some futuristic life support (right), with pit bulls fighting on land and under water, and other images that telegraph threat. No way could you define the creator, just by looking, as female. Some of the prints also have amazing patterning; some have wonderful watery imagery.

The show also included surrealist distortion mixed with painty expressionism from Erica Svec, with enough recognizable imagery, like these sliding bathroom tiles (left), providing a ticket for entry. One of Svec’s paintings a landscape, the other an interior, both held my attention and made me admire.

The other big, brushy painter, Annette Wehrhahn, showed images decidedly more abstract, but space and texture and other bits of imagery kept them in this world (right). Lawrence mentioned that Wehrhahn’s paintings were all hinged to fold up–Wehrhahn’s apartment is small indeed and so is she, and that’s how she was able to move the work out. The show also included a plaster landscape by Megan Biddle that reminded me of the stratified paper holes of Noriko Ambe (see post on paper show at Tyler).

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