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Sticks and photos

Three things in the Weekly today. First, a preview of the new commercial photography gallery, Gallery 339. Read it here. The new venture, in a completely-rehabbed 1860’s era building at 21st and Pine opens this Friday with a two-person show by British photographer Edward Dimsdale and Korean photographer Bonchang Koo.

Martin McNamara, Gallery Director, has high aspirations for his venture. I haven’t seen the space in completed form but here’s a shot McNamara sent me a while ago of the upstairs space (the place is big — sits on a corner and will have a front gallery and rear space on the first floor and another gallery on the second, with first and second floors connected via an open staircase.)


Brian Wagner’s “Accumulation” at Drexel’s Pearlstein Gallery is a long-overdue solo event for the found-object sculptor and Drexel prof. My quickie editor’s picks review is here. I can’t get enough of this work which subverts the utilitarianism of such tools as brooms and rulers to make them into metaphorical objects that tell tales of community and interconnections and time lines. Here I’ll run some images and say I have a soft spot for Wagner because he was the first artist’s feature story I wrote for PW back in 1999. I didn’t have a clue how to write a feature story and spent much time following Wagner around as he was putting together a show of his 5,000 Sticks. He was most generous and is a gentle soul.

Top two images are the 5,000 Sticks here arranged in a kind of “u” shape at Drexel. Wagner had many assistants help him put together the piece. He said it took less than a day.

Woven tape measures…

Sticks in vitrines and rulers on the walls. Also, a painting with stick imagery.

Equality Forum

There’s an insert in the paper for the Equality Forum, the LGBT conference in Philadelphia that this year is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the gay rights movement. Each year the Forum has an art exhibition. This year’s exhibit shows photography by Arthur Tress, pioneering artist of gay fantasy imagery.

My review of the show is here. The imagery is bold and can be funny and …it’s tres Dali-esque in the way it leaves the real world behind and kind of kicks it in the butt. Tress makes references to art history and I thought his “Railroad Worker” quoted from Lewis Hine in a nice, snarky way. More on Hine here.
( Hine‘s photo is on the top and Tress‘s is below.)