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Weekly Update – Transformer


On the art page in this week’s Weekly is a piece by Lex Chalat about Lineage Gallery. Lineage is a transplant from Burlington, VT that moved to Philly soon after Jonathan Levine‘s Tin Man Alley decamped. (The newly dubbed Jonathan Levine Gallery is now in New York). Both galleries show similar art in the illustration/album cover genre. In fact both galleries have Mark Ryden and Jeff Soto in their stables. Chalat’s is an opinion piece and while I don’t agree that Lineage is the best new thing in town, nor is it the first time we’ve seen such art, check out the article.

And in the Editor’s Choice section of the Listings, you’ll find my short review of Transformer, the West Collection group exhibit at Main Line Art Center. I told you about other aspects of the show in a previous post. And see lots of pix on my flickr site.


One of the most enjoyable exhibits by nonlocal artists this season is “Transformer,” the traveling theme show at Main Line Art Center with art from the West Collection in Oaks, Pa. The show is postmodern to the core, with pieces both self-conscious and self-consciously concerned with the art history canon. Happily, the works rise above that with hallucinatory contemporary visions that manage to raise social issues.

Luis Gispert’s Untitled cheerleader ascending riffs on religious painting.

Luis Gispert
‘s staged photographs of what look like levitating cheerleaders replay scenes from medieval paintings of the annunciation or the resurrection. Gispert strips religion from his work and sets the young Asian and Latino squad members with their gold bracelets and sculpted nails against a seamless void of emerald green. The photos are visual seductions that completely lack spirituality. But like Rauf Mamedov‘s five-photo Games on Window Sills—which stages Dutch master tableaux using a cast of Down syndrome actors—Gispert’s works are consumed with humanism and thoughts about the sacredness and wonder of human beings. Other works in the show—all outstanding—are by Long-Bin Chen, Sharon Core, James Hyde, Robert Lazzarini, Vik Muniz and Eve Sussman. “Transformer” will make you think. The show’s both incendiary and a visual delight.

Free. Through May 3. Main Line Art Center, Old Buck Rd. and Lancaster Ave., Haverford. 610.525.0272.