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Weekly Update (1) – Space at Gallery Joe and FUEL

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Lynne Clibanoff mini-environment in a small plywood box. Click image to see it bigger

[This week’s Weekly has my review of Gallery Joe’s Drawing Spaces, the 2-person exhibit of sculpture and drawings by Lynne Clibanoff and Cheryl Goldsleger. There’s also a sketch about the new FUEL Gallery. Here’s the link to the art page and below is the copy with pictures. And here’s Libby’s post on Drawing Spaces. Stay tuned..more pictures in a moment. And see my flickr set for additional photos and Libby’s flickr set as well.]

All Spaced Out
An architectural show evokes both dream worlds and real worlds.

Cheryl Goldsleger and Lynne Clibanoff have their minds on architecture. But as you can see in their two-person “Drawing Spaces” show at Gallery Joe, the artists are builders with a difference. Clibanoff’s scale-model constructions are house fragments of a surreal variety. They play with perspective, giving the viewer the illusion of deep, almost vertiginous space that recedes dramatically in a plywood box not much larger than a cigar box. With their raking shadows and light, Clibanoff’s exquisite mini-environments evoke dream space where magic happens.

Cheryl Goldsleger, resin piece with embedded stairway. Very ghostly and archeological.

Goldsleger is a model maker as well, and her amber-colored cubes of epoxy acrylate hold what appear to be ghostly emanations of a stairway or corridor. While Clibanoff’s constructions have an aspect of play to them, Goldsleger’s are forlorn and antique-feeling. They’re imbued with longing for an ideal world.

Both artists present drawings as well, and the drawings and constructions are interwoven in a nice dialogue about space and shelter, and time and memory.

Lynne Clibanoff box installation. Very painterly and surreal.

Clibanoff’s drawings are the plans for her constructions. Full of measurements and a kind of take-charge drive, the drawings Plan for Center Hall and Plan for Bedroom-like the model roomettes actually constructed by the artist-achieve a contractorlike, no-nonsense buzz.

Detail of a Goldsleger graphite and liquid graphite drawing.

Goldsleger’s graphite drawings are far different animals. Dark and moody, the graphite and liquid graphite drawings seem to melt away as if they were subjected to a bath of tears. These aren’t plans for architectural spaces at all, but rather elegies for spaces that either were or might have been. Goldsleger’s titles Rise, Migrate, Origin and Crosscut hint at the drawings’ metaphorical underpinnings. Both artists’ creations evoke space without comfort and the idea of the individual who may have a house, nest or edifice-but who’s ultimately alone.

Lynne Clibanoff and Cheryl Goldsleger: “Drawing Spaces”
Though June 3. Gallery Joe, 302 Arch St. 215.592.7752.


Fueling Around

Austin Lee painting, FUEL. I love the color fields as enemy oppressors.

What you need to know about the new Fuel Gallery, which opens June 2, is that a) the art venue in the Seamen’s Church Institute on Third and Arch is serious about promoting youth-focused (i.e., undergraduate) art, and b) the crew in charge, headed by Marguerite McDonald and Jennifer Yaron, is business-savvy, and their business model includes sharing their beautiful two-floor atrium space with you if you’d like to book it for an event. When I stopped by for a peek on First Friday in May, the place was abuzz with preparation for the private VIP opening that evening.

Brian Chen paintings at FUEL.

The art on the walls-all paintings-ran the gamut from Academy-style figuration to edgier-actually pretty great-cartoon works by Brian Chen and pop icons by Austin Lee. I was happy to see Paul Santoleri, one of the city’s premier mural artists–and no undergraduate–included. Santoleri even painted a mural on a downstairs wall. Ethan Hougah, a Fuel spokesperson, emailed to say the gallery is open now by appointment, but after June 2 they’ll have regular hours. The gallery’s website has a call for submissions for its winter show, a theme idea involving school chairs. Undergraduate artists: Check it out. Although I have to question the focus on youth art at a time when psychologists say “26 is the new 21,” it’s great to see the big building in the heart of Old City actually open its doors as an art venue.

Fri., June 2, 5pm. Free. Fuel Gallery, 249 Arch St. 215.592.8400.