Subscribe Today!

Weekly Update (2) — Summer with Louise Bourgeois and William Pope. L


[The Weekly’s Summer Guide issue this week includes my wrap-up of things to do locally and in Pittsburgh (let’s look west for a change!). Here’s the link to the art roundup and below is the copy with pictures.]

Catching the Wave
From a one-day-only traveling sideshow to a monumental bronze and steel spider, this summer offers an array of great art happenings.

The Bugs of Summer

Louise Bourgeois, Spider, 1996, cast 1997, bronze cast with silver nitrate patina. Here, sited on the National Gallery grounds in DC. I can’t find an image of the Crouching Spider but will take some tomorrow at the unveiling.

Summer’s the time for bugs. This year watch out for one big arachnid perched above the Rocky steps on the Philadelphia Museum of Art‘s east terrace. Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider-a monumental bronze and stainless-steel web-weaver-comes to visit May 24 and will stay through April 2007. [Ed note: I was told to look for the spider’s unveiling tomorrow. We at Artblog will be there to take some pictures. Stay tuned.] The spider’s visit is a little ahead of summer mosquitoes, but it’s right on time for an exhibition of Bourgeois’ works at the Fabric Workshop and Museum. That show, opening July 8, will feature the French-born Bourgeois’ fabric works along with some recent sculpture and a film. One of the most important 20th-century artists, Bourgeois, now 95, broke traditions and led the way into installation art and autobiographical performance-related works. Bridgette Cornand’s 2002 feature-length film biography C’est Le Murmure De L’eau Qui Chante will screen in the FWM’s auditorium, and it’s a must-see for anyone interested in the artist.

The Black Factory

William Pope.L’s The Black Factory. NOTE: The Factory will be in town for THREE DAYS! In addition to the FWM stop on July 27, it will be at the ICA July 28 and Bartram’s Garden, July 29.

Also coming to the FWM–perhaps the hottest art happening of the season–is the one-day-only (July 27) visit of New York artist William Pope.L, who brings his traveling educational sideshow The Black Factory, a panel-truck that unfolds to become a workshop, library and gift shop. Pope.L’s people-power-mobile seeks to provoke discussions of race, politics and democracy. You’re encouraged to show up with objects that represent blackness.

Da Vinci In the Garden

Da Vinci Art Alliance–this year celebrating its 75th anniversary–is going to Bartram’s Garden for a collaborative weekend of free arts-and-crafts workshops and an exhibit. Bartram’s, the more than 250-year-old historic botanical preserve on the Schuylkill, will open itself to Da Vinci artists and to the public for free Aug. 18 to 20 for various indoor and outdoor activites.

Art Jaw and Paper Trail

Shelley Spector‘s online collaborative writing project Art Jaw launches May 31. Written by local artists, curators and gallerists, Art Jaw will feature short autobiographical anecdotes and images, and will grow bimonthly as new stories get added. The first round of writings features 11 artists. And because nobody lives entirely in cyberspace, Art Jaw kicks off with a two-day real-world exhibit “Paper Trail” at Spector Gallery June 9 and 10. Rejection letters, bills and other paper artifacts-provided by art world folks-will form an installation that, according to Spector, is like a “walk-in communal file cabinet.”

Smiles of a summer photograph

David Graham, Nan and Vi in Maine, Photograph taken in Maine, 1982

Summer is also museum-going time. The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers two excellent photo-graphy exhibits this summer: “Summer Vacation” and “Dreaming in Black and White: Photography at the Julien Levy Gallery.” “Summer” features views of quintessential seasonal activities-backyard barbecues, street fairs, camps, company picnics-that you’ll enjoy without having to eat, drink or socialize.

Frida Kahlo, c. 1938, Julien Levy (American, 1906-1981) Gelatin silver print

Katherine Ware and Peter Barberie co-curated the museum’s other summer photo show “Dreaming,” a 200-plus-work exhibit drawn from the Julien Levy collection (which was given to the museum in 2001). Levy, whose gallery operated from 1931 to 1948, was the first exhibitor of surrealism in New York, and this show, opening June 17, rounds up many of the photographs he featured.

Travel to Maine at PAFA

Alex Katz painting from PAFA’s Maine show.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will take you to Maine this summer courtesy of the “Alex Katz in Maine” exhibit opening June 24. The show, organized by the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, will feature Katz’s paintings of people and landscapes done between 1958 and 2004.

Travel to Pittsburgh…really

John James Audubon, Barn Owls, from the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Fierce Friends exhibit.

Pittsburgh museums like the Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art make wonderful art destinations, and a great alternative to New York. I’ve been to Pittsburgh’s museums a number of times and always found them excellent, their collections full and interesting and their theme exhibits provocative. The Carnegie Museum’s theme show “Fierce Friends” with more than 300 works that feature animals-and the idea of animal-human interactions-sounds great.

Entrance to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

And for a celebration of the human animal, the Warhol Museum’s theme exhibits “The ‘F’ Word” and “The Downtown Show: The New York Art Scene 1974-84” sound like great cultural anthropology. “The ‘F’ Word” focuses on art made by 10 women, from early feminist artists like Yoko Ono to contemporary stars like Wangechi Mutu. “The Downtown Show” features a staggering number of works (500-plus) from the era of happenings and early video art. Both shows open May 27.

Fall’s tasty treats to dream on

Tristin Lowe’s inflatable cyclops, “Alice” in his Girard College solo show.

Summer’s also the time for dreaming, so here are a few fall items to dream about: Michelle Oosterbaan‘s first solo show at Gallery Joe and Tristin Lowe‘s first solo exhibit at Fleisher-Ollman Gallery.

Michelle Oosterbaan drawing from group show last year at Gallery Joe.

Also anticipated: F-O Gallery director William Pym says his venue will push itself in new directions with community-oriented extracurricular gatherings. The world is waiting.

On a final note, artists and gallerists often prepare for upcoming exhibitions during summer months. Consequently, many venues take a break from regular hours, so it’s best to call ahead before making a plan.

Where It’s At

“Alex Katz in Maine”
June 24-Sept. 3. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Hamilton Bldg., Fisher Brooks Gallery, 118-128 N. Broad St. 215.972.7600.

“Art Jaw”
May 31.

“Creative Cross-Pollination: Da Vinci Art Alliance at Bartram’s Garden”
Aug. 18-20. Opening reception Aug. 18, 6-9pm. Free. 54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd. 215.729.5281.

“The Downtown Show: The New York Art Scene, 1974-84”
May 27-Sept. 3. Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., Pittsburgh. 412.237.8339.

“Dreaming in Black and White: Photography at the Julien Levy Gallery”
June 17-Sept. 17. Berman and Stieglitz Galleries, ground fl., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St. and the Pkwy. 215.763.8100.

“Fierce Friends: Artists andAnimals, 1750-1900”
Through Aug. 27. Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh. 412.622.3131.

“The ‘F’ Word”
May 27-Sept. 3. Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., Pittsburgh. 412.237.8339.

Louise Bourgeois: “Crouching Spider”
May 24-April 2007. Philadelphia Museum of Art, east terrace, 26th St. and the Pkwy. 215.763.8100.

Louise Bourgeois
July 8-Sept. 16. Opening reception July 7, 6pm. Free. Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1315 Cherry St. 215.568.1111.
Michelle Oosterbaan
Sept. Gallery Joe, 302 Arch St. 215.592.7752.
“Paper Trail”
June 9-10. Opening reception June 9, 6-9pm. Free. Spector Gallery, 510 Bainbridge St. 215.238.0840.

“Summer Vacation: Photographs From the Collection”
Through Sept. Julien Levy Gallery, ground fl., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St. and the Pkwy. 215.763.8100.

Tristin Lowe
Oct. Fleisher-Ollman Gallery, 1616 Walnut St., suite. 100. 215.545.7562.

William Pope.L: “The Black Factory”
July 27. Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1315 Cherry St. 215.568.1111.