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Weekly Update 2-Fall Roundup


This week’s Weekly has my fall roundup of what’s to see when you’re not raking leaves. Below is the copy with some images. And here’s the link to the article in the paper.

With a Broad Brush
There’s a full palette of art to dip into this season.

Kelly McRaven
Detail of a painting by Kelly McRaven from her show at Peng.

From juicy paintings by Kelly McRaven at Peng to the exquisitely designed botanicals of Csilla Sadloch at Schmidt-Dean, the town that birthed Thomas Eakins is pushing paint again this fall. But painting is just one headline in a growing scene that now sprawls from south of South Street to north of Northern Liberties and west of 40th Street.

The continuing ascendancy of photography is a big story too, with fine examples at the Print Center, Muse, Gallery 339 and elsewhere. Video and digital media will be big at the Art Alliance, Vox Populi and Painted Bride. Now if someone would organize a shuttle service for the growing patchwork quilt of a scene and maybe do a citywide First Friday or Saturday event, we could tell just how big the family’s getting.

Painting Their Hearts Out

Kelly McRaven
Kelly McRaven (white sweater) talking with a viewer at the opening of her solo show at Peng Gallery, First Friday, September.

I first saw Kelly McRaven’s paintings at the 2005 Tyler M.F.A. exhibit at the Ice Box. They were small works with a Singer Sargent-like virtuosity, and subject matter that was a mystery to me: opulent interiors from wealthy homes.

Why a young painter would pursue this Vuillard-like material at a time when painting was mostly being photographic and pop culture-ish I couldn’t imagine. But something about the work’s deadpan approach intrigued.

McRaven, who lives in New York now, is working bigger. The postcard image for her solo exhibit at Peng shows the artist making works at least 6 feet on a side. The scale shift may work well with her subject matter, bestowing upon the scenes of beauty and comfort a sense of falseness, which they need to transcend documentation or fashion and become the big idea they want to be.

Csilla Sadlock
Csilla Sadloch. HIBISCUS. oil on board. 51×51 in. 2005, at Schmidt-Dean Gallery.

If you’re a fan of the brushed, the scumbled and the palette-knifed, put these galleries on your list in addition to Peng: Pentimenti, Bridgette Mayer, Becker, Schmidt-Dean, Pageant, Seraphin, Projects, Rodger LaPelle and PII. The paintings they show are consistently of interest. This fall I’m excited to see Mauro Zamora’s and Todd Keyser’s new socially themed paintings at Seraphin, Caleb Weintraub’s collage paintings at Projects Gallery (in a Cheryl Harper-guest-curated show) and Shane Durgee’s playful and youthful experiments at PII.
Caleb Weintraub
Caleb Weintraub painting from Projects Gallery


Sculpture is a hard sell for many, but Philadelphia has two outstanding found-object sculptors: Terry Adkins and Kent Latimer, whose works are up this fall. (See my post on my studio visit with Latimer.)

Terry Adkins
Terry Adkins. Piece from his 2004 show at Pageant Gallery.

Adkins’ first exhibit at Pageant: Soloveev Gallery “Black Beethoven: Recital in Nine Dominions” (the gallery’s inaugural show in 2004) was perfect.

Here’s my Weekly review which somehow didn’t make it into artblog. The sculptor and Penn faculty member pulled together an array of works that ranged from the towering and terrifying to the small and humble. No pairings of objects seemed forced, and many (like the old horn and the damaged statue of the angel) were poetry. Race, history and empowerment are all over the works, which aren’t pedantic and illustrative, but rather allusive and surreal. (See Libby’s post and see my flickr set for more images from Adkins’ Black Beethoven.

Terry Adkins
Horns with plenty of ideas in them.

Adkins is shamanlike, and his installations often involve a musical performance in which the artist himself participates. His second solo with Pageant arrives in November, and I almost can’t contain my excitement about it.

Kent Latimer also makes improbable matches with found objects. His works are included in the group exhibit “Cut and Paste” at Falling Cow Gallery, near Pageant on Fourth Street in the burgeoning Bainbridge art corridor.

new purchase
My little Romy Scheroder pot obtained from the artist’s boutique, Satya.

If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to check out Chapterhouse Cafe at Ninth and Bainbridge. It’s a beautiful space with group exhibits and live music.x

Jon Krause -chapterhouse cafe
Painting by Jon Krause, from a show last summer at Chapterhouse Cafe.

Also stop by Satya Boutique, another gorgeous space with sustainably “green” clothes and lovely little pots made by owner Romy Scheroder.


Nadia Hironaka
Nadia Hironaka’s new video, Crack, based on the horror/slasher genre but with an incomplete narrative.

Philadelphia is rich with both teachers and practitioners of video art, animation and digital media. Roxana Pérez-Méndez and Nadia Hironaka—two of the best—will exhibit new works of narrative fantasy this fall. Hironaka’s piece at Vox Populi is a South Philadelphia serial- killer fantasy based on an incident (and rumors) in her neighborhood.

And Pérez-Méndez, in a solo installation at the Painted Bride, keeps mining her Puerto Rican-American identity in a new work about a towering hotel on the island that’s both Babel and Babylon.

And don’t miss the Art Alliance/Mobius collaborative, an 18-artist exhibit of digitally made art that moves. Local artist Peter Rose is one reason to go.


The Print Center takes photography back in time in new commissioned works made with “the oldest and simplest photographic device,” the camera obscura.

Internationally acclaimed artists Abelardo Morell, Ann Hamilton and Vera Lutter journeyed around Philadelphia with the old-fashioned lens and black box to make representations that are at once ghostly and fresh.

Sarah Stolfa
Sarah Stolfa’s McGlinchy’s portrait photographs, from her installation in the Woodmere Triennial of Photographer last Spring.

At Gallery 339 Sarah Stolfa’s and Don Camp’s portrait photographs also harken back in time—and across disciplines—to painting. Stolfa’s color photos of McGlinchey’s bar patrons have the gravitas and psychological depth of Rembrandt’s best portraits. Camp’s photos, opening in November, are spiritual and iconic, the scratched and worked surfaces evoking the face of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin.

Keith Sharp at Muse is another photographer to watch. And don’t miss the Kandy Project at Sande Webster (September) and Jane & Bert Gallery (November): Twenty-one Philadelphia photographers and one model means one great theme show.
Art History Lessons

Tesoros-Image 18.jpg
Andres Lopez (Mexican), The Good Shepherd (El Buen Pastor), c. 1780. Oil on canvas, 46 x 51 cm. Denver Art Museum; Collection of Jan and Frederick Mayer.

No lineup is complete without mention of the art historical ventures around town, in museums and elsewhere. “Tesoros” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art will teach us about the roots of contemporary Latin American art in past eras. And here’s one that’s not for children or the squeamish: Slought Foundation’s “Primal Secretions,” a documentary retrospective of the work of 1960s-era Viennese actionist Günter Bruss, who was known for self-mutilation during his performances. Get ready for (documentary) blood.

John Armleder
Installation shot at Friday’s ICA opening of some 500 drawings by John Armleder made between the 1950s and yesterday.

And leave it to the ICA to come up with the headiest and most provocative series of lectures and events to supplement its already headier-than-thou programming. Check their website for the entire lineup.

Here are two that caught my eye: “Making Marks” on Nov. 29, a panel on the practice of drawing, with Sarah McEneaney, Randall Sellers, Andrew Jeffrey Wright and senior curator Ingrid Schaffner; and “Performance” with John Armleder and Christian Marclay, Dec. 1. Armleder (featured this fall at the ICA) is a frequent collaborator with the video/musician/artist Marclay. What will be performed can only be imagined.

Ann Hamilton, Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morell: “Taken With Time”
Through Nov. 11. Print Center, 1614 Latimer St. 215.735.6090.

Caleb Weintraub: “ … With the Bathwater”
Through Oct. 29. Projects Gallery, 629 N. Second St. 267.303.9652.

Csilla Sadloch: “New Paintings”
Through Oct. 14. Schmidt-Dean Gallery, 1710 Sansom St. 215.569.9433.

“Cut and Paste”
Through Sept. 30. Falling Cow Gallery, 732 S. Fourth St. 215.627.4625.

Don Camp
Mid-Nov.-mid-Jan. Gallery 339, 339 S. 21st St. 215.731.1530.

John Armleder and Christian Marclay: “Performance”
Fri., Dec. 1, 7pm. $3-$6. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.5911.

“The Kandy Project”
Through Sept. 27. Sande Webster Gallery, 2006 Walnut St. 215.636.9003; Nov. 3-30. Jane & Bert Gallery, 239 Market St. 215.923.3219.

Keith Sharp: “Photographs From the ‘Grounded’ Series”Oct. 4-29. Muse Gallery, 60 N. Second St. 215.627.5310.

Kelly McRaven
Through Sept. 30. Peng Gallery, 35 S. Third St. 215.629.5889.

“Making Marks”
Wed., Nov. 29, 6pm. $3-$6. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.5911.

Mauro Zamora: “Border Crossing”; Todd Keyser: “This Is Not Your Father’s Narrative”
Through Oct. 8. Seraphin Gallery, 1108 Pine St. 215.923.7000.

Nadia Hironaka, Corey Antis, Xiang Yang and Diana Al-Hadid; Emilie Ritzmann
Through Sept. 30. Vox Populi, 1315 Cherry St. 215.568.5513.

“Out of Frame: Motion Art From Mobius”
Sept. 21-Dec. 31. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St. 215.545.4302.

“Primal Secretions: A Günter Bruss Retrospective”
Sept. 23-Dec. 23. Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut St. 215.222.9050.

Roxana Pérez-Méndez: “Encantada”
Through Oct. 14. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914.

Sarah Stolfa: “The Regulars”
Sept. 22-Nov. 11. Gallery 339, 339 S. 21st St. 215.731.1530.

Shane Durgee: “New Paintings”
Oct. 6-31. 6pm. PII Gallery, 242 Race St. 610.328.3468.

Terry Adkins: “Ornithology”
Nov. 17-Dec. 31. Pageant: Soloveev Gallery, 607 Bainbridge St. 215.925.1535. email:

“Tesoros: The Arts in Latin America 1492-1820”
Sept. 20-Dec. 31. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St. and the Pkwy. 215.763.8100.