Weekly Update 1 – Fleisher Challenge 3

This week’s Weekly has my Editor’s Picks short review of Fleisher Challenge 3. Below is the copy and I have more pictures at flickr.

Susan Myers
Silver-plated take-out box by Susan Myers at Fleisher Challenge 3.

All three artists in this year’s Fleisher Challenge (3) deserve the label of virtuoso, since all are formidable makers of works requiring fastidious adherence to technique. But Eva Wylie’s and Colette Fu’s works have me questioning the staying power of technique-heavy production that’s content-lite.

Colette Fu
Artist Colette Fu demonstrating how to open and close her complex pop-up books which look like they are too delicate to do so. They actually close and open easily.

Fu’s pop-up books of Philadelphia locales such as the Rodin Museum are true marvels of paper engineering whose content is gift-shop standard, while Wylie’s four-color miniature fantasy scene screenprinted directly on the walls is dangerously close to greeting-card precious.

Eva Wylie
Eva Wylie, detail of her room-spanning screenprinted fantasy on the wall.

I’d love to see the scale of Wylie’s works grow, and her content clarify around a larger point. Fortunately Susan Myers’ fine metal pieces push the show to a meatier level, dealing with issues of ecology, recycling and the false promise of glitter. Her silver-plated takeout boxes made from thrift shop discards (those 25th wedding anniversary platters, replated and retooled into marvelous new objects) and her Tiffany-evoking gift bows and fringed-aluminum wallpaper speak of the pretty, the festive and the celebratory. However, the subliminal message—about tarnished hopes, false dreams and our perverse throwaway culture—adds a note of poignancy and Duchampian irony.

Wind Fleisher Challenge 3: Susan Myers, Eva Wylie, Colette Fu
Through Feb. 10. Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St. 215.922.3456.