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Weekly Update 2 – Spring art emerges and looks good


This week’s Weekly has my Spring art roundup. Below is the copy with some pictures. More images at flickr here. And see some “before” shots of the new Vox Populi and new Black Floor/Copy, sill under construction when I visited a couple weeks ago.

Be Still My Aching Art
Philly’s scene retools for spring.

The emerging artist scene is, well, emerging this season, with big changes at several venues. Vox Populi moves, while Black Floor assumes a new name. Art Syndicate loses its space but will partner with Jinxed for an upcoming show. Meanwhile, at the institutions and established venues, life goes on—and it’s good.

Vox Goes North

Vox Pop and Black Floor
Vox Populi executive director Amy Adams (second from right) shakes hands with Nick Paparone of Black Floor, Vox’s neighbors on the third floor of 319 A N. 11th St. Left-right are Annette Monnier, Jamie Dillon and Paparone of Black Floor (the new Copy Gallery), Adams and Julianna Foster of Vox.

The most anticipated opening this spring comes April 6 as Vox Populi breaks out the beer for a new show and celebration. After much work, Vox arrives at a cheery third-floor space just blocks from its old digs, and looks stronger than ever. With new members, more floor space and two rentable artist studios, Vox will add a project space intended to incubate new galleries or new developments for emerging artists.

The collective will be 20 years old next year, and has survived four wrenching moves prior to this one. In the past they’ve lost members due to the stress, extra work and expense of changing spaces. But this time Vox’s executive director Amy Adams says they’ve lost no members. In fact she’s very excited about new members who signed on despite the imminent move.

The layout in the tin-ceilinged loft includes space for member shows, a space for a visiting artist show, a video lounge, a project space and two 170-square-foot artist studios.

stefan abrams inSite1.jpg
New photo by Stefan Abrams‘ from his upcoming show at Vox Populi.

The new project incubator space opens in May and will give artists who want to start a gallery the opportunity to try out their ideas. Members Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib will do the first project, screening videos by nationally known artists. Meanwhile, Vox’s April show features members Stefan Abrams, Roxana Perez-Mendez and Charles Hobbs, and a project by visiting artist Gabriel Martinez and his collaborators. And by the way, Vox is looking for new members–see their website for information on applying.

Copy This: No More Black Floor

Black Floor‘s Jamie Dillon, Annette Monnier and Nick Paparone have dropped the Black Floor name and the black floor, and added new members David Dunn and Luren Jenison. Their new enterprise opens in May and has a gallery, an art store and several workspaces including five new artist studios. Copy Gallery will be tiny—about one-third the size of Black Floor. So think small if you’re interested in showing/curating there. Get in touch with the crew via their website to make a proposal.

Art Syndicate: Too Good to Last

Jinxed/Art Syndicate show runs April 13-May 13. Image is by Albert Reyes.

Derek Ihnat
of Art Syndicate/Maze Gallery says they were booted out of their space two weeks after the last show opened because the owners of the downstairs beauty salon and eyeglasses shop didn’t like the opening crowds and didn’t understand the art. But Art Syndicate will do a show with Jinxed in April with artists Albert Reyes, Adam 5100, Diet, Roy Miranda and Mildred.

Outside the Emerging Scene
karen kilimniksteedemma.jpg
Steed leaving for costume party on deserted island – emma stays home
to work, 2006
Water soluble oil color on canvas
11 x 14 inches
Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Karen Kilimnik, a Temple grad with an international following, is having a solo show at the ICA. Her paintings and installations based on teen fantasy fan worship are enigmatic and not for all tastes, but Kilimnik’s influence on contemporary art is undeniable. Her fashion and tabloid-obsessed art has blazed the trail for artists like Elizabeth Peyton and John Currin to embrace kitsch and fashion.

LA 149.jpg
Laylah Ali (b. 1968)
Untitled, 2005 (from the Typology Series)
Ink on paper, 14 x 11 inches
Courtesy of the artist and 303 Gallery, New York

Laylah Ali
‘s drawings of tribal figures with mega-hair and gladiator costumes at PAFA are a departure for an artist best known for her minimalist aesthetic. These works are childlike and outsidery, with patterns galore and suggestions that war, sex and power struggles are taking place offstage.

Terry Adkins‘ new sculpture “Standards” (saxophone case), for his upcoming show at Pageant.

“Black Beethoven: Recital in Nine Dominions,” Terry Adkins‘ first exhibit of assemblages and video at Pageant was a shot across the bow that asked for a new reading of African-American history. With a focus on Philadelphia, Adkins’ new show (“Bessie Smith Recital” is the working title) in April will have much to say.

Golden Brick, after Mike Kelley
After Mike Kelley
Untitled(Female Roomate)
cut and glued felt
93″ x 70.5″

Finally, watch out for “Golden Brick: 1991-1994” at 222 Gallery in April, curated by Nick Paparone and Luren Jenison of Copy Gallery. Golden Brick was a 1990s L.A. collective whose plagiarism of other artists’ works—a kind of worshipful copycatism—was scorned then, but is now ready for prime-time consideration.

Art Syndicate/Jinxed Collaborative Group Show
April 13-May 10. Free. Jinxed, 620 S. Fourth St. 215.978.5469.

Copy Gallery
319A N. 11th St., third fl. 215.694.8656.

“Golden Brick: 1991-1994”
April 6, 6-9pm. Free. Through May 23. 222 Gallery, 222 Vine St. 215.873.0750.

Karen Kilimnik
April 20-Aug. 5. $3-$6. Institute of Conteporary Arts. 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.7108.

Laylah Ali: “Drawings From the Typology Series”
Through May 27. Free. Morris Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad St. 215.972.7600.

Terry Adkins April 27-June 18. Free. Pageant Gallery, 607 Bainbridge St. 215.925.1535.

Vox Populi
Stefan Abrams, Charles Hobbs and Roxana Perez-Mendez, with special project by Gabriel Martinez and collaborators. April 6, 6-9pm. Free. Through April. 319A N. 11th St., third fl. 215.238.1236.