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The Young and the Restless


They’re young and I’m restless. I used to think it was the young that were restless. Lately I think that the young are too knowing to be restless and it’s us older folk who are restless (and I’m not just talking restless legs).

I’ve been seeing a lot of work by young artists this last couple weeks, and this being Spring, there will be more such available as BFA and MFA shows come rocketing through town. I pay attention for several reasons — I like to see what young artists are channeling and I like the anything goes-loose cannon factor. You never know what you’ll get from the youth and often — although not always — the work can be amazing. Here are a few samples I want to share.

Bill Mcright
Bill McRight, linocut on found wood, Bean Cafe.

Bill McRight teaches print making at Arcadia University. He is a Space 1026er and his linocut prints, especially those on found wood, are great examples of the Goth-Cookie Monster genre of image-making. There’s something aboriginal in his dark repeat lines and animal-hybrid imagery. I loved what I saw in this show. And the works are very reasonably priced — $50 for an unframed print; $200 for the linocut on wood pieces. The show’s up through April. More images at flickr.

Dennis R. Ahearn, Jr.
Dennis R. Ahearn, Jr. a model with tiny tiny prints in his Tyler MFA show at Temple Gallery

Dennis Ahearn‘s tiny prints in his model architectural spaces felt playful (the miniature scale; the wee little prints). These guy dollhouses felt to me like build-outs from Second Life: Tabula rasa boxes for avatars to come play in. I found myself thinking also of James Casebere’s photographs of artificially-created architectural space. And wondered whether these little buildings would work better in the flat, meta-world of photography (or in cyber-synthetic environments) than in the real 3-D world where a viewer towers over them and they become a tad precious.

Jahjehan Bath Ives
Jahjehan Bath Ives. One of her yarn/macrame/knit pieces in her Tyler MFA show at Temple Gallery

Jahjehan Bath Ives‘ yarn works exude ghostly auras. I could feel Eva Hesse’s breath on my neck as I walked around the room. I look forward to seeing where this goes. Some pieces (like the one pictured here) feel more complete than others. More photos from Ahearn/Bath Ives show at Temple here. (closing April 14)

Max Maddox and Theresa Rose
Max Maddox and Theresa Rose. DVD piece from their show Exacta at Art Around gallery.

Max Maddox and Theresa Rose got in touch with me a while back when they curated a show at Art Around Gallery. It was a great show with works by Syd Carpenter, David Stephens and others. Now they’ve got a two person show themselves at Art Around (closing April 15). Exacta is full of hubris, mostly demonstrated in the art’s asking price, which is far too high. The show — drawings, assemblage, collage and a video piece — uses a horse-racing metaphor to talk about competition/collaboration and marriage. I enjoyed best the video that intersplices a real horse race at Philadelphia Park with a horse race by plastic horses in a mechanized racing game. Some of the drawings are very nice and I look forward to the next outing by the two PAFA grads. More photos here.