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The deluge and the apocalypse


The deluge

Steve Sherman
Steve Sherman, Figure with Breaking Wave, 2007, chalk on paper (the light reflections are not a part of the drawing)

My trip to The Galleries at Moore College this past week was a little frightening–mass competing exhibitions, four in all. My reaction to the deluge of art–dive into what interested me, forget the rest. In the faculty exhibition, which was pretty much expected, some drawings of waves by Steve Sherman knocked me out. Some were pastel, but the one above is chalk on paper.

I immediately thought of Richard Longo’s enormous charcoal wave, inspired by Hokusai.

Sherman’s waves are relatively small but they still succeed in creating a physical response. The level of control of the medium, the lack of horizon line, the visual envelopment in water, the tension between the realism and the overt mark making, all drew me into the power of the ocean.

I looked up Sherman’s exhibition record only to find he hasn’t show much in Philadelphia. I want to see more.

Anne Seidman, untitled 2007, colored pencil on arches, courtesy Schmidt Dean Gallery
Anne Seidman, untitled 2007, colored pencil on arches, courtesy Schmidt Dean Gallery

I already mentioned James Johnson’s installation (see post); I regret not taking the time to pause for Kara Crombie’s two videos. The Michael Olszewski textiles, the Anne Seidman drawing and the Moe Brooker paintings also stood out.

The apocalypse

Joshua Levine
Joshua Levine, Trophy Room, detail

Also outstanding was a non-faculty exhibit, the installation in the window in the Goldie Paley Gallery–Joshua Levine’s Trophy Room.

The exhibit is of a futuristic den or hunting cabinet, with pristine–almost clinical–walls, modernist furniture, and mutant hunting trophies hanging on the walls–creatures that mostly look like deer, but with some differences. Some have more than one head. Some have four eyes, four ears, etc. Another trophy, a “stuffed” what-is-it kind of ant-eater dog-rat in a vitrine is posed on an elaborate pedestal topped with fake grass.

Joshua Levine
Joshua Levine, Trophy Room, installation shot

The installation takes on human meddling with genetics, hunting, and the environmental apocalypse now on our doorstep. Levine is a Los Angeles artist, and his installation lookes like a sci-fi movie set. The creatures, which are a notch smaller than reality (although who knows, since they are not real creatures), look like they are made from a resin.

This space, which I was able to walk into, is going to continue to be used for installations by emerging artists. It’s also viewable through the window on Cherry Street (the daytime reflections are a problem here, but inside, it’s great and light-filled). I see Eva Wylie is coming up in this space Oct. 25.

Both the faculty and the Levine shows end Oct. 14.