Kapp Kapp, new commercial gallery debuts small works by successful up and coming women artists
Michael Lieberman visits Philly's newest commercial gallery, Kapp Kapp, to review its inaugural show "Living and Real." The show is eccentric, interesting, and the work is fairly priced. The show reflects the gallery's mission to present up and coming, queer or overlooked artists, Lieberman says. Check it out for yourself, open until August 30th, 2019.

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Anna Benaroya, “Watering Eachother’s Gardens”. Marker on paper. 11 x 14”. 2018. © Ana Benaroya. Courtesy Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia. Photo credit: Jaime Alvarez
Anna Benaroya, “Watering Eachother’s Gardens”. Marker on paper. 11 x 14”. 2018. © Ana Benaroya. Courtesy Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia. Photo credit: Jaime Alvarez

This exhibition, Living and Real, at the new gallery, Kapp Kapp, in the the Gayborhood, contains twenty works by seven talented female artists.* I was especially taken by a number of pieces on display which focus on the bodies and shapes of women, and the bonds between them, which are portrayed with lightheartedness, delight, and experimentation, and with an eccentric blend of abstraction and figuration.

One such piece is Ana Benaroya’s “Watering Eachother’s Gardens.” This colorful drawing presents two figures, one above the other, floating head-to-toe in a colorful ether. Defying gravity, the figures produce generous, fountain-worthy streams of lactation directed to each other, and their genitals are represented by acorns, perhaps connoting fertilization, procreation, and fertility. The piece playfully highlights the nurturing bonds between all women, perhaps between all people, and it is ecstatic.

Eva Ackroyd’s “Double,” a collage, is an elegant composition of corporeal shapes (apparently female), subtly and warmly colored, which bestow grace upon the figures depicted despite the absence of their heads. I wondered whether this perhaps represents Ackroyd’s conviction that the connection between the figures is more proprioceptive than cerebral, as in Ana Benaroya’s work tracing the fundamental bonds between women.

The intriguing charcoal line drawing, “Voluminous,” by Grace Weaver depicts a woman applying mascara. Despite its deceptively simple lining and use of shade, the piece has unusual depth, conveys serenity, and lives up to its name. The figure in the drawing seems self-satisfied, controlled, perhaps even bemused by the ritual she is performing on her own behalf, and for herself.

Chelsey Pettyjohn, “Flesh Dog #3/ Double-Header”. Ceramic. 12½ x 5½ x 5½”. 2019. © Chelsey Pettyjohn. Courtesy Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia
Chelsey Pettyjohn, “Flesh Dog #3/ Double-Header”. Ceramic. 12½ x 5½ x 5½”. 2019. © Chelsey Pettyjohn. Courtesy Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia

Finally, switching gears, there is Chelsea Pettyjohn’s “Flesh Dog #3/ Double-Header.” This is no monstrous Cerberus guarding the gate to Hades, though I wouldn’t describe the creature as completely benign. Still, Flesh Dog is graceful and slightly greyhound-ish. I thought the piece was emblematic of the unconventionality of the entire exhibition.

The gallerist, Sam Kapp, intends Kapp Kapp to feature the work of younger/up-and-coming artists, queer artists, and artists who have been overlooked. In the case of this show, I’m uncertain about queer, but clearly some of the featured artists are among the up-and-coming. They have not been overlooked. Benaroya, for example, has an MFA in painting from Yale, and has had a number of well received solo shows. Eva Ackroyd studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, has shown her work widely, and she has received various awards and prizes, as well as critical acclaim. Grace Weaver has an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and likewise has exhibited widely, including a number of recognized solo shows in New York, Burlington, Berlin, Reutlingen, Glasgow, and Chennai. My impression is that in the cases of a number of the artists, the work on display here is tame in contrast to their other work, much of which more bluntly addresses issues of gender, sexuality, and patriarchy. [Ed Note: This post has been corrected to correct what Gallerist Sam Kapp said about his intentions for his gallery.]

Kapp Kapp is located at 333 South 13th Street, just north of Spruce Street. Living and Real will be up through August. It’s an enjoyable and intriguing exhibition, and the pricing of the art work is reasonable.

More Photos

Eve Ackroyd, “Double”. Acrylic, flashe, canvas, adhesive. 20 x 19”. 2019. © Eve Ackroyd. Courtesy Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia. Photo credit: Jaime Alvarez
Eve Ackroyd, “Double”. Acrylic, flashe, canvas, adhesive. 20 x 19”. 2019. © Eve Ackroyd. Courtesy Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia. Photo credit: Jaime Alvarez
Grace Weaver, “Voluminous”. Charcoal on paper. 24 x 18”. 2018. © Grace Weaver. Courtesy Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia; and James Cohan, New York. Photo credit: Christopher Burke Studio
Grace Weaver, “Voluminous”. Charcoal on paper. 24 x 18”. 2018. © Grace Weaver. Courtesy Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia; and James Cohan, New York. Photo credit: Christopher Burke Studio
Tags

Ana Benaroya, Annelie McKenzie, berlin, brooklyn, Burlington, Chelsea College of Art and Design, Chelsey Pettyjohn, Chennai, Double, Eve Ackroyd, female artists, Flesh Dog, Gayborhood, Glasgow, Grace Weaver, Greta Johnson, Kapp Kapp, LaKela Brown, Living and Real, london, los angeles, MFA, new york, portland, Reutlingen, Virginia Commonwealth University, Voluminous, Watering Eachothers Gardens

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