Category Archives: Abstract Expressionism

Everything

Everything Counts, Ana Vizcara Rankin at Kitchen Table Gallery

Ana Vizcara Rankin at Kitchen Table Gallery
World Map (Coffee), Mixed-Media Collage, 2.25 x 3 inches, Ana Vizcara Rankin, 2016

Ana Vizcara Rankin’s Viking Mill Studio, located in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, is filled with her mixed-media maps and new works that will be exhibited in her solo exhibition, “Everything Counts” at Kitchen Table Gallery beginning September 20, 2019. Ana is best known for her large-scale world maps inspired by migration patterns, colonization, and climate change. With Antarctica often oriented at the top and the Arctic Circle positioned at the bottom of the artwork, these maps challenge our notions of reality. 

Ana points out, “It’s really very self-centered of us to think that we can perfectly and logically orient the entire solar system. There is no clear up or down in the universe.” We are now confronted with new information, a previously unseen, nonbinary conceptualization of our existing world view.

Elucidation of the unseen seems to link Ana’s early drawings and paintings to her new work.  Blockchain Bootstrap, a large-scale, mixed-media, unframed canvas cascading from ceiling to floor in Ana’s studio, is one example that will be exhibited in “Everything Counts” at Kitchen Table Gallery.  Blockchain Bootstrap, completed in 2019, measures 196 x 96 inches and was created with metal leaf, tar, acrylic, graphite, and charcoal.  Large, map-like areas of grey tones ranging from white to black are linked through extensive layers of mark making. Drips, lines, splatters, paint strokes, carefully applied metal leaf, and blocks of drawing that resemble a binary language or program code become a materialization of the elusive nanoseconds or hashtags that link together successive commands and blocks of data.  Such links are activated every time you boot up your laptop or digital device. Through careful observation of digital imagery and engagement with the process of drawing or painting, in Blockchain Bootstrap, Ana strives to better understand the split seconds that successively make up our virtual worlds.   

Ana’s attempts to understand complex and split-second phenomena are materializations of occurrences and abstract theories typically hidden from our immediate sight.  Her Dispersion Drawings, including Bubble Chamber 2 and Bubble Chamber 7, are small graphite and gesso drawings on reversed drafting film that are comprised of light dots, lines, and spirals on darker backgrounds.  These delicate works, rendered in grey tones, map out subatomic activity ignited inside bubble chambers, an obsolete technology used to detect electrically charged particles.  The chambers contain liquid heated to a level that allows bubbles to form, and their movements are mapped using a large-format film camera. In keeping with Ana’s interest in deconstructing binary theories, quantum mechanics opposes earlier models that describe subatomic structures solely as particles.  The dispersion drawings serve as a map or materialization of the abstract theory. 

The dispersion drawings extend to astronomical activity only detectable via high-powered telescopes.  Crab Nebula is a 24 x 24 inch gesso and graphite drawing on reversed drafting film mounted on panel. Scattered white marks move forward and backward against a dark background or universe to unveil the ongoing process of a supernova exploding and dispersing into space.  Once again, in her quest to better understand the world through the process of making, Ana draws our attention to that which occurs, but escapes our vision.

As our studio visit came to an end, I asked Ana if she has always been drawn to the unseen. Describing herself as a chatty child, she recounted one particularly talkative day at the age of four when her grandfather suggested, “Ana, why don’t you try to draw silence?” Ana stayed with that drawing for a long time, illustrating the silence her grandfather sought. She smiled and let me know, “My grandfather held on to the drawing and I was able to see it as an adult. I guess I’m still trying to draw silence.”

Ana’s mixed-media paintings and drawings will be on exhibit in “Everything Counts” at Kitchen Table Gallery September 20 to October 6th, 2019.  You’re invited to the Opening Reception Friday, September 20, 2019, 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

Ana Vizcara Rankin at Kitchen Table Gallery
Crab Nebula (dispersion diagram), gesso and graphite on drafting film, reversed, mounted on panel, 24×24 inches, 2019


Ana Vizcara Rankin is an Uruguayan American artist based in Philadelphia. She holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a BA in art history from Temple University. Her work has been exhibited internationally and throughout the United States, including at The Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Embassy of Uruguay in Washington DC. Ana is the recipient of numerous awards including the Judy McGregor Caldwell Purchase Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Essie Baron Memorial Award, Temple University, the Billikopf Award, Temple University, the Gundersheimer Merit Award, Temple University, and 1st Prize Sister Cities International, Stillwater, OK. Her work is held in international public, corporate, and private collections. You can learn more about Ana and her art at avrankin.com.

Thank you to Paula Cahill for the content of this post.

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2019

2019 AUTUMN INVITATIONAL, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

2019 Annual Autumn Invitational at Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

The annual AUTUMN INVITATIONAL, which officially opens THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 7-10 PM, is one of our favorite shows. For good reason.

By showcasing the artists who have achieved notable success over the past year, measured by sales and jury awards, it welcomes back artists who are truly fan favorites. And with this year’s edition in particular, it gives us a more in-depth look at the work of three exceptional artists:

* This marks the fourth time CAROL TASHJIAN has shown her work in our space. Across different media and subject matters, a common thread has emerged: a disciplined approach to her craft, which strips away the extraneous in favor of essence. When Carol has shown one or two works, viewers sometimes have to seek out the quiet refuge of her art. This time, with 19 works, we are happily immersed in her approach, with the litho crayon rubbings of trees on the right side of the Wall practically creating a meditative arboretum of sorts (to the extent that’s possible at Dirty Frank’s!).

* For WILD TYPE, aka, ORI ROE, the Invitational marks a third turn at OFF THE WALL and this time is indeed the charm, with 13 works that, as with Carol, finally create a critical mass and enable us to enter her unique worlds at the intersection of science and art. Wild Type takes her nom d’artiste from a wild-type strain — there are ori sequences in the mitochondrial DNA of such a mutated strain; similarly, Wild Type’s art-making practice applies fundamentals of organic chemistry to create “worlds with X, Y and Z coordinate space,” and to begin answering such deep questions as “What does it mean to exist in space?”

* As we count down, RUSTY EVELAND is returning for just the second time, after a tour de force debut in BREAKTHROUGHS FOR SHEILA. His art runs a wide gamut. Across eight pieces, spanning figure studies, an animated short projected in our 3D space, and mixed-media and found-object assemblages, Rusty never aspires to Carol’s introspection or Wild Type’s exploration but rather embraces an energy and enthusiasm that naturally draws audiences into his work.

* And it’s worth noting that while this show’s headliner is usually the winner of the Mary-Rowe Memorial Jury Prize, last year’s honoree, LINDSEY WAVREK, will next be on the Wall this coming March and April as a MARY LIZ FELLOW, the highest honor we bestow on any artist in our community.

We look forward to seeing you THURSDAY EVENING, and for those of you who would like to transcend mere attendance and become a PARTICIPATING ARTIST at our next Opening Reception, on November 17, please make sure to pick up an entry form for UNDER $100, our upcoming JURIED EXHIBITION.

We are accepting entries for the show — which invites any and all media and subject matters, priced at $95 or less — now through October 17. Take the top prize and you’ll not only be in that show; per the above note about Lindsey Wavrek, you’ll automatically be part of the 2020 AUTUMN INVITATIONAL!

UNDER 100 Entry Guidelines Poster, OTWGallery, September 2019
15th Annual Juried Exhibition, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

Thank you to Togo Travalia, Manager, OFF THE WALL GALLERY at Dirty Frank’s for the content of this post. (He’s a really good writer!)

NE Corner, 13th & Pine Streets, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

offthewallgallery@gmail.com

facebook.com/OTWDirtyFranks

@OTWDirtyFranks

(215) 732-5010 (bar)(484) 357-6440 (cell)

Celebrating 40 years of revolutionary art

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Young

YOUNG AT ART 3, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

YOUNG AT ART 3, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks

Looking for an art show that’s a breath of fresh air? Perhaps one where the artists’ love of creativity shines through — no agenda, just passion? LOOK NO FARTHER.

THIS SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 1 to 4 PM, we will gather to welcome 22 very young artists to OFF THE WALL. They are the forces behind YOUNG AT ART 3, the newest edition of the occasional juried show we inaugurated in 2013.


Our Opening Reception will put a kid-centric twist on our normal light hors d’oeuvres — pizza, fruit salad and juice boxes, plus mini-cupcakes from our friends and neighbors at SWEET BOX — and you’ll have the chance to meet more than half the artists.


Our creatives run the gamut in age from 3-4 years old — AUGUST KILLESTEFAN NAU and ORLA VECCHIO — up to 11 and 12 — including JAYDEN O’HALLORANMARY MINEI and YOUNG AT ART veterans KYLIE GROVEMO HINCHEY-MODGLINSKYLAR WILLENBORG and EMI and NOA TRAVALIA.

The Travalia girls also remind us that this time around we’re showcasing sibling synergy with five such sets: EMI and NOAISE and SAJ EVANS MCNALLANDARIUS and STEFAN NAUA.J. and SADIE PENNINGTON and CORMAC and ORLA VECCHIO.


Across their work — ranging from paintings and drawings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, charcoal and oil stick, to photography and collage to August’s whimsical sculpture, which takes flight in our 3D case — you witness SHEER JOY.


It buoys our firm belief that each and every person is BORN TO CREATE. The love of art and art-making is genuinely innate. Life erodes this instinct rather than reinforce it — unless we lift up an artist as early as possible.

 
So come join us as much to elevate as to celebrate. And if your party includes other kids, more power. Yes, normally you would be carded — but not for these three hours and a little bit more (unless you order alcohol). Let’s take in great art and have fun!
See you Sunday,
Togo

Togo Travalia
Manager OFF THE WALL GALLERY at Dirty Frank’s, NE Corner, 13th & Pine Streets, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

offthewallgallery@gmail.com

facebook.com/OTWDirtyFranks

@OTWDirtyFranks

(215) 732-5010 (bar)

(484) 357-6440 (cell)

Celebrating 40 years of revolutionary art

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What Follows

The Birthing, 2019, mixed media on paper, 22″ x 30″

The Art of Grief and What Follows
Paintings and Writings by Tremain Smith


May 1 thru June 1, 2019

Old City Jewish Arts Center
119 North 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-627-2792
Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat & Sun 12-5
www.ocjac.org
www.tremainsmith.com

May 3, 5-9 pm: First Friday Opening
Sun, May 19, 2-4 pm: Art & writing workshop led by the artist
Wed, May 29, 6-8 pm: Closing Reception/Poetry Reading

All events are free and open to the public.

Rare Orchid

Let it blossom in its time
Let it unfold of its own accord
Slowly gently imperceptibly 
Like that rare orchid you spoke of, Mom
It’s multiplied
In my window in the light of my window
protected by the pine and nestled in peace 
Brand new bold stems have come 
It’s you.
I made it, Mom. I made it through the grief.
I’m happy now. I’m living again.
Changed and sustained by your life and death I love you.
You fell into my soil
like the leaves from the trees
Bountifully nourishing my essence
I grow,
strong, deep, solid
I can touch the sky
I touch the sky indeed.
You smile.
Ever my encourager, now you are my guide, my holy being.

Remember how we said as you were leaving this earth:
“I place myself in the hands of holy beings.”

I do that now, while still on earth.
Thank you.
Always.
That line that stretches back
Before time
And forever
That’s where I meet you
Thank you to Tremain Smith for the content of this post.

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Stories

Stories to Tell

Stories Told in Pictures at The Plastic Club

April will be a time for story-telling at The Plastic Club, as the historic art club invites visual artists to show how they retell the world’s stories, whether drawn from holy books or comic books or the depths of their own imaginations.

The prospectus explains that works can be representational or abstract, based perhaps on literature or perhaps on popular genres or even current events. “It is your story to tell, using your special way of doing art.”

The prospectus quotes the poet Wallace Stevens for inspiration:
“They said, ‘You have a blue guitar, you do not play things as they are.’ The man replied, ‘Things as they are are changed upon the blue guitar.'”

Stories to Tell at The Plastic Club

Stories to Tell Opening Reception Sunday, April 7th, 2:00 and 5:00 PM, with juror’s awards and announcement at 3:30 PM. The work can also be viewed by appointment or at The Plastic Club‘s special Third Sunday Open Gallery on Sunday, April 21 from 1 to 4 PM.

The Plastic Club. 247 South Camac Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 545-9324
info@plasticclub.org

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