Category Archives: Philadelphia Art Installations

Art installations in Philadelphia.

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Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 141, May 1989, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Snake format artist’s book of gelatin silver prints with colored ink washes, watercolor, and machine stitching. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with funds contributed by Richard L. and Ronay Menschel, Marion Miller, The Paul & Emily Singer Family Foundation, Peter C. Bunnell, and Trevor Drake and Anne Albright, and with the Lynne and Harold Honickman Fund for Photography, 2015-51-1. © Keith Smith.

Keith Smith at Home

February – July 8, 2018

This winter, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Keith Smith at Home, the first major monographic presentation of the artist’s work in five decades. Spanning his entire career, the exhibition brings together over 60 exceptional and varied examples of his handmade artist’s books and experimental photographs, prints, collages, and fabric pieces made over the last half century. The exhibition places special emphasis on his artist’s books, the work for which he is best known. Many of these works are from the artist’s collection and have not been exhibited publicly before.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtMargaret Gave me a Rainbow, 2:30pm 21 November, 1971, 1971, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Collage of 3-M Color-in-Color photocopy transferred to buff-colored manila paper, gold star, multicolored thread, gelatin silver print, and rayon braid and tassels, hand and machine stitched to green plain weave cotton with gold rayon faille backing. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

Smith is an especially private person, and one whose life at home has been the inspiration for much of his art. Central to the installation is Book Number 82, Keith Smith at Home (1982), showing a sequence of views of his residence in Rochester, New York, where he has lived since 1975. Page by page, it conveys the passage of time: views of the same room shift, household objects trade places, and friends appear and reappear in framed artwork on the house’s walls. Visitors will be able to page through this book digitally on an iPad in the gallery.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtMe at My Shed ‑ About to Go after the Mail, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Gelatin silver print with colored ink washes, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

The exhibition highlights books that challenge perceptions of what a book can be. Book Number 11, Up (1969) explores the interplay of images by alternating film-positive transparencies with opaque pages. As the film-positive page is turned, it creates the appearance of an image moving from one side of the page to the next. Book Number 91: a string book (1982) consists of cord, punched holes, and blank pages. Strings are extended across each page and spread in different patterns, sometimes taut and other times slack, creating an abstract and rhythmic narrative. Smith considers his string book to be photographic, as it deals with light, shadow, focus, motif, and sequence.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 11, Up, 1969, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Artist’s book with photographs, drawings, prints, and transparencies. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

Smith has referred to his work as an open diary. Self-representation is a key motif, whether appearing lighthearted or uneasy. Some self-portraits reflect the struggles and joys the artist has experienced in coming out as a gay man, as in Untitled, from Roadside Attractions (1979), a multilayered photograph in which two silhouetted male figures caress each other’s shoulders.

Smith has said, “Social intimidation is not as odious as repression that is self-inflicted. When I permitted my work to speak openly, I gained my freedom and my self-respect.”

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtSelf Portrait, November 1969, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. 3-M Color-in Color-photocopy, hand stitching, and pen and red ink. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

Also on view is a selection of handmade postcards, a format that Smith has experimented with since the 1960s. He made these cards with particular recipients in mind, but, feeling unable to part with them, has kept them. In addition, the exhibition features fabric pieces from the 1960s and 1970s. Among these is Margaret Gave me a Rainbow 2:30pm 21, November 1971, a collage of a photograph of an ear, curtain tassels, and an impression of the artist’s profile made on a color photocopier affixed to an army-issue bedsheet. Smith made Eye Quilt (1965), a full-size quilt screenprinted with a dense pattern of eyes, while a student at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Keith Smith: Word Play is a related installation on view in the Museum’s Library. This intimate display highlights the ways in which Smith uses word play, poetry, typography, and sequencing to create surprising relationships between images and text in his books.

Exhibition organizer Amanda N. Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs, said: “While Smith may seem shy personally, his art is candid, intimate, delightfully irreverent, and transgressive. To share a large body of his work with the public is an exciting and rare opportunity, and it underscores our commitment to showing provocative work by living artists.”

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtAatis with his arm on his hip, August 30, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Postcard: pen and ink, graphite, and colored ink washes on gelatin silver print, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

About Keith Smith (born 1938, Indiana)

Smith’s reluctance to categorize his work established him as a rogue member of both the photography and printmaking departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he graduated in 1967. His works are often radical departures from conventional books, and may unfold, light up, hang on the wall or in a corner, or be constructed of pencils or the shirt off the artist’s own back. Certain themes-friendship, love, desire, intimacy, and domesticity- recur. He has made over 300 artist’s books and over half a dozen seminal instructional manuals on bookbinding.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtPeeled, August 30, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Postcard: graphite and colored ink washes on gelatin silver print, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

Smith’s work is represented in leading public and private collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; the Nelson-Atkins Museum; the George Eastman Museum, Rochester; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships (1972 and 1980) and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1978), and has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester.

Keith Smith at Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 91, a string book, 1982, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Artist’s book with cut outs, punched holes, and string. Courtesy of Keith Smith and Philip Zimmermann.

Public Programs

Representing Queerness
Sunday, March 4 | 2:30 p.m. | Perelman Building
Community Conversations open discussions about socially relevant topics.
Included in Pay What You Wish admission.

Bookmaking Workshops
Saturdays, March 17, April 21, and May 5 | 1:30-4:30 p.m. | Perelman Building
Each session includes a tour of Keith Smith at Home with the exhibition curator.
Each workshop: $20 ($16 members); includes Perelman Building admission

Curator
Amanda N. Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs

Exhibition Location
Julian Levy Gallery, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building
Installation Location, Library, Second Floor, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building

Support
Support for this exhibition was provided by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Social Media
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors-through scholarly study and creative play-to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world-and themselves-anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street.

Thank you to The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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Book 91- String Book; by Keith Smith (1984)

InvisAbility

InvisAbility, Art in City Hall Gallery

InvisAbility

February 12 – March 23, 2018
Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Room 116
Reception: March 7, 2018, 5-7 p.m. in Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Room 116

The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy presents InvisAbility, an exhibition featuring the work of professional artists with disabilities. The exhibit is in partnership with five programs from the Philadelphia region that provide opportunities to artists with disabilities: Allens Lane Art Center’s Vision Thru Art programArt Ability from Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, Center for Creative WorksCultural Arts Center of SpArc Services, and Moss Rehab’s All About Art program. The exhibit is featured in City Hall within the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Room 116. A reception is tentatively planned for March in celebration of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Month.

37 Featured artists:

Meri Adelman, Nancy Alter, Robin Antar, William Bolds, DoN Brewer, Joanne Brothers, Kelly Brown, Ronald Bryant, Elizabeth Core, Martha Cowden, Jenny Cox, John Creagh, Charles Domsky, Alysse Einbender, Gerard di Falco, Terri Fridkin, Zila Friedman, Gregory Gans, Michael Gieschen, Cindy Gosselin, Tim Heflin, Clyde Henry, Michael Hogin, Thomas Jennings, Cindy Lally, Sarah Lewis, Eric Mohn, David Neiser, Timothy O’Donovan, Olubunmi Ojo, Victoria Pendragon, Randy Perin, James Sanders, Carla Schaffer, Sriharsha Sukla, Maxim Tzinman, Anthony Zaremba.

As an exhibition without any apparent central subject matter, InvisAbility is a break from City Hall’s standard juried thematic showcases. However, it does follow a trend of recent exhibits aimed at raising awareness of Philadelphia’s diverse and talented cultural community. InvisAbility affirms the notion that within the People’s Building, the people behind the art, their stories and concerns matter as much as the art they create. By weaving art with identity, the show aims to provide some insight into the creative experience of artists living with a disability, and perhaps even challenge traditional notions of quality.

Artist Nancy Alter:

“My current work reflects personal physiological struggles in the day to day struggles with my MS symptoms. Through the deconstruction and reconstruction of monotype prints, there is great satisfaction on how unrelated pieces fit together to make a whole. It is an expression of push and pull and the physiological rhythm of the body.”

Artist DoN Brewer:

“Living with Crohn’s disease has both positive and negative effects of my artwork. On the one hand, I stay home on the computer a lot and have created an on-line persona that reaches a wide audience. On the other hand, sometimes I don’t feel well enough to travel to art shows and events, to attend art workshops or even to write my art blog. My fans don’t know me as a disabled person; they support me for who I am, as an artist.”

InvisAbility runs thru March 23rd.

Questions about Art in City Hall? Contact City Hall Exhibitions Manager Tu Huynh, tu.huynh@phila.gov or call (215) 686-9912

Thank you to City Hall Exhibitions Manager Tu Huynh for the content of this post.

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Blood

Russell Craig, Philadelphia Magic Gardens

POWERFUL ARTWORK ADVOCATES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Works by Russell Craig

An Exhibition at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens: March 2 – April 29, 2018

PUBLIC OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, March 2, 2018; 6:00 – 9:00 PM

SOUTH STREET, PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens’ exhibition, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, highlights the provocative works of self-taught artist Russell Craig. His artistic style and stirring imagery were developed during his seven-year incarceration. Featured in this exhibition are Craig’s large-scale portraits, which are made from prison paperwork, court documents, and discarded materials.

Russell Craig‘s work offers an opportunity to talk about the justice system in the United States by chronicling his life and honoring the people that share his story. Through confrontation and contemplation, Craig’s pieces create a platform to help unify all who have struggled through trauma and advocate for positive change within ourselves and our communities. Craig’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He has also worked with Mural Arts
Philadelphia through their Restorative Justice program, and is a “Right of Return” fellow – a program that invests in formerly incarcerated artists to create original works of art that can further propel criminal justice reform efforts.

He is a mentor for those who are currently incarcerated and works with communities who are
often affected by the criminal justice system. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is excited to host this show and other exhibitions that use art to address current social concerns and spark conversations that help ignite change within our city. Through these unique curated experiences, PMG aspires to promote meaningful engagement with visitors and community
stakeholders and to project its values of inclusion and community out to Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and Russell Craig welcome you to a night of art and conversation during the opening reception on Friday, March 2, 2018, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.

PHILADELPHIA’S MAGIC GARDENS

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) is a nonprofit visionary art environment and community arts center located in Isaiah Zagars largest public artwork. Spanning half a block on Philadelphia’s famous South Street, the museum includes an immersive outdoor art installation and indoor galleries.

Zagar created the space using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The site is enveloped in visual anecdotes and personal narratives that refer to Zagar’s life, family, and community, as well as references from the wider world such as influential art history figures and other visionary artists and environments.

PMG is a unique Philadelphia destination that inspires creativity and community engagement by providing educational opportunities and diverse public programming to thousands of visitors each year. For more information, visit www.phillymagicgardens.org.

Thank you to Allison Boyle, Events & Marketing Manager, for the content of this post. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street, Philadelphia PA 19147,

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Far

Far From The Tree, Katherine Fraser, Paradign Gallery + StudioThe War of Independence, oil on canvas, 54″ x 60″

Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present
Far from the Tree

A solo exhibition of new oil paintings by artist Katherine Fraser on view February 23 – April 21, 2018.

In her third solo exhibition with the gallery, Katherine Fraser draws inspiration for Far from the Tree from fables and explores what it means to have control over our own destinies. Universally-known stories and endings are suddenly given the ability to change. The artist’s most cohesive series to date, each character is presented with the agency to alter their own outcomes.

In the work, The War of Independence, the natural beauty of the Acadian National Park
acts as the backdrop. Having grown up in rural Maine, the landscape is a reference to
the artist’s childhood – a symbol of a time when Fraser felt her most strong and
independent.

Fraser says, “When I use the rural landscape in my paintings it symbolizes
the homeland; I use it to create a feeling of peace and protection. I mostly paint solitary
figures, and being alone in nature is the best kind of alone. In nature I feel most myself,
vibrant, and at one with the world.”

Fraser’s figurative compositions ‘depict moments of quiet reflection and insight, of wonder, vulnerability, yearning, determination, humility, strength, and growth’. She cites realist painters Edward Hopper and Bo Bartlett as influences, but also sees parallels between her work and photographers like: Diane Arbus, Mary Ellen Mark and Sally Mann. All of these artists act as storytellers, capturing individuals in moments and settings with a great deal of intimacy.

Far From The Tree, Katherine Fraser

By Example, oil on canvas, 56″ x 74″

Classically trained, Fraser exclusively works with oil paint for its flexibility and luminosity, striving to make her paintings beautiful, but also to emotionally engage with the viewer. Fraser likes to draw attention to dynamic and conflicting emotions within individual characters. In her overall practice she seeks to portray ‘our continual need to reckon expectations with truth, and the struggles we endure to feel satisfaction with our choices’.

In Far from the Tree, Fraser asks the viewers, “how much power do we really have to
change the narratives of our own lives”?

ABOUT PARADIGM GALLERY + STUDIO

Established February 2010, Paradigm Gallery + Studio started as a project between co-
founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, to create a space to make artwork, exhibit the work of their peers, and invite the members of the local community to make their own artwork in a welcoming gallery setting. Over the years, Paradigm Gallery + Studio has become a gallery of diverse contemporary artwork from around the world, while maintaining a focus on Philadelphia artists.

ABOUT KATHERINE FRASER

Katherine Fraser has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United
States. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and of the University of Pennsylvania. As a student she received the Thomas Eakins Painting prize, the Cecelia Beaux Portrait prize, and the William Emlen Cresson Memorial Travel Award, among others. Since graduating in 2002, she has received awards including the Lucy Glick Award and the Victor Klein Family Award. Her work has been published in Studio Visit Magazine, Philadelphia Weekly, Die Blumen die Frauen, The Fertile Source, New American Paintings, The Southern Review, the Best of American Oil Painting, and more. Her work may be found in many permanent and private collectionsmnationally and abroad.

Paradigm Gallery + Studio 746 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 10147

Thank you to Madison Fishman for the content of this post.

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Intertwined

Intertwined, Mark Conti, DVAAMark Conti, Intertwined, photograph

Intertwined with Nature – an exhibition hosted @ DVAA in Gallery 1

March 7th – 28th

Photography by DVAA member Mark Conti

Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 7th from 6:00 – 8:00pm

Closing Reception: Sunday, March 25th from 3:00 – 5:00pm

DVAA – 704 Catharine St. Philadelphia, PA 19147

DVAA is proud to host Intertwined with Nature, a photography exhibition by DVAA member Mark Conti. Equally drawn to natural and man-made subjects, often finding recurring forms in disparate images, the subject of Conti’s work is varied. These shared forms suggest series-based imagery which grows from common connections that inform one another and are often an unexpected discovery for Conti. The art, then, is ahead of the artist, enlightening and contributing to further growth. Selection and organization in the camera, and subsequent interpretation by the materials, creates images that invite the viewer to reexamine what is before them as if seeing it for the first time, every time.

Technical aspects of the photographic process are imperative for the production of Conti’s work. Unlike other 2D disciplines, such as painting, where composition grows stroke by stroke in an additive way, photography is an organizational activity driven by selection processes. From the early 1970’s through the mid-2000’s, Conti produced his art by using traditional black and white film, personally developing and printing his work in a traditional darkroom. This earlier manner of working informs his current use of digital imaging technologies, bringing traditional techniques to the digital exposure and printing processes.

In Conti’s words: “My goal is to organize forms and gather light in a way that allows the final image to become its own reality and, as much as possible, serve as its own source of light.”

Bio of the Artist: Mark Conti is a photographer of forests and figures, portraits and the poetry of the human figure, cityscapes and landscapes, and with each click of the camera, his depth of emotion is transferred from the lens to the printed image. Conti has experience with a wide range of photographic processes, such as gum bichromate and cyanotypes, but his current work is focused on digital imaging. He produces his own prints, as he believes strongly that this is a critical element of the overall vision of the artist.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia region, Conti studied at Juniata College and earned a degree in photography and English literature. Continuing his studies throughout his career, Mark’s education included attending photography workshops at several noted institutions including Apeiron, Peters Valley and the Art Kane/Cape May Photographic Workshops with such diverse photographers as Ralph Gibson, Art Kane, Linda Connor, George Tice, Larry Fink, Tom Carabasi and Antonin Kratochvil. From there, Conti went on to teach photography workshops at Juniata College and The Cape May Photographic Workshops.

Conti has been making fine art photographs crossing a wide range of subjects for over 30 years. From his early years at Juniata with a gallery show and valuable experience photo-editing the college yearbook, to pursuing freelance commercial work and commission portraiture throughout his career, Conti has been on a storied photographic journey in both black & white and color. A core focus of Conti’s work in his early years centered on perplexing images that presented fragmentary views of the landscape and man-made objects. This work mirrors the disorienting aspects of life and culture in the late 20th century, and the “macro” landscapes and abstract images challenge viewers to react to a fragmented view of the world and compare it to their own experience. Conti’s photography then expanded to include the human figure.

These photographs combine the earlier works’ fragmentary view of the landscape with the human form. Executed with conventional materials and special techniques using infrared film, his figure work contrasts strong landscape elements with the body, setting the figure in sharp relief from the environment – suggesting isolation while focusing attention on the body’s relationship to the land. Conti’s most recent work explores contour, texture, and color melded with the strong forms present in his earlier work. Executed with digital cameras and pigment print materials, these images combine aspects of both photography and printmaking which have expanded Conti’s boundaries.

ABOUT DVAA: MISSION: Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) provides artists with a community that fosters artistic expression and growth through our exhibitions and programs. VISION: DVAA is a supportive community of artists and creatives focused on capturing the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci. A luminary artist, scientist, architect, engineer, musician and humanitarian, Da Vinci’s curiosity inspires creativity, innovation and collaboration among our membership. Like Leonardo, we ask big questions, ponder complex ideas, experiment with form and create new ways of engaging with and sharing our art.

Thank you to DVAA for the content of this post.

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