Kimberly Witham @ Introduction 2011 – Center for Emerging Visual Artists New Development Fellows @ Moore College of Art & Design Widener Memorial Foundation Gallery, Feb 2nd – 19th, 2011.
Kimberly Witham told DoN people presuppose she Photoshop’s her work but her mise-en-scène photographs are real still-life compositions, elements of which have a limited shelf life. The pictures of pretty headless birds in cups and on plates dredge up memories of dead birds on the street and questions of why they fell from the sky. About half of the photos included in this ground-breaking exposition are film, half digital, a seem-less transition between mediums made transparent by Witham’s virtuosity, she’s a professor of photography at Bucks County College, a school with a long tradition of excellence in photography education. The road kill element is shocking and beautiful, a sweet, sad commentary on urban wild life.
Maggie Mills, Crops, oil on linen. Maggie and DoN got into an animated discussion about”fracking“, another painting in the show is titled Frack, the practice of injecting noxious chemicals into the Earth’s crust to break it up and release “natural gas“. This clean fuel puts unknown dangers into the families and communities who live where fracking takes place by releasing toxic chemicals into the water table, scary shit, Mills’ painting shows an adolescent crouching, head to knees, while visions of matrix-like drills descend from the sky.
Daniel Kornrumpf uses fiber like colored pencils for his portraits of on-line social network profie pics he’s found over time – a long time since the densely embroidered portraits may take months to produce, unlike a drawing which may take an afternoon. The isolated faces floating in large blank fields of fine linen examines the connection of the isolationism of social networks and the self-portraits that make you think, “Really? That’s their best look?” Instead of attracting attention, ridicule and mockery may result, by the way Plenty of Fish often advertises in the DoNArTNeWs sidebar, please, click through, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Kornkrumpf will continue his unique fiber portraits but is pursuing drawing and painting for the upcoming show at the Ice Box in late spring.
Mami Kato created these futuristic sculptures by unraveling rope she imports from her home, Akita Japan,creating domes of fiber reminiscent of the rice fields at home after harvest and clumps of stems line the horizon. Kato surprised her audience by picking up the light weight, yet densely compact, domes, revealing the Trompe-l’il.
On the left is Alison Stigora, represented in this show with a magnificent drawing of a giant cosmic crystalline flower in mixed media including drawing, prints, chalk and wax but is also in an awesome show at LGTripp Gallery in Old City through February 26th. Next to her is Maggie Mills, behind Mami is a collage of digital prints by Jennifer Williams that is a totally steal-able idea – who knew, collage could be so cool.
Lewis Colburn, The Pursuits of a Gentleman, mixed media installation with ten photographs and steamer trunk. This assemblage was a fave of Spike Howard, Philly’s finest wind farm engineer, for it’s sense of time travel, irony and elegance. DoN loves how CFEVA treats photographers as true artists who belong at the table with painters and sculptors.
Arden Bendler Browning @ Introduction 11
A Fishtown native who’s studio is in the Crane Arts Center, Browning obviously takes full advantage of the large work space to create massive paintings, this color field of speeding urban images, like you see out of the corner of your eye as you zoom down the Expressway, is abstract expressionist yet a kind of contemporary cubism with obtuse angles and cracked spacial warps. DoN easily sees Arden Bendler Browning taking the opportunity of the fellowship that CFEVA offers and running with it, her work is complex yet accessible, perfect for contemporary collectors.
DoN inquired of new fellow Don Edler as to how he came to win the CFEVA fellowship and he generously explained how he meticulously researches grants and awards, looks at winners of previous competitions, discovers which other awards or grants they’ve received and applies for them, too. By making applying for grants part of his business plan, Edler makes it almost sound easy and is proof that persistence, patience, targeted yet broad research into funding, exhibition and publicity works like a charm.
Congratulations to the new fellows!