Tag Archives: Art in Philly

Beauties

Beauties of the Common Tool

Roxana Azar

Jen Blazina

Will Douglas (featuring collaborations with Matthew Wicks)

Maria Möller

Cecilia Paredes

Makeba Rainey

gravy. 910 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123 · 267.825.7071

Exhibition Dates: June 7 – 29th, 2019

First Friday Opening Reception:  June 7th, 6 – 10pm

Sponsored by Powers Whiskey and Music by Mother MaryRose

Nolibs Second Saturday, June 8th, 1 – 5pm

Artist Brunch and Open Hours- Saturday June 22nd 1-5pm

Saturday Open Hours – 1-5pm and by appointment

Documenting objects with photography slowly transformed into its own artform with artists like Man Ray, Duchamp, Hans Bellmer, creating pieces which intertwined the two mediums.  This exhibition at Gravy is titled; Beauties of the Common Tool, references Walker Evans’ famous portfolio of photographs of ordinary tools in the 1950’s.  Today everyone used a new “common tool”; the photographic camera to document their lives and manipulate their world into art.  While digital technology has created imagery only used on a screen; this exhibition hopes to explore ways photographers are using materiality, the body, textures, objects, and installation to create multi dimensional pieces which expand our definition of photography.  

One theme throughout the work in this exhibition is the ability of the photographic objects to create multiple views for the viewer depending on the lighting and position of the pieces.  Roxana Azar’s work is influenced by science fiction, plant intelli-gence, anxiety, and floral design. In the Projections in the Last Greenhouse series, botanical images from greenhouses and conservatories are applied to reflective and colorful surfaces that allow sunlight to pass through, creating shadowplay and reflections that shift and create vivid colorful shadows, fluorescence, and prisms depending on the angle and quality of light.  They say, “I used to focus a lot on digital manipulation in my photographs, but now the materials I tend to use result in some sort of distortion and manipulation when viewing an image, whether it’s acrylic, mesh, or fabric. My fascination with these materials is that it shifts in color or shape as you move around it, so you’re never experiencing the surface in the same way.”

Glass artist, printmaker, and photographer; Jen Blazina creates ornate frames for her photographs of plaster sculptures set in nature.  This installation titled Menagerie is a combination of cast glass frames, glass flowers, and dye sublimation photographs on metal. She says, “The photographs were taken from an ephemeral site-specific installation which I created for Djerassi Artist Residency in Woodside, CA.  As a little girl, the forest and animals entranced me. Having grown up in a city, the forest seemed like a magical place where fairy tales came alive. Menagerie alludes to a dream like memory by using my sculpture in my photography and the elegance of glass baroque styled frames embellished with wild flowers.

Beauties of the Common Tool, gravy. Studio, Philadelphia Photography

In the collaborative works between Will Douglas and Matthew Drennan Wicks, the physical process of manipulating porcelain is fused with the digital process of image making. The flat, hand-built surface of a vessel becomes a screen for image on which to present a photographic image. The work vacillates between three- dimensional and two-dimensional space as both image and object work together to create tension. The artists are interested in the commercial and mass reproducibility of both images and objects; the hand-built vessel pushes against the immediacy of digital imaging. Establishing a new relationship between the two drives the traditional conventions of both materials into a new dialogue about the consumption of images and the viewing of objects.  

Created during a 2017 residency at a recycling center in Northeast Philadelphia, Maria Möller’s project One Last Time is a lens-based meditation on mortality, joy, and second chances. She developed a visual narrative that compares life cycles with waste cycles, salvaging six objects from Revolution Recovery and pairing each with a person in her life who is living in an especially close proximity to their own mortality. Working collaboratively with each participant, she staged a photo shoot during which the discarded object could fulfill its purpose “one last time.” After this shoot, another took place when the participant traveled to the recycling center and returned their object to the waste stream.

The images included in this exhibition by Cecilia Paredes are reminiscent of surrealist imagery while her use of pattern and color reveal her ties to Peruvian culture and visual vernacular of womanhood.  Paredes composes these photographs by selecting a patterned ground, such as floral wallpaper, and intricately paints her skin to match. Paredes says about her work, “Part of what makes us human is our ability to see beyond the narrow door through which we enter the world—to grow beyond the culture of our birth by recognizing other cultures, other patterns of life. Yet our birth culture is always imprinted upon us; the mystery of identity is never fully resolved. We are always from a time and place to which we can never return”

Makeba “Keebs” Rainey also uses the body, textures, and color to create photographic collages which are printed on fabric.  The piece in this exhibit is titled ‘Souls of Philly: London’ where the artist uses collage and statements from the subjects to share insights into her community with the audience.  Rainey’s creative practice focuses on building community and what that looks like. For her, community is an extension of family. By centering her work around social justice, specifically in regard to Black Americans, community becomes the key to liberation. Her artwork taps into aspects of the Black community, merging the old with the new by re-envisioning the ancestors through new media and creating space for young creatives to build and sustain themselves.

Thank you to gravy. for the content of this post.

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Faux-Pas

HOUSEGallery April First Friday opening reception :

Autumn Wallace : How could I say no to you?

Autumn Wallace uses her artwork as a means to address social change. Illustrating individuals as large, curvy beings with slightly distorted features, she aims to encourage viewers to see beauty within the ‘imperfect’.  Most recently, Ms. Wallace received a Creative Arts, Research and Scholarship Grant to study at the National Museum of African Art and National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.  Titled “The Origins of Respect[ability],” her research paper focused on themes of queerness and femininity, specifically within the Black community. 


We invite you join us for Autumns reception on April 5th. 

Michelle Marcuse

Would a No by any other name smell as sweet?

Shut-out, Shut-In, or Shut-Up? That big, hard wall sprung by dismissal creates so many wonderful possibilities! Where, oh where will that sharp left turn bring you?  Before you Google what tools you need to split a second for that decision, be aware that in April at HOUSEGallery, Autumn will use experimental thought exercises assisted by paint and clay to lead a guided exploration of the prospects at How Could I Say ‘No’ to You? Come discover your ways here.

About Autumn Wallace

To Autumn Wallace, Faux-Pas is a destination island where anything is possible. On this island [floated in a small undisclosed Philadelphia enclave], Autumn blends daily life with their borderline obsessions. Prominent features of the island’s attractions include 90’s cartoons, Baroque aesthetics, and ‘Adult Materials’ arranged in painting and sculptures, stirring up narratives of chaotic [con]fusion. Why? Eluding reason boosts emotional response, makes viewers voyeurs, or participants–no bystanders. Here, absurdity is the moderator and we’re all in for the ride.
www.autumnwallaceart.wordpress.com/www.instagram.com/veggiemon/

HOURS by appointment

Location HOUSEGallery1816 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Thank you to Michelle Marcuse for the content of this post.

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American

AFRICAN-AMERICAN ART IN PHILLYMartin Luther King, Jr., 1981, by John Woodrow Wilson (Philadelphia Museum of Art: 125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by the Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Museum and in celebration of African American art © John Wilson/Licensed by VAGA, New York Credit: Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art

Bringing together more than 75 works from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s extensive collection of art by African Americans, Represent: 200 Years of African-American Art displays works by 50 artists, including Henry Ossawa Tanner, Horace Pippin, Jacob Lawrence, Alma Thomas, Martin Puryear, Carrie Mae Weems and others. Highlighted by Tanner’s iconic painting The Annunciation, the exhibition features a wide range of items such as pre-Civil War-era decorative pottery, early 20th-century paintings and photography, sculpture and portraits. It runs through April 5, 2015.

In 2015, Philadelphia museums will mount six major exhibitions featuring some of the most celebrated African-American artists, further adding to the city’s reputation as one of the world’s great art centers. In addition to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s special exhibition Represent: 200 Years of African American Art, featuring dozens of works from its collections, art lovers can take in the Brandywine Museum of Art’s landmark exhibition Horace Pippin: The Way I See It. Adding to the trove of artistic treasures is As We See It: Selected Works from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection, coming to the African American Museum in Philadelphia, along with shows at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Woodmere Art Museum.

After touring these special exhibitions, visitors can discover the array of African and African-American art in the permanent collections at many institutions around town. Here’s a look at the exhibits and museums worth exploring this year especially:

Special Exhibitions:

  • With work by renowned artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Horace Pippin, Jacob Lawrence, Martin Puryear and Carrie Mae Weems, Represent: 200 Years of African American Art showcases a range of subjects, styles, mediums and traditions. Since acquiring Tanner’s The Annunciation painting in 1899, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection of African-American art has grown significantly, especially during the last three decades, and much of it will be on display in this exhibit. January 10-April 5, 2015. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia presents two major art exhibitions this year. Masterpieces by such luminaries as Edward BannisterHenry Ossawa Tanner and Elizabeth Catlett sit alongside works by school children who have been influenced by them during As We See It: Selected Works from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection. February 5-March 21, 2015. In the spring, the museum explores the artistic side of Danny Simmons, who is best known as a writer, producer and Tony winner for his Broadway version of Def Poetry Jam. The United Nations and the Smithsonian count his art in their collections. Selected Works from the Danny Simmons Collection features Simmons’ art works and poetry, as well as items from his own collection (Beauford Delaney, James Van Der Zee, Mickalene Thomas, Sol Sax, Derrick Adams and Kara Walker). April 24-June 7, 2015. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org
  • In the first major exhibition of the artist’s works in the country in more than two decades, Horace Pippin: The Way I See It features more than 60 bold, colorful and candid paintings that reflect life in the African-American community and comment on race, religion, war and history. The Brandywine Museum of Art’s exhibition reveals Pippin as an artist who upheld his own aesthetic sensibility while addressing larger social issues. April 25-July 19, 2015.U.S. Route 1 by Creek Road (formerly Route 100), (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org
  • Through an array of works in a broad spectrum of media, African-American Artists of 20th-Century Philadelphia at the Woodmere Art Museum tells the stories of some of Philadelphia’s most celebrated African-American artists, such as James Brantley, Claude Clark, and Ellen Powell Tiberino, and the institutions that nurtured their talents and exhibited their works. Numerous oral histories round out the story. September 26, 2015-January 24, 2016. 9201 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-0476, woodmereartmuseum.org
  • With more than 80 paintings, works on paper and the artist’s hand-made puppets all culled from major international private and public collections, Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis travels through four decades of the artist’s career from the 1930s through the 1970s. Through the exhibition, visitors to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts learn about Lewis’ role in the Harlem art community and his contributions to abstract expressionism.November 13, 2014-April 3, 2016. 118 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600, pafa.org

Permanent Collections:
African Art:

  • Dr. Albert Barnes’ interest in African art dates back to the early 1920s when he acquired traditional African masks and sculptures from the Dan and possibly Kulango societies of Côte d’Ivoire, as well as from Guinea and northeast Liberia. Visitors can see theses works, which he describes as “the purest expression of the three-dimensional form,” at the Barnes Foundation. Home to a remarkable collection of paintings from the masters of modern art, the Barnes Foundation’s significant collection of African art is displayed in remarkable ensembles that show how the likes of Picasso and Modigliani were influenced by the stylistic and symbolic forms in African art. The Barnes Foundation also holds important works by American artists, including Horace Pippin. 20th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (866) 849-7056, barnesfoundation.org
  • The Penn Museum, or University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, boasts an extensive collection of African art and artifacts such as masks, sculptures, instruments, famed Benin bronzes, embroidered garments and jewelry. Visitors can also marvel at a wide range of other materials from throughout the continent, which are on permanent display in the African and Ancient Egyptian galleries. 3260 South Street, (215) 898-4000,penn.museum

African-American Art:

The With Art Philadelphia® collaborative is a first-of-its-kind partnership to position Philadelphia among the world’s great art destinations and to increase visitation to the region from around the world. The groups contributing financial and other resources to the campaign are: the City of Philadelphia, VISIT PHILADELPHIA, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Lenfest Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Knight Foundation, Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, PNC and PECO.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

For more information about With Art Philadelphia and high-resolution photos of the Philadelphia art scene and the region, visit visitphilly.com/withartpress.

Thank You to With Art Philadelphia for the content of this blog post. DoNArTNeWs contributed links to artist’s website and Wikipedia pages.

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