The exhibition shows its more socially aware side in the changing streetscapes and bleak juxtapositions of Atlantic City documented by photographer Noah Addis with awesome subtlety. The unpeopled images form a cohesive group, reflecting concern, sincerity, and, perhaps, hope.
Photographer Tim Portlock wears his technique rather than his heart on his sleeve. He photographs abandoned buildings within a 20-block radius of his West Philadelphia home, then uses 3-D animation/special effects software to develop his single images into empty virtual cities that convey a sense of foreboding and a strange emotional power. Also a studio painter and muralist, Portlock has long been interested in linking place and identity.
Laureen Griffin, working in multimedia, continues her "Gender Portraiture Project" in a design setting that emphasizes her adroitness, while Daniel Kornrumpf, with his deft, roguish, supple handling of oil and brush, offers saucy informal portraits of friends and family. Kimberly Witham's cheery still-life photos - combining objects, flowers, and vegetables from her garden with dead birds and small animals found at the roadside - tremble on the edge of something more edgy and gothic.
These and the other artists constitute an overall impressive progress report on CFEVA's elite corps of fellows.
The Icebox, Crane Arts, 1400 N. American St. at Master Street. To June 29. Wed-Sun noon-6. Free. 215-545-7775 ext. 12.
Six at Twelve Gates
The "Organics" show at Twelve Gates Gallery - inspired by "organic ideas" - is as diverse and individual as the six South Asian-born artists it features, its final unity being spiritual and atmospheric rather than pictorial. This abstract show by four women and two men has the virtues of both youth and maturity, and is generally well balanced.
Amina Ahmed's pieces explore pattern and measurement, and call up the rhythms and pulse of life that she became aware of as a child growing up in London in traditional Indian cultural surroundings. She sees and feels the connectedness across all art forms, moving beyond the personal and manifesting itself in the music of the universe. The zest of this New Yorker for slender, sinewy shapes shows itself in her sensitive renderings of a fragile medium that includes thread, wire, and five-pointed stars.
A certain reticence and calm seem to prevail in creamy-toned drawings and prints by Tampa, Fla., artist Ina Kaur. These capable, consistent works combine a crisp, almost brittle assurance with a lush, decorative scheme, and hint of an unfulfilled appetite for subject matter.
Exceptionally fresh and compelling works by Nitin Mukul of New York range from abstract paintings juxtaposing urban and rural forms to a video showing the gradual melting away of a colorful abstraction he had painted on ice. Meanwhile, Delna Dastur of Washington, D.C., approaches the organic in paintings by focusing on fluid transactions from line to plane and volume, negative to positive shapes, and from space back to surfaces.
Gurpran Rau of San Francisco, who takes her cue from old posters on crumbling walls, uses wax on panel, combining it with an occasional found metal household object. Though shrouded as if in mist, her paintings seem straightforward and fixed, and have an immediate presence.
Antonio Puri of Philadelphia offers an idiosyncratic and powerful large installation, using somewhat radical, unorthodox media creating an agitated surface. His work packs a punch that more conventional artwork simply doesn't; its spooky emotional aura challenges the show's otherwise milder efforts in terms of imagery.
Twelve Gates Gallery, 305 Cherry St. To June 30. Wed-Sat 11-5. Free. 267-519-2737.