October 3, 1991 |
For more than a decade, Thomas Nozkowski has been affirming the viability of abstraction in a quiet, determined manner. In the process, he has not only built up a body of work that other artists respect, he has proved that Kandinsky's seminal concepts of abstraction still have a lot of life left in them. The Beaver College Art Gallery has organized an exhibition that looks at Nozkowski's work over the last 10 years, not only to examine how it has developed but to show how it has maintained a fundamental consistency.
January 6, 2012 |
AMONG the paintings in the recent "Karmic Abstraction" show at Bridgette Mayer Gallery was a large piece by Ryan McGinness. An art-world star - the New York Times says so - his work hangs in respected institutions like the Museum of Modern Art and Spain's MUSAC. He's kind of a big deal. McGinness had other works in the show, but let's focus on one: "Untitled (Black Hole, Black 72.1). " On a black background, neon squiggles race in and out of each other as if created by some cosmic Spirograph.
May 11, 2007 |
It's clearly a sign of the times that "Post Painterly Abstraction," the title of the current group show at Locks Gallery, could pass for one of those painfully artspeaky contemporary labels for a trend. In fact, Clement Greenberg, the reigning American art critic of the 1950s and 1960s, came up with the term, and it's the one most closely associated with him today. The former champion of abstract expressionism and its dense, agitated surfaces used it as the title for an exhibition he organized for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1964, of paintings by 31 artists - among them Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Morris Louis, Frank Stella, Jules Olitski, Gene Davis, and Kenneth Noland - who favored a new style of openness and linear clarity.
October 23, 1988 |
The first thing one should understand about "The Figurative Fifties," the new exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, is that contrary to the implications of its catchy title, it's a tightly focused examination of a particular situation in a specific place. "The Figurative Fifties" is not a definitive examination of figurative painting during the 1950s, nor even of American figurative painting, nor even - and this is where one really begins to split hairs - of figurative painting in New York, which by 1950 had clearly become the center of the American art world.
November 1, 2005 |
Karl Hagedorn, 83, a German-born artist whose paintings integrated body parts, geometric forms, numerical symbols and color images into "symbolic abstraction," died of esophageal cancer Saturday at Hahnemann University Hospital. He had lived in Center City for six years since moving from New York. Mr. Hagedorn's artistic life began in Guentersberge, a small village in the Harz Mountains in what was then the Weimar Republic. The son of a sawmill owner, he grew up around machinery, gears, wood grains, and kaleidoscopes of geometrical planes.
June 7, 1994 |
Bim the Bornean orangutan, a local painter of note who introduced abstract art to fellow residents at the Philadelphia Zoo's World of Primates exhibit, died Saturday. He was 21. "There's no doubt he's an artist," said keeper Maria Schwalbe in a moment of reflection during a preview of Bim's work last year. "There's a deliberateness to what he does. " Bim had been on public exhibit until he became acutely ill Friday morning, according to Keith Hinshaw, zoo vice president for animal health.
May 10, 1992 |
Merle Spandorfer of Cheltenham, whose mixed-media paintings, pasteups and occasional lithographs have had a Hawaiian theme for the last five years, continues in that vein. This can be seen in her new solo exhibit at Mangel Gallery, run by Merion's Ben and Debby Mangel. This may be the most autobiographical of all Spandorfer's nearly two dozen solo shows to date. And therefore, it may be the key to her work as a whole. The pictures pull together the artist's personal experience of hiking in the rain forests near Hana, Maui, last summer.
August 10, 2001 |
Now a century old, abstract art still vexes many people. Why it should do so is puzzling, because nature is full of abstractions, such as clouds, snowflakes and birdsongs, that most of us find perfectly normal. How can museums help with this problem? "The Spirit of Abstraction" at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown is a small exhibition that tries to demystify abstract art, but only partly succeeds. The show of 22 paintings from the museum's collection (including a few loans)
November 5, 2012 |
William H. Campbell, 97, of Spring Garden, an illustrator, painter, and cofounder of the Main Point, a former cabaret in Bryn Mawr, died Wednesday, Oct. 31, of cancer at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. Mr. Campbell had 47 solo exhibits and shared space at numerous shows with other artists over a career spanning more than 70 years. In a statement for an exhibit in 2000 at Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill, he said he experimented with "dimension, texture, and color" to create his abstract art. He also exhibited at Woodmere in 2010 and 2011.
November 11, 1992
When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day a decade ago, Tom Wolfe denounced this "pit," this black granite wall, as "a tribute to Jane Fonda. " How could abstract art humanly represent the dead and missing? Jan Scruggs, the Vietnam corporal who conceived the idea, knew how. So did Maya Lin, the architecture student who won the design competition. Mr. Scruggs had a dual objective. That the memorial would both recognize and honor the dead. And that, once built, it would begin a process of reconcilation.