June 6, 2015 |
Even before a ribbon-cutting to unveil newly installed sculptures at Paine's Park on Thursday afternoon, the geometric forms were heavily scarred with scratches and tire marks left by skateboarders and BMX bikers who had attacked it overnight. But unlike other public works popular with skaters (see the Claes Oldenburg paint "blob" on Broad Street that was reoriented a few years ago to deter them), this was exactly the intended result. The piece, Steps and Pyramid , is British artist Jonathan Monk's skatable reinterpretation of sculptures by the minimalist artist Sol LeWitt.
April 20, 2015 |
If you've visited Haverford College's Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery regularly over the last two years, you've no doubt noticed its predilection for shows that bring attention to under-recognized subjects: countercultural art practices of the 1960s; contemporary art from the Maghreb and the Mahgrebi diaspora of North Africa; and the calamitous effects of Katrina and Sandy on ordinary people, brought vividly to life by Zoe Strauss' photographs. True to form, its latest exhibition, "Arqueologias de destruccion 1958-2014," organized by Jennifer Burris Staton, trains its sights on a largely forgotten movement of artists, poets, and musicians who made an art of destruction.
April 11, 2015 |
When the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (a.k.a. PhilaMOCA, at 531 N. 12th St.) hosts the third annual Cinedelphia Film Festival, curator Eric Bresler will unspool his usual glut of oddball renegade films. For 2015's theme - filmmakers working outside Hollywood's system - Cinedelphia will run a 12-hour Best Worst Movie Marathon, the famously cheesy fan-film Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation , and a retrospective of Broomall native and Johnny Carson-regular Len Cella's aptly titled Moron Movies . Cinedelphia's main event pays tribute to local filmmaker Don Argott, his producing/life partner, Sheena Joyce (the couple just welcomed a baby)
December 25, 2014 |
Ann Claire "Acey" Wolgin, 90, of Whitemarsh, a philanthropist and patron of the arts in Philadelphia and Florida, died Wednesday, Dec. 17, of respiratory failure at the Hill at Whitemarsh. Mrs. Wolgin was a longtime friend and supporter of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As cochair of the Friends of the Museum and a member of the Associates Program, both donor groups, she provided strong leadership for efforts to bolster the museum. In 1974, she was elected to serve as one of the first women trustees.
December 1, 2014 |
Until I read Carol Solomon's introduction to the catalog for "Memory, Place, Desire: Contemporary Art of the Maghreb and Maghrebi Diaspora," I'd been under the impression that the area of North Africa known as the Mahgreb was Morocco. In fact, as visiting professor Solomon - who organized the exhibition of contemporary art from that region for Haverford College's Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, - explains in much greater detail, the Maghreb comprises most of North Africa west of Egypt and is sometimes said to include Egypt.
August 15, 2014 |
A program introduced last year to provide free access to Philadelphia museums for city high school students has proved such a success it is being expanded and extended. More than 11,000 students participated in last year's program, called STAMP (Students at Museums in Philly), administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance - more than 10 times the projected participation. Under the program, a dozen of the city's biggest and most popular museums offered free admission and other programs geared toward young people.
July 28, 2014 |
If you walked into Fleisher/Ollman Gallery's summer exhibition "All Different Colors" unaware that its 19 artists share various developmental disabilities and behavioral health disorders, you might not recognize what they have in common until a third of the way through the show. Several works incorporate a kind of naive expository writing, and many contain repetitions of shapes and lines that might suggest an anxious state of mind. Otherwise, much of the work looks like what it is: the contemporary art you encounter in galleries and art fairs around the globe.
June 16, 2014 |
Since the arrival of director William Valerio almost four years ago, the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill has undergone stunning improvements, not least the transformation of the museum's unfocused summer juried exhibition into a serious examination of contemporary art. This year, the museum has made yet another bold step in the right direction, inviting one of the city's most admired artists, the painter Sarah McEneaney, to be the juror of its...
May 18, 2014
Seek security from civic strength In his remarks at the Sept. 11 museum dedication in New York last week, President "Yes We Can" Obama made a George W. "Bring It" Bush-worthy statement ("Obama: 'Nothing can ever break us'," May 16). Sounds good, but it's not true. Are we nothing? We can break ourselves by continuing down the wrong paths, including the creation of a surveillance nation, trade deals that off-shore better jobs for cheap, shiny objects and corporate profits, growing wealth inequality, and government dysfunction led by one party favoring a tax-free and science-denying America, and another that's well-meaning but enabling.
April 23, 2014 |
By the time she was 6, Swarthmore novelist Rachel Pastan knew she would become a writer. Her decision wasn't the result of a blinding artistic epiphany: Nothing seemed more natural for Pastan, who grew up watching her mother, acclaimed Maryland poet Linda Pastan, sit for hours every day at her IBM Selectric. For Rachel, her future simply was a matter of entering "the family business. " And so she did. Pastan, 48, recently wrapped up a book tour for her third novel, Alena , a story about the art world told through a unique, clever reworking of Daphne du Maurier's famous Gothic romance Rebecca . The writing life came easily for the young Pastan.