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Contemporary Art

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NEWS
February 2, 2012 | Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - Mike Kelley, 57, described by colleagues as an "irresistible force" in contemporary art, has died, police said Wednesday. Mr. Kelley was found at his home Tuesday, an apparent suicide, South Pasadena Police Sgt. Robert Bartl said. There was no further information on the artist's death; an autopsy was pending. "Kelley's work in the 1980s was part of how one defined the Los Angeles arts scene. He had a remarkable ability to fuse distinction between fine and popular art in ways that managed to perturb our sense of decorum," said Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A family friend, concerned about Mr. Kelley, went to his home and called 911, Bartl said.
NEWS
October 18, 1999 | by Glenn D. Lowry
One of the most disturbing aspects of the controversy over the Brooklyn Museum of Art's exhibition "Sensation" is the hostility to contemporary art that it has elicited. Long after the dust settles, there will be a lingering sense that all contemporary art is offensive, even disgusting, and unworthy of our attention. What is it about our society that makes so many of us intolerant of contemporary art? Why are we so quick to condemn that which we do not understand, to dismiss that which forces us to confront disturbing issues?
NEWS
June 3, 2013 | By Edith Newhall, For The Inquirer
Not so long ago, the Woodmere Art Museum's annual juried exhibition was ruled by landscape and figure paintings and evocative photographs of Manayunk and the Wissahickon. The show was also a sprawling, democratic affair that took up most of the museum. You couldn't help but think that the outside jurors hired by the museum threw up their hands at the sheer volume of submissions and opted to pack the galleries rather than parse the good from the mediocre. No more. Last year's 71st annual exhibition clearly reflected the preferences of its juror, figurative painter and PAFA professor Alex Kanevsky, who also pared it to 46 artists.
NEWS
January 20, 1991
Incongruity was the word University of Pennsylvania President Sheldon Hackney used, and it well captured many of the sensations at Thursday night's black-tie gathering to dedicate the Institute of Contemporary Art's new building. For, as brief speeches were made, the striking new galleries opened and dinner served, America was at war, and late arrivals at the spiffy party were bringing the news that Israel had been hit by Iraqi missiles. Incongruous perhaps, but illuminating also.
NEWS
June 2, 1989 | By Huntly Collins, Inquirer Staff Writer
Peter P. Rosenau, 61, a patron of contemporary art who was known for the modern art that adorned his home and his droll sense of humor, died of cancer Wednesday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. A resident of Bryn Mawr, Mr. Rosenau was president of the Puro Filter Co. of Philadelphia, which installs and services water coolers and filters. The firm was begun by Mr. Rosenau's father, Richard P. Rosenau, 50 years ago. Mr. Rosenau was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Germantown Friends School, where he was a star athlete and earned a place on the all-Philadelphia soccer team.
NEWS
January 14, 2011 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Louis Kahn was considered a pretty good modern architect in 1945 when Anne Griswold Tyng went to work in his office, then located in the Evening Bulletin building across from Philadelphia's City Hall. By the time they parted company two decades later, Kahn was revered for liberating architecture from its Bauhaus straitjacket and Tyng was known, if she was known at all, as his mistress. Had they embarked on their storied collaboration today, one imagines Tyng sharing the credit for their breakthrough work, especially the Yale Art Gallery and the Trenton Bath House.
NEWS
July 9, 2006 | By Edith Newhall FOR THE INQUIRER
The paintings and photographs have just arrived at the ICEBOX Project Space, on a desolate stretch of American Street in Kensington, and are stacked against walls. Unassembled sculptures crowd the floors. A young woman, one of the University of Pennsylvania MFA candidates involved in the end-of-year exhibition, is told that her installation will have to be moved. Tears ensue. A pale young man sits solemn-faced on the floor, trying to figure out how he will hang his intricate cut-paper piece on a wall that will clearly not accept pushpins.
LIVING
December 25, 2000 | By Edward J. Sozanski, INQUIRER ART CRITIC
When Claudia Gould, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, began to look for a curator to succeed Judith Tannenbaum, who left the ICA last spring, she thought first of Ingrid Schaffner, a New York writer and independent curator with a number of exhibitions to her credit. However, Gould said, Shaffner didn't want to become involved with an institution full time, so she initially declined the offer to come to Philadelphia. When Gould's subsequent search for a full-time curator proved unproductive, she returned to Shaffner and suggested a part-time affiliation, an arrangement that suited her better.
NEWS
August 29, 2013 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, owner of two signature oil paintings by American realist Edward Hopper, intends to sell one and plow the expected sizable proceeds into a fund largely for acquisition of contemporary art, officials have announced. The 1934 work, East Wind Over Weehawken , is a characteristically bleak streetscape, this one in North Jersey, of angular Victorian houses, tilted telephone and light poles, and almost insignificant figures; a prominent sign stands in the foreground, "For Sale" scrawled in vivid red across its face.
NEWS
May 12, 2013 | By Edith Newhall, For The Inquirer
Contemporary art has always had a home at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, but the gallery's reputation for bringing self-taught artists to art-world attention was clearly the deciding factor behind "Outsiderism," the group exhibition inaugurating the gallery's new quarters on Arch Street in a building next to the Fabric Workshop and Museum. (The show was also unapologetically timed to run concurrently with the Philadephia Museum of Art's "Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection.
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NEWS
December 1, 2014 | By Edith Newhall, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
August 15, 2014 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 28, 2014 | By Edith Newhall, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
June 16, 2014 | By Edith Newhall, For The Inquirer
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...
NEWS
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
On March 7, Philadelphia video artist Joshua Mosley will have his first show ever in New York. He's making quite an entrance: His work will be part of the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2014 Biennial, the prestigious survey exhibition that runs through May 25. He's not the only one. While Philadelphia has, over the years, sent a handful of works up I-95 to Manhattan for contemporary American art's big dance, this year's exhibition includes an...
NEWS
February 15, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
Terry Adkins, 60, a University of Pennsylvania art professor whose works have been exhibited at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and elsewhere, died of heart failure Friday, Feb. 7, at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y. Mr. Adkins lived there with his wife and two children, and also kept an apartment in Philadelphia, where he taught at Penn's School of Design. A native of Washington and the oldest of five children, Mr. Adkins was exposed to the arts early. His father, Robert, was a singer and organist, and his mother, Doris, played piano and clarinet.
NEWS
December 19, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Culture Writer
The Philadelphia Museum of Art will announce Wednesday that it has successfully completed a five-year, $54 million campaign to endow 29 staff positions across the full range of museum departments, from painting and sculpture to digital technology. The campaign began in 2008 when H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, then chairman of the museum's board of trustees, and his wife, Marguerite, offered a $27 million grant and challenged donors to match it, million for million, for the right to endow and name the positions.
NEWS
December 9, 2013 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Phillips Simkin, 69, a Philadelphia artist who created installations using his humor and off-the-wall artistic vision, died Tuesday, Nov. 26, of congestive heart failure at his home. In his artist's statement, Mr. Simkin wrote that he regarded his art activities as pseudo-enterprises "often laced with a dose of sardonic wit and humor, parody and puns. " He hewed to that vision. He was most renowned for casting and copyrighting the crack in the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park, which he did after receiving permission from the National Park Service.
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