September 16, 1994 |
There are four characters in The Mojo and the Sayso, the play opening Venture Theater's season, and then there's the car - a prop so dominating of the stage and the attention of the audience that it takes on the status of a fifth character. The car is indicative of both what is right and what is not so right about Aishah Rahman's play and H. German Wilson's production at Temple University Center City's Stage III theater. The automobile (actually the front half of a small MG sports car)
February 20, 2000 |
Two solo exhibits at the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College here offer a study in contrasts. In the main gallery, John Gwinn's "Love Struggles" offers female nudes reclining on silk sheets and men standing bare-chested in warrior-like poses. There are scenes of seduction, the forbidden Garden, even a shower stall where a larger-than-life couple reveal more than a soap commercial. In the upper gallery, Barbara J. Zucker's "Topiary Series: form and shadow" is a gathering of serene paintings conceived at Longwood Gardens.
September 9, 1999 |
Barbara Grant spends a lot of time perusing the Sunday paper. She looks for clothing ads, but not because she's a consummate shopper. She's an artist fascinated with images found in everyday life, particularly those from the homefront. Dogs and children, for instance, figure prominently in her work, but so do the twin nuclear-plant cooling towers that Grant can see on a clear day from her home. In short, Grant is no painter of benign domestic scenes. A 25-year resident of an area surrounded by open fields and historic villages, Grant tends to produce what she calls paintings with edge.
June 8, 2007 |
Entering the Wilma for the second program of the DanceBoom! festival, I hoped the onstage performances might pack even a fraction of the kinetic wallop of the N.E. Frankford Drill Team's show outside. Its mix of precision marching and hip-hop was downright irresistible; nothing came close. But the program offered other kinds of rich rewards. Myrna Packer and Art Bridgman's Under the Skin is a gentle tour de force. Collaborators for nearly 30 years, the two fuse videotaped imagery with onstage performance to create complex, resonant sequences.
December 1, 1994 |
You might have to go to the city - Philadelphia, New York, Wilmington, Baltimore - to see work of the caliber being shown at West Chester University. The school's McKinney Gallery is a place to see some of the best contempory art being created by professionals. The exhibits are free and open to the public. They are, in the words of John Baker, faculty member and show organizer, designed to be eye-openers. "We want people to see what contemporary art is all about," Baker said.
January 30, 1988 |
Enzo Cucchi's paintings can seem like narratives. In fact, his recent works at Lawrence Oliver are much more concerned with capturing dramatically and evocatively the essence of experience. Cucchi keeps things bold and simple. His form of expression can be harsh, brooding, even brutal yet his monumental canvases tend to be majestic. They address traditional themes yet deal with his personal experiences in Italy. These pictures resonate with life around the ancient Adriatic seaport city of Ancona and catch its sharp contrasts of light and shadow and allude to its spectacular scenery.
April 23, 1999 |
In a world of glamour-puss, cookie-cutter pop stars, Tom Waits sure stands out from the crowd. "I got the style but not the grace/I got the clothes but not the face," he growls (and brags) in the early moments of his stubbornly eccentric new album "Mule Variations," Waits' first release in six years and most satisfying of the decade. Definitely an acquired taste, often as salty as anchovies and reckless as a kid banging on pots, Waits strives for controversy and disruption.
March 13, 2000 |
Kathy Rose is now a master of projected imagery, but it's what she does with the projections that distinguishes her performances. Kleopat'RA, her new full-length work seen at the Painted Bride on Friday and Saturday, pulled the audience into Rose's unusual performance world. Her skin gilded, her eyelids painted with white faux-eyes, and her body draped in a stiffly curving, pleated gold fabric, Rose made a visually intense presence equal to the large, mostly abstract film projections around and on her. Like the Egyptian figurine she represented, she moved very little, mainly taking striking poses and moving discreetly between them.
January 24, 1986 |
Charles Cohen's collages at the promising new Jessica Berwind Gallery are tenderly and carefully done, in ways that satisfy us with their accomplishment rather than excite us with their vision. These are beautiful, mixed-media works with an especially interesting use of "found-object" materials. Collages by this local artist are lyrical, luminous expressions of an everyday world in which assorted objects can be transformed through human experience of them. The delicate interplay of substance and the senses in these recombinations imbue Cohen's work with an air of uncontrived refinement.
April 27, 2006 |
Successful political art traffics in the bold and immediate. There's no room for indifference, muted emotions or muddy messages. The best posters are visual grenades. "The Graphic Imperative: An Exhibition of International Posters for Peace, Social Justice and the Environment 1965-2005," on display at Philadelphia University's Design Center through May 23, collects 111 works that demonstrate the potency of sociopolitical imagery. Curated by Elizabeth Resnick and Chaz Maviyane-Davies of the Massachusetts College of Art and Philadelphia University's Frank Baseman, this terrific exhibit resonates in the Design Center's serene space, the modernist former East Falls home of founder Goldie Paley.