February 3, 2012 |
THE WHITNEY Biennial in New York claims to take the pulse of the country's art scene every two years, but the mother of all American art exhibits rarely digs deeper than New York or Los Angeles. For the radical "People's Biennial" now at Haverford College, curators looked elsewhere. The exhibit eschews work from major art centers in favor of five regional outposts (including Philadelphia) chosen through a jury process open to all. Organized by artist Harrell Fletcher of Portland, Ore., and curator Jens Hoffmann of San Francisco, People's Biennial originated when the two brought their idea for a nontraditional biennial to Independent Curators International (ICI)
March 2, 2013 |
On April 15, Sheldon and Jill Bonovitz will celebrate 46 years of marriage. Who knows where they might be or what they might be doing, but chances are, if past is prologue, it will involve art. Jill Bonovitz is a ceramic artist and a founder of the Clay Studio in Philadelphia. Sheldon Bonovitz is better known for his legal artistry, although he says he has "an artistic side. " "I have," he says, "a very strong sense of what works and what doesn't work. " What works is art. The two share a passion, and for the most part a sensibility, that has found mutual expression in a decades-long collecting collaboration.
November 3, 2013 |
You'd recognize the faces: mob boss Tony Soprano, chemistry teacher-turned-meth-chef Walter White, and everyone's favorite dad, Homer Simpson. You may not recognize the name of the artist, Peter Somenshein, 28, of Narberth. But with his forthcoming solo show at the Oasis Art Center, that, too, may change. "It's been really cool working with Peter," says Maggie Mills, one of the artists who instruct aspiring talents at Oasis in North Philadelphia. "He's made amazing progress in the time he's been here.
April 25, 2003 |
Choices abound this weekend. The problem is, they are all happening in the next 24 hours! TONIGHT: Outsider art prevails at the First Unitarian Church with the primitive romantic stylings of man-child Daniel Johnston, Brother Danielson, of oddball Christian family troupe the Danielson Family, and Azita, the former frontwoman of the no-wave Scissor Girls (7:30 p.m., 2125 Chestnut St., 215-925-6356, $10, all ages, www.r5productions.com) . . . Tom Carter of Texas psych-folk band Charalambides stops in at the Philadelphia Record Exchange for a free performance (7 p.m., 618 S. 5th St., 215-925-7892, www.wholly other.
April 7, 1991 |
The Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American Folk Art and Artists, by Chuck and Jan Rosenak, has got people saying they don't know what folk art is anymore. "Is it handmade weathervanes, professional traveling artists, young women's handiwork, mass-produced decoys, a slave quilt, or is it the expression of self-taught artists, urban and rural, who respond to the world as they see it?" asks Robert Bishop, director of the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, who wrote the preface to the book.
July 14, 2012 |
Film Beasts of the Southern Wild (ssss out of four stars) Benh Zeitlin's intensely strange and wonderful film, about a girl named Hushpuppy, her defiant but deathly ill father, and the ragged Louisiana delta community they inhabit, is dreamlike and full of grand emotional swells. Moviemaking as outsider art. PG-13 (intense imagery, violence, adult themes). — Steven Rea Music Big-voiced Nona Hendryx releases her new album next week, Mutatis Mutandis (Latin for "by changing those things that need to be changed," sort of like saying, "Now that we've changed what needs changing")
September 18, 1986 |
"Outsider art" is naive in that it's produced by untutored artists, but the best of it, like the assembled sculptures of Julio Miraglia or the small bronzes of Louis Monza, also displays an intuitive grasp of formal aesthetics that one doesn't usually find in pure folk art. It can be very intense, even impassioned work, like the remarkable fist- sized assemblages by the anonymous black artist known as Philadelphia Wireman. These works demonstrate that outsider artists can be just as obsessive about art-making and just as aware of what they are doing as professionally trained ones.
September 18, 1988 |
The drawings of Adolf Wolfli are as fascinating as the story of his bizarre life. After seeing them, one can be easily seduced into embracing Wolfli as a native genius whose art has been suppressed by a narrow-minded critical establishment. Wolfli, who died in 1930, was a schizophrenic who created a vast oeuvre of thousands of pencil drawings while confined for 35 years to a cell in a Swiss mental asylum. He was the ultimate "outsider" artist - that is, one who worked in ignorance of European art-historical traditions.
November 29, 2001 |
In the world according to Irwin Chusid, the Shaggs, the New Hampshire sisters whose 1969 album Philosophy of the World is revered by cultists for its naive incompetence, are "unwitting godmothers of Outsider music. " Daniel Johnston, the lisping Texan with a history of mental illness and an undeniable gift for songwriting, is another Outsider touchstone. With tunes now featured in a Target commercial and on the just-issued CD Rejected Unknown, Johnston has mustered a modest tour that stops at the North Star Bar tonight.
January 17, 2012 |
NEW YORK - To honor the 80th birthday of celebrated South African playwright Athol Fugard, The Road to Mecca , a play he wrote in the mid-'80s, opened Tuesday night for the first time on Broadway. We have many reasons to celebrate Fugard - foremost, his creation of exceptional theater in his unswerving march against the official racism of South African apartheid - but The Road to Mecca is not among them. It's a ho-hum play with a dull first act, as tedious as cleaning up the piles on your desk, and with a second act that fails to deliver even the satisfaction of at least a clean desktop.