August 1, 1991 |
Perhaps because she was a woman working in a period dominated by male artists, or perhaps because Hodgkin's disease forced her to stop painting when her talent was in full flower, the late Reva Urban has been overlooked in chronologies of American painting over the last 30 years. The exhibition of her work in the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that Urban's reputation deserves to be refurbished. If these works are typical, during the early to mid-1960s she was as innovative as any of her contemporaries, and more so than most.
March 10, 1999 |
In Jane Golden's eyes, Philadelphia is the city of murals - an outdoor canvas to be covered with tributes to hometown heroes, unforgettable victims, and vivid celebrations of the rhythms of urban life. Turn a corner in North Philadelphia and see Jackie Robinson sliding home, the moment frozen on the side of a three-story brick building. Or swing by Broad and Spring Garden Streets for a towering tribute to women. Philadelphia has about 2,000 of these murals. Soon it will have more.
May 22, 1994 |
Can there be art outside the art structure? The answer used to be, probably not. Our society is so specialized, it has totally relied on the art structure to identify, communicate and preserve art. Isota Tucker Epes (Bryn Mawr College Class of '40), a Virginia Woolf scholar and former English teacher at Shipley School, now living in Virginia, ventured farther afield when she took up painting in retirement eight years ago. She approaches her painting series, "An Essay: Virginia Woolf," at Bryn Mawr College, with a highly sophisticated set of ideas and an almost primitive paint-handling, attempting to stretch definitions in a provocative way, and hoping to force us to reconsider our own relationships to objects, to meaning and to literature.
October 14, 2000 |
Of all African American artists, Henry Ossawa Tanner is probably the best known. His work hangs in the White House as well as the Philadelphia Museum of Art. But paintings by Tanner (1859-1937), who grew up here, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins, and then emigrated to Paris, do not often come on the market - not major ones, anyway. That is why widespread attention is being paid to Bill Bunch's auction of more than 200 paintings, which begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Concordville Inn. Midway in that sale, Bunch will offer a previously unknown painting by Tanner.
June 22, 2001 |
The fabric panels that Maine artists Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade are exhibiting at Works Gallery are described as "quilts," but they're really quilted paintings. They're executed in dyes thickened with seaweed extract on cotton broadcloths that have been finished like quilts - backing, binding, etc. - and embellished with decorative stitching. That said, it's hard to think of the pieces as quilts, because they're easel-scale and framed like paintings or prints. Yet their fiber-art character ultimately prevails.
February 11, 1990 |
It was suggested in this space two weeks ago that museums of American art might have outlived their usefulness. After seeing "Paris 1889: American Artists at the Universal Exposition," at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, we are pleased to report that this is emphatically not the case. For without a museum like the academy, an exhibition like this would not be possible. The academy is admirably equipped to mount such a historical re- creation, so much so that it's difficult to tell when the permanent collection ends and the exhibition begins.
October 22, 1988 |
Michael Manzavrakos' cast-iron sculptures and mixed-media works on paper at Dolan/Maxwell Gallery are on easy terms with expressionism. These pieces epitomize the gestural quality of the work of this artist, who is well-known in the Midwest but is making his solo debut here on the East Coast. The works illustrate the close connection between sculpture and painting in Manzavrakos' artistry. Moreover, the patinated surfaces of these abstract sculptures include zones of color, demonstrating that Manzavrakos believes sculptural expression doesn't need to restrict itself to purely sculptural means.
October 5, 1991 |
Highlighted by furnishings from the exclusive Rittenhouse Club in Center City and by an unusual painting by Arthur B. Carles of a man who may be Leopold Stokowski, Freeman/Fine Arts of Philadelphia next week will hold a three-day, 1,100-lot catalogue sale rich in Philadelphia tradition. The Carles is expected to sell for between $15,000 and $20,000 when it is offered at the auction's third session at 10 a.m. next Saturday. According to the $20 catalogue, it is similar - and probably relates - to a drawing in the Phillip Jamison collection in West Chester that is identified as Stokowski.
April 23, 1999 |
Steve Riedell didn't invent the shaped painting, but he has given it an unusual twist. He creates the painting and its support separately, then combines them. The method is demanding, but the result is an object that, paradoxically, accentuates its "painted" quality. Riedell's exhibition at Larry Becker Contemporary Art contains 12 such paintings made over the last several years. Some are essentially flat, while others project from the wall like sculptures. Each piece is a wood construction derived from an architectural source covered with painted canvas.
March 24, 1989 |
The tone is often whimsically morbid in Henryk Fantazos' painting show at the Art Alliance. An artist born and professionally trained in Poland and who settled in North Carolina just over a dozen years ago, Fantazos is a strange painter. And his better paintings have a distinct presence about them - a raw melodramatic vividness with a theatrical slant. The issues with which he concerns himself are basically symbolism and storytelling potential. So he electrifies the stillness of the Art Alliance with a feeling of anticipation, as we look from painting to painting.