October 22, 2010 |
After Margaret Davis' teenage daughter disappeared from a Kensington street corner one autumn night in 1979, Davis vowed never to move away or change her phone number, in hopes that one day her child would return. But 16-year-old Jacqueline Gough never came home, and when her body turned up two years later in the basement of an abandoned house, investigators couldn't figure out who she was. Unaware that her daughter had been found, Davis kept her vigil. It was noted forensic sculptor Frank Bender who eventually brought Davis peace.
September 8, 2010 |
Frank Bender lives. This I consider news, since the forensic sculptor wasn't supposed to see summer, let alone gallop into the fall. "Come check out my tan," he teased Tuesday, which seemed as good a reason as any to ditch my leftovers and buy us both lunch from Cafe Lutecia. When Bender greeted me at his South Street home/studio, he looked a bit like Vladimir Lenin in spray bronzer. "I still go up the stairs and run to catch the bus," quipped the energetic Dead Man Walking.
August 15, 2010 |
Charles "Chuck" Cuthbert Fahlen, 70, a sculptor who taught for 33 years at Moore College of Art and Design, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday, July 28, at his home in Guerneville, Calif. When he retired from Moore in 2000, Mr. Fahlen exhibited work assembled from construction materials at Gallery Joe in Old City. In his review, Inquirer art critic Edward Sozanski wrote: "Fahlen has combined elements to contrast shape, color, and texture. . . . Fahlen's transformations reflect a formalist attitude rooted in the earliest collages - that all materials, no matter how humble, have aesthetic potential that can be liberated by a sensitive eye. " Sozanski concluded that "these sculptures remain vigorous years after they were made.
August 7, 2010 |
THE SIGN on the door into famed forensic sculptor Frank Bender's studio announces: "So this isn't home sweet home, adjust. " It's fair warning, given the sights inside. A rifle hangs suspended from the ceiling. "My father-in-law shot at me with that when I was dating his daughter," Bender says, beaming. "He missed my head by inches. " Handcuffs and two guns dangle alongside pans from a pot rack above the stovetop where Bender used to boil skulls in his pasta pot to deflesh them for reconstruction.
July 18, 2010 |
For artists who work in clay, creativity can involve as much muscle power as Eureka!-style inspiration. Rarely has this been more effectively demonstrated than in a video about Jun Kaneko called The Fremont Project. The video is an especially compelling element of a traveling exhibition of Kaneko's art now at the Reading Public Museum. In fact, there are two 20-minute videos in this show of 39 sculptures, paintings, and drawings. In one of them, Kaneko speaks. In the other, no one does, yet the creation story is so artfully revealed that words are superfluous.
June 29, 2010 |
Claes Oldenburg, the 81-year-old sculptor whose iconic Clothespin , installed in 1976, changed the face of 15th and Market Streets and the direction of Philadelphia public art, has been selected to create another work for an area north of City Hall. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has announced that a new Oldenburg will rise over what the academy has dubbed Lenfest Plaza, a new space carved out of closed-off Cherry Street between Broad and 15th Streets. The plaza will serve to link the academy's two major buildings - the ornate Frank Furness-designed museum on the south side of Cherry Street, and the straitlaced Hamilton Building of gallery, administrative and studio spaces on the north side.
June 17, 2010
Joseph Charles Deissroth, 46, formerly of South Philadelphia, a teacher, sculptor, and Mummer, died of esophageal cancer Friday, June 11, at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Mr. Deissroth taught art at Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Fairless Hills for five years and then taught art at Roman Catholic High School for eight years. In August 2009, he and his wife moved to Pittsburgh, her hometown. He planned to pursue his teaching career there but became ill in September 2009.
April 30, 2010 |
William E. Walton, 79, of Philadelphia, a sculptor and printmaker who also taught for many years at Moore College of Art, died of brain cancer Friday, April 9, at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden. Mr. Walton started his artistic career in printmaking but quickly added sculptures to his exhibitions. His minimalist sculptures, which were often installation pieces of found objects assembled to evoke a sense of continuity in nature, became more well-known in the art world.
November 18, 2009 |
The face and physique belong to a seasoned fighter. Arms and shoulders bulge with muscles. And the face carries the puffy eyes earned in the boxing ring's school of hard knocks. This is Joey Giardello in his prime, a South Philly legend who reigned as world middleweight champion from 1963 to 1965 and was inducted last week into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. A year after his death, his likeness is now emerging from clay at a makeshift Port Richmond studio, where sculptor Carl LeVotch is trying to capture the man he once knew as a neighbor in Cherry Hill.
August 9, 2009 |
"Nothing in ordinary life is ordinary to Bill Freeland," Inquirer art critic Victoria Donohoe wrote in a 2006 review of his sculptures at Swarthmore College. Working in Chester County and County Mayo, Ireland, Mr. Freeland "reacts to his Irish surroundings in particular as to a living presence," Donahue wrote. His abstract sculptures, she said, are an homage "not only to old-time farm machinery and antique processes, but to the abiding values and traditions of country life.