April 2, 2016 |
When young students in Pat Nugent's art classes at Rosemont College seem to be overthinking a painting, or unwilling to try a new technique, she points them toward 98-year-old Bernice Paul. "While the other kids are waiting for the Art Museum to pick up their work, Bernice is finishing four or five paintings," Nugent said, laughing. "She has the bravery to try everything. " Paul, who took up painting in her 30s, has been a fixture in Nugent's classes for years. Over the last six decades, she has quietly amassed an enormous portfolio of work that she has never exhibited in a solo show.
January 18, 2016 |
S eeing Joan Tanner's magnetically strange drawings for the first time - in "Persistent Contact," a survey of her works on paper of the last 17 years, organized for Locks Gallery by the independent curator Julien Robson - I was surprised I'd never heard of her. I was even more perplexed when I went to Tanner's website and saw her equally remarkable sculptures and assemblages, none of which are in this show and at which her drawings strongly hint....
November 24, 2015 |
"Love your penis, Mike. " Dr. Ruth is on the phone with her moving man about packing up her apartment, but he suddenly says, as so many have, "Can I ask you something?" And as we all know, Dr. Ruth Westheimer has made her surprising celebrity career out of giving people sex advice. Unembarrassed, straightforward, wise, she's a Jewish grandmother who's an expert, not on chicken soup but on orgasms. But sex is not the focus of Mark St. Germain's Becoming Dr. Ruth , currently at the Walnut's Independence Studio on 3. Instead of therapeutic advice, which might be far more interesting, this is a biodrama presented as an autobiodrama.
February 1, 2015 |
In Act II Playhouse's Mark Twain Unplugged , Tom Teti, as Twain, remarks, "The works of fine literature are like wine; mine are like water. But everybody drinks water. " Much beloved, oft-quoted, occasionally banned, with a history as colorful as his characters, the author makes an excellent, lively subject for a solo show. Unfortunately, this isn't that show. Teti, who also wrote the script and appeared in a 2012 People's Light and Theatre production as Twain, dons the white linen suit, white hair and iconic droopy moustache again here.
September 10, 2014 |
Steve Jobs said that the "i" in all the Apple products' names stood for "Internet, individual, instruct, inform, inspire. " And although the products are patented, the use of "i" is not, and Philly Shakes' solo show, iHamlet , an adaptation by Robin Malan, seems to mean the "i" literally as "I" since the show is made up of Hamlet's lines extracted from the play and strung together. Hamlet as narcissist. And a female narcissist to boot. The set is a chair and gigantic mirror into which Melissa Dunphy gazes.
February 22, 2014 |
Tales of rock-and-roll excess fill Most Messed U p, the coming album by the Old 97's, due at the end of April. Songs such as "Let's Get Drunk and Get It On" and "Wasted" are full of drinking, swearing, and carousing, and they sound autobiographical coming from these alt-country mainstays. They're led by Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond, who released the first 97's album 20 years ago. Most of the stories are told in retrospect, and one might hope they depict the past more than the present, for the health of the band members' livers and marriages.
November 15, 2013 |
Saturday Night Live , NBC's long-running comic showcase, sheds its skin every few years, along with cast members. In the most recent shedding, before the current season, SNL lost Fred Armisen, who - with "special musical guest Ian Rubbish" - comes to Underground Arts Thursday night for a solo show. With SNL since 2002, Armisen, 46, created oddball characters such as Venezuelan nightclub host Fericito, unfunny Native American comedian Billy Smith - and Rubbish, a politically perverse '70s/'80s punk guitarist.
December 13, 2012 |
THE COOGI sweater: Those colorful monstrosities of fabric that Bill Cosby sported weekly on his eponymous show and later rapper Notorious B.I.G. would appropriate for himself. Who knew they could be art? Jayson Musson did. Musson, who spent almost half of his 34 years learning and making art in Philadelphia, cuts up each sweater and stitches the pieces back together, stretching the finished piece so it looks like a painting from far away, but up close is filled with differing textures as the knits create mountains and valleys of color.
May 4, 2012 |
Three solo and three group shows hold sway currently at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, in a roundup featuring many Philadelphia artists. A degree of spontaneity stamps the double shows "Under Construction, Parts I and II," which display work by 10 regional artists currently involved in combining various aspects of construction, architecture, design and sculpture. Some use ordinary building materials, others construction-site discards. Especially compelling are robust sculptural works Acanthus Model and The Movement of Objects by Wilmington's Joe Netta, both subtle essays in texture, structure, and composition - energetic, evocative pieces that establish definite mood and atmosphere.
April 15, 2012 |
If there is any trend dominating Philadelphia's contemporary-art landscape at this moment, it's the DIY, rough-around-the-edges one epitomized by the work of the Dufala brothers, Steven and Billy, who came to Philadelphia from South Jersey with instinctive talents for retrofitting and reinventing everyday things and infusing them with deadpan, often dark, humor. Their ice cream truck-turned-army tank, winner of the 2009 West Grand Prize, is still their classic of the genre. For their second solo show with Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, the prolific duo have pulled out all the stops and then some.