Philadelphia conversation: Lovitz, Hoffmann, Granwell at Fleisher/Ollman

Alchemy, Typology, Entropy at Fleisher/Ollman, Philadelphia, features painting and sculpture by three talented artists who live and work locally: Adam Lovitz, Peter Allen Hoffmann, and Alexis Granwell. The exhibition is one of several fantastic shows curated by Alex Baker this year—including Cryptopictos, Painters Sculpting/Sculptors Painting, and Person, Place or Thing—that collectively highlight the current energy, and formal and conceptual conversations, around painting […]

Ann Hamilton: habitus, commonplace, text, textile

In an interview published by Philadelphia’s FringeArts (2016), Ann Hamilton describes the dual impulses behind her four-decade-long practice and the multi-site exhibition she had recently mounted in the city: “Watching a raw material become a single thread, join other thread to become a warp or weft of a cloth or carpet holds for me all […]

Ginny Casey: Disembodied hands and lumps of clay in Philadelphia

It’s a common story of contemporary art for artists to describe abandoning the two-dimensional confines of traditional painting on canvas for the more immediate materiality of sculpture, installation, or performance. In her 2016 memoir, for example, academy-trained painter Marina Abramović recalls her decisive moment: “Why should I limit myself to two dimensions when I could […]

Painters Sculpting/Sculptors Painting: Intergenerational exchange across dimensions

While critics frequently compare Dona Nelson to far more celebrated postwar painters, “Painters Sculpting/Sculptors Painting” instead placed her work in conversation with that of a diverse group of younger artists. Nadine Beauharnois, Matt Jacobs, and Marc Zajack, like Nelson, are based in the Philadelphia area and remain anchored to traditional forms of painting and sculpture […]

Quicktime: Fast, casual painting in Philadelphia

In his influential Art in America article “Provisional Painting” (2009), critic Raphael Rubinstein traced a history—from Joan Miró to Mary Heilmann—of “works that look casual, dashed-off, tentative, unfinished or self-cancelling,” that “constantly risk inconsequence or collapse.” In Rubinstein’s analysis, this attitude provides an easier yoke for artists tired of laboring under modern painting’s grand and […]

Pareidolia: Shawn Thornton’s hallucinatory visions

Witch Doctors at the Eye of the Solar Epoch (2008–10) is a long, landscape-oriented oil painting on panel whose dimensions and compositional structure resemble a folded-out paper map. In urgent hues, it presents a god’s-eye view of a watery city or an entire cosmos, punctuated with networks of mystical and mathematical symbols. Curving sections of […]

Douglas Witmer’s simplicity

It is timely that Douglas Witmer’s solo exhibition, “Dubh Glas” at Tiger Strikes Asteroid (TSA) in Philadelphia, opened shortly after the Guggenheim’s Agnes Martin retrospective closed to the public. Witmer’s group of ten softly geometric, gesso and acrylic paintings on canvas are reminiscent in atmosphere and texture of Martin’s darker works, made in the mid-2000s, […]