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 […]

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 […]

Active Voice: Art and books

Ulises is a collectively run art bookstore and exhibition space&emdash;modeled after venues such as Printed Matter and Dexter Sinister in New York&emdash;whose quarterly, essayistic presentations constellate works of art, publications, and public programs around a curatorial theme. “Active Voice,” this season’s apt focus, places the politicized, pop-inflected narrations of Hannah Black’s recent videos and Steffani […]

Jane Irish’s painterly protest

The title of Jane Irish’s most recent solo exhibition, “A Rapid Whirling on the Heel,” adapted a phrase from Edgar Allan Poe’s epic 1848 prose-poem “Eureka.” Poe’s text unfurls a cosmology that anticipated the “big crunch” theory of an infinitely collapsing and expanding universe. Mobile conceptions of time and location, the likes of which undergird […]

Ellen Harvey’s ornamental leaves and abandoned ruins

View the spread (PDF) In a 2015 interview with Adam Budak, Ellen Harvey observed: “For me, the museum exists as an aspirational space, continually collapsing under the weight of its hopes and dreams, much like my own projects.” Since the late 1990s, Harvey has consistently submitted her artistic identity to the same careful scrutiny she […]