Jessi Reaves’s magic studio dust

In Jessi Reaves’s recent exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, her sculptural furniture was integrated both formally and functionally with a group of surreal still-life paintings by fellow New Yorker Ginny Casey. Curator Charlotte Ickes described these complementary bodies of work as “two solo exhibitions.” The juxtaposition with Casey’s intensely colored paintings of […]

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 […]