The debate continues between geologists and environmentalists: Have we exited the Holocene Epoch, which began after the last major ice age (more than 11,700 years ago), or entered the Anthropocene, defined by humankind's interactions with the earth's environment?
If you're not yet familiar with Philadelphia colorist Jane Piper (1916-91), a mini-retrospective of her paintings at Schmidt/Dean Gallery offers an easy introduction. "Jane Piper: Four Decades of Painting" doesn't feature her Matisse- and Cézann
Derrick Velasquez's third one-person show at Pentimenti Gallery, "Business Casual," emphasizes his facility with various media and materials. It also showcases his ability to transform everyday structures and materials into mysterious objects of art that transcend their common origins but don't make a big deal of it.
Windows and doorways and the views they frame have been recurring subjects of Lois Dodd's paintings throughout her nearly 70-year career as an artist. In 2003, New York's Alexandre Gallery, which represents Dodd, offered the first exhibition on that aspect of her work. Now, Swarthmore College's List Gallery has homed in on an even more specific Dodd predilection with "Lois Dodd: Windows and Reflections," organized by List Gallery director Andrea Packard.
In the annals of American art, few figures fascinate more than Thomas Eakins, the Philadelphia painter who seemed driven to probe the deepest reserves of his subjects, whether they were rowers, businessmen, surgeons, artists, matrons, or members of his own family. Smiles are almost nonexistent in his paintings; furrowed brows and somber expressions rule.
Memorable two-person shows shouldn't be rare, but really - how often do you encounter match-ups in galleries that seem almost uncanny, in which the two artists' works might even be radically different but seem attuned to a similar harmonic underpinning of some ineffable kind? This month offers several such pairings, among them the following three two-person shows, which must have been arranged during an exceptional alignment of the planets.
A few years before he died at 53 of complications from AIDS, the New York photographer Bruce Cratsley (1944-98) had an urge to photograph Paris one last time. He was in poor health, suffering from a worse-than-usual bout of fatigue, and barely able to carry his luggage. So his friend Sherry Suris recalled in the monograph Bruce Cratsley: White Light, Silent Shadows. Still, he managed to fly home with more than 600 images, "some among the most lyrical of his career," Suris wrote.
L ooking at the paintings in her one-person show at Locks Gallery, When You Wish, it seems Sarah McEneaney has been sticking closer to home over the last couple of years. Or that, at the moment, she's not interested in painting scenes from her travels. Whatever the case, all of her new works are firmly focused on her life in Philadelphia and her dreams for its future.
Besides such giants of pop art as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, few other artists have taken more inspiration from popular culture than the self-taught, a fact made abundantly clear by Fleisher/Ollman Gallery's exuberant summer show "Measurably Long Kool," which features works on paper by 12 such artists.
Art exhibitions happen almost anywhere you please in the 21st century, so why not on a historic ship? With that in mind, Leslie Kaufman, president of the group Philadelphia Sculptors, approached the Independence Seaport Museum to gauge its interest in jointly sponsoring a sculpture exhibition on the cruiser Olympia, the world's oldest floating steel warship, docked near the museum at Penn's Landing.
Edith Newhall has been reviewing gallery exhibitions for The Inquirer since April 2005. She is a former staff writer for New York Magazine, where she covered the New York art world in features, exhibition reviews and interviews with artists. Her articles on the arts and travel have also been published in ARTnews, the Washington Post, Travel & Leisure and Condé-Nast Traveler. She is the co-author of "In Artists' Homes" (Clarkson Potter, 1992).