7 Reasons Why Philadelphia Is the Best Place for Your Next Art Getaway
All the more reason to get out of NYC.
We know, we know: it seems odd to leave New York to see art. But just a short car ride away in Philadelphia are a number of great museums and off-the-beaten-path galleries worth checking out. What’s more, come Monday, you’ll have a reason to brag about what you saw to all your coworkers who spent Saturday afternoon on the overcrowded streets of Chelsea.
1. Jennifer Bartlett, “The Mind in Action: Early Drawings and Plates: 1968-1975” at Locks Gallery:
75-year-old painter Jennifer Bartlett studied under the likes of James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, and Robert Rauschenberg while at the Yale School of Art in the ’60s, and continues to deftly combine abstraction and representation, working today on large-scale works like the 158-foot-long one she presented at Pace in 2011. This show revisits the artist’s formative years via early drawings and enamel plates with a colorful, optic aesthetic.
Afterwards, venture upstairs to check out “Pop Réal,” a group show combining the American pop art and European Nouveau Réalisme movements of the twentieth century, which features heavy-hitters like Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Polly Apfelbaum.
2. Rodney McMillian, “The Black Show” at ICA Philadelphia
Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian uses everything from painting and sculpture to video and performance art to dissect class, race, gender and other hot-button social issues in this timely exhibition. Critic Thomas Hine called it “the slyest, most theatrical use of this space I have seen,” adding that “the overall effect is menacing.” We’ll assume he means that in a positive way.
3. Jayson Musson, “The Truth in the Song” at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery
Jayson Musson—better known to some as Hennessy Youngman—is a Brooklyn-based artist known for his humorous, often biting critiques of the art world. For his first solo show at the gallery in three years, he’ll present a new series of paintings created using Coogi sweaters (multicolored sweaters popularized within the African-American hip-hop community by rapper Notorious BIG) mounted on stretchers. For Musson, Coogi—a white-owned company with Australian roots—represents yet another instance of whites profiting off “perceived desires of people of color,” according to a press release.
4. Donald Martiny, “New Paintings” at Pentimenti Gallery
For New York-born, North Carolina-based painter Donald Martiny’s first solo show with the gallery, he presents a series of new works that speak about “the act of painting” by evoking the richness of a single, isolated brushstroke. Made from polymer and aluminum, Martiny crafts the bold compositions them using brushes, his hands, and occasionally even brooms.
5. “Experiments in Print: Derrick Adams, Matthew Day Jackson, Dread Scott & Kate Shepherd” at the Print Center
Combining what the nonprofit gallery has christened “four of the most interesting artists working in print today,” the show was curated and printed entirely at the acclaimed Lower East Side Printshop. Founded in 1915 as the Print Club, the gallery’s mission is to foster the growth of printmaking and photography as respected art forms.
6. Janine Antoni, “Ally” at the Fabric Workshop and Museum
This so-called “performance exhibition” takes place on select dates and times and combines dance, sculpture, and video for a genre-bending experience. Conceived in collaboration with choreographer Stephen Petronio and movement artist Anna Halprin, the exhibition occupies all four floors of the experimental art center. “I conceived of this project more than six years ago as a kind of retrospective of my art making, told through dance,” Antoni said in a press release. “It has evolved into a truly collaborative creation that allows us to find a way to continue making new work while looking back.”
7. “Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation, and Change” at the Barnes Foundation
Staged in collaboration with the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, this exhibition tracks the dramatic fluctuations in Pablo Picasso‘s style between 1912 and 1924, bringing together approximately 50 paintings and drawings, as well as costume designs produced for Parade, an avant-garde ballet by Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau.
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