Oscar-winning director of Philadelphia and The Silence of the Lambs Jonathan Demme has spent years amassing quite an impressive collection of Caribbean art — colorful gems by artists like Wilson Bigaud, Daniel Pressley, and Hector Hyppolite. And now he’s ready to share his treasures with the world. Starting March 22nd, at Philadelphia eclectic-art haven Material Culture, Demme will present and auction off most of his collection in “Direct From the Eye: The Jonathan Demme Collection of Self-Taught Art.” More from AP:
Read more »
Of all the tortures, to put it lightly, of elevator-sharing (awkward eye contact, microscopic talk, the dreaded cougher), the music may be enemy number one. Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) understands the pain, and is flipping it on its head with a new exhibit, “Really Good Elevator Music.”
The project, headed by AAI artist-in-residence Yowei Shaw, turns an elevator into a pop-up installation, where office-goers and art lovers can change how they view passive time — the habitual commute becoming an experience. Collaborators on the project include Steven Dufala (formerly of Man Man) and a slew of other Philly artists. Their two-minute tracks are an experiment in found sound, field recordings and music, with the hope of promoting active listeners and an active community. Expect to hear heart-warming, thought-provoking and light-hearted pieces piped in through the PA, with tracks ranging from a recorded discussion with men to take shelter at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission to a soundbite of eighth graders rehearsing their Miley Cyrus-themed graduation video.
The project is running now through March 31st in the Wolf Building elevators, at 340 North 12th Street. Shaw will host a listening party on March 14th that features the music and video reactions from participants. That takes place at the Asian Arts Initiative, at 1219 Vine Street. For more information and to listen to some of the tracks, go here.
Photo by Abe Frajndlich for “The New York Times.”
Anthony Elms, artist and associate curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Philadelphia, is one of three outside-NYC curators the Whitney Museum of American Art handpicked for its 2014 Biennial. According to The New York Times, Elms’s exhibit is on the second floor of the museum’s Breuer building, and writer Holland Cotter says, out of the three exhibitions, “it has some of the work I liked best.” He goes into more detail:
A piece at the entrance by Jimmie Durham — Native American by descent, in self-exile from the United States since 1987 — was a good omen. His abstract but roughly humanoid sculpture called “Choose Any Three” is made of stacked wood chips inscribed with names: Vanzetti, E. Zapata; Crazy Horse; Ho Chi Minh, Cristóbal Colón, Johnny Colón, Kay Starr, Malcolm X, etc. Mix and match and create your own political meaning for the piece.
This is also sort of the general method underlying Mr. Elms’s show, which reveals itself slowly. You spot an LP playing on a turntable, but there’s no sound. You listen closer, and maybe there is: a kind of audible vacuum, moving air. The recording was made on Sept. 11 and 12, 2001, by Matt Hanner, a member of the collective Academy Records. He lived under a flight path near a Chicago airport. When planes were grounded after the news of the Sept. 11 attacks, he taped the extraordinary silence.
You can catch the Whitney Biennial now through May 25th. More info here.
The 2014 Whitney Biennial continues through May 25 at the Whitney Museum of American Art; 212-570-3600, whitney.org.
Metropolitan Gallery 250‘s next exhibit, “250 x 250,” poses that there might be some true art hiding among the selfies and food porn (or some mother-of-god variation thereof) hogging your Instagram feed. The exhibit, opening March 7th, features popular Instagram photographer and University of the Arts graduate Austin Hodges (aka @austinxc04)’s street photography, which focuses notably on Philadelphia architecture and urban decay. Hodges’ 28,000-plus followers could scroll through most of the works on-display, but the physical exhibition might make clear the shortcomings of the purely digital.
Read more »
“I do take painting seriously. It’s changed my life.”
What all started with painting a few self portraits in the bathtub has blossomed into a full-blown art career for former President George W. Bush. People reports that W. will exhibit two dozen (!) paintings this spring at his presidential library and museum in Dallas. But don’t expect a few splash-y time doodles.
Read more »
Before another stupid storm comes and makes us all squirrel away at home for far too long, get out and see some art.
Shaker Dragster (1984) by Roy Superior.
Tonight the Center for Art in Wood opens “Roy Superior: Patent Models for a Good Life,” which is being billed as “a remembrance of his furniture, sculpture and drawings.” Superior, who passed away last August at age 78, was clearly influenced by the machine drawings of Da Vinci, but they clearly have their own contemporary aesthetics and practical uses. Superior was a guy who dug comfort, food, and the joys of human life. Or at least that’s what we can glean from his contraptions. This collection of Superior’s work should be able to give us insight into a man whose art was a reflection of the things he loved. Feb. 7–April 19, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., free, The Center for Art in Wood, 141 N. Third St., 215-923-8000, centerforartinwood.org.
More First Friday Picks after the jump
In his latest project, “I Have Something to Tell You,” Florida photographer Adrain Chesser snapped photos of his family and friends just moments after he told them he was HIV-positive. The collection portrays an array of emotions, from shock to befuddlement to just plain pity. But the process, Chesser told the Huffington Post, helped him conquer the fear of opening up to his loved ones:
Read more »
On Friday night, January 31st, young professionals gathered for Global Glam! to celebrate the Barnes Foundation’s newly commissioned works by contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare MBE. The evening started with an intimate cocktail party with the members of the Contemporaries in one of the private rooms. The Contemporaries are a dynamic group of young patrons and art enthusiasts that promote The Barnes Foundation’s educational mission through a wide variety of programs and social events (membership starts at $500). Then the party really got started in the main hall with DJ Royale spinning tunes from the ’80s and ’90s that packed the dance floor. The guests enjoyed the colorful Shonibare exhibit, some items which will be available for sale in the future, as well as global fashion ensembles on loan from Moore College of Art and Design.
More of HughE’s photos from Global Glam! after the jump »