While I wasn’t looking every major non PMA venue in the city decided to get an artist of rock star caliber to show this September. So in between millions of art classes, and visitors by the bus load, I have been making it my job to get to see most of these hits.
First off the master of weird himself David Lynch. PAfA is housing a retrospective of Lynches mostly two-dimensional works. The show spans forty or so years and while the museum itself is quite classical his works are eloquently grotesque amidst classical statues and the usual fruit paintings. On side note an amazing Mikalene Thomas has been acquired since my last visit.
The work itself was often dated looking but grasped at your curiosity with vigor. Lynches drawing skills are stunning, and a few lit box paintings piqued my interest most. If you’re familiar with his work this show will not disappoint.
My complaint: the curators presence. Every sentence written, and work placed, was done so in a effort to pump up Philadelphia’s morale. Despite only one year enrolled at PaFA, they claimed he would not have been able to create Erasehead without them and us. . Good job Pafa for pathetically grasping at straws. I’m sure your endowment took a hit like everybody else, but being transparent never pays.
Moving on. Nicole Eisenman at the ICA. Yesterday I walked through the galleries holding twenty years of Eisenman’s work for the second time and was blown away for the second time. I have been an admirer for years, but have never viewed more than a few works in person until now. I was so surprised how textured her works would be, and the constant go between classical drawing and precise blobs.
The show is entitled Dear Nemesis and is named after the multi imaged grouping of paintings and drawings hanging on the largest wall. I have scene other variations on this work in books, but witnessing it in person is akin to Beyonce and Blue Ivy’s solo visit to the Mona Lisa. Truly magnificent, while feeling slightly undeserving. Or in their case, very underserving.
Upstairs Philadelphia’s own superstars Jayson Musson and Alex de Corte created a multimedia experience. This was another examples of over curation. It had a Mathew Barney feeling in atmosphere, but don’t get too excited, it falls flat both in costume and context.
Other great shows
Erotic Alchemy at The Art Alliance
Inliquid’s Anniversary show at bahdeebahdu
The first Wind Challenge at Fleisher
and open studios everywhere