Woodmere’s juried exhibition takes a conceptual approach this year

Ryan Foley’s “Happy Houlihan,” an acrylic and mixed media collage on canvas, is part of the exhibition.  Credit: Woodmere Art Museum
Ryan Foley’s “Happy Houlihan,” an acrylic and mixed media collage on canvas, is part of the exhibition.
Credit: Woodmere Art Museum

The title of Woodmere Art Museum’s 72nd annual juried exhibition, In Front of Strangers I Sing, comes from the final line of Romanian poet Paul Celan’s “Night Ray.” This year’s jurors, Philadelphia artists Dona Nelson and Rubens Ghenov, thought the line applied to the show as a whole, which is mounted in the museum’s eccentric gallery space, in particular its grand rotunda.

“We were thinking of the museum as a strange piece of architecture,” Ghenov says. “It looks like a boat, or to me it looks like an asymmetrical opera house. We were thinking about the pieces in the show being these choir-like voices singing in front of strangers, so that line in the poem resonated with the feeling or the sentiment of the show.”

Unusually for the Woodmere, this year’s exhibition focuses strongly on conceptual work from young Philadelphia artists such as Anthony Campuzano, Ryan Foley and Virginia Fleming. There is little of the traditional landscape or abstract work the museum is usually associated with. That tendency emerged from a combination of the jurors’ tastes and the evolution of the selection process, according to Ghenov: “The pieces and artists we chose began to concoct a type of story. We began to see thematic elements appearing, which fortified our selections a little more.”

The themes that emerged, Ghenov says, deal with a particular Philly regionalism, and with a blending of artistic styles and approaches. “There’s a lot of work where disciplines began to cross over into each other. Photographs that were acting like paintings, sculptures that live as photographs, rugs and sculptures that are painted on — there was this interdisciplinary conversation going on.”

To illustrate, Ghenov points to a work by Frank Bramblett made up of countless scraps of notepaper. “From far away they look like a beautiful painting, but when you come up close they’re just pieces of paper with notes,” Ghenov says. “I think the piece hits at the heart of this show. Yes, they’re notes on sheets of paper that you can buy at Staples with a Sharpie marker, but when they’re all brought together they speak a painting language. There’s a slight abstraction to them, but simultaneously you know what those things are.”

If you go

In Front of Strangers, I Sing: The 72nd Annual Juried Exhibition
May 25-Sept. 1
Woodmere Art Museum
9201 Germantown Ave.
$7-$10
215-247-0476
www.woodmereartmuseum.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Gossip

Chris Martin dishes on 'conscious uncoupling' with Gwyneth…

"The thing we told everyone at the beginning of the year is true," says Chris Martin about Gwyneth Paltrow. "We are very close. We are not together."

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Sports

Kevin Love becomes third NBA player to pull…

Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves became the third NBA player to withdraw from consideration for Team USA in next month's World Cup, USA Basketball.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.