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
Local

TIPS: How to take great photos during 'Manhattanhenge'

Grab your camera and make the perfect picture this Saturday.

National

Seinfeld emoji cound be available next week

Get your puffy shirts and your marble rye ready, America. Seinfeld emoji could become available as early as next week.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures July 11,…

A block party in Times Square, Bastille Day celebrations and a festival will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend.

Local

Thousands come to pay respects to fallen NYC…

Thousands turned out to say farewell to fallen firefighter Gordon Ambelas at St. Clare’s Church in Staten Island this morning.

Movies

Interview: Matt Reeves on directing 'Dawn of the…

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" director Matt Reeves discusses his love for the franchise, working with actors as apes and the weight of 3-D cameras.

Television

Final season of 'Glee' will be only 13…

The final season of "Glee" will officially be only 13 episodes, instead of the usual 22.

Entertainment

Complex characters, juicy scripts boost Netflix's Emmy nominations

The unconventional approach to TV at Netflix netted 31 Emmy nominations, a major achievement after plunging into original programing just last year.

Entertainment

Actor Josh Duhamel dons bunny suit to encourage…

The former Transformers star and husband to singer Fergie took to the Venice Beach boardwalk in California in a bright pink, Christmas-story inspired bunny suit Wednesday to help spread the…

NFL

Which Jets player has the best odds at…

Metro New York asked Bovada.LV to rank the top three contenders for the NFL MVP on the Jets.

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

MLB

A Joffrey Ballet dancer threw the most beautiful…

http://youtu.be/Hg61JOZJrYM?t=29s While asked to throw a first pitch at a baseball game can be a treacherous and/or embarrassing experience (see Cent, 50), sometimes everything can…

World Cup

World Cup semifinals preview: Holland vs. Argentina

The second semifinal pits another South American soccer power against a European one.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Sexual headaches can be…

Sexual headaches: an under-discussed health issue Location: U.S. Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a…

Food

Head to FiDi for free Chia Pods from…

They may have been last summer's darlings, but chia seeds have definitely not gone out of style. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, they…

Wellbeing

Stop thinking your diabetes risk begins above a…

When it comes to diabetes research, a new study says black and Asian adults may be at risk for developing diabetes at a lower weight…

Food

Christian Siriano inspires Magnum's color-blocked dessert

Christian Siriano, chef Andrew Carmellini and Magnum team up to create "America's Most Fashionable Chocolate Dessert."