This new art exhibit is ‘Flat as Hell’

Jedediah Morfit with a plate from his latest show. Credit: Denise Guerin
Jedediah Morfit with a plate from his latest show.
Credit: Denise Guerin

At first glance Jedediah Morfit’s intricate narrative reliefs have an innocent, whimsical quality about them. The cartoonish characters— articulated with elegant white silhouettes of plaster — feel like a postmodern, graphic take on Josiah Wedgewood reliefs. But nothing in Morfit’s world is that simple. If viewers choose to linger, they’ll soon discover a landscape pulsating with the paralyzing anxiety of our age.

“I think I have some unconscious urge to disguise the underlying angst in the work by expressing it with this very decretive, pretty surface,” says Morfit, a professor of sculpture at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. But then he stops himself and laughs: “How very WASP-y of me! I guess I have a pretty dark worldview, but somehow I was taught not to burden others with it?”

In one of Morfit’s large-scale reliefs, a female figure walks across a sea of human carnage and detritus, protecting her bounty with a Wesson .357. Somehow Morfit has managed to depict this scene with his signature playful flair. But look a little closer: The figure — “Mad Meg” — is actually grafted from a 16th century Pieter Bruegel painting.

“The figures in my pieces are all informed by desire. Everything is stealing or trying to grab from something else,” explains Morfit. “For me, I see the increased stratification between the rich and poor in this country as a kind of return to Breugel’s era. It’s not something new. We’ve been here before.”

First Friday
At Jedediah Morfit’s latest exhibition, opening tomorrow night at the Sculpture Gym, viewers will be encouraged to create their very own relief. The artist will affix magnets to some of his distinctive characters and place them on a stainless steel wall — an ever-morphing Morfit of your own creation.

“This is a very labor-intensive project. People think of it as being very deliberate, which it is in some respects. But it can be very playful and spontaneous,” the artist says. “I wanted to give viewers access to the spontaneous play that experience when I put these things together.”

Jedediah Morfit: ‘Flat as Hell’
Philadelphia Sculpture Gym
1834 E. Frankford Ave.
Opening Aug. 2, 6-9 p.m.
Free, 215-901-1933.
www.jedediahmorfit.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…