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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.