Tuesday, June 16

"Personal Boundaries"

Sunday's Art adventure continued on to South Street at Sage Projects, a new venture by artists David Foss and Rob Solomon. This month's show "Personal Boundaries" is one of the best group shows I've seen in a very long time. Of course I am extremely biased because there are several fiber-based and map-centric works and several friends of mine in this show. Even if some of my favorite people were not involved, I would STILL feel that this group show does a stellar job of bringing artists of different media together for a visual dialogue.

Emily Erb's painted silk maps are jaw-droppingly precise and elegant. I couldn't resist getting a detail shot of my neighborhood from PTC Map of Philadelphia. What is it about maps that I love so? Playing navigator on childhood vacations perhaps. Never completing an evening meal without the globe coming down off the shelf to aid discussion. Having a drawing or picture mean something in the wider world perhaps. These remind me of William Kentridge's tapestries at the PMA last year.

Shannon Donovan hides the map in grids and compass points, elevating the grittiness of things found on city streets to be ready for high tea. Chintz Hubcab uses the imprint of crocheted doilies in the clay, floral decals, and feminine color scheme to make me see coasters and my grandmother's deviled egg plate. This reminds me of how everyone I know from the suburbs prays I'll be safe in the big bad city. Shannon playfully gussies up the grit so even the DAR ladies couldn't complain.

Shannon also wins the prize for creative doily use. In 100 W's she shifts from doily impressions to doily resist, using the crocheted pieces as stencils for a more painterly effect. Each square in the grid is a cast of a water line cap, each one placed like a city block. The overall impression is red-hot, sultry like summer days, our water wasted by people opening up the hydrants because our pools were closed, our houses burnt down. The concentration of the doily prints reminds me of distribution of city demographics.
There are a lot more great pieces in the show, including work by Jessica Julius, Rebecca Kelly, Carol McHarg, Juri Kim-Oliva, Emma Saloman, Kathryn Pannepacker, and Carol Taylor-Kearney. Sage projects is at 333 South St and the show is up till July 12th.

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