Phillip Adams, “The Hunt,” 2013, oil and charcoal on wood panel, 24 x 36 in.
Currently on View: “Dialogues & Correspondence” at the Seraphin Gallery
Allison Malafronte Reporting
Editor, Fine Art Today
An eclectic collection of contemporary, cutting-edge work is currently on view in the thoughtfully curated exhibition “Dialogues & Correspondence” at the Seraphin Gallery in Philadelphia. The Seraphin Gallery in Philadelphia — a contemporary art space that represents and promotes painters, sculptors, and photographers — is currently showing a dynamic body of work in a summer group show titled “Dialogues & Correspondence.” Although the gallery’s longtime specialty has been secondary-market sales — it has set records for works from the Abstract Expressionist, Pop School, German Expressionist, and American Impressionist eras — it is making inroads in the primary market through the representation of both up-and-coming and well-known artists. “Dialogues & Correspondence” exemplifies this curatorial direction by featuring 17 artists with boldly distinct voices and avant-garde sensibilities. As varied as the styles and subject matter may be, the collection is held together by a similar impulse and instinct, one that is all about surety of artistic self and a desire to engage the viewers in discussion and thought.In the category of skillful whimsy are Phillip Adams‘s pieces “The Hunt” and “Lost Cowboy.” Although the backgrounds of his pictures reveal a drafted landscape almost as advanced as an Asher B. Durand drawing, Adams doesn’t take himself too seriously and decides to insert a brightly colored, cartoon-like toy on the foreground rocky outcroppings, just to disrupt our journey back in time. Bold, colorful patterns organized into compelling decorative designs are the purview of several other artists in the show, and Rebecca Saylor Sack and Anne Canfield do this particularly well — Sack doing so with her juicy, jewel-tone floral compositions and Canfield through her painting “The Tune Without Any Words,” a Vuillard-esque work taking a stylistic cue from Art Nouveau and Japanese prints. Hiro Sakaguchi‘s works present an intriguing hybrid of fine art, illustration, and graphic-design elements played out in fantasy candy lands and otherworldly storylines, while Ken Mabrey‘s “Beware of the Undertow” swims in a subterranean setting of allegory and imagination. Abstract expressionism, abstraction, and surrealism are represented singularly or in combination in the energetic output of such artists as Robert Goodman, Donald McPartland, and James Brooks. Tyler Starr‘s and Elena Borstein‘s work is executed with an architect’s precision and a geographer’s exploration, while Joan Wadleigh Curran‘s “Flotsam, Ballinglen” twists and turns in a tangled convergence of line, shape, and color. Darla Jackson is the one sculptor represented in “Dialogues & Correspondence,” and her clever “All the Times” work shows a sleeping dog covered in tallies — a time-consuming concept to match the metaphoric meaning of its title. Minimalism and a focus on atmosphere, mood, and illusion are represented by such exhibiting artists as Donald McPartland, Michael Morill, Sean Robert Fitzgerald, and Sidney Goodman, while the classical, stoic still lifes of beloved New York artist and teacher Martha Mayer Erlebacher take on greater poignancy in their posthumous context.To view all the works featured in “Dialogues & Correspondence” and to learn more about the Seraphin Gallery, visit http://seraphin.squarespace.com.Click HERE to view review.