Gross McCleaf Gallery
127 S Sixteenth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Current Exhibitions

Leigh Werrell, What's Happening?



Leigh Werrell
Out of Place

September 5 - 28, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5 - 7 pm

Leigh Werrell, What's Happening?, Oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches  


I tell stories about my life. Painting gives me the means to convey my fascination with a transparent green bottle, tell a story about the joy of living alone, or express nostalgia with an old t-shirt.....laundromats, lo mein, childhoods, sitting in the sunshine, loneliness, electric bills. Perhaps another person will walk by me on the sidewalk and ask themselves if my life is like theirs. Can a piece of art confirm this? Are you just like me? Come into my space, and we'll find out. - Leigh Werrell


Leigh Werrell approaches the communal through the personal; trusting that her private thoughts and observations will connect her to others rather than separate her from them. She shows what she notices and, along with her, we recognize the mysterious in the ordinary. As Werrell questions and documents the qualities and the consequences of living in a city, her paintings touch on the seemingly contradictory feelings of being lonely in a crowd or feeling a sense of community among individuals.


As both voyeur and visitor, the artist paints the strangeness that gets overlooked and forgotten in daily life. She is both participant and researcher; capturing the qualities of an experience through exaggerations in spatial relationships and color. Werrell picks and chooses her focus - sometimes zeroing in on the minutiae and sometimes encompassing the big picture. While recording the individuality of her vision, she captures the connection of her anxious, perplexed, and curiosity-filled experiences which are likely to be shared ones.


Leigh Werrell is a graduate of Hollins University and received her MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2012. This is her second solo show with Gross McCleaf Gallery. Werrell has been awarded a residency for this fall at the Vermont Studio Center.


Solid and Real Things



Clint Jukkala
Aubrey Levinthal
Susan Moore
Ashley Wick

September 5 - 28, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5 - 7 pm



Infants love staring at faces and studies have shown that babies, even those less than an hour old, look at facial patterns longer than any others. From the beginning, we seek out the faces of those near us. Our need to recognize one another even leads to Pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon that describes our predisposition to see faces, even where they do not exist. LOOKS presents the paintings of four artists and their individual responses to the faces we see and seek.


Strong marks and bold colors dominate the surface of Clint Jukkala's paintings. His enigmatic works simultaneously reference architectural elements, features of the landscape, and facial structures. The purposeful arrangement of basic elements, including apertures and openings, tease our desire to recognize another, as well as be recognized.


Aubrey Levinthal's intensely personal explorations of her day-to-day life depict people immersed in the appearance and experience of the world. Many times featuring the artist herself, Levinthal's paintings preserve elements of privacy and intimacy of gaze and vision. We are invited to observe quiet moments as her subjects are deeply looking at the world around them. In one case, we, the viewer, are invisible as the subject is immune to the presence of anything outside of her focus; in the other, our gaze is met, and we become the focus.


Susan Moore reveals and accentuates variations of faces in her double portraits. She brings attention to the subtlety of human expression as even the same countenances convey quite different meanings. Moore's faces look out at the viewer - sometimes confrontationally and other times solidly, but always directly. Without the usual trappings of context or decoration, we experience total immersion in the subjects' gaze.


Ashley Wick's strange and expressive reconfigurations of faces access an inner logic which captivates and perplexes the viewer. Ears defy our geographic expectations and smiles morph into cheeks. Eyes repeat and look at us as they become a cluster of gazes. The faces in Wick's paintings invite us to find the rhyme and reason but they also remind that the faces around us can take many forms.


Clint Jukkala is a graduate of University of Washington in Seattle and Yale University, where he received his MFA. His work has been shown at Feature Inc., and Envoy Enterprises in New York, The deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA, Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Philadelphia, PA, VOLTA NY 2013, The Currier Museum, and Soil Gallery in Seattle, and the Fred Giampietro Gallery in New Haven, CT. Jukkala isthe Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.


Aubrey Levinthal received her BFA from Penn State University and earned her MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She has been featured in VOLTA NY 2018 and has exhibited at the Painting Center and Nancy Margolis Gallery in NYC.


Susan Moore received her MFA at the University of California, Davis and her BFA from Indiana University. Moore is on the faculty of the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Her work is included in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and the Woodmere Art Museum. Moore is represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery and has exhibited widely in Philadelphia, as well as, NYC and Rome, Italy.


Ashley Wick graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and earned her MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She has exhibited in many venues in Philadelphia and most recently had a solo show at Galerie Charlot in Paris, France.


All of the artists in the exhibition currently live and work in Philadelphia, PA.