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Val Rossman

Unexpected Interference

May 4 - 28

Penelope Harris

Fully Assembled

May 4 - 28

Residential Tourist

Curated by: Elizabeth Johnson, Celia Reisman and Emily Steinberg

May 4 - 28

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You Don't Always Know, 40" x 40", Acrylic On Panel

You Don't Always Know, 40" x 40", Acrylic On Panel

Val Rossman: Unexpected Interference

Spontaneous bursts of gestural expression meet carefully planned and executed drafting in Val Rossman’s new body of abstract works. Unexpected Interference features two varieties of exploration from Rossman’s multi-faceted painting practice of layered geometric compositions and energetically marked, achromatic configurations. Each variation of Rossman’s approach combines elements of chance and moments of orchestration, both of which are fundamental to her pursuits. Rossman finds her works to be analogous to life’s common challenges, and it is in the tension created by these opposing strategies where Rossman’s work flourishes and meaning is found.

Rossman’s studio is a carefully organized laboratory for creative delivery. Cups of pre-mixed colors await their use, and different sections of the studio are reserved for specific processes. Surprisingly, Rossman does not devise a specific “plan” for each work. Rather, she begins by “marring” the clean areas of a surface with a gestural stroke, scribbles, colors, or lines. What follows is a dance of balancing the unexpected and unrehearsed with calculated intention. Rossman often spins the painting on its side while working, upending gravity and expanding the many possibilities at hand. The result is a harmonious and tasteful arrangement of painted actions.

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Board Gourds, 40" x 60", Pastel On Paper

Board Gourds, 40" x 60", Pastel On Paper

Penelope Harris: Fully Assembled

The true beauty of Penelope Harris’ work is in the wonder of things. In Fully Assembled, the artist builds upon her celebrated career of vibrant and meticulously rendered artworks with a new collection of paintings and drawings created in Harris’ favorite media including gouache, oil paint, pastel, and charcoal. Despite the range of media, each piece shares Harris’ signature attention to detail. Her curiously chosen groupings offer surprises and endlessly delightful discoveries that engage further beyond their elegant presentations.

Although stylistic trends have shifted throughout her decades-long practice, Harris has faithfully developed her observational still life motif. In this current body of work, Harris offers a more reserved presentation versus the busy patterning of her earlier paintings – favoring elegance over drama. 

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Emily Steinberg, Twin, 20" x 26", Oil On Canvas

Emily Steinberg, Twin, 20" x 26", Oil On Canvas

Residential Tourist

Guest curators Elizabeth Johnson, Celia Reisman and Emily Steinberg present Residential Tourist, a group exhibition of artists from the greater Philadelphia area that considers voyeurism a tonic for isolation, interrupted socializing, and deferred travel.

Residential Tourist collects probing views of everyday living spaces, in the form of painting, drawing, sculpture and video. Details such as lighting, furnishing, layout, clutter, vehicles, gardens, sidewalks, and yards emanate humble nobility in the context of a prolonged pandemic since boredom with one’s own quarters renders other people’s homes potent and magnetic. Residential Tourist welcomes viewers to explore novel spaces and peer through windows, around corners, past fences and over gates with the same ease that we browse posts on social media and real estate sites, and the same thirst for ambience that tags along during Zoom meetings.

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Benjamin Passione & Mickayel Thurin featured in John Thornton's Family of Artists, Ben Passione, Mickayel Thurin, and the Legendary Maurice

Artists Ben Passione and Mickayel Thurin are a young couple trying to raise their son Maurice through one of the most difficult periods in memory. I got a chance to film both of their recent exhibitions and talk to, and film them, at their home in North Philadelphia.

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Michael Gallagher featured in John Thornton’s Beauty and Consolation, The Art of Michael Gallagher

America and the world have been suffering through a prolonged and miserable darkness, and Michael Gallagher’s paintings of joy, color and light bring hope to all who witness them. And they align with my own favorite aesthetic, a perfection of idealized forms and shapes, with an abraded and disfiguring surface. It’s the human need for perfect beauty, stymied by the limiting realities of this world. The irony being the beauty is made more poignant through the world’s grinding sorrows.

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Scott Noel featured in John Thornton's Scott Noel On Portrait Painting

Scott Noel is an alchemist. By hand and mind he transforms the physical substance of oil paint into a poetic expression of lived experience. His paintings of people are as honest as they are humane. They are art and they are life.

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