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

Eileen Goodman, Fruit and Ribbons


Eileen Goodman

March 1 - 31, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, March 3, 5 - 7 pm

Eileen Goodman, Fruit and Ribbons, Watercolor, 20.75 inches x 29 inches  


Illusion and allusion are meaningful words for me in the sense that in my work there's an illusion of something real, but there's also an allusion to something intangible. - Eileen Goodman

Eileen Goodman's watercolors are captivating. In the unforgiving medium of watercolor, she captures the beauty of intense light and color through the subject of still life. Patterns and shapes dance across her sheets of paper and reveal the artist's life-earned intimacy with what could be considered the most challenging medium. Her understated mastery belies the artist's appreciation and fascination with the craft of making art and the inspirational power of nature.


Goodman combines fruits and flowers with patterned rugs and textiles, rhyming found structure with an imposed order. She invites the viewers to engage her subjects and call to their minds memories of cherries, pomegranates, and lilies. At other times, Goodman heightens the drama in ordinary moments.  She looks deep into the shadows created by the form of her objects and finds within these shadowy regions the "dark side of beauty."


Goodman discovers the tone and mood found within her subjects. With the rhythm of moving and drying water inherent in the watercolor medium, the need for quick actions and patient responses allows the artist to be both impulsive and reflective. Goodman's works call attention to the moment at hand, recall the past moments overlooked, and change the way the viewer will see every cherry in the future.


Eileen Goodman received her BFA from the University of the Arts (previously the Philadelphia College of Art) and attended Temple University.  Her works are included in numerous private, corporate, and public collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Woodmere Art Museum where she was recently featured in a 2016  retrospective, "The Weight of Watercolor". Goodman has been represented for over thirty years by Gross McCleaf Gallery.


Val Rossman, Explosive Growth



Val Rossman
Making a Mark

March 1 - 31, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, March 3, 5 - 7 pm

Val Rossman, Explosive Growth, Acrylic on aluminum, 48 x 48 inches  


"Life is always uncertain.

Out of a riot of lines, spaces and colors

comes a titillating surface that beckons

the viewer to relax and enjoy the journey...."

                 Julie Courtney, Independent Curator


Val Rossman's paintings and drawings are a blend of chance and careful planning; a process which the artist considers an apt metaphor for life.  She says of her recent work,


"Each painting or pastel drawing is a map leading to an adventure of color, mark, and space.  The making of the mark whether expressive, aggressive, lyrical or exuberant is crucial....I embrace the unpredictable interferences as interruptions to the luscious color and controlled lines.  Taking risks as part of my creative process energizes my work and keeps it fresh and exciting."


Many of the atmospheric, nature-inspired pastels in the current exhibit are the result of a recent residency (Art in the Wilderness) in Aspen, Colorado which brought the artist directly into contact with an unfamiliar and untamed landscape.  However, Rossman's primary interest is in capturing the feeling of a particular location, not the actual observation. In the pastels, soft but intense background colors recede into indefinable depths and are criss-crossed by subtle marks that bring the viewer back to the surface - marks that are reminiscent of jet-trails or cirrus clouds.


In addition to the pastels, Rossman is showing a series of bold, calligraphic acrylic paintings in which the expressive gesture of the artist is dominant. The paintings have an urban, graphic quality to them - reminding the viewer of the artist's roots at Tyler School of Art in the 1970's and the influence of other abstract painters such as Klee, Kandinsky, Frankenthaler, and Mitchell.


Regardless of the medium, there is always a sense of spontaneity in Rossman's work - the pastels and paintings seem controlled but are never overworked.  She says of her process,


"My work always starts out very scribbly and free.... As I work, there is a conversation between me and the piece...with questions asked and answers given. It is very intuitive and organic. I love that process! I always know when a work is finished because it just feels like everything is in the right place. It is as if the work just grew out of the surface and always existed like that. There is nothing that is nudging at me to say that it doesn't belong. There is a perfect harmony within the piece."


Rossman received her BFA from Tyler School of Art and has held two Vermont Studio School Residencies in recent years.  The artist has had many solo and group exhibitions in the Philadelphia area and in other parts of the Northeast and her work is included in numerous public and private collections.  This is Rossman's first solo exhibition with Gross McCleaf.