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

Ying Li, Leaf Walk, Red



Ying Li

October 7 - 31, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, October 9, 2015, 5 - 7 pm

Ying Li, Leaf Walk, Red, oil on canvas, 12.5 x 12.5 inches  


Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works by the painter Ying Li. Through Li's plein-air approach and fearless pursuit of new discovery in her work, the artist makes emotionally stirring landscape paintings that are rich in character, unexpected in result, and bound to their specific birthplaces. 


By bringing a wayfarer's spirit to her works through the process of uncompromising revision and fearlessly decisive use of paint, Li arrives at unexpected destinations.  Each painting has a seemingly bottomless history with only its most recent iteration visible, leaving clues as to the possible paintings that exist underneath. Captivating visually with a tactile ferocity, Li's paintings carry an immediacy and a history that capture the complexity and intensity of direct experiences. The internal history of her works is one of their greatest assets - propelling the work to new and unexpected locations.


Li speaks of her intentions,


"I want to paint as directly as I can. I want each painting to really be individual. Always I paint outside - I paint in the summer, I paint in the snow, rain... because I like the change of the weather... I'm not interested in describing the place but more I like to get a feel of what's in front of me, what kind of a mood... The texture out there is incredible. I want the painting to feel like it's dug out of the earth. They're not a polished thing, they're rough, like tree bark. Painting is really not still, painting is a live thing."


In Li's first exhibition with Gross McCleaf Gallery, she presents a body of work informed by places both as near as her home in Haverford, Pennsylvania to as far away as Ascona, Switzerland where she spends part of the summer.  Her art is fueled by the intimacy of home, where daily routine yields affection and understanding only available by the passage of time, or by encounters with new places seen with fresh eyes, curiosity, and wonder; these paintings reveal that Li's inspiration changes, but her intensity of exploration never wavers.


Ying Li was born in Beijing, China. She studied and taught at the Anhui Teachers University until 1983, when she immigrated to the United States and earned her MFA from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Li is Professor of Fine Arts at Haverford College. She has exhibited her work across the United States and in New York City at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy Museum, the New York Studio School, Lohin Geduld Gallery, Bowery Gallery, and The Painting Center. The artist has also shown her work in Europe, most recently at the Centro Incontri Umani in Ascona, Switzerland. Li is a recipient of the Henry Ward Ranger Fund Purchase Award and the Edwin Palmer Memorial Prize for painting from the National Academy Museum and was named the Donald Jay Gordon Visiting Artist and Lecturer at Swarthmore College, Artist-in-Residence at Dartmouth College, and the McMillan Stewart Endowed Chair in Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Li's work has been reviewed in Art in AmericaThe New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Artforum.

Emily Richardson, Edge of an Instant



Emily Richardson
New Work

October 7 - 31, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, October 9, 2015, 5 - 7 pm




Emily Richardson, Edge of an Instant, silk, acrylic, chalk, thread,
16 x 14 inches


Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by gallery artist, Emily Richardson.  For years, Emily Richardson has been pushing the boundaries of what is considered painting and has quietly pursued alternative methods of expressing herself in a two-dimensional medium.  Using fabric, acrylic paint, and thread as her vocabulary, Richardson creates a visual language that bridges the seams between the worlds of painting and fiber art. 


The artist states,


"I often link my work to textile traditions, especially weaving, as a way of supporting, or structuring the work, and allowing me to immerse myself in my passion for painting and composition....The subject matter is always the work itself, though it might begin with an idea or a mood. This will carry me through the painting stage, which I do first, with diluted acrylic paint, often in layers and flat on the table, sometimes using chalk to make marks and lines....While painting the cloth, I am reflecting on an experience or responding to something I've seen or been thinking about....Something that fills my solitary thoughts while I mix colors and push the paint around and through the surfaces of layers of fabric.


I never know exactly how the paint will set, and as I work with these pieces of painted cloth - layering, arranging, cutting, and manipulating them, I move away from those initial thoughts, or the meaning I was trying to impart into the work, and instead am responding visually to what I see."


Richardson begins by assembling the pieces of painted fabric. She juxtaposes layers of forms; arranging and rearranging them until she finds a personally resonant rhythm and harmony. Once located, the parts and pieces are joined and embellished with the artist's hand-stitching. 


Richardson's works are embedded in and indebted to the tradition of fabric and fiber artists but she uses her materials to reveal her personal expression that is distinct and unique. The result is a piece of art that is part of the tradition of fabric and fiber artists but Richardson has repurposed her materials and expression into an art form that is distinctly contemporary and unique. 


Emily Richardson is a frequent exhibitor at Quilt Visions and Quilt National and was the recipient of the prestigious Japan Prize in 2004.