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

Joseph Sweeney, St. Joe's Boathouse with Crews


Joseph Sweeney
On the River

June 1 - 30, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, June 2, 5 - 7 pm

Joseph Sweeney, St. Joe's Boathouse with Crews, Pastel on paper, 22 x 32 inches  


I was born in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, so the boathouses are as familiar to me as my grandparents' house on Pennock Street....With their strange sense of structure, some cobbled together, some architectural masterpieces, they have stood on the river since just after the American Civil War and still serve as the center of American rowing. 

From the first pink light of sunrise to the cool blue light of dusk, these buildings create an infinite combination of forms, shapes and shadows, darkness and light that to me are very familiar and endlessly fascinating. - Joseph Sweeney

Joe Sweeney has returned to one of his first loves - the late 19th century boathouses that line the Schuylkill and the scullers who make their way up and down the river.  After exploring landscapes of central Pennsylvania, the New Jersey shore, Ireland, and Bermuda, the artist is revisiting a subject matter that has inspired so many Philadelphia painters over the years. Managing to strike a fine balance between rendering a portrait of a place and capturing its essence without being literal, Sweeney identifies and reveals what is vital in each scene with the quickness of stroke and the intensity of color only possible through the medium of pastel. The resulting images emerge as refined and poetic; infused with Sweeney's genuine affection for his subject matter.

Joe Sweeney received a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and an MFA from Penn State. A resident of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, he has taught classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The University of the Arts, Wayne Art Center, Woodmere Art Museum, Cabrini College and Chester Springs Studio. He has exhibited at Gross McCleaf Gallery for more than thirty-five years as well as in galleries from New York to Washington D.C. to Minneapolis.

Solid and Real Things


Solid and Real Things
Evan Fugazzi
Hollis Heichemer
Eric Huckabee
Drew Kohler
Ying Li
Benjamin Passione
Val Rossman

June 1 - 30, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, June 2, 5 - 7 pm



Wet paint, fluid and messy, does something strange over time. It dries. In drying, its form becomes fixed and the paint transforms from something open, vulnerable, and mutable into something specific, stable, and solid. Once dry, a new thing exists in the world patiently awaiting our response. The artists Evan FugazziHollis HeichemerEric HuckabeeDrew KohlerYing LiBenjamin Passione, and Val Rossman make paintings. They paint in relationship to reality; recording their memories and experiences, constructing alternatives, and even complicating or simplifying the world around them. In a culture of fleeting images and constant movement, their paintings serve as touchstones, mooring posts, and landmarks by which we may deepen our understanding of the world.