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

Todd Keyser, Interiority


Todd Keyser
Open Plan

May 3 - 26, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, May 5, 5 - 7 pm

Todd Keyser, Interiority, Acrylic on canvas, 52 x 46 inches  


The associations between natural organic forms and the rigidity that can be found in architecture is implied in these paintings by the juxtaposition of opacity and transparency; gesture and mechanically made marks; thick and thin lines; the tone, the color, and the intensity of the paint. What interests me most about these oppositional forces is how they work with and against each other. Tension and release of energy is an experience that I encounter when I am in architectural spaces. -Todd Keyser

Todd Keyser's use of constructed pictorial space maximizes the expressive potential found within both the self-imposed limitations chosen by the artist and the inherent constraints of working on a rectangular canvas. His use of paint treatment, texture, and color vary from painting to painting, but occur within repeating, predetermined geometric structures. Through Keyser's range of related versions, the viewer is reminded of the richness which can be experienced through variations on a theme which occur frequently in the world of music and, in the visual arts, that harken to Josef Albers' chromatic painting series: "Homage to the Square." 

Inspired by conflict such as the desire to convey the atmospheric qualities of a space (experienced through light and color relationships) and the depiction of the locations of elements in a space (communicated through geometric and linear elements), Keyser balances parallel competing concerns in his works. With his compositions rigorously decided, Keyser finds openness through engagement with the edge of the canvas and the physical space beyond the image. He says that the "intent [of his compositions] to suggest that more could be added to each painting...that the space beyond the painting can continue."  In one work, Interiority, the repeating structure of the torso-sized paintings is reconfigured by the addition of a second smaller canvas. The additive shape becomes a uniquely emphasized aspect of the painting and explores Keyser's fascination with the realm in which a painted work can operate as both an image and an object.

Keyser's paintings have been included in a number of group exhibitions such as Associated Artists of Pittsburgh's annual juried show at the Carnegie Museum of Art; PhAb Now! sponsored by Pittsburgh Filmmakers; a two-person exhibition with David Kettner at Gross McCleaf Gallery; Before, Again, curated by Bill Scott at Gross McCleaf Gallery; A City(ies) that Walked, The Archigram Space Program, jointly exhibited at FJORD and TSA; and Earth and Artifice at Vox Populi. The artist has worked as an independent curator and as an arts writer for Title-MagazineBmoreArtCriticaleyes, and the Pittsburgh Articulate. Keyser received his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, his BFA from the University of the Arts, and his four-year Certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Celia Reisman, Warm World



Celia Reisman
A Moment Noticed

May 3 - 26, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, May 5, 5 - 7 pm

Celia Reisman, Warm World, Oil on canvas, 34 x 48 inches  


I find a subject by chance. In a glance I'll see something that catches my eye when I least expect it. These moments form the kernel of an idea for a painting. It might be the light that particular day, the color of an object in the landscape, the unusual proportion of forms or a unique intersection between architecture and nature that captures my attention. - Celia Reisman

Blue fences, orange lights, moody mornings, and sun-kissed afternoons, Reisman's paintings thrive on her serendipitous encounters with discovered fascinations. With eyes open and patient, she observes and records the things which we all take for granted. Reisman trusts that even something to which we are accustomed, has secrets to reveal, and that if she looks for it there are still opportunities for awe in the ordinary. No matter how brief, how transient, Reisman trusts her discoveries and fascinations, taking these moments first to paper. Through drawing, initial impulses are solidified, clarified, and given form as Reisman searches for a moment which captivates her enough to support a larger more sustained investigation in painting. These canvases extend and explore the momentary as they suspend a fleeting impulse over the time it takes to craft a painting.

Houses peek out from behind the fences and they hide behind trees. A rectangular building becomes a rectangle first and then a building second. The solid world is pierced with cascades of light. Natural color is diffused or heightened.  Sometimes the mood of a painting is shaped by the weather, the sun, or the clouds, but the attitudes of Reisman's anthropomorphic buildings come closer to resembling individuals in a crowd.
Celia Reisman received her MFA from Yale University and her BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University. Recently, Reisman has been included in group exhibitions at the Michener Museum of Art and the Lancaster Museum of Art. This is Reisman's eleventh solo show with Gross McCleaf Gallery.  The artist has also had one-person exhibitions at the Michener Museum in Doylestown, the List Gallery at Swarthmore College, and the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College.