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

Matthew Pinney



Matthew Pinney

February 4 - 28, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, February 6, 5 - 7 pm

Matthew Pinney, C and C, oil on linen, 60 x 72 inches  


Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Matthew Pinney. The exhibition, Seen/Unseen, runs from February 4 - 28, 2015 with an opening reception for the artist on Friday, February 6 from 5 - 7pm.


In this body of work, Pinney plays with the idea of what is visible and what is obscured. Working with layers and bands of thick oil paint, Pinney partially conceals his selected foundational imagery relying on conflict and comparison to reveal meaning. The multiple layers of thick paint serve to engage the viewer with the surface and, at the same time, to obfuscate what is beneath. The underlying image is retained, but is broken down to the point where it is almost unreadable. Pinney states:


I'm largely focused on the materiality of the paint itself, what it can do compositionally as well as physically. Breaking down an image to the point that I am engaged primarily with the surface, the image itself becomes secondary, something to be discovered in the paint. I like this idea of flipping the content of a painting upside down. For most of art history, the content of a painting has primarily been the imagery, leaving the surface as a later discovery. The Ab-Ex painters had to destroy imagery entirely to make paintings about the material and process of making it.


In these works, each layer of paint defines a new point in time in Pinney's process and removes the viewer one step further from the original. The image becomes secondary but nonetheless important - something to be discovered.


Matthew Pinney received his MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2007 and has been exhibiting with Gross McCleaf Gallery since 2011. Pinney has also exhibited both nationally and internationally, including shows in Japan, South Korea and Washington, DC.






Smart Play
David Kettner and Todd Keyser

February 4 - 28, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, February 6, 5 - 7 pm





Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce Smart Play, a two-person exhibition featuring the works David Kettner and Todd Keyser. The exhibition runs from February 4 - 28, 2015 with an opening reception for the artists on Friday, February 6 from 5 - 7pm.


With a cut and a tear, a shape and a line, David Kettner and Todd Keyser create works that reflect an impulse to play, to imagine, and to understand.


David Kettner generates new works from the scavenged artwork of children. With used coloring books as his most current vocabulary, Kettner forms, accentuates, or distorts the narrative relationships with sometimes radical and sometimes subtle juxtapositions and reorientations of these scraps of paper. In a complementary body of work, the artist begins with original children's drawings, superimposing on them his own schemas - searching for the "smart" structures in na├»ve work.


Kettner says,

My work comes from a desire to create a visual and intellectual congruency, especially of a paradoxical nature, between unlike worlds: the innocent/experienced; the intuitive/rational; the artless/artful - to wit, the world of the child and the world of the adult.


Todd Keyser paints on photographs he has taken or canvases he has stretched. Keyser forms an interplay between two different tendencies in mark-making. Aspects of his works involve clear indications of the artist's hand signified by expressive and fluid paint handling. Keyser also includes areas of rigid and regular mechanical marks made with the assistance of tape and drafting tools, downplaying the presence of the artist's personal expression. Keyser's painted photographs involve the interaction of two types of mark-making. The original photographs are of places that he encounters, observes, and records. He alters these earlier works with areas of paint; playing with both concealing and revealing, or dividing and connecting.


David Kettner graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art and earned his MFA at the University of Indiana. He has been influential in the development of many artists during his tenure at the University of the Arts of which he is now Professor Emeritus. Todd Keyser studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of the Arts before completing his MFA at the Maryland Instituted College of Art. He currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.