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

Larry Francis, Chloe's Ice Cream Stand


Larry Francis
Daylight Harmony

June 1 - 30, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, June 3, 2016, 5 - 7 pm

Larry Francis, Chloe's Ice Cream Stand, Oil on canvas, 34 x 38 inches  


With summer approaching, it is the perfect time of year for Gross McCleaf to present a solo exhibition of works by gallery artist, Larry Francis.  In Daylight Harmony, Francis explores the pictorial world of simple pleasures bathed in light.


Francis, well known for his plein-air depictions of familiar and unexpected local scenes, finds inspiration in the ordinary and has sometimes been compared to Edward Hopper.  But unlike Hopper, whose work is often infused with a sense of loneliness and despair, Francis’ paintings exude optimism.  The artist embraces the opportunity to show people engaged in pleasurable activities while revealing his distinctive ability to capture the play of light in the world around him.


There is no doubt that the artist finds his environs, specifically, Philadelphia and its neighboring communities, fertile grounds for observation.  With an artist’s eye, Francis captures aspects of our surroundings that often go unnoticed - the reflections of a bridge in the water, the multi-colored flags in front of an ice-cream stand, the long shadows cast in the late afternoon, and even the view through a half-opened door into a garden beyond.  


As he moves through the city, Francis always has a sketchbook on hand to make his gouache paintings. These smaller works record the immediate impact that attracts Francis to a specific location and moment. The gouaches stand alone as completed presentations, but also become inspiration for larger paintings. Both on paper and canvas, Francis’ repeated investigations of familiar places capture unique qualities only available through artist's time spent patiently looking and making.


Larry Francis attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1967 - 1971 where he now teaches. While at PAFA studied painting with Walter Stuempfig, Ben Kamihira, Morris Blackburn and Arthur DeCosta.   The artist has been exhibiting with Gross McCleaf since 1985.  



Val Rossman, Wishing for Golden Aspens


On Paper
Martha Armstrong
Mariel Capanna
Ying Li
Bettina Nelson
Val Rossman

June 1 - 30, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, June 3, 2016, 5 - 7 pm

Val Rossman, Wishing for Golden Aspens, Pastel on paper, 10 x 10 inches  



Gross McCleaf Gallery is proud to present On Paper, a group show featuring the paintings, drawings, and collages of five artists. Connected by their material of choice, Martha Armstrong, Mariel Capanna, Ying Li, Bettina Nelson, and Val Rossman each put their temperaments, skills, and fascinations to paper.


Paper has a pliable capacity to receive, hold, and suggest. Light, portable, and abundant; paper marks our lives.  We consider paper to be at times precious and, at other times, simply litter. We scratch out grocery lists and play games on sheets of paper. The foundations of nations have been written on pieces of paper; papers that are now kept in museums. As children when we are all potential artists, our first forays into art begin with sheets of paper and piles of markers, crayons, or pencils. Possibly from its accessibility or its early introduction, works on paper capture something unique and unfailingly revealing about individual touch and perspective of the artists who made them.


Martha Armstrong's raw and searching charcoal drawings are a beautiful parallel to the colorful paintings for which she is known and display a unique sensitivity to the landscape. Mariel Capanna creates painted visual playgrounds of playgrounds. Playful but by no means childish, her work incites the imagination and memory. Ying Li with her lyrical and atmospheric mixed-media responses to her much-loved travel destinations are filled with color and energy; light and space. Invitations to the curious, Bettina Nelson works on paper with paper to make allusive and elusive visual stories through her collages and collaged books. Visual and emotional, Val Rossman's pastels are rich in both saturated and atmospheric color revealed through her painterly application and varied touch.