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

Naomi Chung, Masquerade



Naomi Chung

February 3 - 26, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, February 5, 2015, 5 - 7 pm

Naomi Chung, Masquerade, oil on canvas, 44 x 48 inches  


In her most recent body of work, Naomi Chung captures a uniquely constructed representation of nature. Her paintings offer the simulation of a multi-sensory experience and a glimpse into the underlying forces at work in the landscape. Intense colors, lines, and shapes that are sometimes sharply defined and at other times simply suggestive, elicit visceral responses beyond the visual. 


As Chung has moved towards more prevalent abstraction in her work, she has deeply immersed herself in the nuances of her painting process. While grounded in the familiar and recognizable subject of the floral, Chung brings energy and skill in creating unexpected rhythms and repetitions shifting the viewer's focus from familiarity and recognition towards that of mystification and disorientation.  


Chung says of her recent work,


"Reaching for things that I am unable to fully perceive opened up an endless road of possibilities along the way.  For instance, I am fascinated by the ability of certain birds and insects to see ultraviolet rays, or the ability of certain orchids to emit the scent of female bees, enabling these flowers to attract male bees to pollinate them. Through the dramatization of such non-human viewers, I imagine the lens from which they might experience the world and portray the landscape as a network of pathways and cues for survival....

The complex life-cycles and evolution of living things inform many facets of my creative process. As each plant and animal in the landscape is an integral part of one greater system, so does each element (of a painting) influence another, as one mark- making decision dictates the next. Painting is most interesting to me when imagination, discovery and a sense of bewilderment are involved. The show title Bloom represents the emergence and revelation of something new - where the familiar and the strange unexpectedly collide."


Naomi Chung received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She currently teaches at Marymount University in Arlington VA and has served on the faculty at Montgomery College in Germantown, MD and the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.  This is her 5th solo exhibition at Gross McCleaf.  

Ken Kewley, Bouquet I



Ken Kewley
New Paintings

February 3 - 26, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, February 5, 2015, 5 - 7 pm




Ken Kewley, Bouquet I, acrylic on panel, 24 x 18 inches  



Ken Kewley’s works are created through curious and searching visual conversations involving space, color, pattern, and shape. Reveling in color, they reveal an artist captivated by looking, layering, and painting. Open to digression and discovery, Kewley’s works surpass their initial origins and early formalities arriving at substance only available through a repeated visual exchange between the painter and the painting.


In recognizing the mutual dependence and correlation of abstraction and representation in painting, Ken Kewley unabashedly moves towards and away from his recognizable subject. Simultaneously he points towards reality and constructs a convincing version all his own. Keeping the abstraction accessible, we are invited to explore these fictions of place, person, and object.


In his own words, Kewley states:


I tend to like paintings where the abstraction is strong. By this I mean that the paint, the colors and shapes, are distinct, like strong actors in a play. Going towards abstraction does not mean going away from representation, from realism. It is more like describing something real by other means than illustration. It is like describing an apple with your hands, forming the shape in the air with your hands, by enclosing an imaginary object with two hands. You do not try to make your hand look like an apple. Paint takes over the role of the hands and does not hide the fact that it is paint. Painting is talking with the hands made permanent.


Richly aware and informed of the history of painting, he still manages to paint within traditional genres with an eye and a hand that are uniquely his own. His geometric compositions have a strong connection to the history and practice of collage and his works are in direct conversation with cubism through his longstanding admiration for Braque.


Ken Kewley received his BFA from the University of California at Santa Barbara and continued his visual education by working on the Night watch at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for nearly a decade. His work belongs in in collections throughout the country including the Woodmere Art Museum. He currently lives in Easton, Pennsylvania and this is his first solo exhibition at Gross McCleaf Gallery.