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




Hollis Heichemer

December 1 - 23, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, December 2, 5 - 7 pm

Hollis Heichemer, Intimate Associations 16, Oil and ink on mylar,
19 x 12 inches


Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Imminence, an exhibition of paintings by Hollis Heichemer. With one foot in the world of describing what can be seen (the familiar) and the other in the realm of constructing that which has never beforehand been seen (the found), Heichemer navigates these imperfectly compatible impulses. Her works are informed by memories and the distillations of her surroundings. They remind the viewer of many things, or rather, the relationships between things. It's a world without typical sedentary objects; an active world with paint as the subject. IN her works, the emotional and the most fleeting are made material.


Created from the symphonic, but unpremeditated, coordination of decisions, viewers are invited into the world of heightened experiences. We see a thousand incremental decisions all at once. So dense are they woven, her works demand time to fully reveal themselves. Somehow terrestrial and also ethereal, Heichemer's works neither dwell on the past nor fixate on the future. They are unencumbered by the need to name themselves. They simply exist, providing us the opportunity to explore these visceral, primal, and nuanced places.


Hollis Heichemer has exhibited her work significantly in New York City and nationally. She has been awarded fellowships with the Artist in Rural Ireland Foundation in Ballycastle, Co. Ireland and the Vermont Studio Center. An established artist in her own right, this is Heichemer's first show with Gross McCleaf Gallery.  





Ken Kewley
Brian Kreydatus
Sterling Shaw
Mickayel Thurin

December 1 - 23, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, December 2, 5 - 7 pm




Sterling Shaw, 80 percent Match, acrylic on panel, 48 x 48 inches  


Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Figure, an exhibit featuring Ken KewleyBrian KreydatusSterling Shaw, and Mickayel Thurin.


Long before it was acceptable to use still life or landscape as a primary subject, the figure dominated.  Greek vases, religious icons and statuary all celebrated the representation of the human form - a subject which is still packed with historical, sexual, mythological, religious, and allegorical associations.  Kewley, Kreydatus, Shaw, and Thurin explore the figure in ways that are as unique as their own artistic practices.


For Ken Kewley, "The live model is capable of an infinite number of abstract forms that do not read quickly as human."  The artist approaches the model as a sculptor would, observing from different directions and combining the views.  Kewley says, "A person is made up of parts, some large, some small, different degrees of detail, a variety of textures and values and colors, and a variety of angles, and planes that catch the light differently."  It is the task of the observer to decipher the underlying structure of the human form while the artist composes the abstract elements.


Brian Kreydatus, says of his work,

"I am a recorder of the human figure, or more accurately, the human condition.
I am obsessed with the skin's meaty physicality, its vulnerability, and how these poignantly beautiful imperfections challenge and refute accepted canons of beauty. 


My interests take form in two different albeit complementary and intertwined bodies of prints and paintings: 1) observational figures and portraits and 2) works that are narrative or symbolic in content....In my purely observational works, I want to make the familiar unfamiliar through the intense scrutiny of looking. I want my narrative works to have the heightened intensity of a fever dream. Each approach strengthens and nourishes the other."


Sterling Shaw's evocative paintings explore the symbolic, almost surrealistic qualities of the figure.  The artist's iconography is personal but powerful.  There is a loving, vulnerable, dream-like quality to Shaw's mostly female figures.  His subjects sometimes appear to be sleeping or floating, with body parts - often their heads - cropped or obscured by other objects, usually flowers.  Shaw says, "I discover most of the symbols in my paintings after creating the images....Images can relay a complexity that words can't. We see before we speak and we read body language before we read text. It makes sense to me that an image can simply communicate something that can't be articulated easily."


Mickayel Thurin creates paintings that define space and shape through color and texture - keeping the works candid, open, and energetic.  In her figurative work, she asks friends and family to sit for impromptu sessions - beginning her paintings with a specific model but finishing them without.  Thurin explains her process, "When the paintings are started I am trying to describe expressions, likeness, and emotion. I try to show these by manipulating the paint. In the process, the figure is merged with pattern and color to form a more impulsive abstracted work... End concerns tend to deal with composition and rhythm nuances, not so much about likeness though something of the original idea (be it the sitters' personality or a mental model) always comes through."