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

Claire Kincade, Table Top Garden


Claire Kincade
Colors in Rhythm

May 4 - 27, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, May 6, 2016, 5 - 7 pm

Claire Kincade, Table Top Garden, oil on canvas, 26 x 28 inches  


Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to introduce Colors in Rhythm, the first solo show by painter Claire Kincade.


Kincade creates worlds that parallel our own and call into question the patterns, placement, and relationships of objects around us. Colorful and spatially complex, her paintings are theatrical stage sets that encourage visual exploration. They invite participation in the artifice by revealing the vocabulary of her worlds - the bottles, bowls, and patterns - and provoke the viewer to understand the rules and logic of these constructed places. 


Kincade speaks of her subject matter:


I know my objects well. I use them over and over again in my paintings. When I place them in a new situation, I perceive them differently than before....I will continue to paint these objects and patterns until they have run their course through my subconscious.


Bright in color and vigorous in pattern, the paintings live according to their own rules. Each painting with its recurring cast of inanimate containers, bowls, and bottles exists on its own terms challenging the viewer to notice the subtleties and differences of each world she creates. Floral fabrics transform into flowers; flat objects are not always flat; distances and relationships do not seamlessly coalesce; gravity becomes selective. Kincade ruptures the continuity of space in order to keep our attention and entices our curiosity while collaging faceted perceptions of simple subjects.


Claire Kincade is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.


Marlene Rye, Into the Canopy


Marlene Rye
Into the Canopy

May 4 - 27, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, May 6, 2016, 5 - 7 pm

Marlene Rye, Into the Canopy, pastel on paper, 16 x 19 inches  



Gross McCleaf is pleased to present Into the Canopy, an exhibition of new works by Marlene Rye. While pastels have always been an important part of Rye's studio practice, this will be the first time that Gross McCleaf has presented the artist's works on paper in a solo show.


Rye, who now lives in New England, says of her recent pastels,


This work explores my deep relationship with place, specifically the forested areas of Western Massachusetts. The connection is not purely visual, as within these woods I uncover reflections of my life and the human condition in general.  People spend a great deal of time looking down...These drawings ask you to engage them with your head held high, inviting viewers to look up into and through the trees.

The artist's work is partially observational and partially imagined - the vertiginous experience of looking up through a forest canopy is unmistakable.  Rye's pastels revel in the disorientation that occurs when we shift our gaze upward and find ourselves suddenly looking through the trees into a sunny sky. Her work captures the moment when our sense of balance is slightly off-kilter and before our eyes adjust to the brilliance of the sky above. 


However, once Rye has selected a particular composition, the observed source material of this experience becomes less important as the artist digs in to go after what she calls "the magic that lies below the surface".  Rye is not interested in conveying a specific place or moment in time but, instead, seeks the essence of what makes the place magical and meaningful.  Trees become metaphors for relationships, the joy of living, conflicts, and the beauty of friendships.  At the same time, the brilliant use of color and energetic mark-making create a stimulating visual experience for the viewer. 


Marlene Rye received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000.  As an undergraduate, she studied with Martha Armstrong at Smith College in Northampton, MA.  This is Rye's fifth solo exhibit with Gross McCleaf.