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We're Moving!

Dear Gross McCleaf community,

We’re delighted to announce that in June, the Gallery will be relocating to the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, in the Mill Studios - just off Main Street at the Belmont exit from I-76.

This new location meets the moment in today’s shifting art market while being beneficial for GMG, our artists, and loyal clients.  At its 3rd site in 55 years, Gross McCleaf will continue providing a comfortable, convenient setting to engage with your favorite art & artists and will now include free and easy parking!

Final in-person shows at our 16th Street space will conclude Thursday May 23rd, while programming will resume in Manayunk post-Labor Day.  We’ll remain open for business, both online and for in-person appointments through the summer, while we prepare our new physical space for an exciting fall program and reception.

Martha Armstrong: New Paintings: Vermont, Mt. Gretna, Tucson, Rebekah Callaghan: Quiet Season + Bethann Parker: Interwoven

Martha Armstrong: New Paintings: Vermont, Mt. Gretna, Tucson, Rebekah Callaghan: Quiet Season + Bethann Parker: Interwoven

May 2, 2024

“Nature is the inspiration, something to hang on to, to put my feet on the ground.”

- Martha Armstrong

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Martha Armstrong’s recent works in New Paintings: Vermont, Mt. Gretna, Tucson. A lifelong devotee of the natural world and the art of painting, Armstrong has honed her distinct perspective, and style of formal expression, through her decades-long practice. This compelling collection of landscape paintings features Armstrong’s favorite muses such as trees, sunsets, clouds, and water from her oft visited and most cherished locales.

 

Scott Noel: Apples of Pomona & Mickayel Thurin: Frame of Mind

Scott Noel: Apples of Pomona & Mickayel Thurin: Frame of Mind

“Painting beautiful people and things in beautiful light, indeed finding almost every moment of perception a candidate for this beauty, I wonder if a certain fidelity to the ever-renewed ripening of an orchard through all its necessary stages of metamorphosis isn’t an analogy for the privilege of painting.”

- Scott Noel, The Apples of Pomona, 2024 catalog

 

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Apples of Pomona, an exhibition of new works by Scott Noel showcasing a vibrant array of new oil paintings and several acrylic and pastel works on rag board. Each painting is alive with Noel’s spirited intention to, “vary and reconfigure painting’s visual eloquence to express the beauty of the world”.  While the small to medium-sized paintings range in subject from the nude to still-life and landscape, the exhibition is anchored by three monumental, multi-panel figure compositions that demonstrate Noel’s devotion to layered narratives, sophisticated color mixing and his signature painterly touch. 

Elizabeth Johnson featured in Artblog interview, "‘The Cost of Sleep,’ Elizabeth Johnson’s swirling dreamscapes defy narration"

Elizabeth Johnson featured in Artblog interview, "‘The Cost of Sleep,’ Elizabeth Johnson’s swirling dreamscapes defy narration"

By Pete Sparber

March 2024

Pete Sparber talks with Elizabeth Johnson, a longtime Artblog contributor, about her solo exhibit at Gross McCleaf Gallery. Titled 'The Cost of Sleep', the show presents large and small oil paintings that are dreamscapes of tornado-like swirlings, very beautiful, energetic, and a little terrifying. Johnson says she is against a narrative thread in her works and will adjust her canvases to erase story lines, saying, "If I put objects together that look like they're going to suggest a narrative, I'll get rid of one thing and search for a fringe subject...I destroy a lot of what I paint.” Enjoy this interesting interview! The show's up through March 30. - Description from theartblog.org

Art Sync: Simultaneous Choices

Art Sync: Simultaneous Choices

Conversation with Elizabeth Johnson

March 2024

Sharon Garbe: Your whirlwind works have no beginning or end. You put images, which are stand-ins for experience, through a battery of digital ocean waves and vortexes to see how they fare. Then you reclaim the pixels and submit them to a different kind of fluidity. You play with space, time, memory, repetition and change, possibilities, and meaning. Could a subtitle for your show be “We Are an Unfinished Story”?

Elizabeth Johnson: Definitely. Humans have time and hope, and it’s logical to pose indefinite, multiple endings. It’s also logical to treat photographs as undulating surfaces or sculpture.

If I have anything to add to visual storytelling, it’s that I’m comfortable gathering random, transmuted subjects to make a dreamworld from simultaneous choices.

GMG Presents: Short & Sweet IV

GMG Presents: Short & Sweet IV

Marilyn Holsing & Heidi Leitzke

March 21 - April 27, 2024

Gross McCleaf is pleased to present Short & Sweet IV, a pair of mini-exhibitions featuring works by Marilyn Holsing and Heidi Leitzke. These southeastern Pennsylvania-based painters focus on the investigation and narrative possibilities of botanicals.

Oil and gouache artist Marilyn Holsing depicts anthropomorphized arrangements that convey their distinct personalities through form and gesture. Flowers are posed in precarious positions, emphasizing strength and persistence. Her seemingly corporeal subjects huddle humorously in vulnerable vignettes, some beaming with pride, while others appear to droop in sorrow. Their leaves stretch and strain as they tenaciously grasp onto neighboring stems, reinforcing the growing tangle.

While Holsing’s colors and textures accurately depict the delicate, natural beauty of her plants, there are alluring details throughout that lean into the delightfully grotesque.

GMG Presents: James Stewart: Place Setting + Elizabeth Johnson: The Cost of Sleep

GMG Presents: James Stewart: Place Setting + Elizabeth Johnson: The Cost of Sleep

March 7 - 30, 2024

“How do I choose a subject? I stumble into it, usually if not always, through the work of other painters. Sometimes momentum in the studio leads me. But it is the language of painting that drives me.”

– James Stewart

Gross McCleaf is pleased to present Place Setting, a new series of oil paintings by gallery artist, James Stewart. The works in this exhibition highlight Stewart’s acute awareness of group dynamics, interpersonal relationships and the settings in which these affairs unfold. While a few of Stewart’s outdoor scenes reference broad themes from history and well known stories from antiquity, most of the paintings depict intimate, everyday interactions between family and friends, many around the table of a dinner party.

Art Sync: A Considered Beauty

Art Sync: A Considered Beauty

Conversation with Ann Lofquist

February 2024

Elizabeth Johnson: I enjoyed your 2020 discussion of True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870 with Mary Morton at the National Gallery. Relating eighteenth and nineteenth century painters as peers, you say it isn’t enough only to do plein air oil sketches, even though they sometimes end up being more dynamic than larger, constructed studio versions of the same scene...Do you scrape or rag off large areas of paint to keep canvases dynamic?

Ann Lofquist: My painting process usually involves doing on-site plein air studies, and then reworking the most promising ones into larger canvases in the studio...I try to reinvent the experience but also alter and improvise. However, I consider a large painting “adrift” and courting failure if it loses the original emotional inspiration depicted in the plein air...I hope there is another kind of meaning in something more considered and resolved, perhaps a more mature rather than youthful beauty. 

Art Sync: Chasing My Own Satisfaction

Art Sync: Chasing My Own Satisfaction

Conversation with Nasir Young

February 2024

Elizabeth JohnsonFaces of London #2 and Beauty Salon play with the pattern of the bricks by eliminating some dividing lines, softening the frontal, flatter, squarer quality of those two paintings. Smudgy areas summon a tactile response that balances the use of line for both rendering and texture. You seem to really love drawing lines. Do you use a ruler, or do you have a super-steady hand?

Nasir Young: I’m going to be honest. It’s a cruel addiction: it’s all done freehand, with the occasional drawn line over the painting. Anytime I’ve tried using tape or rulers, I end up redoing the section. I can see the imperfections, so I wouldn’t call my own hands super steady. But it matches the believable space I’m building out. If the lines were perfect, it would highlight the areas that aren’t technically accurate or exaggerated. Ultimately, I’m chasing my own satisfaction in my work...

Ann Loquist: Passing Observations + Nasir Young: Excursions

Ann Loquist: Passing Observations + Nasir Young: Excursions

February 8 - March 2, 2024

“When I choose a subject for plein air, I am responding to an immediate connection with a certain landscape at a certain time of day at a certain season. And by some mysterious alchemy my heart leaps. This stab of joy includes an element of longing and eventual loss that makes it more poignant: a realization of the universal truth ‘This too shall pass’...”

- Ann Lofquist   

Gross McCleaf is delighted to present a new series of landscape paintings by Ann Lofquist in Passing Observations. Lofquist’s remarkable skill and eye for detail, beauty and serenity are on full display in this new collection of both small-scale plein air paintings, and larger studio works.

(re)Focus 2024: Fortitude at 50

(re)Focus 2024: Fortitude at 50

A Resilient Five Decades at Gross McCleaf Gallery

January 17 - March 9, 2024

Women have been the cornerstone of operations and exhibitions at Gross McCleaf since Estelle Shane Gross opened her gallery in 1970 on the second floor of 1713 Walnut Street. Over 50 years later, Gross McCleaf is commemorating its rich history during (re)Focus 2024, a citywide festival celebrating women-identified and BIPOC artists. 

Fortitude at 50: A Resilient Five Decades at Gross McCleaf Gallery features Martha Armstrong, Jan Baltzell, Joan Becker, Elizabeth Geiger, Eileen Goodman, Penelope Harris, Heidi Leitzke, Bertha Leonard, Ying Li, Ann Lofquist, Chelsey Luster, Bethann Parker, Nicole Parker, Jane Piper, Kimi Pryor, Mary Putman, Celia Reisman, Val Rossman, Mickayel Thurin, Leigh Werrell, and Lauren Whearty with self-portraits, dreamy narratives and formally complex still-life and landscape paintings. The works suggest a deep reflection of the self and a strong point of view conveyed through their distinct subjects and styles. The exhibition represents women artists in all stages of their careers who have helped shape the Gross McCleaf legacy and brand focus toward what Sharon Ewing, former owner and director, refers to as “painterly realism” – representation in painted form. 

Benjamin Passione: No Time To Be Shy + Jeffrey Reed: Doonfeeny Studies

Benjamin Passione: No Time To Be Shy + Jeffrey Reed: Doonfeeny Studies

January 11 - February 3, 2024

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to share a new body of abstract oil paintings by Benjamin Passione in No Time To Be Shy. These vibrant paintings mark Passione's continued exploration of atmospheric color fields, layered with his linear, script-like markings. These new works are larger, lighter and brighter than before and feature the emergence of spherical shapes drawn in Passione’s signature style. Passione’s poetic titles continue to offer inspiration and invite the viewer to search the scene for possible hidden imagery and underlying narratives.

The Scream: Self-Portraiture That Expresses Universal Emotions featuring Mickayel Thurin in conversation with TK Smith

The Scream: Self-Portraiture That Expresses Universal Emotions featuring Mickayel Thurin in conversation with TK Smith

Watch the Interview on YouTube below

December 2023

Gross McCleaf Artist Mickayel Thurin discusses her studio practice with TK Smith, Assistant Curator: Art of the African Diaspora at the Barnes Foundation in The Scream: Self-Portraiture That Expresses Universal Emotions at GMG. In this video, Thurin discusses her personal biography, developing a distinctive style, meaning in materials and formation of the figure, all the while exploring the almalgamation of emotions. 

Click below to listen and watch this insightful dialogue unfold.

Art Sync: Basically Just Grass Forever

Art Sync: Basically Just Grass Forever

Conversation with Nicole Parker

December 2023

Nicole Parker: Printmaking is all about the process, because it takes so long to build the plate before I get to print it. I’m always exploring the same or similar ideas and subjects regardless of the medium, but printmaking lets me focus on the process and ponder how it’s tied to the concept or symbolism of the image itself.

Painting used to be more of a means to an end, but a professor once told me that I paint like a printmaker, and that completely changed my view of my process. Lately I’ve been noticing how I paint and what my knowledge about the process can add to the interpretation of the work.

There are many pieces in this show that involve repetitive, intricate movements bordering on tedious/maddening, which I’m realizing reflects the emotions I want to convey about the piece. One of my newest pieces of a giant lawn around a tiny house illustrates this best: it’s basically just grass forever. 

Art Sync: History Eats Itself

Art Sync: History Eats Itself

Conversation with Morgan Hobbs

December 2023

(Excerpt): Elizabeth JohnsonSymbol Drawings 2 seems to explore the transformation of a fountain image as drawing, mosaic, and sculptural form. To you, does making the image feel more flat and less representational (and thus more iconic) imbue the piece with loss, the compression of time, or magic? I sense that painting or sculpting presumed shards of architecture, writing and symbols suggests that collective human endeavor changes but is never entirely lost, yet rather, ripening for reuse...

Morgan Hobbs: Shifting between a drawing, a mosaic, and a sculpture concerns permanence vs. impermanence. Surely the Romans felt their buildings were consequential, formidable, and permanent. But now they are ruins, and were covered with dirt from centuries of leaves, dust, and manure. Pieces of the ruins have been repurposed in St. Peter’s Basilica...I keep thinking of the adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Human history is a snake eating its own tail.

GMG Presents: Morgan Hobbs: Chronolith, Nicole Parker: Folklore + The Gift, Group Exhibition of Small Works

GMG Presents: Morgan Hobbs: Chronolith, Nicole Parker: Folklore + The Gift, Group Exhibition of Small Works

November 16 - December 23, 2023

“My work seeks to find throughlines from the ancient past to present to future. I want to know how things change through time and how they stay the same.”

- Morgan Hobbs

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Chronolith, Morgan Hobbs’ first solo exhibition in Philadelphia and with the gallery.      

Guest writer Lauren Whearty says: “Hobbs’ body of work focuses on the slow and methodical process of building a language - a new form of communication through paint, papier-mâché, and image. Each symbolic form is a building block for a wide array of possibilities with the potential to make new meaning through different combinations, or to break down the strength of an individual symbol into a more democratic piece of a larger whole.

 

 

 

Art Sync: The Pulse of the Field

Art Sync: The Pulse of the Field

Conversation with Douglas Martenson

October 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: In YouTube videos A Feeling for Nature and Painting Arcadia (both by John Thornton), you credit various Tonalists as inspirations: George Inness, James McNeill Whistler, Alexander Helwig Wyant, John Francis Murphy, Robert Swain Gifford, Henry Ward Ranger, Charles Warren Eaton, Mitchell Bannister, and the Hudson River School painters Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, and their greatest practitioner, Frederic Church. Would you say that you mix Romanticism and Realism differently than your predecessors? Also, does the issue of climate change differ from 19th-century paintings that depict the scourge of industry and collective loss of innocence? 

Douglas Martenson: The influence of the artists you mentioned, and of Tonalism in general, culminated for me in a show I curated at the PAFA Museum in 2014, The Artist’s Response to Nature: Tonalism, Historical and Contemporary. The show resulted from my search for and being inspired by artists who I felt went beyond depicting the landscape...

Art Sync: The Making and Breaking of Imagery

Art Sync: The Making and Breaking of Imagery

Conversation with Emily Richardson

October 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: You say in your show statement for Plot Lines that the title comes from "both the physical boundaries of a plot of land and the components of narrative." Can you talk about how recent experiences feed your personal synthesis of painting, quilting, and sculpture? 

Emily Richardson: What feeds and inspires my creativity is working with the materials­––the act of creating, and the personal experiences of daily life––interactions with others, closeness with family, revisiting places where I’ve lived before, lasting friendships, loss, changing perspectives. A lot of my visual influences comes from what I see day to day. I love to move and to look as I’m moving. I ride my bike throughout the city and sometimes take a new direction or route and discover something new...

Art Sync: The Allure of Objects

Art Sync: The Allure of Objects

Conversation with Frank Trefny

October 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: Jeffrey Carr said of your work: "Art doesn't have to confound beauty, or fight with it, or compete with its naturally occurring presence. Beauty can be left as is." Does this ring true to you? If so, how do you find your groove that allows technique to reflect rather than overpower or undermine found beauty?

Frank Trefny: Yes, I agree with Jeff’s statement. But while everyone may share some concepts of beauty, it is subjective. One thing that makes something beautiful to me is that it looks paintable. That doesn’t mean necessarily that it looks easy to paint, but that it seems to call forth a painterly response. That feeling makes it “beautiful” in my mind. Ivan Albright saw the ugly in everything and made “beautiful” interesting paintings. I, on the other hand, often favor rather traditional beautiful subjects because they inspire me. I never find them boring...

GMG Presents: Douglas Martenson: Resilience, Frank Trefny: Strangely Familiar + Emily Richardson: Plot Lines

GMG Presents: Douglas Martenson: Resilience, Frank Trefny: Strangely Familiar + Emily Richardson: Plot Lines

October 12 - November 11, 2023

“To me, a field is always shifting, evolving, changing. It is a complex ecosystem. I try to make sense of it, search for patterns to bring out objects, frame them with space that surrounds them. It becomes a meditative state that is romantic at its core. I am searching for the relationship between humans and their always-changing environment.”

-Douglas Martenson

In Resilience, Douglas Martenson delivers a captivating new body of landscape paintings that, while exuding beauty, challenge viewers to contemplate the fragility of our sensitive ecosystems.

 

GMG Presents: Kurt Moyer: Impressions + Clint Jukkala: Tuning In

GMG Presents: Kurt Moyer: Impressions + Clint Jukkala: Tuning In

September 2023

“From the beginning, I’ve wanted to make something beautiful out of my experiences, something to share with other people. For many years this meant painting landscapes and depicting the nuances of light and color. But now, without realism, my paintings are free to become something new.”

-Kurt Moyer, January 2022

Gross McCleaf is delighted to present Impressions, the newest body of work by artist Kurt Moyer. Moyer’s paintings range in size from twelve to one hundred and eighty inches, showcasing an enchanting array of vertical patterns and spotted colors that gracefully dance and play across canvases. Without illustrative depictions, Moyer manifests visions of Arcadia’s rapturous glowing light, blanketing a viewer’s field with dreamy abstractions.

Art Sync: Ambiguities

Art Sync: Ambiguities

Conversation with Clint Jukkala

September 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: As I scroll through your portfolio that begins in 2005, I notice evolution through the styles of: digital notation, architectural windows, split-screen windows, round pairs of portals, portals presenting deeper space, portals juxtaposing contrasting surfaces, and, most recently, collaged paintings in mixed media. Your BravinLee programs artist statement asserts: "I'm interested in our awareness of our own thinking and sense perceptions––our consciousness. I approach this with a sense of humor that reflects the irrational space of knowing and believing." Does your development express a gradual change in your personal consciousness? Does the arc of change in your work feel chance-based to you?

Clint Jukkala: My work has changed over the years, though many aspects have stayed constant: an impulse towards images that suggest things but aren’t descriptive, a preoccupation with framing devices and spaces within spaces, an interest in the numerous possibilities of color, and a focus on simple and direct means. 

Art Sync: Soft Power

Art Sync: Soft Power

Conversation with Lauren Whearty

July 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: Your statement on the Gross McCleaf website says you are interested in, “the ways in which the grid and images can direct our attention to the painted surface." You say you think of the surface as "twofold." What do you mean by twofold?

Lauren Whearty: The surface of painting was emphasized at Tyler when I was in undergrad. Most of the faculty worked abstractly, so the focus on color, materiality, physicality, and gesture was the foundation of my painting language. Although this may seem to contrast with my recognizable still lives, I see all painting as a kind of abstraction because we’re using this colorful mud combined with our bodily gestures to make a record on canvas...

Art Sync: The Infinite In All Things

Art Sync: The Infinite In All Things

Conversation with Bruce Pollock

June 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: The New York Times recently had an article, “The Quest for an ‘Einstein’ Shape,” about the geometric challenge of designing a single shape that fits together irregularly on an infinite plane. After much study, a hobbyist in England discovered two “Einsteins”: shapes that tile a plane in a non-repeating pattern. Could reading such an article inspire a series of paintings for you? How do you discover and foster your science-based ideas?

Bruce Pollock: Science-based ideas affect my thinking about the world, but my methods are artistic. My inspiration is derived from direct observation of the natural world and the expanded awareness brought about by scientific enterprise...

GMG Presents: Lauren Whearty: Painter's Table + Summer Garden, Group Exhibition

GMG Presents: Lauren Whearty: Painter's Table + Summer Garden, Group Exhibition

“I believe artists must make space for pleasure in painting, both in the act of painting and in the pleasure of viewing it.”

-Lauren Whearty

In her first solo exhibition with Gross McCleaf Gallery, titled Painter’s Table, Lauren Whearty celebrates cheerful color and playful patterns in a contemporary take on the artistic tradition of still life painting. With a keen eye for possibilities within this genre, Whearty embraces a feminist perspective, using everyday objects as building blocks to create her own distinctive universe. Each item she incorporates becomes a referential exploration of art history and the process of image creation, adding depth and meaning to her work.

GMG Presents: Bruce Pollock: Nature + The Portrait of the Artist... And Other Things

GMG Presents: Bruce Pollock: Nature + The Portrait of the Artist... And Other Things

Curated by Maida R. Milone

June 2023

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to host The Portrait of the Artist… And Other Things, curated by local art consultant and former CEO of The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA), Maida R. Milone. This sixteen-artist exhibition features works by Gross McCleaf artists, Christine Lafuente and James Stewart, as well as other artists, many with strong ties to Philadelphia and past group exhibitions with the gallery – Katie Baldwin, Jill Bell, Donald E. Camp, Vincent Desiderio, Marguerita Hagan, Darla Jackson, Robert Jackson, John Karpinski, Alex Kanevsky, Chelsey Luster, Kirk Maynard, Lydia Panas, Hiro Sakaguchi and Ron Tarver.

Art Sync: Atmospheres and Subtones

Art Sync: Atmospheres and Subtones

Conversation with Christine Lafuente

May 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: On the Gross McCleaf website you describe your still life arrangements as “tiny cities floating on an enamel sea.” This struck me because, while browsing your website, I noticed that you’ve lived and worked near large bodies of water. You write: “I am conjuring up milky fogs in the space around each season’s crop of flowers: tulips, daffodils, peonies, roses, zinnias, ranunculus, lilies.” Would you say that having lived near water influences your tendency to build colorful forms emerging from a silvery or grey backgrounds?

Christine Lafuente: I grew up next to the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY. My father grew up in Cuba, which is at the intersection of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea...

Art Sync: Beautiful to Watch

Art Sync: Beautiful to Watch

Conversation with Max Mason

May 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: How do you like Major League Baseball’s new rules: the pitch timer, shift restrictions, and bigger bases?

Max Mason: As an unrepentant traditionalist, I was initially horrified. But after watching a spring training game on TV, I changed my mind on two things: the pitch clock will speed up the pace of play, which is good, and I accepted the size of the bases almost immediately. If the players aren’t complaining and it makes the game safer––what the heck. The shift restrictions, however, are terrible. They reward a limited approach to the art and science of batting...

GMG Presents: Christine Lafuente: Subtones in Springtime + Max Mason: "Play Ball!"

GMG Presents: Christine Lafuente: Subtones in Springtime + Max Mason: "Play Ball!"

May 2023

“I am drawn to subjects that I don’t fully understand visually, that are mysterious, elusive, and at times almost impossible to see clearly.”

-Christine Lafuente

In Subtones in Springtime, Christine Lafuente explores the parallels between color and musical form in her newest series of paintings. The overlapping terminology between art and music helps to illuminate comparisons between the two fields. Lafuente says, “I begin to transpose visual experience into an imaginary painting experience… like a musician who reads music with the playing of a specific instrument in mind, this kind of looking is experienced in the language of oil color, brushwork, and flatness.” Likewise, Lafuente focuses on the relevance of subtones, which she likens to subconscious presence, or emotional states that can be captured and embedded within her works. 

GMG Presents: Concerning the Spiritual in Landscape: Group Exhibition

GMG Presents: Concerning the Spiritual in Landscape: Group Exhibition

April 22 - May 27, 2023

Long before recorded history, humans identified divinity in the natural world. Across the globe, cave paintings and petroglyphs represent the land, the animals and the supernatural. Prehistoric burial mounds and henges of Northern Europe align with equinoxes and solstices. At Newgrange in Ireland, decorated stone carvings record the phases of the moon and depict rays emerging over the horizon at sunrise. Contemporary viewers can only infer the exact meanings of these monumental relics, etched with waves, spirals and diamonds juxtaposed with recognizable imagery.

As contemporary innovation, architecture, technology and design increasingly position each person as the master of their own exclusive universe, the artists in Concerning The Spiritual In Landscape have humbly venerated the life-giving light, ever-present matter and perpetual cycles of nature that bring forth all things.

Art Sync: Eggplants Have It All

Art Sync: Eggplants Have It All

Conversation with Eileen Goodman

April 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: The Woodmere Art Museum catalogue, “The Weight of Watercolor: The Art of Eileen Goodman,” includes an early oil painting called Woman (1963-64) that uses dark shadows to model the figure and simplify the background as a mystery. Peter Paone asks, “Why did you decide to shift to painting still lifes”? As your answer you mention being at home with your daughter as a factor, and later, selecting objects for drama and relishing shadows in still life. Is it possible that the mystery of shadow replaced the figure in your case? And could you have been paving your own path against the trend of figure painting dominated by male painters in that era?

Eileen Goodman: Woman was probably influenced by my love of Diebenkorn’s figurative work, which included objects as well. I still think it’s one of my best paintings, and I did do some other figures for maybe a decade or so. I always did a lot of figure drawing...

GMG Presents: Eileen Goodman: Into Light + Keith Breitfeller: Respite

GMG Presents: Eileen Goodman: Into Light + Keith Breitfeller: Respite

April 2023

“The shadows are everything, imbuing unexpected meaning. They are unplanned, undefined, but dependent upon the viewer emotionally or psychologically. Shadows hide and reveal, form emerges and disappears.”

-Eileen Goodman

In her latest solo exhibition, Into Light, Eileen Goodman’s watercolor facility is on bold display. Since her transition away from oil paint in the late ’80s, Goodman has skillfully tamed this temperamental, aqueous media for use in her abundant, large-scale still life paintings. When creating work, she is focused on the basic components of observation, color, light, and shadow. It is only upon reflection, after deep shadows have defined their purpose, that possible interpretations come to light.

Stuart Netsky featured in Artblog's "Stuart Netsky, ‘Walking Backwards into the Future’ at Gross McCleaf Gallery"

Stuart Netsky featured in Artblog's "Stuart Netsky, ‘Walking Backwards into the Future’ at Gross McCleaf Gallery"

by Clayton Campbell

March 2023

In this feature by Clayton Campbell, we're introduced (and for some of us re-introduced) to Stuart Netsky, a seminal Philadelphia artist and arts educator who has shown widely in the City, although not recently. Netsky's new works at Gross McCleaf Gallery were sparked by the pandemic, as many of his earlier works circled around the AIDS epidemic. Be sure to read this fine feature about an important local artist and run to see the exhibit, which ends this Saturday, March 25, 2023.

The arc of Stuart Netsky’s practice has so far been bookended by the AIDs epidemic and the COVID pandemic. A long-time resident and well known artist in Philadelphia, his current exhibition Walking Backward into the Future, at Gross McCleaf Gallery through March 25th, manifests the charming and incisive continuum of an eclectic, sophisticated artmaker.

Art Sync: Screen Kisses

Art Sync: Screen Kisses

Conversation with Stuart Netsky

March 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: Your prints in your current show join radically different images to express the visual overkill of contemporary culture, but it seems that you aren’t entirely critical of the excess, since you revel in it. Do you enjoy scrolling though social media or jumping between cinematic decades via streaming? How does the seam between images function for you? Does it indicate a jump in thought and/or time and function to compress a group of dramatic moments into a whole? Are you aiming to compare several unrelated high points of Western culture? or to express the vastness of cultural experience?

Stuart Netsky: I do revel in excess to express the visual overkill...

Art Sync: The Deep End

Art Sync: The Deep End

Conversation with Elizabeth Geiger

March 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: Your previous still lifes and landscapes were realistic. Your recent paintings use Cubist formats and tropes. What made the change? Are you still doing landscapes? Are you focusing only on interiors for this show?

Liz Geiger: When I started painting, I was wide-eyed and open to anything and everything. Subject matter wasn’t as important as learning how to paint, how to make light and space. I worked only from observation and looked mostly at observational painting, which seemed natural being married to a realist painter. Later, I tackled composition, studying old composition books by the armload from The University of Virginia library. Understanding composition took years.... 

GMG Presents: Stuart Netsky: Walking Backward into the Future, Elizabeth Geiger: Borrowed Rhythms + Short & Sweet III

GMG Presents: Stuart Netsky: Walking Backward into the Future, Elizabeth Geiger: Borrowed Rhythms + Short & Sweet III

March 2023

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Stuart Netsky’s rich digital paintings and colorful sculptural assemblages in Walking Backward into the Future. Here, Netsky continues his innovative exploration of materials and themes well known from his seminal 1992 ICA exhibition, Time Flies. This earlier work, created during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, courageously explored the intersections of the HIV/AIDS epidemic with contemporary domestic life, popular culture, and Western art history. During Netsky’s retrospective in 2006, Rosenwald Wolf Gallery Curator Sid Sachs described Netsky as having a practice that, “operates at the nexus of social representation and sculpture, sexual cliché, and self-presentation. Echoing a variety of historical styles such as Pop Art, Pattern and Decoration, and color field, Netsky retains a crisp classical sense of craft and sense of humor that is deadly serious.” His latest work is no exception as Netsky continues with a clear-eyed honesty and queer sensibility.

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Gross McCleaf Gallery at The Palm Beach Show

Gross McCleaf Gallery at The Palm Beach Show

Contemporary Focus, Booth 1200

February 16 - 21,2023

Gross McCleaf Gallery is thrilled to participate in the 20th Annual Palm Beach Show in West Palm Beach, Florida. Our booth will be in the special Contemporary Focus section alongside other internationally known galleries. We can't wait to present a selection of artworks from our beloved Mid-Atlantic artists, and look forward to sharing the Gross McCleaf brand with this new audience!

 

If you plan to be in West Palm Beach over Presidents' Day Weekend, please EMAIL US (info@grossmccleaf.com) for complimentary tickets!

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Art Sync: Stories Without People

Art Sync: Stories Without People

Conversation with Caleb Stoltzfus

February 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: On Gross McCleaf’s website you describe a farm in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. You write: “The land vibrates with textures, sounds, smells, and crawls with life. Stand in one place too long (to paint a picture, for example) and the dusty straw ground slowly pulls apart . . . revealing the smooth, wet clay beneath.” Did you grow up on a farm? Why the strong bond with dirt and earth? Are you always looking for the basis of things? Or is this feeling a result of standing and working for days on one spot? 

Caleb Stoltzfus: My upbringing was suburban. But my dad farmed for much of his life, before I was born, and he comes from a long line of Amish farmers. Farmers often believe, from their experience, they must conquer nature, overcome its dangers...

Q & A with Miriam Seidel and Barbara Sosson

Q & A with Miriam Seidel and Barbara Sosson

February 2023

Miriam Seidel: Were you making art steadily through the years when you were a busy graphic designer, or were there times when you had to set it aside?

Barbara Sosson: I never ever stopped painting. I always had a separate professional studio. Back then, I painted on the weekend. Many nights I worked until 4 a.m. during the week, so I could do that. Right now, it’s the opposite. I paint five days a week and I do design work on the weekend. And I always showed—I had two former solo shows at Gross McCleaf in 1982 and 1983. Estelle Gross, the original owner, invited me to show my Central Divide Series, a two-year series of large Sennelier pastels framed in custom Plexi boxes...

GMG Presents: Barbara Sosson: Sensuous Shapes & Mimicry, Caleb Stoltzfus: Signs of Life + Family Matter: Group Exhibition

GMG Presents: Barbara Sosson: Sensuous Shapes & Mimicry, Caleb Stoltzfus: Signs of Life + Family Matter: Group Exhibition

February 2023

“I am interested in the way birds’ patterns mimic their environments, creating the beautiful and extreme designs of their plumage… Throughout my long painting career, I have worked on many series that are usually multiple years-long and evolve to and from the real and the ideal.”

- Barbara Sosson

Throughout her career spanning over 50 years, Barbara Sosson has developed stature in the Philadelphia arts community as a painter, designer, and gregarious personality. In Sensuous Shapes & Mimicry, Sosson struts her stuff with a grouping of new oil paintings that combine two wings of her practice: abstraction and representation.

 

Art Sync: On Flowers and Change

Art Sync: On Flowers and Change

Conversation with Naomi Chung

January 2023

Elizabeth Johnson: On the Gross McCleaf website you state: "In an attempt to capture the full spectrum of a constantly evolving world, I break down the constraints that a still landscape offers and opt for compositions and environments that appear to be in a constant state of flux.” What attracts you to capturing change as a still image?

Naomi Chung: Before there was a still, captured image there was the experience of being present and taking in all the information visible and invisible. That is where painting becomes a translator of these experiences. The sounds, movements, glimmering light, temperature, breeze, smells are all evoked in the final painting...

GMG Presents: Susan Moore: Reflection + Naomi Chung: Greenhouse Garden

GMG Presents: Susan Moore: Reflection + Naomi Chung: Greenhouse Garden

January 2023

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to host an extensive, two-gallery exhibition of portrait paintings by Susan Moore (1953 - 2022). Works from three decades of Moore's prolific practice will be on view, highlighting a career of both focus and experimentation. The portrait was Moore's career-long subject. She painted family, friends, students and movie stars. However, her approach changed dramatically over the years from tightly painted representation to expressively manipulated photographic imagery.

Ron Abram, Professor of Studio Art & Queer Studies, and Rochelle Toner, Professor and Dean Emeritus of Tyler School of Art & Architecture, generously shared their memories of Susan Moore and insights on her work with writer Elizabeth Johnson. The full interview can be read here: viewingroom.grossmccleaf.com/susan-moore-remembered

Susan Moore Remembered

Susan Moore Remembered

by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

January 2023

Ron Abram, Professor of Studio Art & Queer Studies, Denison University in Granville, Ohio, recalls his teacher, colleague, and close friend, Susan Moore:

"Susan was a confident portrait artist with direct goals, an incredibly strong-focused artist, teacher, mother, spouse, sister, and loyal friend to many. She made friends in all walks of life and treated everyone equally. While she did see her work as an expression of herself, she readily emphasized her goal as an artist to be a universal one: to make work that spoke to viewers on an individual level. Susan was a distinct artist: she parted with historical figurative traditions to connect with contemporary abstraction, not striving to illustrate but to provoke the viewer to see and feel core emotions..."

Naomi Chung featured in The Washington Post's "In the galleries: Weaving together the fabrics of society"

Naomi Chung featured in The Washington Post's "In the galleries: Weaving together the fabrics of society"

Review by Mark Jenkins

December 2022

The United States is a patchwork nation in the largest painting in Tim Doud’s Hemphill Artworks show. “Proposal for a Future Flag (Template)” is a seamless triptych that in total measures roughly 17 feet wide by 10 feet high. The picture leans against the wall at a slight angle, since it’s a bit too tall for the room. Yet the huge speculative banner is not the only magnum opus in Doud’s show, which is titled “Prolepsis” after the literary device of referring to a future event in the present tense.

"Howie Lee Weiss: Sophistication, Joy, and the Imperfection of Perfection", The Musical Specificity and Language of Grey in Weiss' "Centerpiece" at Gross McCleaf Gallery

"Howie Lee Weiss: Sophistication, Joy, and the Imperfection of Perfection", The Musical Specificity and Language of Grey in Weiss' "Centerpiece" at Gross McCleaf Gallery

by Barry Nemett

December 2022

In our home, a child’s smile lives over the entrance door. It’s an early canvas painted by Howie Lee Weiss (HLW), unusual for him because most of his work is charcoal on paper. Also unusual is that, while it’s a powerful image, it’s not about the incredibly exacting “perfection” he is going for these days.

More often than not the work’s primary colors hang cockeyed in our living room. I straighten the picture periodically, but for over thirty years it’s been inclined to tilt. I could, of course, secure the painting with a second picture hanger, but I like both its innocent off-centeredness and its response to peoples’ comings and goings. Also, it mimics its image’s quirky quiddity and reflects who created this happy, abstracted portrait.

Art Sync: Fast Release of Style, Slow Release of Subject

Art Sync: Fast Release of Style, Slow Release of Subject

A conversation with Howie Lee Weiss by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

November 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: In the “Style, Process, Perfection” part of your website, you describe beginning a charcoal drawing: "My fingertips coat the paper gray first, and then I draw loosely and freely, searching out my characters. Once found, decisive black lines are added as accurately as possible so that there is no mistaking what kind of image was intended.” Few contemporary artists work exclusively with charcoal. Besides its workability, why do you gravitate to it? Do the traces of previous attempts help you find your subject? Or are you always starting over with a blank slate after erasing?

Howie Lee Weiss: The image grows and develops. I may like a tiny bit and build around that, or I may continue to wipe away the sketch marks until the images that are necessary gradually appear...

Art Sync: Something About The Place

Art Sync: Something About The Place

A conversation with Ted Walsh by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

November 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: Studying your work, I feel a strong pull toward surrealism, movies, and dreams. What inspires you to put a composition together? Is there a story or mood that gets things going?

Ted Walsh: All kinds of things inspire my compositions. Things I happen to see. Things I’m inspired by, literature, music, other art. A technical painting idea, an abstract compositional idea, a theme from an older painting I want to revisit. A story, a mood. ––It could be any mix of these. Anything really...

Art Sync: Through Light And Shadow

Art Sync: Through Light And Shadow

A conversation with Larry Francis by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

November 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: In John Thornton’s video, Larry Francis Is Philadelphia’s Most Enjoyable Artist, you mention growing up among model trains and planes. Do you think that makes you see reality as a sort of toy world? A place to play?

Larry Francis: Perhaps all art is a toy representation of real life. We lived over my dad’s bicycle shop. He built model airplanes (some of his own design) and train platforms with houses, landscaped hills, and bridges. My mom was always making centerpieces or other crafty projects. I drew things and took art classes in high school. Between 11th and 12th grades I sold my motorcycle to attend a summer art camp, where I did my first oil painting with the teacher’s paint. My parents bought Time Life books for me on American art and world art. My favorite thing was watching black and white movies on The Late Show. I think all this mixed together with the craft of making things...

GMG Presents: Larry Francis: You Are Here, Ted Walsh: Out Here On Our Own + Howie Lee Weiss: Centerpiece

GMG Presents: Larry Francis: You Are Here, Ted Walsh: Out Here On Our Own + Howie Lee Weiss: Centerpiece

November 2022

“I want to work directly with the subject as much as possible. Most of my painting sites are familiar to me. My goal is to keep finding new subjects to paint, in the city and elsewhere, with a beautiful sense of light and some bit of life.”

- Larry Francis

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to feature a solo exhibition by Larry Francis, a much-beloved painter of the Philadelphia regional scene. Francis is a thirty-year veteran of the Gross McCleaf roster and has consistently painted engaging, everyday scenes of identifiable neighborhood locales. You Are Here is another achievement in his pursuit, featuring over twenty new landscape and cityscape paintings of sites mostly within fifty miles of the Schuylkill.

Leigh Werrell featured in Hyperallergic Magazine

Leigh Werrell featured in Hyperallergic Magazine

by Lev Feigin

October 2022

PHILADELPHIA — I first learned of Leigh Werrell’s work from her 2018 solo show at Gross McCleaf Gallery. I was struck by her nighttime bodegas, lamp-lit row-homes, steamy saunas, and hypnagogic self-portraits, which felt like snapshots from a dream.

Werrell’s latest body of work, Between You and Me, also at Gross McCleaf, is both a continuation of the artist’s earlier themes and an exploration of more inward territory: the enthralling experience of solitude and estrangement in the city. Many of the show’s paintings and three-dimensional works (sculptures and reliefs) are indirect responses to the pandemic: meditations on social distancing, isolation, and the absence of touch in this antiseptic era...

Natasha Das' works in Hunterdon Art Museum's "Thread Hijack" show featured in NJArts.net Review

Natasha Das' works in Hunterdon Art Museum's "Thread Hijack" show featured in NJArts.net Review

by Tris McCall

October 2022

If you were forced to pick a fight with a visual artist, you’d be well advised to steer clear of embroiderers. Of the many ways to make a straight line on a blank surface, thread may be the most physical. Punching a needle through canvas or paper or cloth requires strong hand muscles. Pulling the thread tight demands a flexible wrist. Doing it hundreds of times demonstrates tenacity and determination — and, perhaps, a waspish will to puncture something.

Yet a thread never lets you forget its mutability...

Art Sync: People Are in the World to Be Seen

Art Sync: People Are in the World to Be Seen

A conversation with Leigh Werrell by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

October 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: In the Gross McCleaf statement you mention "approaching the communal through the personal" and the "seemingly contradictory feelings of being lonely in a crowd and feeling a sense of community among individuals." Were the pandemic years especially meaningful for you since we were together in our loneliness? If so, how did the pandemic affect your work?

Leigh Werrell: The pandemic has really changed me as a person––as I believe it has many people––and I think it has certainly changed my work. Throughout the last few years, I have been grappling with personal ideas of how I want to live, what is important to me, and what my studio practice means to me. I have realized two things: without a community to show my work to, I find it very hard to create; and to feel fulfilled I need to be making art...

Art Sync: Nature As Muse

Art Sync: Nature As Muse

A conversation with Thomas Paquette by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

October 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: Your website bio mentions that you dropped out of your freshman BFA studies and traveled the country for six years. What did traveling touch that book learning did not?

Thomas Paquette: During my “hobo years," I went on several adventures by freight train and hitchhiking that lasted anywhere from a week to several months. But it wasn’t a full-time gig: I always gravitated toward further education. When I wasn’t enrolled in colleges (I attended five), I used public libraries to follow my own curriculum.

EJ: You seem to value surprise...

GMG Presents: Thomas Paquette: On Nature, Leigh Werrell: Between You and Me + Nocturne

GMG Presents: Thomas Paquette: On Nature, Leigh Werrell: Between You and Me + Nocturne

October 2022

“Landscape is indeed an inspiring subject to someone who values surprise, change, nuance, and natural processes. Landscapes are intrinsically creative forces. First, they evolve as complex systems from the interactions of geologic, biotic, and climatic forces over time. Then, when experienced as subjective witnesses, landscapes offer a light unique to that moment. The observer sees not just with her eyes but with layers of knowledge, familiarity, emotions, and, most crucially, curiosity.”

-Thomas Paquette

On Nature features over thirty new landscape paintings from Gross McCleaf artist, environmentalist, and explorer, Thomas Paquette. Brilliant arrays of color depict lush terrain, hazy mountains, rushing rivers, and panoramic vistas, where subtle and sensitive details in light and atmosphere are perfectly captured. 

Art Sync: An Upside-Down World

Art Sync: An Upside-Down World

A conversation with John Greig, Jr. by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

September 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: Does your experience as a welder, cabinet maker, foundry technician, mold maker, and tombstone setter/cutter dovetail with studying at PAFA, and with your art making today?

John Greig Jr.: My basic understanding of various tools or processes certainly has influenced my work, and pushing these abilities drove a portion of my artistic exploration. With Subterranean I’ve been less tool intensive, more direct and simpler. Much of the work is done with just a sanding block and a straight chisel. My building mind still solves technical problems, but the making is more of a playful process...

Art Sync: A Way, A Direction

Art Sync: A Way, A Direction

A conversation with Celia Reisman by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

September 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: In your statement on the Gross McCleaf website, you state that you are inspired by certain details in suburban landscapes. Does working from preparatory drawings of compelling details forestall succumbing to new enthusiasms? Do you ever relax your focus and follow tangents? 

Celia Reisman: The initial detail/object/subject that inspired me to sit in my car and draw from the location is incorporated into the drawing as a focal point. I compose as I draw, selecting aspects of the place, assembling parts for the foreground, middle ground, and background while incorporating the main subject. As the painting develops, I try to stick to that initial detail. If the painting starts to shift for various reasons, I’ll use another organizational format...

Celia Reisman: Side Streets, Back Roads

GMG Presents: Celia Reisman: Side Streets, Back Roads, John Greig Jr.: Subterranean + Douglas Martenson: Home & Away

September 2022

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to host a solo exhibition with gallery artist, Celia Reisman. This selection of new works features Reisman’s primary subject matter, the architectural landscape of the suburbs and rural scenes. As the exhibition title suggests, Reisman collects her imagery on the side streets and back roads near her seasonal residences in Philadelphia and Vermont.


As a dedicated formalist, Celia Reisman is a life-long student of both the historical and contemporary conventions of painting. Her works can be described as specific places of nameable objects, as well as a rectangle filled with abstracted arrangements of carefully orchestrated colors and shapes. Each aspect of the composition plays a role in directing movement across the scene as Reisman’s intuitive sense of relationships between manmade and natural forms build rich images that unfold full of surprises, humor, and mystery.

Ed Bing Lee in his studio

Art Sync: Heaven's Eye

A conversation with Ed Bing Lee by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

July 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: In an interview with Glenn Holsten when you were a Pew Fellow in 2007, you said that early in your career you made "knottings" that depicted Georges Seurat paintings. In an interview on artmobia.com, you named Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and Bathers at Asinières as sources. Your sculptures such as Burger 4, Popcorn I, Mocha Ice Cream Cone, Trophy Cake and Edo celebrate birthday parties, baseball games, movies, tea ceremonies––the pleasures of life. Was the pleasurable, restful subject of Seurat's work as important as relating knots directly to pointillism? Do you feel like you pick aesthetically and emotionally pleasing subjects in general?

Ed Bing Lee: I draw heavily on art history for many of the subjects of my work. In my compositions collectively titled Picnics, I juxtaposed Seurat with contemporary food images to renew art history by linking it with the present in a humorous or even unsettling way...

Morris Blackman

GMG Presents: Morris Blackman: SAVE FOR FUTURE USE + Ed Bing Lee: The World on a String

July 2022

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to host the first major retrospective of Philadelphia-native Morris Blackman. SAVE FOR FUTURE USE features two galleries filled with sculptures, paintings, drawings, and more from Blackman’s prolific practice through three distinct periods of formal investigation.

Drawings and a small, painted self-portrait are among the earliest pieces in the exhibit and attest to Blackman’s draftsmanship and artistic training. His softly contoured graphite drawings depict various casts and statues that Blackman studied during his arts training. His self-portrait presents a young man in front of a field of bright yellow paint. His face in shadow, a critical gaze reveals the discerning and determined personality of Blackman as a young artist.

GMG Presents: Irene Mamiye: Fresh Kills + Rita Bernstein: Touched

GMG Presents: Irene Mamiye: Fresh Kills + Rita Bernstein: Touched

June 2022

“Much of my practice focuses on the vast wave of images that collectively circulate online. By the nature of ‘showing and sharing’ visual culture, images become orphaned from their intent and authorship, and distinctions between originals and copies are lost.”

-Irene Mamiye

In Fresh Kills, Irene Mamiye addresses the unique philosophical implications of social media, technology, and the ubiquity of digital imagery. Mamiye playfully considers Roland Barthes’ philosophy in The Death of the Author by creating original works from freely available, often mass-distributed, visuals. The reanimation of this imagery marks a new stage in the lifecycle of an image, acting as the beautiful and vivacious, post-modern constructions of un-dead authors. This three-fold exhibition features digital collages, CNC-milled Plexiglas sculptures, and video shorts.

Art Sync: Creating The World

Art Sync: Creating The World

A conversation with Val Rossman by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

May 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: You and other viewers describe your work as lyrical, whimsical, lush, archeological, personal. Both you and Julie Courtney state that it is a “chaotic blend of chance and careful planning.” When you finish a painting, would you say that you prefer achieving balance or landing slightly off-balance?

Val Rossman: I think it is a combination of both . . . I definitely want balance, but there also needs to be some element of surprise. If it is too balanced, then it seems boring. Sometimes it is a gesture that achieves this and at other times it is a surprising color or shape in an unexpected place. It can’t be too disturbing, just a bit awry. The combination of chance and careful planning is a major theme in all of my work regardless of media and even series. To me that is a metaphor for life . . . we all try to plan our life, but often unexpected things happen which we have to deal with. My art mimics this and I love using a visual medium to expand upon it...

GMG Presents: Val Rossman: Unexpected Interference, Penelope Harris: Fully Assembled + Residential Tourist

GMG Presents: Val Rossman: Unexpected Interference, Penelope Harris: Fully Assembled + Residential Tourist

May 2022

Spontaneous bursts of gestural expression meet carefully planned and executed drafting in Val Rossman’s new body of abstract works. Unexpected Interference features two varieties of exploration from Rossman’s multi-faceted painting practice of layered geometric compositions and energetically marked, achromatic configurations. Each variation of Rossman’s approach combines elements of chance and moments of orchestration, both of which are fundamental to her pursuits. Rossman finds her works to be analogous to life’s common challenges, and it is in the tension created by these opposing strategies where Rossman’s work flourishes and meaning is found...

Art Sync: Seeing And Feeling

Art Sync: Seeing And Feeling

A conversation with Penelope Harris by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

May 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: In Bill Scott’s essay about you on the Woodmere Art Museum website, he recalls that your parents, Audrey Buller and Lloyd Parsons, both studied at The Art Students League of New York with Kenneth Hayes Miller. Scott says that they “were among the most prominent of realist painters, exhibited at top galleries, and saw their paintings acquired by the Whitney Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.” Scott continues: “Early on, however, her parents never encouraged her to follow in their footsteps for, as artists themselves, they had experienced the many disappointments too often encountered by a life in the arts. They feared the instability of such a life might lead their daughter to a wildly sad existence. Perhaps worse [. . . ] they worried she might move to Greenwich Village and live a life of ‘sin and debauchery!’” Did your parents invite you to paint or draw with them when you were a kid?

Penelope Harris: My parents were older when they had children. They weren't like the Wyeths, they didn't take us under their wing and teach us. They were so busy with their own careers, and they did commercial work for money...

Maureen Drdak featured in The Burning Worlds Newsletter

Maureen Drdak featured in The Burning Worlds Newsletter

with Amy Brady

April 2022

Amy Brady: Please tell me about your latest series, Ardens Mundi. What does that title stand for, and how does the exhibition speak to the climate crisis?

Maureen Drdak: Ardens Mundi is Latin for Burning Worlds. The series presents the many faces of global warming as it manifests across the planet, with each work presenting a distinct cataclysmic phenomenon. The title also refers to the transmutational power of burning in the spiritual sense, in that humanity has agency—humanity can choose to purify itself from its worst addictions. The series is reflective of my long study and work in the Himalayan country of Nepal, a country and region where the conversation between spirit and matter is of long and particular intensity—and of special relevance to our rapidly heating planet.  

Art Sync: An Excuse To Paint

Art Sync: An Excuse To Paint

A conversation with Mickayel Thurin by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

April 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: Did you start painting portraits when you came to PAFA? Or did you enter school already drawing and painting people? 

Mickayel Thurin: I've always loved portraiture. I used to draw from family photographs when I was six or seven, and I’d also draw people when someone would take the time to sit for me. Some kids like drawing animals or sunsets, for me it's people and their faces that sparks my interest, closely followed by color and pattern and texture. It has to do with the personality within a face. There’s so much going on with a person, and I understand them better through portraits than through conversation...

Art Sync: Potential Images

Art Sync: Potential Images

A conversation with Michael Gallagher by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

April 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: In your statement on the Gross McCleaf site, you use the term “slippage.” Does this reference Jacques Lacan’s theory of the unstable relationship between signified and signifier?

Michael Gallagher: I’ve been using “slippage” for decades. It’s not informed by any postmodern thinking, which I find mostly befuddling and obtuse on purpose. How I use the term relates not only to subject matter but also issues regarding space; the idea that a shape/form can occupy multiple spatial conditions and potential readings keeps me engaged in both making and looking.

In the ’80s I was painting on X-rays and black and white photographs of artworks from PAFA’s permanent collection...

GMG Presents: Michael Gallagher: INFINITION, Mickayel Thurin: Awakening + Short & Sweet II

GMG Presents: Michael Gallagher: INFINITION, Mickayel Thurin: Awakening + Short & Sweet II

“…the idea that a shape/form can occupy multiple spatial conditions and potential readings keeps me engaged in both making and looking… a Duck/Rabbit thing, rooted in the complexities and pleasure of perception.”

-Michael Gallagher

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present, INFINITION, a solo exhibition of bold and colorful abstractions by Michael Gallagher. 

Enigmatic, delightfully playful and bold, Gallagher’s new works at first appear as accomplished abstractions that reference modernist forms. Painted biomorphic shapes swirl around the surface, producing a centrifugal force generated from the center of the painting outward. Texture and varied paint application break the solidity of flat planes of color creating implied space in the composition. The shapes then alternately poke into those spaces and push out, shifting the relationship between what is considered the figure and what is the ground. 

Art Sync: The Baobab Tree

Art Sync: The Baobab Tree

A conversation with Benjamin Passione by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

March 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: The press release for All the Sauce, your 2019 show at Gross McCleaf states: “Passione’s paintings benefit from a vitality born from the means of their finding: handmade, felt, visual, and free from singular meaning.” Has your process of “finding” changed since then?

Benjamin Passione: The paintings from that show were a little bit opaquer and denser, very bright and immediate with the color. They were a little darker and acidic. The newer works are a little lighter, sketchier, and scumbley, a tad bit more playful and less serious. These paintings are my quarantine/Covid pictures. They are escapism for me. Hopefully, they are calming and fantastical...

Art Sync: Rhythmic Velocities

Art Sync: Rhythmic Velocities

A conversation with Thomas Paul Raggio by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

March 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: Your work seems to build on the color-focused branch of abstraction or formalism that springs from Piet Mondrian and Joseph Albers. I sense echoes of Sol LeWitt, Al Held, Frank Stella, and Dorothea Rockburne, particularly because they approach drawing and color as you do. Who were your influences?

Thomas Paul Raggio: Barnett Newman, Morris Louis, Roy Lichtenstein are the major ones that come to mind. During a studio residency in Australia, I studied with Jenny Watson, Julie Fraser, and Mostyn Bramley-Moore...

 

GMG Presents: Thomas Paul Raggio: In the Valley, Benjamin Passione: Improvisations + Scott Noel: Portraits

GMG Presents: Thomas Paul Raggio: In the Valley, Benjamin Passione: Improvisations + Scott Noel: Portraits

March 2022

“I think everything is in there: events, people I know, stories, architecture, music…I’m a big believer in coincidence, synchronicity, and numerology: it’s all about how things get funneled and filtered into a linear, transcendent expression.”

-Thomas Paul Raggio

Gross McCleaf is pleased to exhibit a new body of hard-edged abstractions by Thomas Paul Raggio in his first solo show with the gallery. This exhibition, titled In the Valley, features Raggio’s signature combination of carefully organized lines and stripes, meticulously painted in acrylic. While non-objective, the painted bars create harmonious color vibrations that ripple across each canvas. Crisscrossing diagonals offer geometry, movement, and balance... 

Art Sync: The Sky in Your Pocket

Art Sync: The Sky in Your Pocket

An interview with Jeffrey Reed by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

February 2022

Elizabeth Johnson: I grew up on a farm. Open green spaces dotted with farms equates home, security, and privacy to me. What does rural beauty mean to you?

Jeffrey Reed: I grew up just north of Annapolis, Maryland, in a small community on the Magothy River. It was a rare day when I wasn’t outside on or near the water. Nature has always had a strong pull on me and being outside is where I feel most alive and curious.

Being on the water made me keenly aware of the weather and the relationship between the sky, water and land. The skies were always of special interest to me. Skies can be dynamic, beautiful and unique while offering a sense of the moment and the anticipation of change...

GMG Presents: Kurt Moyer: New Abstractions, Jeffrey Reed: Returning + Heart & Soul

GMG Presents: Kurt Moyer: New Abstractions, Jeffrey Reed: Returning + Heart & Soul

February 2022

I have a longing for a certain beauty that’s hard to describe, but it’s usually associated with summer colors. My desire for this summertime feeling seems inexhaustible, and though I’ve been trying for many years, I don’t feel like I am ever really satisfied.”

- Kurt Moyer

For over a decade, Kurt Moyer’s work has combined his love of nature with his reverence for art history. Born in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Moyer spent much of his youth exploring the Barnes Collection in Merion, Pennsylvania. Moyer now resides in rural New York near Rochester where he spends his time plein air painting from the beginning of spring until late fall. These passions converge in Moyer’s new abstract paintings on view at Gross McCleaf... 

Ross Art Museum presents contrasting exhibits exploring oppression and joy, Featuring James Stewart

Ross Art Museum presents contrasting exhibits exploring oppression and joy, Featuring James Stewart

by Nancy Gilson

January 2022

In “Deaf Republic,” allegoric poems that rail against violence and military oppression, Ilya Kaminsky created a young deaf martyr and a community that protested with sign language.

The collection of poems, published in 2019, is a story that is meaningful not just for the Eastern European country that Kaminsky envisioned, but also for any oppressed place.

The American figurative painter James Stewart, who lives in western Pennsylvania, envisioned “Deaf Republic” taking place in Weimar, Germany, and created a body of paintings to reflect and illustrate the poems...

Seeing a Lifetime of Art in One Painting at Woodmere Art Museum Show that Celebrates the Dean of Philadelphia Artists

Seeing a Lifetime of Art in One Painting at Woodmere Art Museum Show that Celebrates the Dean of Philadelphia Artists

by Stephan Salisbury

January 2022

The Woodmere Art Museum is the last of three Philadelphia institutions — two colleges and the museum — to participate in “Body Language: The Art of Larry Day,” a large retrospective of the painter’s work marking the centenary year of his birth, 2021.

Shows of Day’s paintings and drawings have already ended at Arcadia University and the University of the Arts, and while a gallery show of 20 Day works is still up at the Gross McCleaf Gallery on South 16th Street. It closes Jan. 29.

Day lived virtually his entire life in Philadelphia — painting and also teaching here, first at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art, now the University of the Arts, and then at the University of Pennsylvania...

Ying Li featured on 30 Artists X 30 Days

Ying Li featured on 30 Artists X 30 Days

by the Beverley Street Studio School

January 2022

I went to see the de Kooning Retrospective at the Whitney Museum in the Fall of 1983, just weeks after I arrived in New York City from China. I had vaguely heard of his name and had never seen his work, even in reproduction.

 

I remember clearly the moment I stepped into the first gallery, where the show started, as I faced this wall filled with huge canvases. I felt like I was hit by lightning and landed on the moon, I was in a different world. There were figures, supposedly female, painted fiercely with thick, juicy paint. 

Larry Day in The Brooklyn Rail: Review of Body Language at Woodmere Art Museum

Larry Day in The Brooklyn Rail: Review of Body Language at Woodmere Art Museum

By Conor Lauesen

December 21 - January 22

Body Language: The Art of Larry Day celebrates the centenary year of Larry Day (1921–98), a visual maestro and brooding intellectual figure in post-war American art. Curated by British art historian David Bindman, the show is at a trio of Philadelphia sites: at Woodmere Art Museum Silent Conversations is comprised of Day’s figurative work, including an overview of works on paper; Absent Presence at Arcadia University shows architectural landscapes on canvas and paper and a selection of prints; and at University of the Arts Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Nature Abstracted reveals the artist’s earliest ventures into abstraction. Spanning nearly five decades, the exhibition marks the most comprehensive retrospective to date of Day’s capacious and affective artistic praxis.

GMG Presents: Maureen Drdak: Burning Worlds + Andrea Baldeck: Passages

GMG Presents: Maureen Drdak: Burning Worlds + Andrea Baldeck: Passages

January 2022

Maureen Drdak’s art practice was born out of curiosity, rigorous research, and a love for material and design. Although she has traveled extensively to Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Italy, England, the Caribbean islands, and India, Nepal has been the focal point of her academic research, made possible in part through a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011. Drdak says, “Nepal has been a tremendous source of spiritual sustenance, wonder, enrichment, and connection…In the past fifteen years, the innumerable relationships I’ve developed have been an indescribable blessing.” On view in Burning Worlds, her wall-bound relief works are a combination of painting and the ancient art of repoussé, a unique metalworking technique she studied during her visits to Nepal.

 

Initially drawn to a photo of the Kali Gandacki river gorge in the Nepali Himalayas, Drdak visited the Kathmandu Valley for the first time in 2005. Upon her arrival, she was immediately and unexpectedly taken with the Newar repoussé that decorated the temples in the area. Dating back to the Bronze Age, the exact roots of the time-intensive repoussé technique is unknown; however, Patan, Nepal has become the contemporary hub of this endangered practice...

Art Sync: Color and Space

Art Sync: Color and Space

An interview with Kurt Moyer by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

January 2022

Elizabeth Johnson:  Realistic landscapes of farmland, forests, and streams were formerly your subject.

Landscapes from 2017 and 2018 seem to mark the transition to abstraction, especially the outliers Vista and Creek Walk. What entices you to paint abstractly?

Kurt Moyer:  From the beginning, I’ve wanted to make something beautiful out of my experiences, something to share with other people. For many years this meant painting landscapes and depicting the nuances of light and color. These new abstract paintings still concern the light and my experiences in particular places. But now, without realism, they’re free to become something new. I feel I’m building a painting in real-time instead of making a recording of the past...

Ironic Realism: The Larry Day Retrospective in Philadelphia

Ironic Realism: The Larry Day Retrospective in Philadelphia

By David Carbone

January 2022

Unlike most realists, who celebrate the world’s material presence, Larry Day seems as concerned to capture palpable absence in his work: something unseen, yet powerfully implicit. His mature paintings and drawings expressed his singular ascetic reserve,  a sensibility that managed to juggle American precisionism and pittura metafisica. In such subjects as a quotidian back-alley, a charades party, a poker game there is an awareness that transcends the everyday in suspended moments of painterly reflection.

Day, who died in 1998 in his late seventies, was a doyen of the Philadelphia scene. A great conversationalist with a strong capacity for sustaining friendships, he was a beloved teacher, mentor and friend to more than four decades of artists. A selection of his astute, subtle writings on art is included in the catalogue of this three-venue retrospective of nearly 150 works, guest curated by David Bindman...

Art Sync: The Seen and the Unseen

Art Sync: The Seen and the Unseen

An interview with Dale Roberts by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

December 2021

Elizabeth Johnson: You work in several difficult mediums: encaustic, casein, egg tempera, pastel, silverpoint, ink, and gouache. You mentioned that it took ten years to get the hang of encaustic––a big commitment. Is it still the most pleasurable medium?

Dale O. Roberts: Encaustic seems to possess the most unique character and range of possibilities. However, each medium has its own appeal. My fascination with ancient mediums began long ago when I was a sophomore in a graduate seminar on egg tempera...

Art Sync: Everything Matters

Art Sync: Everything Matters

An interview with Scott Noel by Elizabeth Johnson, edited by Matthew Crain

November 2021

Elizabeth Johnson: In our telephone conversation, you mention John Berger’s book, “Steps Towards a Small Theory of the Visible,” as being useful in thinking about painting. Berger states that “something as small and at hand as a pebble or salt-cellar on the table” might open access to the heaven he calls “invisible, unenterable but intimately close.” How would you describe why quotidian subjects or everyday people elicit your desire to paint? Is it generally by chance that you get interested in a particular subject? Is story a part of your interest from the beginning?

Scott Noel: I became interested in pictures, photographs, comics, illustrations, and reproductions of paintings at an early age and began to draw on my own. Pictures awakened me to the look of things and inspired the activity of drawing. Images of animals, airplanes, battle scenes, crucifixions, whaling scenes, cars, and basketball players were a preoccupation. Eventually, my hunger to make pictures coalesced around the challenge of drawing people...

 

GMG Present: Dale Roberts: Activated by Light, Alexandra Tyng: The Architecture of Connection + Larry Day at 100

GMG Present: Dale Roberts: Activated by Light, Alexandra Tyng: The Architecture of Connection + Larry Day at 100

December 1 - 24, 2021

“This present body of work is a deeper exploration into ways of seeing and translating the visible world into a variety of mediums. These paintings celebrate the inherent qualities of each medium, be they metalpoint, gouache, or encaustic. I am moved to return again and again to individual works and themes as possibilities continue to emerge and change throughout the painting process.” 

 

-Dale Roberts

 

Dale Roberts is unflinchingly dedicated to color and texture in his signature encaustic paintings and he consistently brings a lively, experimental approach to the representation of his subject matter. He finds beauty in sources as disparate as a gritty urban landscape, his backyard garden, or a selection of familiar objects - scenes that are common and often overlooked. From flotsam and graffiti to cool, colorful tableaus of his studio workbench, Roberts’ artistic approach fluctuates between representation and abstraction.

American Art Collector: Ann Lofquist "Bringing the Outside In"

American Art Collector: Ann Lofquist "Bringing the Outside In"

Show Preview

October 2021

In 2019, Ann Lofquist returned to her beloved New England after 12 years in Southern California. She had lived in Maine for 20 years and her atmospheric paintings of fields, farms, and streams were uniquely recognizable. The landscape had changed while she was away, however. “I often revisit my favorite vistas and upon returning to New England, I was struck by how much they had changed during my 12-year absence,” she explains. “For the most part, the changes were (from my point of view) for the worse. Favorite trees had been felled, creeks were now choked by invasive knotweed and old dairy farms had been abandoned and the pastures were overgrown.”

Friends invited her to their central Shenandoah Valley cabin to do some plein air painting. “I fell in love with the landscape,” she says. “It is far more open than that in New England, and the sycamore trees with their luminous, white bark dominate the pastures. I returned several times during the fall and winter of 2020-21. During the winter I do my plein air painting from my car (the panel is balanced on the steering wheel and my palette is to my right on the passenger seat.) In order to paint the streams I loved, I had to find unobstructed views from bridges where I could park without disrupting traffic."

Announcing Bethann Parker's First Solo Exhibition at Gross McCleaf Gallery

Announcing Bethann Parker's First Solo Exhibition at Gross McCleaf Gallery

November 2021

Welcome Bethann Parker!

"Guided by intuition and curiosity, Parker utilizes ruggedly tactile paint to build up layers that depict her conscious and unconscious memories." - excerpt from Almanac, Parker's first solo exhibition with Gross McCleaf Gallery

 

Bethann Parker (b. 1984) runs a homestead in the mountains of northeast Appalachia that is rooted in traditional living. There, she tends a studio practice with interdisciplinary research and material experimentation provided by the land. Parker considers herself a midwife to the myriad forms and formats of her art.

She received a BFA and Certificate of Fine Art from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and a Certificate from the Barnes Foundation. She was the recipient of The Fred and Naomi Hazel Art Scholarship, The Richard Von. Hess Travel Scholarship and twice awarded Venture Fund Grant for large project proposals. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and the Voice of America. 

GMG Presents: Scott Noel: Current Events, Provisional Painting, Bethann Parker: Almanac + Fellowship Annual Exhibition of FPAFA

GMG Presents: Scott Noel: Current Events, Provisional Painting, Bethann Parker: Almanac + Fellowship Annual Exhibition of FPAFA

November 3 - 27, 2021

“I love to paint in the presence of a sitter or in the light of a cityscape, but I can’t “capture” the appearance; rather, I move the paint around, simplify, blur, scrape, and rephrase until the beloved seems to appear…. The vocation of art begins in a longing that only the art can address. At first, the longing attaches to something in the world. But, over time, the artist notices something about how picturing itself causes almost anything seen to open as an occasion for wonder and surprise.”

- Scott Noel

In his eleventh solo exhibition at Gross McCleaf, Scott Noel presents an impressive selection of monumental, narrative paintings...

GMG presents: Ann Lofquist: A Return Home + Giovanni Casadei: Contemplations

October 6 - 30, 2021

Gross McCleaf is pleased to present A Return Home, the first solo exhibition by painter Ann Lofquist since her recent move back to the East Coast. After twelve years in California, Lofquist again embraces her love of the landscape specific to New England and the Shenandoah Valley. Featuring both small panel paintings and large canvases, this exhibit examines the challenges of landscape painting in the hands of a master. Beginning her exploration with small en plein air paintings, Lofquist finds locations that speak to her and offer a range of opportunities for subject and composition, often inviting multiple visits during different times of day and seasons. The task then becomes one of unconscious data-processing as the artist faithfully attempts to capture observations of light, space, and form.

OnViewAt.com reviews Ying Li: Blossoms In A Sudden Strangeness

OnViewAt.com reviews Ying Li: Blossoms In A Sudden Strangeness

By John Goodrich

September 2021

If Ying Li’s paint application suggests a furious restlessness, her work has been, for many years, no less unsettled in terms of geography. Over the years, the artist’s motifs have included landscapes in France, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Switzerland, and – on this side of the Atlantic – Newfoundland, Maine, the Colorado Rockies, and upstate New York, as well as New York City.

What to do when a pandemic freezes travel world-wide?

Poetry Reading & Discussion with Ilya Kaminsky on Saturday, September 18 at 5pm

Poetry Reading & Discussion with Ilya Kaminsky on Saturday, September 18 at 5pm

September 2021

Gross McCleaf Gallery and Blue Stoop are pleased to welcome Ilya Kaminsky for a special poetry reading event in conjunction with James Stewart's exhibition: Recent Work - Influenced By Ilya Kaminsky's "Deaf Republic". Following the reading, Philadelphia-based writer Sara Novic will be moderating a discussion with Kaminsky.

This event will run for approximately one hour and is offered both in-person and virtually on Zoom to provide a safe and accessible viewing experience for all. ASL interpretation will be provided along with priority seating upon request. Out of an abundance of caution, in-person attendees are required to present their COVID vaccination card (a copy or digital image will be accepted), and masks are also required for the duration of the event. 

We encourage attendees to visit James Stewart's exhibition before or after the reading. Stewart's work is on view in the gallery from September 1 - October 23 with an opening reception from 2 - 4 pm on September 18. Locally owned bookstore The Head & The Hand will be onsite with copies of Kaminsky's & Novic's work for purchase. 

GMG presents: Ying Li: Blossoms In A Sudden Strangeness II, Elaine Lisle: Autumn + James Stewart: Recent Work - Influenced by Ilya Kaminsky's "Deaf Republic"

GMG presents: Ying Li: Blossoms In A Sudden Strangeness II, Elaine Lisle: Autumn + James Stewart: Recent Work - Influenced by Ilya Kaminsky's "Deaf Republic"

September 1 - 30, 2021

“In early March 2020, Haverford College, like educational institutions throughout the country, closed its campus to visitors and moved classes online in order to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the months that followed, Ying Li, the Phlyssa Koshland professor in Fine Arts at Haverford, responded to the crisis with astonishing and prolific creativity. Comprising 47 paintings created in just five months, Blossoms in a Sudden Strangeness reflects a profound aesthetic discipline. Li began each painting through closely observing subjects she discovered in or near her apartment on Haverford’s campus, such as the view from her porch or cherry trees in bloom. Responding to beauty and ephemerality in nature, she abstracts and reworks each composition until her expressive gestures and densely layered surfaces convey the complexity of her observations over time. Reveling in possibility, she adds, spreads, and scrapes away paint, creating relief-like topographies. Amid the ‘sudden strangeness’ of the pandemic, Li was fortunate to safely remain on campus, taking inspiration from flora and fauna that have fascinated her for more than 25 years...

Kati Gegenheimer Featured In Title Magazine

Kati Gegenheimer Featured In Title Magazine

By Michael Marcelle

July 10, 2021

When I think about Kati Gegenheimer’s work, I think about time, and I think about my friends.

I also think about handfuls of glistening jewels, about orchestral swells and technicolor sunsets, about melodrama and rooms of secret treasure, about dayglow candy from another dimension. I think about golden flickering candlelight in a 1950s Disney cartoon burning out of the darkness. I think about the moment between confetti exploding into the air and when it begins to descend, stretched out into infinity. I think about what it means to give someone something beautiful...

Ying Li and Lois Dodd in Two-Person Exhibition in Greenport, NY

Ying Li and Lois Dodd in Two-Person Exhibition in Greenport, NY

Rocks, Trees, and Gardens: Paintings by Lois Dodd and Ying Li will open this Saturday and Sunday, July 10-11 from 1-5 pm, at Rosy End Post, 18 South Street, Greenport, NY.  The exhibition will run for three weekends, through July 24-25.


Lois and Ying long have focused their paintings on the natural world.  Close friends, they occasionally have journeyed together to paint side by side.  During long careers, each artist has developed a style of painting that is uniquely her own, but their styles could hardly be more different.  This show is an opportunity to see the work of two painters who use paint in radically different ways.  

GMG Presents: Kati Gegenheimer: Stars Align, Sterling Shaw: Unreliable Narrator + Ed Bing Lee: Festivity

GMG Presents: Kati Gegenheimer: Stars Align, Sterling Shaw: Unreliable Narrator + Ed Bing Lee: Festivity

July 1 - 31, 2021

“I was here.
You were here. 
I am here. You are here.
Stars aligned.
Stars align.

In her paintings, Kati Gegenheimer uses color, pattern, decoration, and symbolism as ways to express love, ritual, and radical sentimentality. Her sensitivity to touch and brushwork on the canvas as a love letter to being present in a moment; asking us to slow down to see the everyday magic that we often only glance out of the corner of our eye  - a shimmer, a twinkle, a cloud passing in the blue sky, a butterfly hovering to look at you.  Gegenheimer emphasizes this need to be present in the moment.  She writes:

 

Time stopped when you entered the room.
You are here for a reason, at this very moment.
Some would say it is luck, others would say it was meant to be.”

Jeffrey Reed Featured In Painting, An Impromptu Respite

Jeffrey Reed Featured In Painting, An Impromptu Respite

By Maureen Mullarkey

June 18, 2021

Painting is meant to be seen, not talked about. Painters are drawn to things, not concepts or doctrines. What counts is what is in front of them, the very thing itself—whether an object or a vista—not an idea about the thing. For a painter, the only ideas that count are pictorial ones. Matters of fact are primary. These include the material facts of paint, the cookery of getting it right, manipulation of brushes and color chords—all physical, earth-bound matters. Fairfield Porter was blunt: “An art that finds ideas more real than things is attractive to the unemployed intellectual.”

The Vindicator: Mason Takes Art Fans Out To The Ballgame

The Vindicator: Mason Takes Art Fans Out To The Ballgame

By Andy Gray

June 10, 2021

Max Mason considers himself a landscape painter — it’s just that many of those landscapes feature immaculately cut grass and bases arranged in a diamond shape 90 feet apart.

The Philadelphia-area artist will display some of his baseball-themed work in the exhibition “Making the Game,” which opens Sunday at the Butler Institute of American Art.

Max Mason: Painting the Game Opens June 13 at The Butler Institute of American Art

Max Mason: Painting the Game Opens June 13 at The Butler Institute of American Art

June 13 - September 5, 2021

Youngstown, OH, May 18, 2021 – The Butler Institute of American Art at 524 Wick Avenue in Youngstown, Ohio is delighted to announce the opening of an exhibition of baseball paintings just in time for summer. Max Mason: Painting the Game will open Sunday, June 13, 2021 at 12:00pm in the museum’s Giffuni Gallery on the second floor, where the artist will present a gallery talk at 2:00pm. The exhibition will be on view through September 5, 2021. Admission to The Butler and Max Mason’s gallery talk are free. 

The paintings of Max Mason are impressive on a variety of levels. He is a masterful draughtsman who can lay down paint in the manner of the old masters. Staying with the magical theme of baseball he presents a virtual clinic on composition and color usage. In a museum filled with exquisite paintings, the works of Max Mason more than hold their own. The Butler is delighted to present this outstanding exhibition of the work of Max Mason.

GMG Presents: Rebekah Callaghan: Daytime, Claire Kincade: Changing Spaces, + Pet Show, a group exhibition

GMG Presents: Rebekah Callaghan: Daytime, Claire Kincade: Changing Spaces, + Pet Show, a group exhibition

June 2 - 26, 2021

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce two solo exhibitions of new paintings by gallery artists, Rebekah Callaghan and Claire Kincade, and Pet Show, a group exhibition featuring the work of Joan Becker, Su A Chae, Eileen Goodman, Morgan Hobbs, Katie Hubbell, Darla Jackson, Christina Leone, Joseph Lozano, Douglas Martenson, Scott Noel, Bethann Parker, Frank Trefny, and Ted Walsh.

Rebekah Callaghan met the unique challenges of this past year by turning inward, moving away from observation and focusing more on her process and feelings.  Callaghan scaled up the plant-based imagery.  She played with color and pattern to fit the mood of the painting rather than limiting herself to a faithful adherence to the original source. . .

American Art Collector: Marine Art - Collector's Focus

American Art Collector: Marine Art - Collector's Focus

June 2021

Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia represents noteworthy marine artists such as Douglas Martenson. “The coast of Maine is a natural wonder,” says Martenson. “The rocks along the shore are weather-beaten, wounded but enduring. I love the tides and where I go each summer, they vary by 9 feet. At high tide, only the sun-bleached caps of the boulders are visible. As the water recedes, the entire boulder appears, as if a large whale has emerged from the watery depths.

 

“The ocean is mesmerizing,” Martenson says, “and there is something that draws us to the shore; the waves crashing and the smell of the salt air. Collecting these paintings allows one to bring some of these sensations home.

American Art Collector: Claire Kincade "Sharing Space"

American Art Collector: Claire Kincade "Sharing Space"

June 2021

Claire Kincade invites us to share in the experience of the objects she surrounds herself with and that she arranges in her still life paintings.

Light pours through living room windows, emphasizing the form of objects while they express themselves more quietly in the subdued light of a basement. The arrangement of objects in unexpected locations and lighting conditions causes the viewer not only to appreciate the whole but to slowly contemplate them as individual objects and how they relate to the space they occupy.

 

GMG Presents: Natasha Das: Thread, Max Mason: Sky Light, + Short & Sweet, a collection of mini exhibitions

GMG Presents: Natasha Das: Thread, Max Mason: Sky Light, + Short & Sweet, a collection of mini exhibitions

May 5 - 29, 2021

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce two solo exhibitions of new paintings by gallery artists, Natasha Das and Max Mason and a collection of mini exhibitions, featuring the work of Giovanni Casadei, Rhea Cutillo, Ying Li, Scott Noel, Thomas Paquette, Jeffrey Reed and Val Rossman.

Textures created with thread are to Natasha Das what brushstrokes are for other artists: fundamental, visceral, expressive elements. Das’ labor-intensive compositions convey her unique voice by representing an engagement with both abstraction and the weaving tradition of her native India, lending an autobiographical component to her work. . .

Rebecca Segall & Gross McCleaf featured in Philadelphia Style

Rebecca Segall & Gross McCleaf featured in Philadelphia Style

By Marni Manko

April 2021

Rebecca Segall is turning over a new artistic leaf as owner of Gross McCleaf Gallery.

Gross McCleaf Gallery has been an esteemed fixture on Philly’s gallery scene for more than 50 years, but with the recent retirement of longtime owner Sharon Ewing and the new ownership under PAFA graduate Rebecca Segall, the contemporary gallery is prepared to take on the next half-century with a refreshed—and decidedly modernday— perspective.

Gross McCleaf Gallery on ABC Action News: 6abc Loves the Arts

Gross McCleaf Gallery on ABC Action News: 6abc Loves the Arts

By Wendy Daughenbaugh

April 2021

Gross McCleaf gallery was founded in 1969 by Estelle Shane Gross, and the Rittenhouse Square Gallery has celebrated a half-century legacy of female leadership.

"This was really at the beginning of what would become a rich gallery scene in Philadelphia," says gallery owner and director, Rebecca Segall, who adds that Gross started with the idea of a New York City-style gallery, but then began supporting local artists. . .

GMG Presents: Christine Lafuente: The View From here, Joseph Lozano: Mythologies, + A Group Show: Bouquet

GMG Presents: Christine Lafuente: The View From here, Joseph Lozano: Mythologies, + A Group Show: Bouquet

April 1 - 30, 2021

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce two solo exhibitions of new paintings by gallery artists, Christine Lafuente and Joseph Lozano and a group exhibition featuring the work of Melanie Fischer, Kati Gegenheimer, Eileen Goodman, Elizabeth Hamilton, Ying Li, Jonathan Mandell, Irene Mamiye, Lynn Muchnick, Scott Noel, Barbara Sosson, and Frank Trefny.

Christine Lafuente is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and received her Certificate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. After spending years in Philadelphia where she was artist-in-residence at the Fleisher Art Memorial, Lafuente moved to Brooklyn and completed her MFA at Brooklyn College in 2004.  She has exhibited her work throughout the Mid-Atlantic region in numerous solo shows and had a solo exhibition in London, England in 2008.  Lafuente has been represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery since 2002. . .

American Art Collector: Christine Lafuente "Points Of View"

American Art Collector: Christine Lafuente "Points Of View"

April 2021

When Christine Lafuente set out to paint her latest series of works in Puerto Rico in March 2020, she never fathomed what would transpire over the next few months. The trip was planned a year prior after having visited the country for a workshop and finding that the cities reminded her of her late father’s home country of Cuba, which he left to go to university in the United States and was unable to return.

Lafuente had planned to explore San Juan, learning more about the people, the architecture and the culture, in hopes of making a deeper connection to a similar ancestry as her own. Soon after she arrived for what was supposed to be a shorter trip, Lafuente was locked down in the country and stayed for several months because of the pandemic. Her work, which she had hoped would reflect the vibrancy and beauty of the city at a more intimate level, shifted to views from the windows of the terrace apartment she rented. The work created was more internal but still filled with the bold architecture and bright sunlight.

Art Watch Radio Podcast with Rebecca Segall

Art Watch Radio Podcast with Rebecca Segall

March 4, 2021

Amie Potsic interviews Rebecca Segall about her acquisition of the Gross McCleaf Gallery, her artistic connections to PAFA, and her perspective on stewarding the gallery into the future.

Gross McCleaf Featured On NBC10: In The Name Of Love

Gross McCleaf Featured On NBC10: In The Name Of Love

Supporting Small Business Throughout the Philadelphia Area

March 2021

Owner and Director, Rebecca Segall, interviews with NBC10 to promote Women's history month with Gross McCleaf, a woman-owned business.

GMG Presents: Douglas Martenson: Outside Looking In + A Group Show: Inside Looking Out

GMG Presents: Douglas Martenson: Outside Looking In + A Group Show: Inside Looking Out

March 3 - 27, 2021

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new paintings by gallery artist, Douglas Martenson and a group exhibition featuring the work of Brian Boutwell, Betsy Eby, Deirdre Murphy, Celia Reisman, Rebecca Segall, Sterling Shaw, Michayel Thurin, Alexandra Tyng, and Leigh Werrell, curated by Douglas Martenson.

Douglas Martenson paints observationally in various locations in Maine and Pennsylvania. He meticulously documents the light, atmosphere and environment of each view through a variety of painting techniques. While the painted objects appear with local color firmly established, a sensitive eye will begin to perceive deep reds, light purples, golds, chromatic grays and a spectrum of ever-present blues. Martenson’s careful handling of paint opens up worlds within each object, giving way to a conceptual interpretation over time.

We See Them at Night by Nicole Parker

Art Live: Inspired by Nature, featuring Martha Armstrong and Nicole Parker, by Constance McBride

February 2021

Gross McCleaf Gallery is showing works by Maryland-based Nicole Parker in her first solo exhibition in Philadelphia. Titled “Thresholds”, her paintings are portals that allow a viewer to travel through conceptual thresholds into surrogate realities. “I love human spaces like houses, buildings and public transport, and am interested in the ‘footprints’ and evidence of ourselves that we always manage to leave.  Every place and object is a story or an artifact.” Also on view in February is “Trees, Seas and Objects” a major solo exhibition of new paintings by Martha Armstrong. In addition to landscapes, the current exhibition will feature a selection of still-life paintings, subject matter which Armstrong has long-explored but rarely displayed.

GMG presents: Martha Armstrong: Trees, Seas and Objects & Nicole Parker: Thresholds

GMG presents: Martha Armstrong: Trees, Seas and Objects & Nicole Parker: Thresholds

February 3 - 27, 2021

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce a major solo exhibition of new paintings by gallery artist, Martha Armstrong and Nicole Parker's first solo exhibition in Philadelphia.


Armstrong’s muscular shapes and energetic compositions are hers alone to claim – a style that she’s developed and faithfully preserved over many decades. Her work harkens back to early American Modernists like Marsden Hartley and Arthur Dove and contemporary artists like Lois Dodd and Richard Diebenkorn. One can also see the influence of European movements such as Cubism and Fauvism.

Nicole Parker’s oil paintings depict images that are on the verge of dreaming and wakefulness. The pictures are recognizable yet tend to drift into the uncanny valley – where what one sees looks to be natural and realistic but then morphs into a phantasmagoria of enigmatic imagery. Parker’s worlds contain houses, rooms, and vehicles that allude to a world made for humans, yet there are no people to be found. Rather, these spaces subtly summon the viewer to become the lone inhabitant of each scene.

Leadership News from Gross McCleaf Gallery

Leadership News from Gross McCleaf Gallery

Join us in welcoming Morgan Hobbs as the new assistant director of Gross McCleaf Gallery.

January 2021

Morgan is a prolific artist, curator, and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. She is a graduate of the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Central Missouri, where she studied painting and anthropology.

Welcome Center, Dave Walsh, Oil On Canvas

GMG presents: Dave Walsh: This Land & Selected Works

January 6 - 30, 2021

Dave Walsh’s monumentally-scaled landscape paintings depict national landmarks, parks and dams. Working from memory, photographs and found imagery, Walsh includes vast, scenic vistas as well as details found in trail maps, advertisements, sidewalks, parking lots, bathrooms and graphic illustrations of the sites. His work conveys more information than one can take in at once, with aerial views of trails, buildings, and bodies of water, that are layered onto frontal depictions of architecture. Each painting is intuitively organized, ignoring landscape traditions of Western art history, such as linear and atmospheric perspective, and the sublime. Walsh replaces historical landscape conventions with his own experiential understanding of these scenes and spaces from a literal, bodily and chronological perspective. These directorial decisions cause the landscapes to flatten, subverting the conventional hierarchy of space and often de-prioritizing the landmarks themselves. 

Painting Perceptions, Elizabeth Geiger In Studio

Painting Perceptions Elizabeth Geiger

Larry Groff Interview

December 2020

I am very pleased to be able to share this email interview with Elizabeth Geiger and I'm grateful for her generosity to be able to hear about her experience and insights into her process and intense engagement with painting. 

Rebecca Segall In Gross McCleaf Gallery

Exciting News from Gross McCleaf

We’re pleased to announce Rebecca Segall as the new owner and director of Gross McCleaf Gallery!

December 2020

Rebecca will continue to showcase and promote regional, contemporary artists and is committed to the stability and growth of the gallery. She’s excited to support both new and established fine artists of the highest quality and looks forward to connecting with GMG’s longtime base of supportive customers, patrons and art enthusiasts.

Woolyheads 10" x 8" Oil On Canvas

Rebekah Callaghan: Meditations on light and time

March 26, 2019

“I think I’ve been making the same painting for a long time and it just keeps ending in a different place at a different point,” Rebekah Callaghan told painter Aubrey Levinthal in a 2015 interview in Title Magazine. The conversation focused on Callaghan’s process of working from her immediate surroundings – her home studio and the garden of potted plants that she tends there. Now, four years later, she continues to cultivate and expand upon this familiar material to make layered, luminous botanical paintings that invite sustained looking. Walking from one deft, concise painting to the next in her current exhibition “Brighter Later,” at Gross McCleaf in Philadelphia, the groupings of new works constitute a coherent series exploring variations of light, color, shape, and texture on a single theme.

Must-sees in Philly galleries right now, including Scott Noel’s exceptional paintings

Must-sees in Philly galleries right now, including Scott Noel’s exceptional paintings

The Academy and the Alcázar, Scott Noel

02/21/19

Scott Noel’s exhibition “The Academy and the Alcázar,” at Gross McCleaf Gallery, is more ambitious than previous shows of his I’ve seen — he’s been given both the front and back galleries — and his paintings have a new lushness.

His compositions of figures are still studied, but they’re more painterly.

Noel’s characteristic filtered natural light makes people and places seem exceptionally still and quiet. I’m reminded of hot, dry air at noon in a city more Mexico City than humid Philadelphia. And that’s still very much intact.

Noel observed paintings by Velásquez at the Prado in Madrid and felt a kinship with the 17th-century Spanish painter, spurring this latest body of work.

Martha Armstrong, Tuscon Sunset, Oil On Canvas

Review: Martha Armstrong’s Nature Scenes at Bowery Gallery

New York Times

September 24 2015

Painting from nature is nearly as old as the hills. For years, Alex Katz was the most prominent keeper of its flame, but other devotees have lately come into clearer view — Mr. Katz’s contemporary, the great Lois Dodd, for one. In addition, younger painters like Maureen Gallace and the even younger Daniel Heidkamp and Aliza Nisenbaum have wholeheartedly or partly followed suit. Painting from various forms of life has become a thing — as they say — in the hipper reaches of the contemporary art world.