December First Friday Picks

Don’t miss the art party!

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Nov. 30, 2011

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GRIM's reaper: Jim Anderson's work is a mixture of graphic design and scanned drawings.

Useless Scumbags at Little Bar

If you’re curious about what young artists really have to offer, here’s your chance to see their clever, visually stimulating work with your own eyes. Jim Anderson, better known as “GRIMGRIMGRIM,” is teaming up with Phonographic Arts for a night of punk-rock music, art and cheap beer. The night’s musical acts include the Baltimore foursome Roomrunner, In Heat and Philly’s own Harsh Vibes. Fun fact: Anderson is close friends with the members of Harsh Vibes and invited them to play at his first local solo show at Danger Danger Gallery—the show he says really launched their career. Anderson’s work is a mixture of graphic design and scanned drawings with influences from pop art and poster design. (Nicole Finkbiner)

8pm. $6. Little Bar, 736 S. Eighth St.

Active Surplus at Marginal Utility

In Active Surplus , Daniel Lefcourt turns out a strikingly cohesive show for an exhibition that claims to align itself with the halfway finished. Although the show’s description cites the preparations that go into creating any exhibition (building walls, crafting models of the actual artwork to determine layout, etc.) as an influence, Lefcourt seems just as interested in excavating the remains of an exhibition as fixated by the steps that go into building one. A row of tablet-shaped plaster casts look as if they’ve just been unearthed. A pattern of broken pottery that laces their surface and the neat mounds of sawdust sprinkled by their edges recall archeological digs. A striking black-and-white wall projection turns out to be the shadow of these same plaster and sawdust elements spread over the bed of an overhead projector—a gesture all the more powerful for its remarkable simplicity. Whether drawing on the origins of exhibition-making or mining the artwork from its own ruins, self-reflexivity never looked so good. (Katherine Rochester)

6-10pm. Marginal Utility, 319 N. 11th St.

The Western Lands at Little Berlin

Taking its title from the third book in William S. Burroughs’ The Red Night trilogy, The Western Lands turns Little Berlin’s courtyard and gallery space into a maze of hanging cardboard passageways and makeshift caves. For this second exhibition, curator Tyler Kline invited an energetic crew of international street artists to send him stickers and wheat pastes, which he plastered over his cardboard constructions. The result is urban hieroglyphics that—paired with the larger artist projects in the space—act as a visual cipher for Burroughs’ hallucinatory treatise on the land of the dead. Drawing many artists from the tech and installation crew that keeps the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts functioning smoothly, Kline’s Western Lands is a rare opportunity to see the ferocious talent that operates behind the scenes at any museum. Lucia Thomé’s dimension-bending window, Tim Eads’ wind chamber and Salvatore Cerceo’s and Jim Huebotter’s kinetic sculptures will all make you glad you headed west. (K.R.)

6-10pm. Little Berlin, 2430 Coral St.

Small Jawns at Part Time Studios

It’s that time of year again—when local artisans come together and sell their array of unique creations for low, low prices in hopes that, in the spirit of the holidays, residents will be more inclined to open up their purse strings and recognize the value of original, handmade art. To help make this happen, the Fishtown artist space and gallery Part Time Studios will be hosting its second annual small-works holiday group show. The studio has been accepting submissions from local artists all month and will be narrowing the field down to 30 artists whose work—all smaller than 24x24 and less than $150—will be on display and for sale through the end of the holiday season. (N.F.)

6-10pm. Part Time Studios, 2031 Frankford Ave.   

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