Don't miss the art party!
Fabric Workshop and Musem: FiberPhiladelphia & More
L.A.-based artist Mark Bradford got tired of people asking him if he “played basketball” (he’s black and 6’8”). Soon, his ‘No’ turned into a video. “Practice” (2003) showed Bradford in a homemade “hoop” skirt wildly flinging the basketball at the headboard. The skirt was sewn from Lakers jerseys and the message was clear: Stereotypes are just about as ridiculous as shooting hoops in a ball gown. Nine years later, the winner of the MacArthur Genius award—the most prestigious honor for an artist—still mines his neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles for inspiration (and materials). He’s best known for assembling colossal collages from scavenged street signs, license plates and billboards, whose surface he grinds and buffs until commercial messages give way to abstract topographies. “Geppetto,” his piece in conjunction with FiberPhiladelphia (the citywide biennial that kicks off this weekend), features the debut of a wall-sized collage assembled from 2,000 newsprint pages. Also on view at the Fabric Workshop and Museum is a video by Bradford and collaborating artist Carlos Avendano, and solo exhibitions by California-based fiber artists Pae White and Jennifer Steinkamp. (Katherine Rochester)
Opening reception: 6-8pm. Fabric Workshop and Museum. 1214 Arch St. 215.561.8888.
Space 1026: Optical Fiber
Curated by Space 1026 members Anni Altshuler and Matt Leines, Optical Fiber gives audiences the chance to ogle the work of seven artists who push cozy materials to the height of hip. “The timing was great,” said Altschuler, referring to the fact that Optical Fiber is part of FiberPhiladelphia, which opens March 2 and runs through May. “We’ll get a lot of people coming through, not just the usual crowd.” That’s fortunate, because Altschuler and Leines have tapped into some of the most exciting fiber production by young artists and designers. Brooklyn-based Annie Larson is known for her bold-patterned sweaters and chunky knit leggings. Riffing on her standard fare, Larson has created an installation of sweaters that plays with family ties and scale, while L.A.-based artist Megan Whitmarsh presents plush totems with an anthropomorphic vibe. Laced with pop cultural undertones from the ’70s and ’80s, the homey fabrics of the totems channel vintage voodoo. While Whitmarsh’s garish cloth is bound to clash in friendly opposition with Larson’s cotton threads (knitted on a vintage knitting machine from the same era), Altschuler predicts the confrontation will be more like a conversation: “I think they’ll end up speaking to each other. I hope it becomes a really full installation with each work interacting with the others.” (Katherine Rochester)
Opening reception: 7-10pm. Space 1026. 1026 Arch St., Second Floor. 215.574.7630. space1026.com
The Clay Studio: Small Favors VII
Originally conceived back in 2006 as a way to offer affordable, high-quality artworks to ceramic enthusiasts and Average Joes alike, this annual exhibition has become one of the Clay Studio’s most popular. The work of almost 300 clay artists across the country will be on display for sale—all less than four inches in size in any direction and ranging anywhere from $55-$520. The exhibit aims to challenge the creativity of the invited artists. For some, these miniature pieces are merely a reduced version of the work they normally produce, while others seize the opportunity to experiment. Artists working in a variety of mediums other than clay were also invited to participate, guaranteeing guests an array of unique artwork that they won’t have any trouble finding room in their home for. (Nicole Finkbiner)
5pm-8pm. Through April 1. The Clay Studio, 137-139 N. Second St. 215.925.3453. theclaystudio.org
Little Berlin: FLASHFL00D
This month, Little Berlin isn’t inviting the public to come and admire its members' work inside the gallery space as usual. Instead, all of the art has been transferred onto USB flash drives, and the gallery has enlisted the help of several other local galleries, artists and hackers to embed the drives in public locations all over the city such as staircases, walls and phone booths for you to find and download. In other words, it’s sorta like an art scavenger hunt. The exhibit is apart of “Dead Drops,” a project initiated by German artist Aram Bartholl, which brings anonymous online peer-to-peer file-sharing into the public sphere. In addition to a list of the participating artists, a map will be available in the gallery and online to help you with your search. Due to the distributed nature of the exhibit, the gallery will celebrate its First Friday opening with a BYOBeamer event in which artists are invited to bring a projector to beam their artwork, images or videos—collectively creating a wild light-and-sound installation. (Nicole Finkbiner)
6-11pm. Through March 24. Little Berlin, 2430 Coral St. littleberlin.com
Calendar: Aug. 26-Sept. 2