November First Friday Picks

Don’t miss the art party!

By Katherine Rochester
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Nov. 2, 2011

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Strings attached: Multicolored shoelaces serve as limp calligraphy in We the People.

We the People at Fabric Workshop and Museum

Call it serendipity. As an exhibition that had been on the books long before Occupy Philadelphia took root, Nari Ward’s We the People chimes a note of solidarity with the cries of activists camping outside City Hall. The show is comprised of aggressively articulate sculptures and installations that broach urgent topics such as immigration, poverty and discrimination. A custom tanning bed rigged to sear stars and stripes onto patriotic hides may seem like a gimmick at first, but the complex wiring and military-grade surveillance cameras set to monitor visitors recall sober issues of border crossing and citizenship. The show’s titular work traces the phrase “We the People” in limp calligraphy on the gallery wall. Using multi-colored shoelaces, the palette suggests that despite the bitter irony of this constitutional quotation in the face of rampant corporate interests, we are, nonetheless, a rainbow nation of individual human beings.

6-8pm. Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch St. fabricworkshopandmuseum.org

Other Possible Titles at Grizzly Grizzly

Who said the plaza around City Hall is the only place to get your voice heard? Infected with the democratic ethos bathing Center City of late, Other Possible Titles is a juried exhibition that opens the floor to the audience, which gets to vote on which artist will ultimately get a solo show at Grizzly Grizzly in 2012. In their largest show yet, 35 pieces selected from 250 submissions will explode out of Grizzly Grizzly’s modest gallery space and into the hallway, ready and waiting for your evaluation. Expect painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video and drawing from local and international artists. “We know that our viewers see vast amounts of art,” says Grizzly Grizzly member and exhibition programmer Jacque Liu. “By giving them the ability to determine a future show, we hope to leverage their knowledge, experience and passion.” Don’t miss this opportunity to roll up your sleeves and plunge into some direct art democracy.

6-10pm. Through Nov. 26. Grizzly Grizzly, 319 N. 11th St. grizzlygrizzly.com

Contiguous Doubles at Napoleon

As a recent MFA graduate of Tyler and the fourth member artist to show at Napoleon—the newest gallery in 319 N. 11th St.—Daryl Bergman will take over the gallery space with a series of six collages.Bergman, a printmaker, is most interested in the mechanical process of reproducing multiples. Hence the scanner, which ruthlessly flattens the surface of her work while also accounting for the optical illusion of textured surfaces that persist despite the digital rendering. Often repeating a grid motif, these drawn, photographed and painted assemblages are displayed deep-set in shadow-box frames, lending each collage a sculptural presence that harks back to ordering systems used in Minnimalist works of the 1960s. Working with a large-format scanner, Bergman scans each drawing or photograph separately, then assembles the collages from these thoroughly interchangeable parts.

6-10pm. Through Dec. 9. Napoleon, 319 N. 11th St. napoleonnapoleon.com

Rich-oo-uh’l, Rich-oo-uh’l at Jolie Laide

Replete with magic knots and medicine sticks, Jolie Laide’s current show invokes the ritual aspects of art-making. Featured artist and Rich-oo-uh’l, Rich-oo-uh’l curator Yevgeniya Baras’ mucky oil paintings reveal a belabored surface upon which sometimes—just sometimes—a glint of gold or a sparkle of diamond catches the light. Extending the promise of material transformation, Lisha Bai’s sand and resin sculptures rise up from the gallery floor in delicate columns, loaded with the promise of morphing from sand into glass. The works by each of the five artists in the show are meditative, murmuring the faint incantation of their shared existence as laboriously crafted, precious objects. The closing party includes a performance by artist Andria Morales, followed by a panel discussion led by the curator.

Closing reception on Sat. Nov. 5, 6-8pm. Jolie Laide, 224 N. Juniper St. 267.603.1295. jolielaide.com

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1. pg said... on Nov 9, 2011 at 05:37PM

“"Contiguous Doubles" by Daryl Bergman is a brilliant show by an emerging artist that should make Philly, and Tyler, very proud indeed. By focusing on process and making meticulous her craft and art, Ms. Bergman shows the paradoxical coupling of print and sculpture. Brava!”

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