Shu Kubo has nothing to do with street art or show posters, but anyone who’s ever made (or tried to make) a moderately detailed stencil or multilayer silkscreen shouldn’t miss the Japanese kirié artist while he’s in town for Paper Japonism, an exhibition of his work at Drexel. Kirié, which means cut-pictures, is a centuries-old Japanese art form that requires a keen eye for negative space and a ton of patience—practitioners generally create something of a real-life floating .gif by drawing or imagining a black-and-white image on paper, then painstakingly cutting with an exacto knife until it’s a black-and-nothing image. The wire-thin results of master kirié artists are something that would probably make Banksy and Co. weep with appreciation, though the fine details wouldn’t survive a spray of paint literally or figuratively. Shu Kubo takes the traditional art form further, adding color and the third dimension by arranging different layers of dyed paper with the black paper “lines” into a sculpture that looks like a flat screenprint when viewed head-on. Take note: The opening reception, at which Shu Kubo will be giving a talk about his work and technique, is a Wednesday, not a First Friday like usual. (Emily Guendelsberger)
Wed., Nov. 3.
Through Dec. 3.
Nesbitt Hall, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
3215 Market St.
De-Nature, the seven-person group show at Jolie Laide, demonstrates how artists love to mess around, transform or de-nature things in hopes of creating something truly new. Guest curator Wendy White is a New Yorker, as are most of the artist—but go see it anyway for Brian Belott’s collages, which bubble over with color, rhythm and id-fueled energy. Go for Tyler alums Paul DeMuro, who paints like he’s decorating birthday cakes while tripping on LSD, and Liz Markus, who paints her feelings in drippy, ghostly quasi-realist works. (Her portrait “Frank is much better than this painting” appeared in the Thanks.Frank show.) Take in these exuberant and idiosyncratic works by these emerging New York artists, some with Philly connections, and save your Bolt Bus money for another weekend. (Roberta Fallon)
Fri., Nov. 5. 6pm.
Through Dec. 10.
224 N. Juniper St.
Structuring Desire/Desiring Structure
Charles Burwell’s colorful, heavily patterned abstract paintings are all about relationships. While it’s not clearly spelled out, we’re talking every kind—interpersonal, historical, biological, technological and formal artistic relationships—all writ large in the interplay of color and shape, with hard-edged lines and biomorphic forms circled by sweeping lasso-like arcs. Burwell’s oil paintings are dreamy and meditative, built up layer by layer freehand and with stencils and templates. From cool mint green to acid yellow ochre, Burwell’s colors surprise. Simultaneously psychedelic and harmonious, the works reveal and revel in their depths, which suggest neverending bright-hued conversations—not arguments—in which there’s a lot of echo and answer, like married couples finishing each other’s sentences. To use another metaphor—as with jazz, there are grounding underlying rhythms, like the recurring stripes and cloverleaf shapes, and risky solo moments, with swooping lines demanding attention. Nine new works are on display at Bridgette Mayer this month; go. (Roberta Fallon)
Fri., Nov. 5.
Through Dec. 17.
Bridgette Mayer Gallery,
709 Walnut St.