Skip to content
Arts & Culture
Link copied to clipboard

Lyn Godley’s animated LED art is one of the must-sees on Philly’s gallery circuit this month

Warren Rohrer’s luminous paintings from the 1980s and a group show of PAFA-trained artists' work are two other January highlights.

Detail from Lyn Godley's  "Jelly Smack" (2017), at Hot Bed Gallery.
Detail from Lyn Godley's "Jelly Smack" (2017), at Hot Bed Gallery.Read moreHot Bed

Lyn Godley used to be half of the design company Godley-Schwan, along with Lloyd Schwan, who died in 2001. The Crinkle Lamp, their last collaborative piece, is part of the permanent collection at both the Museum of Modern Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Godley has continued her exploration of light as an artistic medium, and the Hot Bed gallery (an offshoot of the James Oliver Gallery, in the same Chestnut Street building) is now showing her latest work, which animates programmable LEDs.

The light art in “Lucid Shadows: Lyn Godley” changes as you approach it. The works have the appealing disco flair of a 1970s fish tank.

Through Feb. 9, Hot Bed Gallery, 723 Chestnut St., 5 to 8 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 1-8 p.m. Sat. 267-918-7432 or

A decade of luminous work

If your New Year’s resolution was to reduce the stress in your life, consider spending some quiet time with Warren Rohrer’s 14 sublime abstract paintings in the Locks Gallery exhibition “A Silent Call: Paintings from the 1980s.”

The late Pennsylvania artist (1927-1995) was born in Lancaster County and spent much of his life there. In 1984, he and his wife, Jane, moved to a house in Chestnut Hill that had been the studio of the Philadelphia painter Violet Oakley.

He wrote in a sketchbook at that time that his “painting attitude" had changed, although you can see the shift a few years earlier away from his carefully measured markings and horizontal bands toward amorphous fields of marks and calligraphic scratchings.

His earlier works had been inspired by the grid patterns of Lancaster County fields. His ’80s paintings seem more informed by the color of the sky at different times of day.

Rohrer had never shied away from strong color, but he was embracing it wholeheartedly in this period. Deep phthalo and viridian greens began showing up regularly in his large works, along with turquoise, violet, and magenta. Some paintings, including Hyphen (1989) and Matrix (1985), combine those hues in an atmospheric haze.

In the ’90s, Rohrer began incorporating esoteric writing and images suggestive of prehistoric cave paintings in his “Field: Language” series of paintings. So the supremely luminous paintings here are from a moment in time to savor.

In April, a show called “Hearing the Brush” at Woodmere Art Museum will focus on the interplay between Rohrer’s paintings and his wife’s poetry, promising more quiet contemplation ahead.

The current “Silent Call” exhibition is on display in Locks’ 2nd floor gallery. On the way up, take in the "Assemblages” group show on the ground floor, with works by Edna Andrade, Joseph Cornell, Charles Fahlen, Ray Johnson, Robert Motherwell, and Louise Nevelson.

Through Feb. 15 at Locks Gallery, 600 Washington Square, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 215-629-1000 or

Last call

Cerulean Arts Gallery’s current show, “Counterparts and Doppelgangers,“ was organized by the painter Michael Gallagher, and it’s worth trying to catch before it closes Sunday, Jan. 26.

Gallagher has brought together works by a group of artists — all graduates of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts — who take their aesthetic cues from self-taught artists.

James Havard is the eldest of the group, and the guiding spirit. His work in on display along with pieces by Mariel Capanna, Adam Lovitz, Henry Murphy, Bethann Parker, Liza Samuel, and Ryan Ward.

The curator becomes the featured artist next month. Schmidt Dean Gallery in Cherry Hill, N.J., will exhibit Gallagher’s paintings in a show that opens Feb. 8.

Through Jan. 26 at Cerulean Arts, 1355 Ridge Ave., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.-Fri., noon-6 p.m. Sat. and Sun.