15 top-flight gallery shows to see in Philly this fall
Philadelphia artists are the spotlight of this season's gallery scene.
But for a few exceptions — New York's Martin Puryear at the Print Center, California's Sadie Barnette at the Haverford College Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Louisiana's Brandon Ballengée at Rowan University Art Gallery — it is Philadelphia artists who are the spotlight of this season's gallery scene, almost remarkably so.
Early summer's turbulence has subsided, too, with most of the artist collectives that were scattered by the fire at 319 N. 11th St. now settled in temporary and permanent homes. The Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at University of the Arts, closed over the summer after a basement flood, expects to reopen in October.
Brandon Ballengée: Sea of Vulnerability (Rowan University Art Gallery, Sept. 13-Nov. 5) A survey of this artist's transdisciplinary installations, assemblages, and mixed-media artworks, inspired by his ecological research into species that are in decline, threatened, and already lost to extinction. (856-256-4521, rowan.edu/artgallery)
Astrid Bowlby: When the Shadow Is Not Your Shadow (A presentation of Marginal Utility at Arcadia University Art Gallery, Sept.14-Oct. 29) A solo show featuring sculptures, texts, a sound work, photographs, and a black granite gravestone etched with a graffiti tag. (215-572-2131, gallery. arcadia.edu)
Mark Mahosky: The Yellow Drawings, 1986-2017 (Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Sept. 14-Nov. 11) Black ink and charcoal drawings on painted yellow backgrounds consider the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield as a site of memory and memorialization. (215-545-7562, fleisher-ollmangallery.com)
The Enduring Reasons Why: Celebrating 25 (Pentimenti Gallery, Sept. 16-Oct. 14) The gallery is marking its 25th anniversary with a show of recent works by all the artists it represents, paired with some of their significant personal "artifacts" from 25 years ago. (215-625-9990, pentimenti.com)
Monument Lab at the Art Alliance: Sharon Hayes and Alexander Rosenberg (In Rittenhouse Square, sponsored by the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Sept. 16-Nov. 19) A show affiliated with Mural Arts' Monument Lab citywide event of public art and history exhibitions. Hayes' "If They Should Ask" addresses the dearth of monuments celebrating women who contributed to civic and public life in Philadelphia. Rosenberg's "The Built/Unbuilt Square" offers a view into Rittenhouse Square's historic landscape through a pair of viewfinders showing archival photographic images of the park. (215-545-4302, philartalliance.org)
Narrative Horizons (The Galleries at Moore, Moore College of Art and Design, Sept. 16-Dec. 9) Artworks employing sewing, weaving, embroidery, and other techniques of traditional crafts, by Kay Healy, Sophia Narrett, and Erin M. Riley. (215-965-4044, thegalleriesatmoore.org)
Achromatic (Mount Airy Contemporary, Sept. 23-Oct. 28) Guest curator Melissa Maddonni Haims has selected 10 mostly Philadelphia artists working with fiber (including herself) and has challenged them to create works without color. The resulting pieces, made with white fibrous materials, rely on shape, form, texture, and space to express individual designs. (267-270-2787, mountairycontemporary.com)
The Expanded Caribbean: Contemporary Photography at the Crossroads (Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Sept. 19-Dec. 10) An exhibition exploring the meaning of place in the Caribbean, organized by independent curator Susanna W. Gold and featuring works by 16 photographers, among them Susan Bank, John Dowell, Kara Springer, Ron Tarver, and William Earle Williams. (215-895-2548, drexel.edu/pearlsteingallery)
Heirloom: Nicholas Kripal, Students, and Friends (Clay Studio, Oct. 6-Nov. 19) An homage to Nicholas Kripal, the late chair of the crafts department and head of the ceramics program at Temple University's Tyler School of Fine Arts, with ceramic works by Kripal and his former students and friends living in Philadelphia, among them John Carlano, Chad Curtis, Dominique Ellis, Adam Ledford, Jeff Mongrain, Sharyn O'Mara, and Charity Thackston. Heirloom is part of the citywide show Nicholas Kripal: His Work and Legacy. The collaborators for that show are InLiquid (at the Gallery at Park Towne Place North Tower), Tyler School of Art, Crane Arts Building, and the sculpture garden at 1714 N. Mascher Street. (215-925-3453, theclaystudio.org)
Elizabeth Osborne: Painting Memory (Locks Gallery, through Oct. 12) Recent paintings reflecting the Philadelphia artist's daily life, including views of her Fairmount studio and street, and depictions of her friends and family members. (215-629-1000, locksgallery.com)
Alice Oh: Adaptation/Equilibrium (Lawrence Gallery, Rosemont College, through Oct. 12) Recent abstract paintings that suggest complex relationships in nature. (610-527-0200, rosemont.edu/about/events/lawrence-gallery)
Sadie Barnette: Dear 1968 (Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College, through Oct. 13) An immersive reimagining of the family album through the artist's own family photographs, drawings, and selections from her father's FBI file detailing his activities with the Black Panther Party, which she obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. (610-896-1287, haverford.edu/exhibits)
Fritz Dietel/25 Years (List Gallery, Swarthmore College, through Oct. 22) A survey of the Philadelphia artist's sculptures exploring organic structural forms. (610-328-8488 or swarthmore.edu/list-gallery)
Martin Puryear: Prints, 1962-2016 (Print Center, through Nov. 18) A survey of prints by the internationally known sculptor whose monumental work "Big Bling" was installed along Kelly Drive this summer, organized by guest-curator Ruth Fine. (215-735-6090; printcenter.org)
An Immigrant Alphabet (A presentation of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture at the Municipal Services Building, through Dec. 22) A collaboration between photographer Wendy Ewald and 18 students attending Northeast High School, constituting 26 large banners installed around the exterior of the Municipal Services Building created to reflect the students' experiences of immigration. (267-809-3668, albustanseeds.org)