By: Victoria Ryan, Seraphin Gallery Resident
Seraphin Gallery artist, Millicent Young has been selected for an Award of Excellence from the 13th Semiannual Competition presented by the Dave Bown Projects. The competition was curated by Helga Christofferson, the Assistant Curator of the New Museum in New York and Kelly Kivland, the Associate Curator of the Dia Art Foundation. Submissions were received from artists from 40 countries, and Millicent was selected to participate in the group of 25 international artists featured in the resulting exhibition. To view the press release for this competition, please click here.
Also of note, Millicent's sculpture, Predator, will be included in an upcoming exhibition entitled "Homeward Bound Triennial", which opens March 3rd at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA. The exhibition will feature work by artists local to the state of Virginia.
Millicent is also currently in the production phase of a film collaboration between herself, a dancer and a film maker that was shot at the gallery which featured her show, "Forms for a New Mythology". The film will also feature excerpts of an interview with art writer/blogger Sarah Sargent. Seraphin Gallery will send out notifications when more material on this project is available.
For further information on Millicent Young, or to inquire about her work, please contact Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery at 215 923 7000-- or at email@example.com
By: Neil Marcello, ArtBlog, December 27, 2016
Neil immerses himself in the abstract architectural compositions of Paul Fabozzi, who offers a new take on old monuments. – Artblog Editor
Geometric Abstraction has manifested itself since the 7th century in Islamic architecture that included non-figural motifs within its design and decoration, and evolved throughout the 20th century, inspiring artists like Mondrian, Malevich, and Kandinsky to simplify and reduce traditional compositions to basic line, form, and color. This reductive approach continues to challenge contemporary artists such as Paul Fabozzi, whose latest paintings and drawings from the series Curved Locators investigate architectural landmarks of cities he has visited, observed, analyzed, and interpreted. In his first solo show at Seraphin Gallery, Fabozzi offers a mix of fourteen large-scale oil paintings and drawings of reimagined architecture.
Fabozzi’s paintings pulsate with visual energy. He has selected a series of monuments, seeking to connect the viewer to the role and function of each one. From the British Museum in London, to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, each edifice’s original three-dimensional representation seems to have dissolved into a complex pattern and two-dimensional spatial play of geometric shapes, hard-edged lines, and layers of color on the canvas. This approach enables the artist to find an architectural orderliness within the canvas, to subtly source and draw out the essence of each structure as he recalls it from his past excursions to the site. Fabozzi’s constructed compositions largely fall within the realm of imagined interpretations of geometric abstraction.
Fabozzi says that his paintings and drawings, “are a tactile and visual record of my intuitive reckoning with these spaces—a way of forcing them to look back at me.” “British Museum #2” (2016) demonstrates this. Having visited the British Museum, I could immediately relate to the physical presence and changing vistas within this monument, represented in the painting by a multitude of triangular shapes. These shapes combine to form a seductive curve echoing the monument’s glass roof that covers the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court and wraps around the famous Reading Room, partially visible in a negative profile within the painting. The colored lines reinforce and segment the delicate and intricate layout of the crisscross pattern formed by the triangular shapes, suggesting the changing views and airiness one would see and feel if they were to walk around the Great Court.
Light and space
“Hagia Sophia #1” (2016) shows Fabozzi challenged by a monument that is not only immense in scale and rich with architectural history, but also renowned for its ability to reflect light almost everywhere in the uninterrupted nave, causing the massive dome to appear as if it’s floating above one of the largest interior spaces. Fabozzi foregrounds this abundant quality of light with diagonal lines of color that sweep across the entire canvas, simultaneously playing on the mosaic decorations of the Hagia Sophia’s interior. In the background of this painting are several iterations of one view of the main dome that really sets the painting in motion and suggests its scale through repetition. Fabozzi offers a visually simplified view of the interplay between magnificent aesthetics and geometry unique to Byzantine architecture that also leaves the viewer with a renewed curiosity.
The paintings in Fabozzi’s Curved Locators offer much more than intricate compositions of elemental geometric forms and colorful arrangements free from objective context; they represent a system by which the artist enters himself and the viewer into an ongoing conversation about the passionate feeling and geometric reasoning he has gathered from his pilgrimage to these historic cultural monuments.
Piet Mondrian showed us with his masterpiece, “Broadway Boogie Woogie” (1942-43), that he meant to capture the restless motion of the city using lines, squares, primary colors, and shades of grey on a flat plane. As the solid colored blocks asymmetrically combine and recombine they create a feeling of a pulsating rhythm and establish an order within the network of yellow conduits. Mondrian was influenced by the architecture of New York City as well as the jazz music of the time, which is evident in the visual improvised pulsing within the arrangement of the blocks.
Looking back at Fabozzi’s “British Museum #2,” the ideas behind abstraction and simplification are similarly employed by use of primary color, geometric elements such as triangles and lines arranged in some type of mathematical configuration, and the simplified view of the monument. Fabozzi’s work, however, takes a slightly different approach by creating a sense of depth when he introduces lines that connect and reconnect the reinvented spatial planes.
Paul Fabozzi: Curved Locators is showing at the Seraphin Gallery through January 29, 2017, and includes a bonus viewing of a small group show curated by Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director of Seraphin Gallery, that boasts a list of formidable talent and installed in the Gallery 2 space. The list of artists includes Arman, Natalie Alper, George Herms, James Inscho, Craig Kraft, Kate Stewart, Isaac Witkin, and Millicent Young.
Paul Fabozzi received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Professor of the Fine Arts at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.
Seraphin Gallery is located at 1108 Pine Street. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10–5.
For more information on this article, please click here.
By: Dominique Mills, Seraphin Gallery Intern
Seraphin gallery is proud to announce Phillip Adams’ new Mural inside Rag & Bone’s Walnut Street store. The mural is a part of Adams’ series of mountain landscapes called Love at the Matterhorn. The series uses a mix of imagery both real and imagined. Placing colorful, and often absurd, elements within landscapes they wouldn’t normally inhabit is a constant in the series.
Adams’ Rag & Bone mural continues this concept by placing a spinning amusement park ride in a mountain top scene. The fully realized drawing showcases Adams’ attention to fine detail which rewards close observation. The closer you get to the work the more you are swallowed by a feeling of cold wind rushing against your face. Then the warm colors contrast with the sparse surroundings allowing the eye comfort within the icy white slopes.
Rag and bone was founded 2002 in New York. The brand is known for combining a British heritage with an understated downtown sensibility. Rag & bone continually redefines urban style with an Importance on craftsmanship and a stark attention to detail.
Phillip Adams is an artist working out of Philadelphia, PA. Adams graduated with a BFA from the University of Georgia and received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. His work has been exhibited at Arcadia University, Moore College of Art, University of Pennsylvania, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, and Seraphin gallery.
You can see the mural at Rag & Bone located at 1601 Walnut Street (the corner of 16th and Walnut). For more Information on Phillip Adams visit his website or our catalogue on our website.
By: Dominique Mills, Seraphin Gallery Intern
This is the last week for Nocturnes, our current exhibit featuring selected works by Natalie Alper, Laura Sallade, Don Miller, Casey Matthews, Howard Silberthau, and Louise Nevelson. Each piece interweaves themes of reflection, contrasting light and discordant rhythm.
Laura Sallade’s Urban Stacks explore monochromatic light through the competing elements of both fluid and solid form; house paint and steel. Howard Silberthau’s works also play on the same contrast shown within those by Sallade, but explores ideas more personal. The chalkboard-like scrawls of Howard’s paintings are reminiscent of childhood classrooms. Natalie Alper’s energy fields are explorations into the physical representations of animated humanity. The chaotic use of line speaks to life’s unpredictable fluctuations and unbalanced calm. This contrast of elements reoccurs in Don Miller’s works which walk the line of craftsmanship and fine art. Casey Matthews’ minimalist black oil paintings on linen invite you to their encompassing surfaces. Louise Nevelson’s transcriptions on paper continue the emphasis of light and pattern prevalent throughout Nocturnes.
Natalie Alper lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. Her works are part of the collections of the Smithsonian, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, and others. Casey Matthews is currently attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Don Miller is affiliated with the International Sculpture Center, and is a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Louise Nevelson is a renowned sculptor from the 1950’s who moved from Russia to study at the New York Art Students League. To this day, she is still considered to be one of the most innovative sculptors in American history. Laura Sallade earned a Certificate of Sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and has had works featured in the PAFA Museum and the Woodmere Art Museum. Howard Silberthau, while self taught, has primary studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the New York Art Students League. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions in both Boston and New York.
Private Reception: December 15, 2016, 6 - 8 pm. | Public Opening: December 16, 2016, 6 - 8 pm.
Seraphin Gallery is proud to present Curved Locators: New Paintings and Drawings, a solo exhibition by Paul Fabozzi. The exhibition will open on December 16th and run through January 29th, with a public opening will be held on December 16th from 6pm to 8pm. We will also be hosting a private reception on Thursday, December 15th, for our friends in the art community-- please contact us if you are interested in attending.
Fabozzi's constructed compositions are inspired not only by the contemporary and iconic aesthetic of cultural place, but also by the felt presence of the foundation-- a historic lineage, deciphered through architecture, reflecting a part of a whole. Breaking down these vertical layers, Fabozzi disseminates this information in the form of two-dimensional investigations that allow for patterns of light, a vocal color palette, and reinvented spatial planes. Each work is a site-specific piece that is cultivated through an intuitive connection from his explorations in cities across the world such as London, Rome, Berlin, Istanbul, New York, and Rio de Janeiro. New works from this series, Curved Locators, encourage the viewer to become enveloped in the artist's space, and dive into Fabozzi's process-- a practice where pilgrimage, meditation, division, then addition occurs resulting in geometric complexities enlisting the building blocks of visual language: line, shape, and color.
"Perambulating with intensity and openness, Fabozzi explores universal themes of power, nostalgia, and imagined possibilities while intentionally setting himself in dialogue with monuments that give individual and collective meaning to our cultures, and the world at large. The result is a series of elegant, playful, and seductive paintings and drawings that evoke the enormous energy and intensity of their time and place."
-Excerpt from The Pensive City: Transience and Convergence Beyond Space, by Parves Mohsin
Paul Fabozzi received his BFA from Alfred University in New York and his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also affiliated with SUNY Buffalo in Siena, Italy and the University of Georgia in Cortona, Italy. His works have been featured in many solo and group exhibitions in cities throughout the United States and Europe including New York, Rome, London and Los Angeles. His work is featured in the public collections of the San Diego Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the University of Pennsylvania, and many corporate collections. He is currently a Professor of the Fine Arts at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.
By: Dominique Mills, Seraphin Gallery Intern
The Seraphin Galley is proud to introduce artist Millicent Young to our portfolio. Millicent's sculptures are intended to be koans: anecdotal Buddhist teachings meant to alter our patterned constructs, repair numbed senses and redefine the fabric of culture. She describes the fabric of culture as a "rupture of connection" that "renders us senseless and therefore only brutal. Art can be a transformer: it can bypass rational, linear processes; it can stir the heart." Currently Seraphin Gallery is exhibiting Song, a piece created within the last five years that is a strong example of her work and compositional inclinations.
In Song, she arouses the imagination through a mysterious connection of cherry wood and horse hair; creating a solid winding limb, from which pours delicate and fragile white strands. The cherry wood's bored center invites you to explore and experience its sensual strength. The horse hair, extending from the core of the piece, co-exists with the cherry wood paradoxically. The sculpture as a whole is a conversation on empathy. This much needed conversation is the result of silent reflection and observation. Song communicates warmth and compassion through the almost otherworldly connection of two natural elements. Both the horse hair and the wood are familiar objects and the connection between them is at once tender and understanding.
Millicent Young is based out of Virginia. Young earned a BA from The University of Virginia and a MFA at James Madison University. Her work has been featured in many places both nationally and internationally such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Merida, Mexico, the Florence Biennale in Italy, the Suffolk Museum of Art in Virginia, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C, the University of Maryland and Sweet Briar College in Virginia.
We believe Millicent Young’s work shows innovation and invention, not only in technique and material, but also in form and balance. Her piece, Song, and the installation featured in the picture above create an atmospheric quality that transforms space and invites the viewer to engage with the work. The tactile forms of her pieces reach through perspective and translate organic patterns and textures. While Young's process may seem limited, her practice crosses between sculpture to installation, drawing, and painting. We look forward to continuing to work with Millicent Young and to featuring her within our portfolio.
Song is on display in Gallery Two of Seraphin Gallery. Other work by Millicent Young can be seen on her website and in our catalogue on our website. To view our new artist page for Millicent Young, please click here.
By: Victoria Ryan, Seraphin Gallery Resident
Thank you all for attending the public reception for our latest exhibition, Nocturnes, this past Friday. We had a great turnout! All of us at Seraphin Gallery and the exhibiting artists appreciate your support. We look forward to having the next few weeks of this group show.
The exhibition will be on display until Sunday, December 11th. Our hours are as follows: Wednesday- Sunday from 10 A.M - 5 P.m, otherwise by appointment.
The exhibition features the works of Natalie Alper, Casey Matthews, Don Miller, Louise Nevelson, Laura Sallade and Howard Silberthau. Painting, drawing, and sculpture are exhibited in this display, and show an interplay between media and form. These artists not only translate the evanescent, but also experiment with their chosen practices. For example, Laura Sallade’s work includes painting on steel, Don Miller explores the connections between fine art and the craft of wood, while Natalie Alper uses metallic pigments that refract light into subtle color that shines through her black and white energy fields.
Please feel free to contact Alyssa Laverda, the Associate Director, by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Opening: November 11, 2016, 6 - 8 pm.
Laura Sallade, Urban Stacks No. 2, 2016, House paint on steel panel, 36” x 48”
Seraphin Gallery is proud to present Nocturnes, a group show featuring selected pieces by Natalie Alper, Casey Matthews, Don Miller, Louise Nevelson, Laura Sallade, and Howard Silberthau. The exhibition will open on November 11th and run through December 11th. The public opening will be held on November 11th from 6pm to 8pm.
As dusk opens the door to another realm where the hours of darkness linger, mystery, romance, and the senses heighten to an elegantly discordant harmony-not unlike Chopin’s Nocturnes. The mystery of night is best expressed in abstract form as soft repetitions rhythmically fuse into rich monochromatic compositions of both impressive and precious scale. These pieces interplay with the complete absorption of light and its binary, turning simplicity into intricate melody.
Painting, drawing, and sculpture are exhibited in this display, and show an interplay between media and form. These artists not only translate the evanescent, but also experiment with their chosen practices. For example, Laura Sallade’s work includes painting on steel, Don Miller explores the connections between fine art and the craft of wood, while Natalie Alper uses metallic pigments that refract light into subtle color that shines through her black and white energy fields.
Natalie Alper is in her late career, and lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. Her works are part of the collections of the Smithsonian, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and others. Casey Matthews is currently attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and was also featured in our Emerging Talent Exhibition this past summer. Don Miller is affiliated with the International Sculpture Center, and is a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Louise Nevelson is a renowned sculptor from the 1950’s who moved from Russia to study at the New York Art Students League. Even after her death in 1988, she is still considered to be one of the most innovative sculptors in American history. We will be showcasing two lead intaglio collage works on paper from her body of work. Laura Sallade earned a Certificate of Sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and has had works featured in the PAFA Museum and the Woodmere Art Museum. Howard Silberthau has studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the New York Art Students League. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions in both Boston and New York.
By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
Michel Delgado is the Romantic Rebel. A true artist, his breath and pursuit are fundamentally intertwined; they both exude a perspicacious passion for truth, the contemplative search into spirituality, and a bold exploration into the austere awareness of the human condition. Delgado draws from a well of personal life experiences that compound to express a visual representation of knowing and feeling: what is kept and what recedes into bygones. An untrained, therefore Outsider, artist and by definition a revolutionary, he has ignored the traditional practices of fine art and the confinements of art history in order to perform his requisite practice. Delgado intuitively surpasses the physical world into a field where metaphysical consciousness organically seeps out of primitive visual appearance.
The artist's canvases brim with symbolic features; nothing is misplaced or fortuitous. Although Delgado begins without composition in mind, allowing the figures and forms to become known to him, this journey of painting fathers sincere embodiments and leaves only the paramount. Sketched figures and numbers appear in the depths of his depictions-- ghostly apparitions of the past and the constant rhythmic beats of life. These elements are revived from his upbringing in Dakar, Senegal, in West Africa-- where instead of musical scores, children are taught drumming by numerical memorizations. Circular shapes as polka dots permeate his painting: representing the marks that are left from catalytic life experiences or events. These components integrate themselves within the works, becoming one with his figures and revealing their flaws-- their mistakes that may or may not have been learned from-- to the viewer.
Delgado's decades of virtuosity has led to inevitable differences in the tone of his works, either as a result of process or concept. Selections from his White Series, Colorful Series, and The Gum Spotting Experience (identified on page 16), are featured in this exhibition-- portraying a wide range from this artist's oeuvre. The White Series, named for the fluidity of milky paint that is categorically presented throughout these works, display dark bodies on stark backgrounds (sometimes rendered to the middle ground by Delgado's flow of splatter). In You Got To Hold On, (featured page 11), three figures-- possibly a family-- gather together each holding a burning flame. Their patterned clothing and vibrantly elaborate visages hint to devotional and ethereal beings that are both supernal and solid. Their lights are the manifestation of their individual spirits, the luminosity that shines from within. Delgado affirms that this brilliance does not fade when the mortal body does, asserting a canonical metaphor, yet perhaps in mindful secularity rather than to holy script.
Bleeding Too Soon (featured on the front cover of this catalogue and on page 8) and Between the Gap (featured page 26) are two works from the Colorful Series, which both present a wide spectrum of hues and tones exhibited in features and faces. The chaotic activity of Bleeding Too Soon, delivers the affect response when the ground collapses beneath-- when the essential part of oneself is torn and coping is slow to begin. Worry for the future, upcoming battles, and strife, enact a beautifully tortuous scene. Demonic traits and heavy black lines enforce unwilling participants in a struggle for space, attention, and vindication.
Between the Gap, a mixed media work on paper bag frame, is a confrontational portrait of wide inquisitive eyes, blood-red ears, and mouth. The paper bag is clearly defined as a Gap Inc. shopping bag, creating a play with the gap in the figure's front teeth. The use of this material recalls elements of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, although in contrast, Delgado is not idolatrizing the branding, popularity, consumer affinity, or convenience of production. He manipulates this aspect of popular consumer culture to initiate a discourse concerning the "trap" of overseas manufacturing with unregulated labor, abuses regarding the hierarchies of capitalistic corporations, and the constructs of accessible conformity.
To place defining titles on Delgado's work is often contradictory, and lies within the liminal spaces between neatly denoted art historical boundaries. However, his work could be claimed as Art Brut, due to his raw, self taught style and implication. While his paintings are comprised of evidently primitive expression, the presentation of his work is sophisticated, clean-edged, and archival-- with sound attention to materials and techniques. His inventions encourage genuine responses from the viewer: soliciting the dissolve of pretense, the confession of personal evolution, and the realization of continued innocence.
This exhibition is made possible by Principal and Director, Anthony Seraphin, along with Director Lorraine Seraphin Rainey. They present this lone wolf's inaugural solo exhibition at Seraphin Gallery in Michel Delgado: Romantic Rebel from September 23 - November 6, 2016.
By: Bailey Dodds, Seraphin Gallery Resident
James Inscho is a Philadelphia based painter who exhibits a subtle, yet striking approach to composition- allowing viewers to delve into layers filled with carefully arranged interactions of shape and color. Each work introduces a unique study of tension and balance, while echoing a sense of shifting familiarity. Everyday, Everynight unpacks the visual rhythms and complexities of James Inscho’s body of work from past few years. This show brings summer to an end as Seraphin Gallery prepares for a captivating fall and the start to our exhibition season.
The concept of each painting results from an intuitive process of resolving and interpreting observation. Through color studies, collages, reflection and meticulous planning, Inscho delivers sets of distinct visual elements. Throughout the conception of this collection, Inscho was inspired by artists including: Stuart Davis, Nicholas Krushenick and Ellsworth Kelly.
Ideas for paintings come about very slowly for me and I work in a linear fashion. I collage and sketch in bursts, and spend months sifting through the snippets of ideas. I revisit old ideas, images, and writings during this time, which helps me reconcile old inspirations and thoughts with the new.
Sharp edges of salient color and opaque black counterparts lead the viewer through an encapsulating two-dimensional depth. There is a visual dichotomy between strategically placed small intimate details and overwhelmingly substantial shapes. This relationship presents a series of causes and effects that build a fluctuating and complete visual identity for Inscho. The multi-faceted compositions propose constantly transforming focal points as color and shape collide-- offering unique perspectives for each viewer. Color creates a concise map of sharp turns and narrow bridges as the viewer navigates through each large canvas.
If I can establish a focal point upon first glance, I can play with the initial reading of an image, finding ways to subvert assumptions or complicate the reading with a more prolonged viewing.
- James Inscho
Within the delicate composition of Trace, carefully constructed elements define a nuanced stress-- fragments frozen in a fragile tilt. Neutral hues of white and cool sand balance with the vibration of blue and red contained in the piece. These bold statements only inhabit a fraction of the space while hard-edged shapes intersect with soft elegance. This precise attunement of hierarchy, is what makes Inscho’s work so intriguing. The harmony and chaos presented in each painting fabricates a continuous narrative as the viewer walks amongst the paintings of Everyday, Everynight.
James Inscho’s: Everyday, Everynight will be on view until September 18th. To learn more about this exhibition or James Inscho, visit out website at: http://www.seraphingallery.com/james-inscho
By: Emily Schecter Seraphin Gallery Intern
Edited By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
Madeline Peckenpaugh, Seraphin Gallery artist, invites viewers to become encompassed by her work as she aims to recreate an intangible impression left from a moment of awareness. She explains that “each painting is a space made up of quiet collected moments that are often not remembered,” every work embodying the feeling of a particular time and place. She builds each painting using a sophisticated method of adding and subtracting paint-- forming entrances into her paintings, but also dead ends.
Peckenpaugh’s piece To Begin (currently at Seraphin Gallery) is a portal, encouraging viewers to step inside. Persimmon colored paint bursts upwards, erupting much of the canvas, while a serene cerulean peaks peek from behind the foreground. The work is layered -- created by expressive mark making, which document a sense of nostalgia from a time and place left behind, in a limited color palette.
Peckenpaugh believes that her work has developed a different tone since her solo exhibition last September. Adjusting her process, she has been focusing on restricting herself from using techniques that have become habit. Through this shift, Peckenpaugh is becoming increasingly aware of similarities between her works and examining what about these recurring features attract her and focusing on amplifying them in her newer work. The parallels that tie her work and her life together are what she revels in when creating a new body of work. She reveals, “If I’m struggling with a painting everything else goes along with it. My process of figuring out the tentative conclusion to the painting helps me make decisions in everything else. There is a very satisfying feeling once a painting is ‘finished’ because it no longer asks me questions.”
In For A Trail, one of Peckenpaugh’s more recent pieces, undulating golden scrapes seem to dance across the canvas. The lines created by scraping away the top layer of paint lead the eye towards deeper into the painting, beckoning the viewer to follow. Behind, shades of green conceal most of the canvas, where the artist has selectively placed flat shapes, created by her hand in rose and charcoal paints. Playful energy exudes from Peckenpaugh’s styles in juxtaposition with her sophisticated palette.
Peckenpaugh is about to commence a two month Residency at the Patan Museum in Nepal. Her works will undoubtedly be influenced by the compelling Nepalese culture, the Himalayan landscape, as well as the jarring experience of traveling to the other side of the globe. Peckenpaugh looks forward to “Being uncomfortable and learning to adapt,” – this is where growth blooms. She is also excited to explore what aspects of the lifestyle in Nepal will appeal to her the most, and curious to see how this encounter will affect her.
This is not the first time Peckenpaugh has traveled on behalf of her art practice. Two years ago she visited the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and France after being granted a travel scholarship from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. She recalls that she had high expectations that traveling would transform her work, but she learned that any experience requires time and large digestion in order to see apparent change.
This trip she’s going in with no expectations, explaining, “I’m going to trust myself and not force anything,” although she does believe the enlightening setting of Nepal will develop her work in some way. Particularly, she believes that her color palette will evolve and that this residency will be a catalyst to reflecting on color and texture in a new way. She also thinks that the different pace of life in the Himalayas verses living in Philadelphia, a major city, will influence this new body of work, which will be exhibited in a solo exhibition this coming April.
Peckenpaugh was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2011 before going on to earn a Certificate and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. Her work was shown at Seraphin Gallery’s 2015 Emerging Talent Exhibition, followed by a solo exhibition later that year. Most recently, her work has been exhibited in the offices of Seraphin Gallery and the Woodmere Art Museum; one of her pieces having been acquired as part of their permanent collection. Seraphin Gallery has numerous paintings available by Peckenpaugh. In the next few months she will be participating in a pop up show in Milwaukee, in addition to her residency at the Patan Museum in Nepal, granted by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Fellowship.
For more information on Madeline Peckenpaugh please click here
By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
Erin Murdock spawns threads of provocation through her piece Self-Portrait, which is currently on view at Seraphin Gallery as part of the Third Annual Emerging Talent exhibition. Murdock, a glass artist who recently graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, created this piece last year by undertaking the sophisticated and temperamental process of casting glass.
An open box of sealed glass panes forms an aqueous tank, where a thick cast glass image of the artist's face has sunk to the bottom, barely covered by a three inch pool of water. Life size, the face is framed by the 9" x 9" x 9" cube. As the top remains open, water slowly evaporates- suggesting the impermanence of nature, the fleeting moments of life, and the transparent transmutation of liquid to breath, juxtaposed by an expression that never ages. Light permeates through the still water and is refracted in the curved form below as the figure appears tranquil but is trapped in the vitrine, a perpetual reflection.
The piece yearns for the viewer to take posture, peering directly over the work and to return the gaze. In this position, it is revealed that as the viewer should see their own visage, they instead see through a faint form that has been encased in their own shadow. Processes of introspection rush to thought, opening a corridor to questions of identity, of self worth, and self image. As the glass is the artist's own face, Murdock seems to present and propose these cognitions- while at the same time silently querying the viewer with elements of approval, disapproval, trust, and vanity.
From this point, the piece alludes to the mythological narrative of Narcissus. The Greek allegory refers to a man who was admired for his entrancing features, and beholden with his reflection. Unable to take his eyes away from his image, he faded away until death ensued, other versions relay that when he realized that this love could not be obtained he committed suicide. The Roman interpretation chronicles that he was punished to this fate by the Gods for rejecting the beautiful nymph Echo. He is forever staring into his reflection on the River Styx in the Underworld. There is a flower that grows by lakes and rivers, which carries his namesake, and illustration of the tale of Narcissus has permeated art history, having been depicted by artists such as Caravaggio, Dali, John William Waterhouse, and contemporary 20th century artist, Yayoi Kusama.
By: Christina Tian Qu, Seraphin Gallery Intern
Edited By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
Jennifer Jones’ triptych titled as a series of dates 06.17.2016, 06.23.2016, 07.04.2016, stands as a representational parade amidst the abstract works featured in this year’s Emerging Talent exhibition. Jones’ black and white landscapes depict a stark and austere wilderness; standing before these three large canvases, one is invited into the untamed oasis portrayed on raw canvas.
Incorporating natural materials into her compositions featuring landscapes, flora, and fauna, her work is reminiscent of a surveyor, with its precise sharp edges and clean transitions between subtle tonal differences that carve mountains, outpour water, and imply snow. The monochromatic palette of this immense landscape allows the viewer to engage in contemplative fantasy – filling in negative spaces with one’s imagination in a rich profession of natural wonder.
In part inspired by traditional Eastern landscape painting and calligraphy, Jones offers her depiction in a set of three panels. While each panel of the triptych is slightly different in size, with the left and middle panels slightly wider than the right panel, the three work interdependently to bring forth a rocky terrain over turgid streams. The left panel depicts larger, gently sloping mountainsides that lead to the center and right panels, where the rock texture grows more rigid and acute. The central horizon line links and spans across these three panels, aiding in the digestion and organization of this expansive vista. The negative spaces dispersed between the dark thick paint correspond with the sky in what is conceived as the background, which is also left blank-- creating a sense of harmony and closure to the frenzied and abnormal rhythms of rock and water.
In comparison with the color blocked works that share the gallery space with Jones’ landscape, this triptych engenders an earthier sensation that grounds the viewer into a physical reality. The juxtaposition of Jones’ work with the other works in the Emerging Talent exhibition marries the viewer’s conceptual senses with more tactile ones. The landscape transports the viewer into crisp mountain air and eviscerating sunlight gleaming off jagged granite surfaces, capturing a grand reflection of nature’s apex.
Jones recently earned her MFA degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art this past Spring. She explains that her work is largely inspired by gardening, photography, and the wilderness. “Surrounded by plants and organic materials, I create process driven paintings, drawings, prints, and installations.” She uses dried plant matter, seed pods, earth, and tar “which speak to the subject matter and represent the work’s content.” Furthermore, she even uses plants as a brush to create delicate textures on her canvas. In regards to her latest series of work, Jones cites the project as an investigation of “the macro and the microscopic.” Her series which focus on mountains, glaciers, frozen water, and rocks assembles abstract and representational motifs that Jones hopes her viewers would use to “meditate on the complexities of nature and develop personal interpretations on a deeper level.”
In matters of personal interpretations, 06.17.2016, 06.23.2016, 07.04.2016 delivers an unconventional love letter to the genre of landscape painting. As one of the most magnetic parts of Seraphin Gallery’s Emerging Talent show, Jennifer Jones’ work creates a sanctum for the incomprehensible beauty of the natural world. These three canvases caress nature’s remoteness, its intricacies and vastness, enveloping the senses with the subtle gifts that only the earth can give.
By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
Seraphin Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition by James Inscho, titled Everyday, Everynight, from September 2-18, 2016, with an opening reception held on Friday, September 2, from 6PM – 8PM. James Inscho’s abstract compositions create portals where perspective is examined through visual rhythms, bold palettes, and suggestive fragments that infer a whole.
James Inscho, Barnacle, 2012, Oil on canvas, 52" x 52".
The composition of Inscho’s piece, Barnacle, is carefully constructed and manifests an attentive balance between shape and color. The large grey mass in the foreground is equated by the black void of the background. Small touches of crimson and white within the blue swells create a unity with the accents in the bottom right corner-- bringing the eye around the canvas. The tight and condensed overlap of forms in this section creates a fissure that is offset by the shallow blue, grey, and black expanses. Inscho thoughtfully plays with subtle differences in hue and tone, demonstrated by the slight gradation in the steely foundation. While the shapes in his work appear defined and exact, they are all produced by his touch. Brushstrokes and wavering lines evidence his hand; these nuances confirm a gestural quality, not a mechanical process. Palpable tension is felt between the shapes and negative space, where both flatness and depth conflict, generating gravity. Unlike other works that are within the vein of flat shapes and patterns, Inscho stands apart through both subtle and bold decisions that surprise in moments of variegated juxtaposition. He masters a congruity between gestural shapes and geometric lines that invites the viewer to consider a physical space where these configurations are realized.
“Using a rudimentary vocabulary, the images I work with allude to familiar objects, scenarios, and spaces. By presenting a shifting set of variables (shifting space through figure-ground relationships or shifting contexts through references to perspective, windows, screens, or stage sets) the viewer is invited to reflect upon their relationship with an image as mediated form. My decision-making is prompted by the pursuit of images that suggest a lot, but say a little that give at the same time as they take, that vacillate between the nonsensical and the transcendental, the profound and the trivial.”
- James Inscho
After completing his undergraduate degree and exhibiting in Memphis, James Inscho continued his study in Philadelphia, graduating with an MFA from Tyler School of Art in 2013, and then attending the illustrious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. He has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and grants, and currently lives and works in the Philadelphia area.
By: Bailey Dodds, Seraphin Gallery Resident
Joe Mooney has spent the last thirty years attempting to understand the relationship between human emotion and tangible gesture. With his sophisticated and highly physical process of steel casting, he cultivates tantalizing visual narratives of strength, resilience, and the yearning for growth.
The composition for each unique stainless steel sculpture is formed along with a specific base. Mooney has described the relationship between these two elements as being in a “dance”, both dependent on each other for balance. The base is often quiet, formal, and geometric-- subtly noticed as the eye is entranced by the active silhouettes of conflict and reaction above. This construction is composed of multiple curved steel planes that intersect with an elegant and precise motion. Each cut sheet of metal exhibits coarse edges, as if they were individually torn and assembled back together in a fluid union. This dynamic configuration of fragments and movement conceives and recreates a moment of human expression.
In addition to the complex composition, there is an elevated level of rich texture within Mooney’s work. This fine layer of intricate detail attributes to the inclusive display of individuality. The steel sculptures are incised, welded, and then undergo a period of corrosion in which they develop an earthy copper tone. This earthy quality conveys a sense of impermanence and the natural degradation that happens organically. This rusted texture alludes to the juxtaposition of fragility and durability in this material that Mooney has chosen to manipulate.
Joe Mooney builds bodies of work based on his own recollection of narrative and personal accounts, with each series exhibiting a particular concept or movement. However all of his sculpture can visually interrelate simultaneously. The Phoenix collection uniquely represents Mooney’s style and process. The symbol of the phoenix universally expresses courage and tenacity. The phoenix is often recognized in Greek mythology for its long life and ability to be reborn through its own regenerative cycle. The mythical creature is often depicted as arising from its own ashes in majestic form. This dignified sequence has been an allegory for Mooney’s life as he was diagnosed but not defeated by cancer. In Phoenix Struggle and Phoenix the viewer is invited to look into the intimately frozen moments of Mooney’s innermost battles. The two sculptures in the series represent a period of trial and growth. From the horizontal defeated position in Phoenix Struggle to the triumphant upward mobility in Phoenix, there is a relay of powerful emotion.
The distinct physical variations that occur from sculpture to sculpture offer an abstract perspective to this emotive experience yet leave the viewer to be enveloped and to visually extract the human sentiments that are represented in life-size form.
The pieces in the Phoenix series will be soon relocated from their current residence in New York to The Reading Public Art Museum (Phoenix) and George Washington University (Phoenix Struggle). For more information about Joe Mooney’s work, please visit our website at: http://www.seraphingallery.com/gallery-artist/#/joe-mooney/
By: Emily Schecter, Seraphin Gallery Intern
Edited By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
In the meticulous repetition of his labor, Youdhi Maharjan creates an eternity through meditative design. He transforms book pages into elegant and highly detailed works of art, aiming to bring together writing, reading, and drawing. Using an attentive process, he diligently singles out shapes, letters, or words to produce precise patterns. It is both the action of creating each piece and the result that gives them meaning. He describes this feeling as something that “lasts for a few material moments, but feels like forever, where the time stops, and with it stops all my questions and worries, where I am free from my existential burden and get a little closer to myself.” The contemplative power of his work is connected to the experience of producing each individual mark. As he surrenders to the material and the process, he is able to find a certain inner peace as he goes deeper into what can be learned, expressed, and reformed.
Through his work, Maharjan is “freeing language from the enslavement of meaning.” He does this by erasing, scraping off, and cutting out texts from reclaimed books to transform their meaning. Part of his process is that he constructs rules for himself to follow in forming each piece. His work is process based, meaning that the action of creating the piece holds more importance than the final result, and because of this he takes careful steps in deciding how he will develop each piece. Maharjan’s first rule is always that the title of each piece is also the title of the book used to create it. He selects the books by finding a title that speaks to him, then choosing a concept along with rules that dictate the journey that he wants in to embark on in order to reach the final outcome. For Maharjan, the meditative aspect of the physically and mentally labor-intensive process is key in what he makes. When conceiving a design or concept he responds to the emotion that the title brings forth in him, urging those who view the final result to gain a new awareness of what they signify. Maharjan’s creations promote philosophical thought by suggesting people view knowledge with intuitive insight instead of analysis and reason.
Maharjan’s piece, A Thread of Truth, is three combined pages from a book veiled by a thin layer of white acrylic paint. Black dots are drawn within the cutout of each letter “o” in ink intermittently throughout the remains of the text, each connected by a whirling thin black line. The title conjures the idea that the words are being stitched together, and that in doing this a higher truth is being revealed. This work suggests that value can be found in the book, separate from its original purpose. Maharjan draws attention to the pensive beauty that the words and pages embody based on physical appearance alone instead of the literal concepts that they represent by merging the text with aspects of drawing and design. Like A Thread of Truth, The Heart of a Woman accentuates a hidden beauty that can be found within the pages of text, but goes further in exposing the painstaking process that gives Maharjan’s work its meditative depth. In this piece he has excised the text of a book and braided them into rope, which sits in place of the pages. The weaved pages combined with the book, its title looming at the top of the page prompts one to reassess the way they obtain information. The viewer is forced to make sense of Maharjan’s creation initiating feeling and intuition instead of traditional logic.
Forever is square in format with nine squares of text within it. The letters are cut out and elegantly placed into perfect squares encased in a box of text. At the top of each square is the title of the piece and the page number. At the bottom of the piece is another row of the title, only this time without the text underneath, suggesting that the piece could continue on infinitely. Once more, the tedious process of removing the characters is a major feature, which is highlighted in this particular piece by the recurrence of the squares and the implication that they continue on. Forever emphasizes the importance of the contemplative power of repetition and the focus involved in creating it.
Art Radar published an artist profile on Maharjan, who was recently part of TARQ art gallery’s In Letter and Spirit exhibition in Mumbai. The exhibition focuses on the ways in which three artists engage with text and challenge its traditional meaning. Maharjan’s exploration of the “thingness of text” and the relationship that people have with the letters and pages of books was well received. Seraphin Gallery is eager to have this international artist featured in our current exhibition.
Maharjan was born in Nepal, and began to study art at age nineteen. Mostly self taught, he earned a degree in Creative Writing and Art History from New England College in 2008 and a Masters in Fine Art from the University of Idaho with an emphasis in painting and printmaking in 2012. His work has been exhibited at the Boston Fine Art Show in 2015, India Art Fair in 2016, Siddhartha Art Gallery 2016, and TARQ Art Gallery. Maharjan’s work is currently being exhibited at Seraphin Gallery’s 3rd Annual Emerging Talent exhibition and will be on display until August 28th. We look forward to continuing our relationship with this artist in the future.
By: Bailey Dodds, Seraphin Gallery Intern
Edited By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
This July at Grizzly Grizzly, Phillip Scarpone, a Seraphin Gallery artist, has created an ethereal multi-sensory installation for viewers. The exhibition is called University City Station: Glassboro, a large-scale sculpture that fills the entire space of the gallery. The piece itself is created through the process of casting and metal fabrication.
As you walk into the gallery you are instantly confronted with a large industrial pod, a perplexing architectural experiment encompassing the complete space. The structure is a narrow rectangular enclave, a combination of different man-made materials with a door half opened. The mysteriously still structure is both intimidating and inviting. You can hear the faint hum of the air-conditioner from inside, drawing you in from the Philadelphia heat. The cool blue glow offers some refuge from the beaming gallery lights. With the little space that remains in the gallery it feels daunting to be on the outside of the structure, you are immediately compelled to enter.
Once inside, you are not sure whether to feel safe, as you are encapsulated in the intimate indigo space or claustrophobic and terrified at the thought of the whole foundation crumbling over your head. Then the rough texture of the interior is illuminated and it is clear that this is not a fragile construction. There are cracks, exposed insulation and leaks of light from the outside. The constructed details emanate years of build-up and decay. This decrepit interior is cool and protected but there is a slight paranoia as you stand immersed in the white noise and dropping temperature.
The source of this imagined environment; University City Station: Glassboro is a fused memory of a scrap yard in Glassboro, New Jersey and a Septa station in Philadelphia. The combination of these two sites proposes a new space, a physical point of contact between reality and memory. This intangible territory, that is so often trapped in our individual imaginations has now been given a unique identity, now accessible to the viewer.
This recollection of memory and site-specificity is part of Phillip Scarpone’s process, he has stated: I am interested in how recalling a moment, place or experience, (and then) diluting it and filtering it through a mental sieve, can create new poetry I what we find important. Through his manipulation of materials and recall, the installation transports the viewers into an eerie environment, addressing concepts of palpable existence and retrospection simultaneously, while instilling a slight fear of the unknown.
Seraphin Gallery has recently consigned three smaller sculptures from a series by Scarpone that encompass similar lineations of industrial composition and decay. Ricordi Rotante Sediment #1 and Ricordi Rotante Sediment #2 are compilations of steel, concrete and found objects like wrenches and oil cans that establish a raw display of time and place. Drawing upon memories of his father, Scarpone creates molds from his father’s tools--symbols of an earlier period and a sense of nostalgia.
Phillip Scarpone will be featured in a group sculpture show at Seraphin Gallery along with other gallery artists Laura Sallade and Geoff Dubinsky from February 3 - March 29th 2017. For more information about Phillip Scarpone’s work and the upcoming exhibition visit the page below.
By: Christina Tian Qu, Seraphin Gallery Intern
Edited By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
Sculptor, Christopher Smith’s Perfectly Naked has been selected to join the burgeoning art collection of design emeritus, Wayne Braun’s new house in Houston’s Museum District.
Perfectly Naked is composed of 14 aluminum filled resin sculptures each 18 inches tall, mounted to steel shelves. They are placed in an airy stairway, illuminated by sunlight streaming in through an open window. The cream-colored flesh of these resin sculptures evoke larger antique marble nudes, but the steel shelves which they rest upon create modern edge. Attached to the wall in undulating rows, Smith’s series adds to the elegant yet minimalist aesthetic of Braun’s interior design.
Wayne Braun is the design emeritus of PDR, a Houston design and interior architecture firm. Braun’s attraction to construction led him to design award winning office furniture. He explains that he “saw furniture as miniature architecture,” due to its three-dimensionality. His love of wood working and thoughtful design can be felt throughout the carefully curated pieces of mid-century furniture and modern art within his home. Braun personally designed the architecture and interior of his house, which was completed in 2013, stating the influence of internationally renowned architects such as Le Corbusier, Gwathmey Siegel, and Richard Meier. The house’s open interior spaces allow for ample light, a key feature that Braun emphasizes in order to provide for a smooth transition between the indoor and outdoor expanses.
Within this streamlined and atmospheric space, Braun has curated an intimate collection of various contemporary artworks that speak to his personality and design sensibilities. It is within this bright and creative environment that Perfectly Naked is housed. Previously exhibited at the Tampa Museum of Art, Smith’s series of small sculptures provide a modern approach to the study of the human body. Although each sculptural form is reminiscent of the stoic and monumental sculptures of classical style, their arrangements and poses depict modern variations of individual physical and emotional states.
Arranged in a wave-like row, each piece stands isolated within the confines of its steel shelf yet, despite this constraint, each figure appears to be in conversation with its brother and sister sculptures. The connection and relationship between each part of the work create a “social grouping” of resin bodies, suggesting a mosaic of human conditions, displayed in its rawest form.
Within Perfectly Naked, both male and female figures are displayed --some stand confrontational with arms crossed and feet apart. Others appear demure, lost in private contemplation with head bowed and arms clasped. Still others are standing in profile, while their neighbors recline languidly against the steel boundary. There is one who has her back turned towards us, seemingly unaware that she is privy to our gaze-- completing this 360 view in closed and detailed form. A range of private and public sentiments are enacted by these small figures, creating a cascade of body language that is blatantly genuine, open, and honest.
While each nude figure is placed on a small pedestal, raised upon Braun’s wall for the delectation of our gaze, they seem to exist in a world of their own, unconscious and unabashed of their display. Perfectly Naked is presented to us as a series of collectible “figurines,” miniature replicas of what could be larger works, yet these diminutive bodies emanate independence as well as community. Each figure’s abandoned gaze, their bodies thoroughly engrossed in states of repose and tension, demands recognition. In a group, these forms stand in solidarity around their “perfect nakedness,” forming a confident identity of human vulnerabilities, ordinarities, and triumphs.
*Perfectly Naked is available for sale at Seraphin Gallery as a set or as individual pieces.
Christopher Smith’s study of the human figure is founded in the traditions of statue making. Drawing inspiration from ancient forms, Smith also creates larger sculptural works that retain the same dynamic and dignified ambience as the Perfectly Naked series.
Seraphin Gallery’s sculpture garden houses another one of these larger works – 4PM – a sculptural piece cast from glass fiber reinforced cement. 4PM is consisted of a group of four nude female figures, standing against a wall. Their bodies brace against each other as their arms are conjoined in a cordial loop. An energy can be traced from each figure to the next via the linkages formed by their joined appendages. A strong sense of solidarity is felt-- akin to that in Perfectly Naked.
The four female nudes can be separated into two pairings. The group on the left comprises of the tallest figure with her body in profile. She leans her back against the hip and outstretched shoulder of her partner. The group on the right shows two female figures in degrees of contrapposto, their hips pushing against each other while they gaze in separate directions. The placement of their arms creates a “v” shaped cradle, echoing the semi-circular form created by the grouping of their bodies. The duet couples are joined like a puzzle piece by connecting comfort. The two central figures stretch out their arms, linking each other by the shoulders, and their bodies learn towards the center, forming an archway of limbs and hips.
This larger work demonstrates Christopher Smith’s dexterity in shifting between smaller, more intimate castings and large scale figures, more monumental model. Transitioning between the delicate subtleties created in Perfectly Naked towards a more expansive space in 4PM, Smith enchants us with candid nude figures that espouse, and challenge, the orthodox tradition of sculpting the human body. The body that Smith presents us not only highlights the brilliance of its physical form, but also celebrates the display of the timeless nude-- including its pensive and pervasive qualities. Perfectly Naked and 4PM are vivid examples of the revival and reworking of the classic nude sculpture and the new possibilities open for its rediscovery.