By Matt Hardman, Gallery Resident
This month, the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym presents “Process Metal IV”, an exhibition organized by Knight Arts, showcasing various uses of metal in the sculptural process. Gallery artist, Phillip Scarpone, has two pieces featured in this show entitled “Rotante Sediment #1” and “Rotante Sediment #2”.
“Through the slant of the post-industrial Northeast, which Philadelphia epitomizes, these creations look as much like a happenstance of decaying manufacturing facilities as an artistic composition. In one square and one rectangular frame, bits of rusted wrenches and oil cans jut out from a concrete surface that, were it not hanging vertically, would appear vicious. From this vantage point, these industrial islands could be inexplicably floating in a sidewalk seas. Instead, they are entombed and static, much like the neglected factories where American labor used to produce physical goods.” (Knight Blog)
To view the full Knight Blog article click here.
On display in Gallery 2, Scarpone’s piece, Apt. #15 captivates viewers with its jarring yet inquisitive appearance. The blinds are worn and opaque keeping the viewer at a distance, however a small cloth breaks up the composition allowing the viewer just a glimpse into what’s hiding behind the blinds.The towel suggests the presence of life, a subtle yet powerful connection to another person. This speaks to the urban condition, how being surrounded by people can be an isolating experience. It addresses the very human need to have a section of the world marked off just for them, the blinds acting as a threshold between one’s space and the outside world.
Also on display from Scarpone is his installation piece, Fragments. The composition is assembled with items collected from small, dimly lit areas of the home Scarpone grew up in. It features tools previously owned by the artist’s grandfather, whom he never met, from when he first arrived in the United States in the early 1900’s. An oil can, a steel cage, and a wood panel converge to form a complete sculptural piece made up of individual and specific places; “combining artifacts of untold stories to create a new one”.
Phillip Scarpone is a multidisciplinary artist, focusing primarily on sculpture and installation, creating conceptual work that leads the viewer to question and reflect the elements of space and memory.His work characterizes the aspects of both elegance and rawness. The finished forms of his work exhibit a pleasing visual rhythm resulting in a preciousness that one would not normally bestow upon the materials present.
Seraphin Gallery has been impressed with the power and independence of his works, they have the ability to, at once, encapsulate the viewer with their sensory and narrative qualities.Scarpone recently received an MFA with Distinction from The University of Georgia, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Athens, Georgia and has exhibited in both group and solo shows across the country.