12.05.2006

Six Hours in Philadelphia on Sunday

After the dozenth, "Sorry we have no rooms," and an uncomfortable number of, "Sorry we have no rooms in your price range," I decided to fly to Philadelphia for the day instead of driving down and staying over. The Winged Goddess must have been a kind mood because I found a round trip on US Air for $124—cheaper than the cost of gas.

My impetus for making the trip was the Sunday, December 3, opening of the "Gigantic Small Works Show" at t
he. . . . . . .. . Rosenfeld Gallery, where I’m participating. The Rosenfeld Gallery is on Arch Street, a few doors down from the Betsey Ross House. It’s as large and rambling as the Ross house is teeny tiny. There’s about 2000 square feet of narrow-but-deep exhibition space in the ground-floor venue. It reminds me (in the best way) of SoHo in the early days: dark wood floors, white display panels over brick walls, and an emphasis of art over architecture. For this exhibition—an annual event at the gallery—about 30 artists showed over 120. .
. .
That's my painting, Uttar 247, in the center of the picture above
works in various media. The opening was from noon to 5:00 p.m. The space comfortably accomodated art, artists and the guests who kept arriving all afternoon.

Two views from the opening at Rosenfeld Gallery on December 3


One of the things I like about Philadelphia is the collegiality among artists and dealers. Last May, when I was in town for the "Order(ed)" show at Gallery Siano, I’d visited the Rosenfeld Gallery to see Tremain Smith’s work. Unbeknownst to me, Tremain had mentioned me to Richard Rosenfeld, the owner, so when I introduced myself to the softspoken bearded man behind the desk, it was Richard, and he was familiar with my work. Long story short, he invited me to participate in this show. I love when that happens.

I stayed at the opening until 5:00 pm and then took a taxi back to the airport and flew home. But I’ve got to backtrack to my arrival because I’m leaving out a chunk of the story.

When I landed at 11:00 am, I took a taxi to Minimal Works on Chestnut Street in Center City. There I met the gallery’s owner, Dennis Towers, a man with a passion for reductive work, and he opened the space for me to take a look (it’s normally closed on Sunday). I have five paintings and some


Above, Sharon Brant: Untitled, 24 x 24", acrylic on panel, 2002. Below, Siri Berg: Small Bars One, 12 x 12", oil on linen, 2006

work on paper in the gallery. Moreover, I have Richard Rosenfeld’s good wishes about participating in the project, just as I have Dennis’s good wishes about my involvement with the Rosenfeld Gallery. This is what I mean about collegiality.

Minimal Works is unique as a gallery in that rather than mounting shows of an individual artist each month, it focuses on a curated group exhibition that evolves as work sells—kind of like what happens at an art fair. Dennis recently started spotlighting the work of his artists for the "Second Friday" openings that take place in Center City. ("First Friday" openings take place in Old City, where Rosenfeld Gallery, Pentimenti, Larry Becker, Wexler and other galleries are located.) My work is spotlighted for December. Here's the announcement:


Dennis has promised to send a few shots of the gallery, and I'll post them as soon as they arrive. In the meantime, I've pulled a few images from the gallery's website, some just above and some below:

Above, Douglas Witmer: Bungalow, 20 x 16", acrylic on canvas. Below, Edward Shalala: E.S. Six, 12 x 16", painted canvas and handmade paper made from the painting.

If you’re in Philadelphia this month, please check out both Galleries: Rosenfeld Gallery, 113 Arch Street and Minimal Works, 2007 Chestnut Street.

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