Downriver in the Multiverse

Exhibition Info
Historic Landmark Building
安娜啊. Marley, Curator of Historical American Art
PAFA alumni 唐娜Backues, Gregory Brellochs, Chenlin蔡, 莫林Drdak, 艾米Herzel, Karey凯斯勒, 詹姆斯·劳埃德, Tad Sare draw on nature in a variety of ways.

In Downriver in the Multiverse, eight PAFA alumni—唐娜Backues, Gregory Brellochs, Chenlin蔡, 莫林Drdak, 艾米Herzel, Karey凯斯勒, 詹姆斯·劳埃德, Tad Sare—draw on nature in a variety of ways. They are inspired by global and international events, the uncertainty of technology and more intimate considerations of the human condition, spirituality and sublime.

Backues, , Drdak consider environmental and political impacts that alter the relationship between humans and nature. On a Fulbright trip in the Himalayas, Drdak studied global forces that threaten cultural preservation. Her work “is an exploration of philosophical and cultural synthesis in which eastern and western iconographies and cultural paradigms are meaningfully integrated.”蔡 combines oil painting and traditional Chinese ink-painting to represent the effects of catastrophic and environmental events on the human body. 蔡’s work can be interpreted as a representation of a microscopic structure or alternately as a mushroom cloud from a large bomb. In Backues’ work, nature is in control, dominating humanity. References to craters, bodies of water and land-based forms attempt to capture the vulnerability of living symbiotically with the dangerous beauty of the surrounding landscape, where life-giving oceans turn into destructive waves, volcanoes explode and the fertile earth shakes.

凯斯勒, Herzel, 劳埃德 enter a place of spirituality offered by the natural world. Through a meditative drawing practice, Herzel has developed a symbolic vocabulary to address microcosms and the subjective experiences surrounding issues of justice, 繁殖, cultural decolonization. 对于劳埃德, “Everything in the manifest universe seems to be a complexity of oneness,” and he seeks to represent the spiritual connection humans have with nature in his sculpture. 凯斯勒’s paintings reference cartography to map an internal landscape of memory and spirituality, making the invisible into something visible.

Gregory Brellochs’ work warns of technology’s capacity to disconnect us from nature, effectively crushing the human spirit and any chance for an emotional connection to our world. This informs his impulse to create “visual allegories” in his graphite drawings, which seem to depict single cells made of wood or amorphous, glowing networks of sludge.

Sare的 looping video disorients the implied horizon line leaving, the viewer groundless in a mysterious forest. For Sare, the cyclical viewing “heightens the absurdity of movements through repetition.”

These artists’ ideas are complimented in adjacent museum galleries. In the 莫里斯画廊, 比尔中提琴的 Ocean Without a Shore is titled after a quote by Andalusian Sufi mystic Ibn Arabi, 谁写的, “The self is an ocean without a shore. Gazing upon it has no beginning or end, in this world and the next.” From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic highlights the important contribution Philadelphia has made to the history of landscape painting in America.

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Historic Landmark Building
塞缪尔·米.V. Hamilton Building
塞缪尔·米.V. Hamilton Building