Sixteen display their work in the show “Construct.”

Original Article @
June 24, 2011
Author: Victoria Donohoe, For The Inquirer

‘Construct” at Crane Arts’ Icebox Project space is a show to see and savor. It features 16 artists living within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia, including several gifted New Yorkers. All are Career Development Program fellows of the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) on Rittenhouse Square. The viewing experience of the show, curated by the center’s Amie Potsic, is greatly enhanced by the Icebox’s capacity to display both small and huge works.

Arden Bendler Browning, drawn to urban imagery, paints fleeting, largely abstract impressions directly on Tyvek. It’s her distinctive wide-angle way of responding to the environment she portrays, painted (I like to think) as if at the wheel of a careening car.

The exhibition shows its more socially aware side in the changing streetscapes and bleak juxtapositions of Atlantic City documented by photographer Noah Addis with awesome subtlety. The unpeopled images form a cohesive group, reflecting concern, sincerity, and, perhaps, hope.

Photographer Tim Portlock wears his technique rather than his heart on his sleeve. He photographs abandoned buildings within a 20-block radius of his West Philadelphia home, then uses 3-D animation/special effects software to develop his single images into empty virtual cities that convey a sense of foreboding and a strange emotional power. Also a studio painter and muralist, Portlock has long been interested in linking place and identity.

Laureen Griffin, working in multimedia, continues her “Gender Portraiture Project” in a design setting that emphasizes her adroitness, while Daniel Kornrumpf, with his deft, roguish, supple handling of oil and brush, offers saucy informal portraits of friends and family. Kimberly Witham’s cheery still-life photos – combining objects, flowers, and vegetables from her garden with dead birds and small animals found at the roadside – tremble on the edge of something more edgy and gothic.

These and the other artists constitute an overall impressive progress report on CFEVA’s elite corps of fellows.

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