The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
New Jersey pays a visit to Philadelphia by way of the Dalet Gallery in Old City. Currently on exhibit is the show “Made in Princeton,” co-curated by Kate Somers and Irena Gobernik, which presents two artist groups that reside in Princeton, New Jersey: the Princeton Artists Alliance and the Princeton Photography Club.
The show itself ranges between the very flat – the prints from the Princeton Photography Club – and the three-dimensional. In the work from the Princeton Artists Alliance, there a number of noteworthy works, particularly sculptures, which counterbalance the two-dimensional photographs.
By far the brightest colors in the show may found in “Times Four” by Rajie Cook. The sculpture consists of four large addition/multiplication signs (it depends on the angle from which you view them) that stack together in different configurations, creating a form that is not particularly static. A diagram on the wall shows a variety of possibilities, and the variations absolutely abound. This form offers many perspectives in one sculpture, paying mind to the ideas of Cubism through powder-coated aluminum structures.
Also on the 3D front is “Up in the Air” by James Perry. This wooden construction draws viewers through the front door and greets them like some type of puzzle. Its shape is rounded like the letter “U” but it crosses in front of itself at the top appearing more like a fish symbol. The wooden blocks that compose the curved form are all relatively rectangular, which adds a pleasant juxtaposition between straight and bent lines. In many ways, this sculpture resembles a twisted, Wonderland version of the game Jenga.
In the Princeton Photography Club, another photographer plays off of the warped reality. In Leslie Vough Kuenne’s photo “Buses” the unmistakable images of bright, yellow school buses are distorted through their reflection in a window. The panes of glass break up and twist the buses into a blob of yellow paint, which is still completely recognizable. The effect produced by the seemingly flat glass reminds us that even the most pristine of surfaces is imperfect and inconsistent at some level.
Susan F. Levine’s photograph “Sunset on Nassau Street” is particularly haunting in its low-light, golden hues and nostalgic feeling of a summertime sunset. It depicts a tree-lined street with cars and a mail truck being slowly engulfed by the encroaching darkness of nighttime. The last rays of light lick out and reflect off of the parabolic power lines which follow the road. If not for this warm light, the autumnal photo would surely seem much chillier than it does. Instead, it conveys the warm fuzziness of youth and the fading of a day.
There is much more to see at the Dalet Gallery, as this brief summary only highlights a couple artists from each collective. Here, Princeton proves its artistic prowess through photos, sculpture and a number of other 2D works. The show is open through August 13.
Dalet Gallery is located at 141 North 2nd St., Philadelphia; 215-923-2424; www.daletart.com.