In June, I traveled to Philadelphia to visit my friend Alison Hardt. During my stay, I visited her at The Barnes Foundation, where she works. The first thing I stumbled on there was a docent tour of Sun Splashed, a show by contemporary artist Nari Ward. I really enjoyed his work--an exploration of of found materials. He assembles meaning by weaving together his personal life and politics, while allowing space for the viewer to bring his/her own interpretations to the work. My favorite part of the permanent collection was the amazing collection of Matisse paintings.
Next, I went to the Philadelphia Art Museum. I didn't have a lot of time to explore, but I did get to visit a few of my favorite pieces: the Cy Twombly room, my favorite Mary Cassatt painting, and November Painting, by Ellsworth Kelly.
Part of the reason for my visit was to see Alison's solo show at James Oliver Gallery. I am so proud of Allison for putting this show together and am so glad I got to see her new work in person. I especially liked her color palette and the subtle way she activates all of my senses with physical materials like soil and black velvet.
We also managed to fit in a visit to Philly First Fridays at Vox Populi. The space, which means "Voice of the People," is a contemporary artist-run space and collective that works to support challenging/experiment work of under-represented artists. It made me wanting for something similar in Boston.