September 23rd – October 28th Artist’s Reception Saturday, September 23rd, 6-9 PM Gallery Hours: Saturdays 1-4 PM and by appointment
Mount Airy Contemporary
25 West Mt. Airy Avenue Philadelphia PA 19119 (267) 270-2787
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAC is pleased to present Achromatic, an exhibition of works guest curated by Melissa Maddonni Haims..
For this exhibition, Haims, a Philadelphia-based sculptor and curator, selected artists working with fiber and charged them with creating work without color. All works in the show are created with white, fibrous materials and rely on elements of shape, form, texture and space to communicate through their individual designs.
“A white lace curtain on the window was for me as important as a great work of art. This gossamer quality, the reflection, the form, the movement. I learned more about art from that than I did in school.” - Louise Nevelson
The artists in Achromatic are:
Constance Culpepper (Philadelphia PA) Kelly Kozma (Philadelphia PA) Maryann Laverty (Narberth PA) Carole Loeffler (Philadelphia PA) Melissa Maddonni Haims (Philadelphia PA) C. Pazia Mannella (Columbia MO) Amy Orr (Philadelphia PA) Kathryn Pannepacker (Philadelphia PA) Leslie Pontz (Philadelphia PA) Donna Quinn (Philadelphia PA) Amber Robles-Gordon (Washington DC)
From Haims: “The color white, and its variations, generally represents purity, innocence and wholeness. White contains an equal balance of all the colors of the visible spectrum, representing both the positive and negative aspects of all colors [...]. Louise Nevelson said that white was the color that 'summoned the early morning and emotional promise'. The concept of a new beginning."
“I have encouraged the artists I have selected to create work specifically for this show to use shades of white in order to confront the norms associated with the absence of color. Because the suggestion that white can make an object or a person delicate, clean and perfect is, in modern times, absurd. Because there is no such thing as perfection.”
Carole Loeffler created Diminish in direct reaction to the post-election political environment. This work, Loeffler says, “is a depiction of how it sometimes feels to be a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a leader, an advocate and an artist”. Even without color Diminish uses its mass and volume to represent Loeffler’s insistence, “I will not be silenced, made to feel ‘less than’ or be squished out of places where my voice can and should be heard.”
For Constance Culpepper, working without color posed a unique challenge. As an artist, she often starts with colors, in particular, colors that she is not fond of and then works to find the relationship that will make the colors transform into visually appealing and provocative artwork. In Culpepper’s opinion, working with white is the equivalent of working without color, and color is what provides the incentive for exploration, collaboration and investigation. With this work, Culpepper says, “I invite the world to take me in and fill me up with color like a summer flower garden, weeds and all.”
Yes to the Dress, by C. Pazia Mannella, is a hand-sewn, full size replica of her wedding dress, made from pulp sprayed handmade paper. Mannella’s work is inspired by contemporary and historical textile patterns, embroidery and garment designs. The experience of her recent marriage afforded her the opportunity to reflect on the intersection if the wedding fashion industry, floral symbolism, the idealism of romantic love, and the role wedding garments and embroidery have historically played in signifying a woman’s social worth.
Mount Airy Contemporary was founded in 2009 by co-directors Andrea Wohl Keefe and Colin Keefe. Based in northwest Philadelphia, MAC focuses on providing low key, high quality art experiences in an informal residential setting.