Category Archives: Painting

Stanek Gallery: The Cake That Survives Its Eating







STANEK GALLERY: Exhibition Announcement


The Cake That Survives Its Eating


Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018



Michael Ananian

Phillip Geiger

Mel Leipzig

Scott Noel

Patrice Poor


To learn more about Stanek Gallery, click here


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Grant Wei: An Accurate Painting


Photo: Grant Wei, Copyright 2018


Photography and Text by Grant Wei, Copyright 2018


Book Review


John Szarkowski: Looking at Photographs




Photos as emulations of paintings, creating some sort of misplaced hierarchy between paintings and photographs. Photographs, allegedly, were recreational, while paintings were considered to be fine art. At least, in the first couple of centuries of photography. But in another interpretation, mostly by fascists in Germany, the quality of the art was defined by how realistically it portrayed reality. And in that sense, there can be no greater portrayal of reality than through a photograph.

But some moments cannot be captured by a camera. The feelings associated with a sunset — those are moments that cannot be captured no matter how skilled the photographer. Or any artist, for that matter. There are aspects to a sunset that are seem to be intangible, leaving an artist with a sense of helplessness in capturing the sheer ineffability of the sun. Such a sentiment gave rise to the impressionist movement, which was coincidentally coined Tournachon’s studio. And so, the question is, how do photographers capture things that cannot be captured?

Alvin Langdon Coburn is considered to be one of the first photographers who attempted to capture abstract ideas with his photos. Some notable pictures by him include photos of clouds, which he considered to be oddly poetic in the sense that they only exist in the shape and position they are in at one period in time throughout the entirety of time. In this regard, each photo of a cloud is considered to be a rare photo in the sense that it cannot be replicated in quite the same fashion. In a way, Coburn gave birth to conceptual photography.

While Coburn extrapolated the meaning of clouds to be a series of different worlds, the uniqueness of his cloud photos lies in his interpretation. The photos have meaning behind them; in other words, they have concept in addition to aesthetic. What people can see is a picture of a cloud, but the picture of a cloud is not the photo. Although I do not particularly agree with his analysis of clouds as different worlds, I do appreciate his effort to add a poetic element to his pictures. The clouds are indeed quite beautiful, but to me, the value of a piece of art lies in its concept — not its aesthetic.

I, too, try to create art that is not only aesthetic but also conceptual. Titled: Black Mirror, I wanted to create a sense of existential dystopianism influenced from the Netflix TV series, Black Mirror. Taken in a bathroom of a random pop-up shop in Philadelphia, I wanted to create a sense of dread and confusion. By adding noise and distortions to the photo, I hoped to create a sense of discomfort while maintaining a degree of aesthetics. Because, like the reality of the TV series black mirror, our conception of reality is also warped by a warm filter that prevents us from seeing the nothingness that lies behind.

I saw a black space in a frame, and I saw an accurate reflection of the emptiness of our reality. But simply taking picture of a black picture frame was not adequate to capture my sentiments. I could not communicate my feelings of overwhelming despair with a simple photo, which is why I used Adobe Photoshop to modify the noise and add filters. Not unlike Coburn, I saw a different world in an object we see every day, and I wanted to share my sentiments through something more than an aesthetically pleasing photo.


About The Author: Grant Wei is a Sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Grant Wei, click here


Also posted in Art, Book Reviews, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students

Michael Heath: Artist’s Wear


Photography and Brand Concept by Michael Heath, Copyright 2018




You have a vision. You have to let it flow through you. It can’t be helped. It comes out in your work, your expression, your drive to mold all worldly materials into that expressive body of work. It cannot be stopped. Nothing can get in its way.

Wear clothes that say that to everyone. Clothes that are designed to withstand having paint on it, developer chemicals, solder, burn marks. Hell, wear clothes that will look even better with those things on it. Why let some other designer put all the character into your shirts and pants for you?

Of course, you can’t always wear clothes that look like you spent the last month not doing laundry. We have designs for your gallery opening cocktail hour, too.

Artist’s Wear.


About The Author: Michael Heath is a Senior IT Support Specialist, ISC Classroom Technology Services, at the University of Pennsylvania.

To access additional articles by Michael Heath, click here



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Summer Patterns: Keith Breitfeller, Sarah Haenn and Robert McNellis


Sarah Haenn


Summer Patterns: Keith Breitfeller, Sarah Haenn and Robert McNellis

Opening Event June 3, 2017

May 11, 2017– JED WILLIAMS GALLERY is proud and excited to announce its first showing of 3 fascinating artists, whose works conjugate the feel of summer through the use of patterns of color and light in various striking ways. Jed Williams Gallery continues its exploration of adventurous curating, revealing the subtle connections and inner similarities between various artists and art mediums– including the first-ever showing of large sculptural installations incorporating artificial lighting. “Summer Patterns” seeks to express and celebrate the different connotations of summer, and the intermingling of the device of repeating color patterning with a free, joyful creative mindset. The small scale of Keith Breitfeller’s drawings adds vivid punctuation to the conversation; the interest in color and light is nicely bracketed between Robert McNellis’s illuminated sculptures and Sarah Haenn’s large fabric and framed prints displaying bold pattern shapes. Many of Breitfeller’s pieces rely on metallic inks to reflect light and provide an ethereal foundation. In so doing they echo the play of light and reflections that McNellis uses also to great effect. Breitfellers’ drawing works contain tiny areas coated in repeating patterns that Sara’s work so aptly isolates and in some ways amplifies.



Sarah Haenn


Sarah Haenn is a recent graduate from Rhode Island School of Design (BFA Textiles 2016), she will be showing large fabric works from her thesis, Illuminance Experience, and several framed pieces from Lil Mermaid, a collection of repeated hand-painted prints focusing on the aesthetics of three different Surfer and Mermaid destinations. Haenn’s large prints are inspired from her time spent in Avalon, New Jersey – a beach town full of life long memories and friends which, Haenn says, “has impacted her life so positively”. According to Haenn, her artwork focuses on Experiences – whether it be a specific Experience of a place, or to make work that the viewer can Experience and enter into metaphorically. I draw inspiration from places that have brought ultimate gratification and happiness to either myself, or another. Sarah also currently has work on view in “Surface Forms”, an exhibition at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, which she created during her time as an apprentice there.



Tobert McNellis


Robert McNellis represents the first ever showing by JWG of an artist using actual electric lights and reflective gels in his work. Robert McNellis’ new work is in part a response to the evolving sense of the importance of “narratives of landscapes” in his work of the last year. Relying even more on the untapped possibilities of the photograph, the plurality of image in the new work evokes not only expanses of space, but also expanses of time. Again, he uses details of images derived from photographs and photographs derived from details of images, only now he combines these with an eye towards their narrative undercurrents. McNellis first studied film at the University of South Florida. In 2008-2012 he turned from photography to begin working with mixed media using fluorescent lights, color filters, and building materials to make large three dimensional pieces. He has shown in a variety of venues including the Johnson Center for the Arts (in Troy, Alabama), Holy Family University and, most recently a solo exhibit, “afterimage|photostructures.” at ARTSPACE 1241 in Philadelphia.



Keith Breitfeller


Keith Breitfeller‘s drawings are personal, casual works he creates , in his own words,“to entertain myself with”. Just like carefree summer days, Breitfeller’s drawings are fun, fast and allowed to evolve casually and spontaneously. Keith makes them in the evening, during downtime while unwinding. Keith studied with New York Artist Marion Pinto. The keystone of his methods was acquired at the Barnstone Studio, a renaissance type Master and Apprentice program. The heavy emphasis on the Golden Section and color theory continues to inform his work. Residing in Philadelphia, Keith has exhibited locally for 30 years with solo exhibits at Vox Populi, Sande Webster Gallery, Abington Art Center and Perkin’s Center for the Arts. Outside of the region he has shown in Texas, Tennessee, Massachusetts and in Austria.


Please join us for an opening reception June 3, 2017 from 5-7pm. Private press previews and artist studio visits are available prior to the opening by appointment only. Show runs from June 3-24 at Jed Williams Gallery, 615 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia.

About Jed Williams Gallery: Named one of the top art galleries in Bella Vista and Queen Village by Philadelphia Magazine (March 2015), Jed Williams Gallery is a unique art space owned and operated since 2010 by artist Jed Williams. JWG showcases up-and-coming and inspiring artists from the Philadelphia area. Artists featured are from all backgrounds including classically trained as well as self-taught outsider artists. The gallery shows a variety of thoughtful, cutting edge high quality works ranging from 2D, mixed media and painting, to video, installation and sculpture.

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Soltane Arts: Paintings by Jed Williams


Sad Girl


Paintings by Jed Williams at Soltane Arts

May 6 to June 30th, 2017

164 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, Pa. 19460

Phone: 610-933-0148

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