I think really we’re talking about what’s coming up this weekend – I’m aware of two things and they should both be very good. It seems like I’m missing something that’s crossed my inbox, but I can’t find it right now.
SooPlex, “Dedicated to the Search for the Miraculous” This is SooPlex’s last show before Mike and Julian head off to Brooklyn and Georgia. It’s a group show of Christopher Ho (NY), Survival Design- Jason Brown and Elizabeth Scofield (Knoxville), Alisha Kerlin (Brooklyn), Ciprian Contreras (Knoxville), Kristin Calabrese (LA), and Tom Zarilli (Atlanta) inspired by Bas Jan Adler, who tried to cross the Atlantic in a single person sailboat in 1975 and was lost at sea. The interest here seems to be in the failed grand experiment. One night only, 6-9, last chance to see what SooPlex has come up with. Their shows have been very thought-provoking, people should really try to stop by and take a look. Zarilli just finished a show at Ruby Green where he staged scenes out of stuff he found at yard sales that was fun and surprising. SooPlex is in the 310 Chestnut Street building.
Cumberland Gallery, “Pursuit of Happiness,” Bhutanese Thangka paintings by Phurba Namgay Carol Stein and her husband Richard have made numerous trips to Bhutan over the years, hosted students here, and so forth, so they must have developed a great attachment to this Himalayan country. I’m more familiar with Tibetan paintings, but I’m guessing it’s pretty similar. These are devotional images of Buddha and associated deities, done in incredibly vivid colors. The Himalayan strains of Buddhism (at least in Tibet) have absorbed local folk religions, resulting in a wildly varied pantheon. I think of it being like syncretic Haitian or Mexican practices of Christianity where saints absorb qualities of local gods, making for a lot more interesting mix. Again, assuming I can extrapolate from Tibet to its neighbor, devotional painting is a living art, with contemporary painters continuing the practices and styles developed over several hundred years. The Steins have gotten to know one of these painters, and will be showing his work for one night only, during gallery hours (10-5) on Saturday the 18th plus a reception for the artist from 5-8.
Also, Estel is opening a show featuring toy-like sculptures by Sean O’Meallie on August 29th, but they are doing their opening reception on September 8 so I’ll write about it more next time.