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Key to Philadelphia

Volume 1, Issue #1, May 1-14, 2006

by Krystyna Warchol


Gallery Siano opens a group exhibition titled Order(ed), guest curated by Julie Karabenick. Karabenick is an accomplished abstract artist whose work explores the communicative power of basic geometric forms. For the show at Gallery Siano, she has gathered seventeen artists from the US and Canada (inluding five from Philadelphia) who share her interest in and commitment to the modernist tradition of geometric abstraction. This elegant and focused survey gives the viewer an opportunity to appreciate the richness and diversity of geometric abstraction today.

The curator herself is an admirer of De Stijl and Constructivism, and clearly so are some artists in the show. It’s not surprising to see the influences of the Cubism, Minimalism, and Pattern and Design movements as well. The show points to the vitality of geometric abstraction by demonstrating how artists working within the non-objective mode have transformed it to suit their own wide range of individual artistic goals and concerns. The elements these artists use-stripes and grids, straight edges and curves, the whole range of geometric figures-are familiar; yet the final results are fresh and visually satisfying.

Roberta Fallon, Philadelphia art critic and blogger, writes in the catalogue essay accompanying the exhibition: “While the stream of geometric abstraction runs deep in 20th century art … Today’s geometric abstract art comes out of the caudlron of the times and merges our need for personal expression with our need for a system, a way out of the clutter, chaos and overload that are part of our world.”
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