Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spiky Art

One of the good things about living in Philadelphia is that New York is so close - close enough to eat breakfast at home and lunch at the Met. One day recently I took the bus up and discovered a new (for me) museum - the Chelsea Museum - where I saw a couple of very interesting shows of contemporary art. The New York Times did a great job of covering the main exhibition, Iran Inside Out, so let me tell you about Pencilism by Federico Uribe, a playful, witty tour-de-force of craft and concept sited in an open, airy second floor gallery. The work speaks for itself - spiky, colorful, full of possibilities, much like pencils themselves. A short essay from Uribe introduces the exhibit - I like the comment he made about how a pencil shrinks as the work you do with it grows. The standing (and hanging) sculptures are the most interesting - he has some 'paintings' made with layered pencils that are clever but not as aggressively fun.