The Philly Salon
March 11 through April 26, 2009
Opening reception Wednesday, March 11, 5:30-8:30pm
“Get back to your Philly roots!” suggested photographer
Ted Adams to ex-Philly native Robin Rice. So she did. The Robin Rice
Gallery is pleased to present The Philly Salon, a group show
featuring nine Philadelphia-based photographers including, Andrea
Modica, Eric Mencher, Jenny Lynn, Kass Mencher, Keith Sharp, Laurence
Salzmann, Robin Rice, Ron Tarver, and Ted Adams.
Back in Philadelphia, these photographers have created a loose-knit
group centered on an artist’s salon held at the home of Ted
Adams. Over the years, with its quirky themes, abundant food and drink,
and inspired curating, the salon has developed into something of a
cult happening. Rice used the group as a starting point, and assembled
a show that highlights photography’s potential to create communities
from diverse groups of people and ideas.
The invitation carries two images, the first is Sweet Oranges
by Ron Tarver. The oranges have been peeled carefully in neat, narrow
rows that circle the fruit from top to bottom, with the coils of discarded
skin piled in front. The beauty and symmetry of the design stands
out, but the object leads one to consider the care it took to create
it. For Tarver, this simple detail- found in a Cuban market,
captures the poetry of the people and place.
The second photo, Fountain, Colorado, is by Andrea Modica.
In it the back of a young person arches away from the camera towards
a shaft of light and into the glistening image. The subject - a figure-
is recognizable, but on the whole the work is abstract. The sensual
tones of the hand-coated platinum print stimulate our desire to touch,
to know, and to experience the visual textures that appear before
Each artist is showing two photos. The influences behind the works
are as varied as the artists themselves, but it’s Rice’s
aesthetic that imbues the show with a smooth, visual consistency.
Her instinctive eye for imagery, which skirts easy definition yet
produces an emotionally laden atmosphere, is well-displayed. The appearance
of the surreal beside the real becomes believable; the documented
news photo acquires the romance of the fantasy picture, and the day
in the life snapshot seen alongside an abstract image devolves into
regions of shape and light.
Eric Mencher’s photo taken from the passenger seat of a truck
rolling through the windy streets of war-torn Rwanda, offers a startling
glimpse at the human spirit standing against all odds. Laurence Salzmann
documents poor, young Cuban wresters who use stairs to train, climbing
with their hands while a partner holds their legs. Kass Mencher is
looking for extraordinary, yet real moments. Her elegant woman, seen
in silhouette, appears to be a dancer, in reality, it is the statue
of a matador. Ted Adams too goes fishing for unexpected visuals. His
photo shows a high wall with echoing shadows that float like ghostly
memories above the joyful diners seated below.
Humor is also evident in Keith Sharp’s “daydream”
collages that mix interiors and exteriors to create a puzzling new
décor, like a bathroom with real wall ivy hanging on a towel
rack in the shape of a towel. Jenny Lynn draws on her backgrounds
in painting and film to explore the interplay between staged and spontaneous
images in her soft focus photo of a gloved hand reaching for a Victorian
keyhole. And Robin Rice’s photographs explore naturally occurring
optical illusions. One of her images features a woman lying gracefully
on a beach; it’s shot at a low angle so that she appears to
be floating in the sea, like a siren among the rough waves and rocks.
For more information or printable images, please contact Robin Rice
at (212) 366-6660, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit www.robinricegallery.com.