The Fabulists Among Us

 

A group of artists working with figuration and representation are also fabulists.

 

 

It is not that what they are portraying is not real.

 

 

 

 

 

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Detail of The Love Ballad of B. Charles/returning of the sender, 2017, oil on panel. 

Graham Preston, American, no other information given.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia 

 

I thank this artist for his supportive words to me when I first posted photos of his painting.

 

 

 

Their subject matter has roots in reality.

But it is a reality transformed. 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost in the Wood, 2020, acrylic on canvas. 

Hiro Sakaguchi, Japanese born 1965, active US.  Private collection loan to the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2021

 

 

 

 

The images are a glimpse of a world behind a protective veil

or just under the radar

or in indeterminate world

or in an ancient, present or future world of private longing or fearful anticipation or warning

or on the threshold of the subconscious

and on the tip of the tongue.

 

 

 

 

 

Subconscious Wandering IV, 2018, watercolour on paper.

  Julia Way, American born 1975.  Loaned by the artist to Woodmere Museum for the 2021 Juried Show

 

 

 

This fabulation could be put in the context

 

of large changes in our socio-political institutions and religious beliefs , and in our ecology,

 

and the consequent unreadability of traditional symbols,

 

and so to the search for and adaptation of our ancient mytho-poetic tradition to answer the question: 

 

how then shall we live?

 

 

 

 

 

Man of Faith, 1983, oil on canvas. 

Georg Baselitz, German born 1938.  Metropolitan Museum, NY

 

 

 

So researches there are as there have always been:

 

 

 

 

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We’re Off, 2016, oil on canvas. 

Georg Baselitz, German born 1938.  Private collection on loan to the Hirshhorn, Washington DC in 2018

 

 

for the fables which sustain and  – given the complexity of the species – sometimes degrade and destroy us.  

 

 

 

 

Room Alone, oil on panel, 2020. 

Belle Kim.  MFA Class of 2022, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given

 

 

 

 

I Remain A Stranger, 2021, mixed media.

Athena Scott.  MFA Class of 2022, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given

 

 

 

 

To reach the day which inevitably follows night…

 

 

 

 

 

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ShadowLife 016, image 2013, print 2018, pigment print. 

David Lebe, American born 1948, loaned by the artist to an exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep Seeing (Visitation), 2018, oil on panel. 

Stephanie Fenner, Master of Fine Art in 2018 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Cartel (The Billboard) “Gradually night became day.

Esaí  Alfredo Figueroa Ruiz, Bachelor of Fine Art in 2020 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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76 Meadow Woods Road,  2012, oil on linen.

  Becky Suss, American born 1980.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

 

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Eve, 2016, acrylic paint, glitter canvas.  Henry Bermudez, Venezuelan, born 1951. 

Courtesy of the artist at the 2018 Juried Show, Woodmere Museum of Art, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

 

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In the Land of the Giants (Spirals and Stairs) and details, 2012, oil on canvas. 

Jo Baer, American born 1929.  Whitney Biennial 2017

 

 

 

 

 

If we live through it, She will carry us back, 2014,  paint, paper, lace, wood, beads and collage on vinyl. 

Wangechi Mutu, Kenyan-American born 1972.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ophelia II, 2017, photointaglio polymer print. 

Sophie Sanders, American born 1970.  Loaned by the artist to the 2018 Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Museum of Art, Philadelphia

 

The referents of this beautiful reimagining of Ophelia are several: images of women created by the PreRaphaelites and the American artist Mary Cassatt; a yoga pose of self-protection, the beauty of our natural environment, the vulnerability of women, and the fact of racial diversity at a time of threat to Hispanic Americans and Afro-Americans, the urge to quiet and healing at a time of political turmoil in the United States. 

I thank this artist for being supportive of my first posting of this image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physically Enhanced by a Special Spider Derived Serum, 2020, China marker, watercolour, gouache, and fingerpaint on paper.   

Navanjali Kelsey, MFA Class of 2022, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the River’s Edge, 1998, oil on canvas. 

Emily Brown, American born 1943.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonfire, 2013-15, oil on linen.

  Lisa Yuskavage, American born 1962.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

 

 

 

Burn: 41 55’35.7″N 74 51’12.0″W, archival pigment print. 

Jeff Brown, American born 1959.  Loaned by the artist to the Woodmere Museum’s 2021 Juried Exhibition, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

 

Each a Glimpse and Gone For Ever, 2019, oil on linen. 

Nicole Parker, born 1994.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

In the Park, 2020, oil on canvas. 

Belle Kim. MFA Class of 2022, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebellion of the Wrens, 2021, watercolour, acrylic paint, silk, wool, and sharpie on canvas. 

Navanjali Kelsey.  MFA Class of 2022, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escape (Flight), 2017 (from the series Camden), archival pigment print, visual effects software.

  Tim Portlock, American born 1969.  Loaned by the artist and his gallery to the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2021

 

 

 

 

 

Soundlessness, 2016, ink, acrylic and screenprint on clayboard. 

Lorna Simpson, American born 1960.  Private collection on display at  the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2019

 

The artist is dealing with the unreliability of memory and the confusion between truth and personal narrative which the author sees as double-edged swords in the service of the several characters and sub-characters of which inhabit us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Trees, 2017, oil on canvas. 

Peter Doig, British born 1959.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY 

This is a scene on a beach in Trindad, the artist’s childhood and present home.  The view, the artist has said, is east towards Africa.  The air of menace here appears to be connected with the cruelty of the Middle Passage; and its consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standing Still, 2019, oil on canvas. 

Chris Cox, American born 1950.  Loaned by the artist to Woodmere Museum in 2021

 

This is one of a series of paintings in which the artist depicts otherworldly forms who come, in time, to create a community of peaceful interaction.

 

 

 

 

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Moth Diptych, oil on canvas, 2019.

Sarena Johnson, in 2019 a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo Blue, oil on linen, 2020. 

Abigail Dudley, Bachelor of Arts graduate at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2020.  No other information given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The things that horse ourselves for uncertainty, 2018, acrylic, clear gesso, and flashe on canvas. 

Walter Price, American born 1989.  Whitney Biennial, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

La Pesadilla, (The Nightmare) “The light clouded their minds”, 2020, oil on canvas.

Esaí Alfredo Figueroa Ruiz, Bachelor of Fine Art in 2020 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given.

 

 

 

 

 

The End of the World Monday Morning, 2016, acrylic and gouache on linen. 

Abraham Murley, Canadian-American born 1975.  Loaned by a private collection to Woodmere Museum’s 2021 Juried Exhibtion, Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Truth, 2016, oil, acrylic, enamel, and dye on canvas. 

Shara Hughes, American born 1981.  Whiteny Biennial 2017

 

The  Whitney Museum’s notes spoke of the artist “presenting windows into another world” …and of “concrete realities that the artist must respond to in her creation of psychological scenes that are part landscape, part abstraction”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Lesson in Longing, 2019, oil on canvas. 

Jennifer Packer, American born 1984 .  Whitney Biennial 2019, New York

 

The artist  is shoring up the life of her memory; she is using drawing and painting to resolve ambiguities in her emotional life; and she is presenting images of African Americans to an art establishment where few such images and few African American exist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do You Sleep at Night? 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas. 

Shara Hughes, American born 1981.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

An invented landscape, the museum says, between abstraction and representation, process and impulse, real and imagined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enter the Dragon, 2020, acrylic on found board.   

Sallie Marshall.  MFA Class of 2022, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.  No other information given

 

 

 

 

 

Elsewhere, 2017, steel wire and cotton paper pulp, pigment, rust sealant.

  Hannah Vogel, American born 1986.  Loaned by the artist to Woodmere Museum’s 2021 Juried Exhibition.

 

The work imagines the forest nests of creatures who need to escape ground predators. The nests are, however, empty.  The mind starts wandering into why this may be.

The work speaks to the longing for safety in a dangerous world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uh Oh, Look Who We Got Wet, 2019, oil on canvas.  

Janviva Ellis, American born 1987.  Whitney Biennial 2019. 

 

The museum noted that the characters in this image are not related to each other and that that itself becomes “an engine of intrigue.”

 

 

 

Conspiracy of Asses, 2019, watercolour and vinyl paint on linen. 

Calvin Marcus, American born 1986.  Whitney Biennial 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Second Line, 2020, scratchboard. Photo from the artist’s website.

 Kate Samworth, American born 1967.  Loaned by a gallery to the Woodmere Museum in 2021.

Animals have taken back the world.  The funeral of a boar is in progress with music and singing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swim:  Locust Street, 2020; archival pigment print. 

Jeff Brown, American born 1959.

Loaned by the artist to the 2021 Juried Exhibition at the Woodmere Museum, Philadelphia.

 

The artist is talking about excessive consumption and the displacement of people which follows urban development and gentrification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cloud’s Roots, 2018, collage with Japanese paper and watercolour on canvas. 

Maria Berrio, Colombian born 1982 active New York.  Promised gift to the Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elements of Surprise, mixed media, no date.

Rochelle Marcus Dinkin, no other information given.  On display at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2021.

 

The artist has said that her work translates “the individual’s journey through life.  It is a kind of fairytale, a story that teaches, both symbolic and narrative.”

 

 

 

 

Big Mama and the Boys, oil. 

Rochelle Marcus Dinkin, no other information given.  On display at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2021.

The artist has said that her work translates “the individual’s journey through life.  It is a kind of fairytale, a story that teaches, both symbolic and narrative.”

 

 

 

 

 

Sixteen Waterfalls of Dreams, Memories and Sentiment, oil on canvas, 1990. 

Pat Steir, American born 1940.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

 

 

The Force, oil, no date given.

Rochelle Marcus Dinkin, no other information given.  On display at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2021.

The artist has said that her work translates “the individual’s journey through life.  It is a kind of fairytale, a story that teaches, both symbolic and narrative.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Only in my dreams could I see my stars”; oil on canvas, ?2020

Esaí  Alfredo Figueria Ruiz, 2020 Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  No other information made available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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