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TO TIGER, WITH LOVE A FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY TIGER FRIENDS FOREVER


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TO TIGER, WITH LOVE
A FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
TIGER FRIENDS FOREVER
July 11 - July 26, 2014
Reception Friday July 11, 6-10pm


PHILADELPHIA, PA-
Dearest Tiger Friends,

You are cordially invited to attend the joyous and auspicious event of Tiger Strikes Asteroid’s five year anniversary!!! We will be featuring small works from Tiger Strikes Asteroid members, past and present and from our sister space, TSA / New York. Due to the July 4th Holiday, the opening celebration/reception will be on Friday, July 11th from 6-10pm.

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THERE WILL BE TIGER CAKE AND MUCH JOY!

How can you thank someone for taking you from crayons to perfume? 

What can I give you in return?


If you wanted the sky
I would write across the sky in letters
That would soar a thousand feet high
To Tiger, with love

All works will be available for sale for $200.00 each!

Proceeds from sales will go toward operations and future gallery events.

We look forward to celebrating our 5th Anniversary with you!

Much Love,

Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia 

Participating Artists:
Jaime Alvarez
Todd Baldwin
Adam Blumberg
Vincent Como
Keith Crowley
Will DiBello
Terri Saulin Frock
Tim Gierschick
Rachel Gorchov
Yin Ho
Ezra Masch
Ryan Mccartney
Alex Paik
Nathan Pankratz
Matt Phillips
Joanna Platt
Caroline Santa
Anne Schaefer
Matthew Sepielli
Douglas Witmer



TO TIGER, WITH LOVE
A FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
TIGER FRIENDS FOREVER 


July 11 - July 26, 2014
Reception Friday July 11, 6-10pm

To Tiger With Love
July 11 - July 26, 2014 
Opening reception: Friday, July 11, 2014, 6pm -10pm

Hours:  Saturday and Sunday, 2pm-6pm and by appointment
(484)-469-0319, tigerstrikesasteroid@gmail.com

Andrea Gaydos Landau: Never Wanted Nothing

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Andrea Gaydos Landau: Never Wanted Nothing
June 6 – June 29, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, June 6, 2014, 6-10pm

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PHILADELPHIA, PA-
Never Wanted Nothing brings together new works made from fragments, culminating in processes of hand-cut wall drawings and collage by Andrea Gaydos Landau. Meditating on the idea of the double negative, the collages are composed of discarded shells of negative space and shadows. Here emerges a rejected space where the subject turns into an emptiness. These are images or emotive voids that displace intimacy in exchange for objective contemplation.

Other works in the gallery sit suspended between positive and negative, finite and infinite. They are arrangements of fragility made up of marks of logic, emotion and longing. Whether torn apart or carefully cut, these compositions reference ephemeral actions - like a dissolving, irrevocable loss. All of which attempt to grasp an understanding of vast uncertainty.

Landau’s work embodies both architectonic and organic, decorative and chaotic qualities. She sees the potential of ornament and pattern as conceptual and structural. Landau looks to the natural world for inspiration and strategies to build her work. Through her work she questions ordering and impermanence, which in turn, examine the kinship between both presence and absence. Landau represents these ideas in an intuitive manner, filtered by geometry, the history of the decorative arts, and the natural sciences.

Landau’s work has been exhibited internationally at Korea National University of the Arts in Seoul, South Korea and nationally at Daimler Financial Corporate Headquarters in MI, and Rowan University in NJ. Her work also appeared in “Hothouse”, an exhibition representing the field of Fiber from the past 37 years at Cranbrook Art Museum in Michigan. Locally, Landau has shown at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Goldie Paley Gallery, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Center for Emerging Visual Artist, and was selected for Philagrafika’s Invitational Portfolio.

Currently, Andrea Gaydos Landau works at The Fabric Workshop and Museum and at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia , PA. She is a shiny new member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid gallery.

andrealandau.com

Never Wanted Nothing : Andrea Gaydos Landau
June 6 – June 29, 2014
Opening reception: Friday, June 6, 2014, 6pm -10pm

Hours:  Saturday and Sunday, 2pm-6pm and by appointment
(484)-469-0319, tigerstrikesasteroid@gmail.com

How do we love TSA? Let us count the ways. And no, we are not talking about the Transportation Security Administration, although the acronym likeness has always been as dissonant as it has been entertaining. July marks the five-year anniversary of Philadelphia- (and now also Brooklyn) based artist-run exhibition space Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and with it, their show “To Tiger, With Love” which features some 20 current and former members, as well as a snazzy poster featuring Sidney Poitier. Each has a small work on display, most for sale at $200, the proceeds of which go directly to the space for future operations and events.

Although the dimensions of the artworks are relatively consistent throughout the show, the smattering of styles and insights proves what TSA has time and time again; they provide for the thoughtful production and exhibition of art from a pool of talented makers.

Jaime Alvarez, "Tee-Grey."

Jaime Alvarez, “Tee-Grey.”

Jamie Alvarez, for instance, takes the gallery’s powerful yet abstract name to somewhat literal ends with “Tee-Grey.” A photo of a yellow toy tiger demands the focus in this piece, especially because its back half is coated in a shimmering layer of gold. Its ferocity paired with a futurist sheen makes for a menacing foe, if not for the fact that it is clearly a hunk of molded plastic. It strides across a bed of rock as stars dot the dark background, ready to pounce from its drifting, interplanetary home. Think an asteroid impact isn’t bad enough? Well this one is also infested with robotic carnivores too.

Rachael Gorchov, "To TSA with love: Oregon Ave. to Chinatown, back to NYC."

Rachael Gorchov, “To TSA With Love: Oregon Ave. to Chinatown, Back to NYC.”

Paint and photo montage are Rachael Gorchov’s materials of choice for “To TSA With Love: Oregon Ave. to Chinatown, Back to NYC.” Clouds mingle with thick brushstrokes of gouache, and the decaying industrial train remnants of Chinatown meet South Philly and New York in a mess of metal, urban plant life and a glowing glob of sunny yellow.

Terri Saulin Frock, "Thin Cities."

Terri Saulin Frock, “Thin Cities.”

The three-dimensional, porcelain scaffolds of Terri Saulin Frock do well to counter both the real-life mashups of Gorchov with imaginary places, and the mostly two-dimensional images in the show with a busy mess of beams, bars and other building materials. The flat sheet of glazed ceramic that these structures hang from looks almost like a sheet of paper in its cut, referencing many of the others which are actually composed on paper. Whether intentional trickery or not, the depth and texture of this piece make it stand out while its backing connects it to many of the other works that surround it.

Per TSA’s typical slant, there are also a number of additional abstractions, geometric studies and minimal images in the mix, as well as a few Philly-centric pictures, and even a handwritten love note of sorts by Todd Baldwin. It is clear that the artists that help Tiger Strikes Asteroid continue to sail through time and space feel quite fondly about their creative locale. It is encouraging to see such collective involvement and passion for an institution, and one can only hope that their inspiration is just as contagious.

These many love-letter-artworks will be featured at TSA through July 26.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid is located at 319 N. 11th St., on the 2nd floor, Philadelphia; tigerstrikesasteroid@gmail.com; tigerstrikesasteroid.com

Positive and negative space blend together at Tiger Strikes Asteroid

Published on June 10, 2014 by in Philadelphia

Andrea Gaydos Landau explores the strange domain of the double negative this June at Tiger Strikes Asteroid with her solo show “Never Wanted Nothing.” By utilizing collage comprised primarily of negative space cutouts mixed with dark and starkly contrasted structures that flood out across the pristine walls, Landau presents compositions that feed on the give and take between positive and negative; something and nothing.

Andrea Gaydos Landau, "Intersection of Two Spheres." Image courtesy of the artist

Andrea Gaydos Landau, “Intersection of Two Spheres.” Image courtesy of the artist

In much of the exhibit, Landau presents square collage works, which she pieces together with the shadows or open spaces sliced from other images. By harnessing the ‘blank’ or ‘negative’ sections from other visual works, the artist effectively creates ‘something’ from ‘nothing.’

The name of the show also adds a semantic slant to the works. Landau grabs hold of the colloquial tendency to speak in improper (yet strangely pervasive) double negatives. By saying someone ‘doesn’t want nothing,’ they are technically – but not actually – saying that they do, in fact, want something. Occasionally people realize this verbal misstep, but accept the slang version as par for the course.

Andrea Gaydos Landau, "Still Life." Image courtesy of the artist

Andrea Gaydos Landau, “Still Life.” Image courtesy of the artist

Landau tackles this common mistake by noting its potential depth in both speech and in visual art instead of focusing on its wrongness. If she “Never Wanted Nothing,” does she sometimes want something? Does she always want everything? The ambiguity extends far beyond merely being indefinite, however. When the negations are multiplied in such a statement, thoughts and actions can become drastically more complicated and imprecise, leading down a rabbit hole that would send all but the most adept logicians reeling.

These meandering trains of thought can be seen in her collage work, which seems to note that all such implications are merely relative, be they visual or linguistic tropes. Tying the language of words to the language of images, the artist also expertly connects two forms of expression that are often perceived as wholly independent.

Andrea Gaydos Landau, "Promise."

Andrea Gaydos Landau, “Promise.”

The most impressive of the works here are actually the antitheses of these notions. They manifest in complex black structures that fan out into the whiteness of the gallery. In this way, these pieces seem to leave no question as to what is the positive or the negative… but paired with these other works, we find ourselves questioning them anyway. After all, each individual shape is merely an outline of empty space.

A circle built of wiry rectangles breaks apart and drifts into the ether of the room, seemingly dissolving or dispersing outward in Landau’s “Promise.” It reminds us that even the most steadfast of boundaries is not necessarily immutable and everything in the universe is subject to change. While these bits of dark matter were clearly made as the focus of our attention – and an intricate and evocative one at that – in the scheme of things, they are ultimately indistinguishable from their surroundings except by our definitions. To any other animal, they would scarcely warrant a second look.

Landau will be showing “Never Wanted Nothing” at Tiger Strikes Asteroid through June 29.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid is located at 319 North 11th St., on the second floor, Philadelphia; tigerstrikesasteroid@gmail.com; tigerstrikesasteroid.com.

heavylightweight : lightness of color and action // gravitas of conviction and tradition // curated by Douglas Witmer

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“heavylightweight”
lightness of color and action // gravitas of conviction and tradition // curated by Douglas Witmer
Works By: Karen Baumeister, Michael Brennan, Jeffrey Cortland Jones, Daniel Levine, Warren Rohrer
May 2 - June 1, 2014
Opening Reception Friday May 2, 6-10pm
 

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PHILADELPHIA, PA-
heavylightweight is a focused group of paintings selected by Philadelphia artist Douglas Witmer. This is a show of very light work in terms of the dominant color of the paintings and the apparent painting actions with which they were made.  Simultaneously, the works in the exhibition demonstrate each artist’s supreme cognizance of their materials methods.  Even as they make paintings that seem utterly spare, these artists are bonded in relationships deeply grounded in painting’s long and storied history.
 
Karen Baumeister makes near-monochrome paintings whose color is a result of an intuitive but rigorous process of “finding” through daily observation and observation of the painting process itself.  Controlled painting gestures are sealed upon each other in numerous layers resulting in dense surfaces that frequently extend just beyond the edges of painting support.  Karen Baumeister (b.1962; lives near Philadelphia, PA) teaches at The Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, and Montgomery County Community College.  Her work has recently been exhibited at Larry Becker Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Proto Gallery, Hoboken, NJ, and Kathryn Markel Fine Art, New York City.
 
The recent “razor paintings” by Michael Brennan included in this exhibition are often made in one session, juxtaposing elements of geometric and gestural abstraction.  Keenly interested in how abstract painting can both reflect and comment upon contemporary culture, Brennan consciously relates the physicality of these works to the idea of digital devices like smart phones or tablets, where he observes that “an enormous amount of information is concentrated on small objects.”  Michael Brennan (b.1965; lives Brooklyn, NY) has exhibited nationally and internationally for the past two decades.  His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, ARTnews, and many others. He has also written extensively about art for leading art publications. Brennan’s work is included in collections such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Jose Museum of Art. He teaches at Pratt Institute.  He is represented by MINUS SPACE, Brooklyn, NY.
 
Jeffrey Cortland Jones works with dualities informed by attitudes from both high modernism and graffiti culture.  His paintings made with spray enamel, often on thin acrylic panels, feature color organized in softly geometric shapes.  “Touchless” as their surfaces are, they nevertheless feel tectonic in their visual strength.  Jeffrey Cortland Jones (b.1975, lives in Cincinnati, OH) teaches painting at The University of Dayton.  His work has been exhibited extensively in the United States.  Recent venues include Laura Moore Fine Arts, Dallas, Hoffman LaChance Contemporary, St. Louis, and Cheryl Hazan Contemporary Art, New York.  He is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Art, New York City.
 
For over two decades, Daniel Levine has made monochrome paintings using only red, yellow, blue, or white.  This commitment to the basic building blocks of color is but one conceptual underpinning to painting’s history evident in the artist’s work.  Attentive to each detail in his process, and working in repeated layers that can accumulate to 20 or 30, Levine teases infinite variety out of his chosen limits.  Daniel Levine (b.1959; lives in New York City) is represented in the the Panza Collection, Italy, The Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, Switzerland, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson and private collections in Europe and the United States.  He is represented by Churner and Churner, New York City.
 
Warren Rohrer found his way into reductive abstraction over several decades of painting plein air.  The effects of natural light and the representation of light in painting were of major concern to the artist his entire life.  By the mid 1970s, Rohrer was making paintings that organized brushstrokes into systematic layers to create evocative fields of floating color that still communicated references to the pastoral landscape.  Warren Rohrer (1927–1995) taught for 25 years at the Philadelphia College of Art. The subject of a retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2003, Warren Rohrer’s work is in many museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Denver Art Museum, Smith College Museum of Art and the Delaware Art Museum.  His work is represented by Locks Gallery, Philadelphia.
 
Exhibition curator Douglas Witmer is an artist based in Philadelphia, and is well-known for his paintings.  His work has been exhibited internationally.  He is a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid.

“heavylightweight”
lightness of color and action // gravitas of conviction and tradition // curated by Douglas Witmer

May 2 - June 1, 2014
Reception: Friday May 2, 6-10pm

“heavylightweight”
lightness of color and action // gravitas of conviction and tradition // curated by Douglas Witmer

Works By: Karen Baumeister, Michael Brennan, Jeffrey Cortland Jones, Daniel Levine, Warren Rohrer

May 2 -June 1, 2014 
Opening reception: Friday, May 2, 2014, 6pm -10pm

Hours:  Saturday and Sunday, 2pm-6pm and by appointment
(484)-469-0319, tigerstrikesasteroid@gmail.com

IRREVOCABLE MARK: Works by Michael DeLucia, Jeffrey Scott Mathews, and Klea McKenna

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IRREVOCABLE MARK: Works by Michael DeLucia, Jeffrey Scott Mathews, and Klea McKenna
Curated by Jaime Alvarez and Anne Schaefer
April 4 – April 27, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, April 4, 2014, 6pm -10pm

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PHILADELPHIA, PA-
Tiger Strikes Asteroid presents Irrevocable Mark, with work by Michael DeLucia, Jeffrey Scott Mathews and Klea McKenna, curated by Jaime Alvarez and Anne Schaefer. Please join us for the opening reception Friday, April 4, 2014, 6-10pm. 

Irrevocable Mark examines the work of three artists in which a specific technology is paramount to the resultant work. While this element is unique for each artist, their exhibited works are unified by an impossibility of revision or exact repetition due to the procedural framework of the artists’ practices, complicated by the often uncontrollable characteristics of their chosen substrate.  Each artist takes a leap of faith in the making of his or her work, knowing that the success or failure of the final work will be absolute and irrevocable upon the press of a button, the click of a mouse, or an irreversible manual fold of paper. When process meets a substrate with unique tactility, the resultant image, object or experience transcends the steps and reveals a singular, unrepeatable result that would not otherwise exist so precisely.

Michael DeLucia’s sculptures explore the compression and subsequent unflattening of form into the surface of plywood. Value, texture, gradient and depth are encoded in to the material’s surface through machine-routed strokes. The works appear clinical and precise, but looking under the layers where the material is exposed, one is confronted with entropy. His work has been exhibited at Eleven Rivington (NY), Galerie Nathalie Obadia (France), and Socrates Sculpture Park (NY). He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Jeffrey Scott Mathews’ interdisciplinary studio practice generates paintings, drawings, tapestries and sound. The embroidered work included in this exhibition records drawings on to cloth through the assistance of an embroidery machine. The imagery along with its interaction with the burlap substrate speaks to both the corporeal and the spiritual. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States including a recent solo show at Sadie Halie Projects (NY). He has additionally exhibited at Jolie Ladie (PA),  Blackston (NY), Center for Creative Studies (MI), and Pop Gallery (CA). Upcoming projects include an audio cassette tape release with Metaphysical Circuits in the Spring of 2014. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. 

Klea McKenna employs alternative photographic processes to respond to the landscape around her.  While the viewer may not see a traditional photograph, McKenna does in fact record the experience of the topographic light-scape through standard photographic means. She is co-founder and contributor to the website IN THE MAKE, a collaboration that offers an intimate look at current art practice through studio visits with West Coast artists. She has exhibited at Regina Rex (NY), Datz Museum of Art (South Korea), Zic Zerp Galerie (Netherlands), Von Lintel Gallery (NY), and Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PA). She lives and works in San Francisco, CA.  

 

IRREVOCABLE MARK: Works by Michael DeLucia, Jeffrey Scott Mathews, and Klea McKenna
Curated by Jaime Alvarez and Anne Schaefer
April 4 – April 27, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, April 4, 2014, 6pm -10pm

Irrevocable Mark : Works by Michael Delucia, Jeffrey Scott Matthews, and Klea Mckenna
April 4 - April 27, 2014 
Opening reception:  Friday, April 4, 2014, 6pm -10pm

Hours:  Saturday and Sunday, 2pm-6pm and by appointment
(484)-469-0319, tigerstrikesasteroid@gmail.com


Keith Crowley: Unseen

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Keith Crowley: Unseen
March 7 – March 30, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, March 7, 2014, 6pm -10pm

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PHILADELPHIA, PA-
Unseen is a group of paintings that are distillations of photographic imagery. These thinly layered paintings conjure the anticipation of a moment or a memory of something briefly unveiled. The sources from which the images are gathered involve snapshots, newspapers, Youtube-stills or whatever possible place or thing reveals itself as uncannily familiar. The paintings possess a subtle degree of pictorial dissonance, which suggest potential encounters that may happen – or be missed entirely.   

Keith Crowley
has lived in Philadelphia since 2001 and Unseen will be his first solo exhibition as a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid. Crowley previously exhibited at Bridgette Mayer Gallery from 2008 - 2013. Crowley received his MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design and his BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design Art Education Studies: Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA. His work has been exhibited at Fjord, Fox Gallery: The University of Pennsylvania, The National Constitution Center, OCMC Second Space, PA, TSA/New York, Perkins Art Center, NJ, Alagon Gallery, IL.

Currently, Crowley works as a Preparator at the Princeton University Art Museum.

(Image: Nocturne (Effulgent Pause), 48 x 72” oil on aluminum panel)

Keith Crowley: Unseen
March 7 – March 30, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, March 7, 2014, 6pm -10pm

Nan Adams and The Hitch-Hiker: 

The unseen, the known, the looming and the familiar in the paintings of Keith Crowley.

Keith Crowley’s paintings contain subtleties, discreet moments and blurred imagery that, when combined, produce something very particular. There is in fact a term for these qualities, these moments in philosophy; they are called “haecceities.” This term was coined by Duns Scotus to explain a person’s “thisness,” but seems apt when discussing Keith Crowley’s paintings as well. Like one’s relationship with another person, Crowley’s paintings are better known for their specificity than analyzed for their exact and clear content. Like the work of photographer Robert Adams, these works are at once familiar and mysterious, yet we cannot quite say why.

All of the works in “Unseen” give us a feeling that we have been in these places before. Whether the place is in front of a computer screen watching YouTube videos at midnight, or standing on a street at night in Northeast Philadelphia around Christmas time, the work and the places it depicts feel eerily familiar. Our view, though, of these familiar places is always changing. 

In one painting, “Nocturne (Effulgent Pause),” we see a non-descript building, lit ambiently by fluorescent light while another light source emanates from behind the building. The light from behind seems to suggest the imminent and looming arrival of something, or someone. Who, though, is hanging out behind this building so late at night? In another painting, “Nocturne (Vacant Fete),” our view shifts and we become the one looming outside at night, staring at the rows of houses, lit happily with Christmas lights. As is the case with many of Crowley’s paintings we seem to encounter the moment just before or the moment just after an event takes place. Our role as a viewer becomes vague in a sense; who are we in relation to these familiar places, these familiar scenes? What have we just missed? What are we just about to see? It is hard to say. In Crowley’s work, though, it is not something we necessarily need to find an answer to. The stillness of the painting just before or after the moment of the event is the place we are to rest on. We are to rest in the vague nature of the moment depicted and how it is depicted.

The paintings, with their thin, repeated layers of color and subtle, careful adjustments, have a mysteriousness that is only heightened by our vague relationship to them. The vague, yet highly familiar scenes are mirrored in the almost glassy, window-like surface of the work and very much felt through from layer to layer. In many ways these paintings of eerily familiar images are made in a manner that are indebted to the non-image based black paintings of Ad Reinhardt. As is the case with Reinhardt’s black paintings, Crowley’s work appears to become clearer and then subtler again the more time we spend with it. Edges of buildings seem to become more concrete and then dissolve into the darkness that surrounds them; ground that seems dark and solid becomes loose and watery as the color of each layer asserts itself when our eyes adjust. As we do when we look at early black and white photography, with its soft, dissolved and out of focus edges, we must allow our eyes to see what is put into the frame of the work as much as we must allow our minds to settle and accept what is not clarifiable, what we cannot put into focus.

The works in “Unseen” are very much as the title of the show leads you to believe. The paintings, like the places they depict, need to be experienced more than just seen and need to be known rather than simply met. They have a nature that, despite their stillness, is ever evolving, unknowable, but yet, familiar.

-Matthew Sepielli is an artist living and working in Philadelphia. He is currently pursuing his MFA at Bard College. Note: The title of the essay is derived from an episode of The Twilight Zone,“The Hitch-Hiker,” which originally aired in 1960.

Keith Crowley : Unseen
March 7 - March30, 2014 
Opening reception:  Friday, March 7, 2014, 6pm -10pm

Hours:  Saturday and Sunday, 2pm-6pm and by appointment
(484)-469-0319, tigerstrikesasteroid@gmail.com


Keith Crowley: Unseen on Title Magazine

Tiger Strikes Asteroid

Through March 30

By Deborah Krieger

Keith Crowley’s Unseen is a strangely unsettling exhibition.  Consisting of five paintings in Tiger Strikes Asteroid’s small gallery, Unseen compels us to look closer, yet pushes us away with a growing sense of voyeurism, as though we are seeing things we should not be privy to. Crowley adeptly makes us aware of our discomfort with the intimacy of what we are seeing, as well as how unwelcome we are in each painting’s world, turning the paintings back upon us and allowing them to pass judgment.

The works are painted in oil and characterized by a deliberately eerie and indistinct quality, generating a bizarre, layered dialogue where we are increasingly entranced and encouraged to make sense of these works, but are then made acutely aware of our status as interlopers.  The paintings portray familiar looking settings, suffused with memory.  Only one of the works explicitly depicts a human presence, while two more refer to humanity obliquely. Nocturne (Effulgent Pause), painted in 2013,depicts what appears to be a gas station at night, pregnant with secrecy and mystery.  What is about to happen?  What can we imagine in this setting?  What does the scenario we imagine tell us about ourselves?

The scenes Crowley depicts are recognizable as potentially real places stocked with real figures, yet he leaves his images abstract enough that we must interpret them as best we can.  Each work requires an outside eye and mind to ascribe sense, context, and meaning. We see different aspects of each work over multiple viewings, depending on our emotional and mental state, creating highly personalized viewing experiences. Abstract art particularly relies upon this form of interpretation and study, but Crowley’s representational works operate on this level especially well.

As I walked around the gallery, the nagging sense set in that, despite the fact that these works were on display for my consumption, I was an intruder in these snippets and scenes.  In particular, Nocturne (Vacant Fete), a 2013 nighttime scene of row homes on a street, is made memorable by Crowley’s painterly imitation of the effect of a camera shake while the shutter is open, turning holiday lights into jittery squiggles and creating the sense that we are perched outside these homes with a camera, spying on the scenes taking place within, hoping we don’t get caught.  Is this a more literal translation of how we engage with all works of art?

 Bathers (Harlequins) (2012), the only work with people explicitly as its subject, separates the group of bathers from our searching eye with a sketchy haze of fog.  Their poses are hard to discern.  Who are they to one another?  The more we look, the less we see, and the more we are made aware that our gaze is neither invited nor wanted—they do not beckon us, their backs are turned towards us.  Nocturne (Effulgent Pause) is also suffused with this feeling—what is this clandestine meeting we are either waiting for or have just missed?

Stylistically speaking, the Nocturne works are the strongest and most evocative; Effulgent Pause, with its milky smoothness and quiet melancholy, is reminiscent of Edward Hopper.  March (Field) (2013), which depicts a car driving towards the us through a gray blur of fog, and Nautilos (2013), a murky image of boats on a brownish-blue body of water, while less successful on the technical and emotional fronts, have a sinister air as we are forced to mine our brains for some kind of explanation as to where these vehicles are going.

The blurriness of the latter two paintings recalls Gerhard Richter’s similarly rendered hazy paintings from the 1960s and 1970s, creating a dialogue between the differing sources and interpretations. Richter painted his subjects out of focus by way of his “blur”, working mostly from found photographs, while Crowley bases his images on murky ideas of places, unevenly applying focus on various parts of the composition.  In this way, Crowley manages to manipulate our gaze even further by choosing what we focus on and what we miss at first glance.

It is in the nature of representational paintings especially to position the audience, to some degree, as a voyeur. Keith Crowley’s Unseen addresses this dynamic head-on, challenging us to address our own need to look while tantalizing us with dreamlike, half-realized scenes that seem so familiar.  He forces us to put a bit of ourselves into his images as we explore what each could mean by way of our own thoughts, feelings, and half-buried memories.  It feels intimate and personal, almost off-putting, and altogether enthralling, as if Crowley is using these paintings to spy on our personal lives, turning object into subject and subject into object.

Deborah Krieger is a student at Swarthmore College studying art history, with interests in foreign languages, film and media studies, and making art.  She writes her own arts blog, I On the Arts and is interested in going into curatorial work or into arts and culture criticism.

DOWN THE DRAIN: NICHOLA KINCH

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Curated by Alexis Granwell

Nichola Kinch: Down the Drain
February 7– March 1, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, February 7, 2014, 6pm -10pm

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PHILADELPHIA, PA- Tiger Strikes Asteroid is pleased to present a curatorial selection from TSA member Alexis Granwell. Please join us for our February exhibition, featuring the work of Nichola Kinch: Down the Drain.


Nichola Kinch received her MFA from Temple University, Tyler School of Art in PA and her BFA from Myers School of Art, University of Akron, Ohio. Ms. Kinch is an associate professor at Tyler School of Art. This exhibition includes a film project that was funded by a Vice Provost for the Arts Grant from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA USA.


In the essay The Mediation of the Vortex, author Matthew Borgen delivers a detailed and personal description of Nichola Kinchʼs apartment and an oddly poetic view of her bathroom. He describes her apartment as a microcosm for meditative contemplation that leads to invented scientific discovery.


From Borgen’s essay, The Meditation of the Vortex:
If one were to step into the tub and turn on the water there would be the customary sensation of water droplets landing from above. Looking down one would see this water roll over the contours of the body and subsequently follow the form of the basin to culminate in the generation of a tiny vortex at their feet. This vortex is the source of Kinchʼs film Drain, the latest in a series crafted for presentation in her work, Lithophane Electrotachyscope.
The electrotachyscope, invented in 1887 by Ottomar Anschutz, was one of several devices developed in parallel during the late 19th century for the purpose of creating a realistic illusion of movement. Prior to its creation, the Polish-born inventor had successfully developed an early version of stop motion photography. He placed positive transparent plates of his serial images around the circumference of a uniformly rotating wooden wheel operated by hand crank from behind the device. A strobe light mounted behind and at the apex of the wheel illuminated each image as it passed and created for the observer in front of the device, the illusion of motion.
In her custom-built electrotachyscope Kinch has replaced the traditional positive transparent plates with lithophanes, three- dimensional, translucent plaques, which, when backlit, reveal a detailed image. Traditionally these dimensional images were carved in wax and cast in porcelain. In this instance the frames of the film are carved into Corian by a CNC router.


Borgen is currently the Exhibitions Coordinator for Arcadia University. In addition he is an Adjunct Professor in the foundations curriculum and also teaches an advanced course in contemporary gallery installation.

Nichola Kinch: Down the Drain
February 7– March 1, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, February 7, 2014, 6pm -10pm

Down The Drain : Nichola Kinch curated by Alexis Granwell
February 7th - March 1st, 2014 
Opening reception:  Friday, February 7th, 2014, 6pm -10pm

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Additional images courtesy of Sam Fritch

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