Our Top 5 Art Installations of 2016

You hit the end of the year and start prepping for new exhibitions and suddenly your IG stream starts reminding you of all the amazing installations that you experienced just months ago.  We spend a lot of time posting the art we see on the street, in our neighborhoods.  Sometimes we don’t get around to posting all the wonderful art we saw within the walls of art institutions.  So before we step into 2017 we’re going to take this opportunity to reminisce and share what we loved.  Sigh. 2016, you were a very good year – at least for art.


5. Museum of Ice Cream

This was the hottest ticket of the summer. People coordinated their outfits to match the pastel décor and apparently broke their necks trying to get a shot of musician Usher lounging in the rainbow pool of sprinkles. The interactive ice cream-centric experience also included edible balloons, a chocolate room and plenty of selfie ready goodies that live on under #museumoficecream.

The inaugural iteration of the museum in New York has everyone clamoring for the next one. Well the word is out, the next incarnation of the museum will be in D.C. summer of 2017.

#TBT to sprinkle pool heaven and an our NYC instagramable wonderland (: @businessinsider) #museumoficecream

A photo posted by MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM (@museumoficecream) on

A photo posted by CamiCam5 (@camille_uriv) on


4. Classic Arcade Games at Museum of the Moving Image

When museums started acquiring video games for their collections there was finally an acknowledgement that video games use images, actions, and player participation to tell stories and engage their audience in the same way as film, animation, and performance. These influential forms of narrative art get their due now under the label ‘artistic mediums’.

The Museum of the Moving Image dug into their archives and pulled out over 30 original games putting on a interactive exhibition that explored the evolution of the video game in the way the gamer gods intended, in dim lighted rooms under the glow of screens and token machines.

So this happened today! Lost my mind at the Arcade Classics Exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. There were audible heart palpitations as I put my money in the vintage ( can’t believe I just called my childhood vintage) token machine. I recorded the sound the tokens made as they fell into the well. 30 classic arcade games lie in wait (donkey kong, mortal kombat, ms pacman, frogger, pole position, to name a few) in a dark room, devoid of sun, just like its supposed to be . I’m sure I frothed from the mouth in front of asteroids. So forgive the next onslaught of videos and pics – this is what geeking out is. Guys, the exhibit is up until the 30th of Oct. You really should go. #museumofthemovingimage #arcadeclassics #videogames #tron #tokens #design #binarycode #arcade

A photo posted by HAHA MAG (@hahamag) on

more here.


3. Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters at LACMA

LACMA’s exhibition revealed the filmmaker’s creative process through his visually stunning collection of paintings, drawings, artifacts, and concept film art. The exhibition was organized thematically, beginning with visions of death and the afterlife; continuing through explorations of magic, occultism, horror, and monsters; and concluding with representations of innocence and redemption. No shortage of visitors for this one.

A photo posted by Karen Beltran (@karenxbell) on


2. OSGEMEOS ‘Silence of the Music ‘ at Lehmann Maupin

Twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo, known as the Brazilian artist duo ‘OSGEMEOS’ had their first New York solo show at the Lehmann Maupin gallery.  They transformed multiple rooms into an immersive installation of drawing, painting, collage, mixed media sculpture, and kinetic and audio elements that often combined the colors, sights and sounds from the streets of Brazil fused with the graffiti and breakdancing scene of the 80’s.  The rooms took on an energy that expounded on the feels you get when stumbling onto their brilliant work in the neighborhood.

OSGEMEOS 'Silence of the Music ' at Lehmann Maupin

Osgemeos exhibit


1. International Pop at Philadelphia Museum of Art

International Pop highlighted influential artists from twenty different countries, this show was ambitious, to say the least, with 150 works, including paintings, sculptures, prints, collage, assemblage, installation, film, and ephemera. The exhibition chronicled Pop art’s emergence as an international movement, exploring its take on politics, mass media and consumerism from the UK and the US to western and eastern Europe, Latin America, and Japan.

What could be more POP then commercial brands & consumer goods emblazoned on canvas in insanely brilliant colors? American capitalism, commercial excess — artists like Tom Wesselmann (Still Life #35) were likening the consumption of brands to our appetite of the new ‘prevailing’ culture norms. You’ll find this massive beauty in the Distribution & Domesticity section of #InternationalPop at the @philamuseum. — International Pop runs from Wednesday, February 24, 2016 to May 15, 2016. Fun Facts: Wesselmann never like being attached to the American Pop Art movement. He stated that his work was not intended as social commentary, but that he merely made aesthetic use of everyday objects. Still Life #35 was painted in 1963, shortly after, he started painting a series of highly sexualized nudes that have become the highlights of his artistic career. #popart #philamuseumofart #tomwesselmann #presspreview #art #visitphilly #whyilovephilly #IGers_Philly

A photo posted by HAHA MAG (@hahamag) on


Still Life with a Ham and a Roemer Willem Claesz. Heda, Dutch (active Haarlem), 1594 - 1680/82

Still Life with a Ham and a Roemer
Willem Claesz. Heda, Dutch (active Haarlem), 1594 – 1680/82

Philadelphia Museum of Art is branching out with a major art initiative, extending its arts outreach into ten local communities. This summer residents of participating communities throughout the city and region will find themselves stumbling across high-quality reproductions of famous works of art from the Museum’s vast collection in unexpected places.

The “Inside Out” initiative, funded by a $340,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, was conceived by the Detroit Institute of the Arts as a way to engage the community in its collection, and has been in hundreds of locations over the past five years.

Each neighborhood will host up to twelve masterpieces within a short distance of each other, displayed in a frame representative of the time period in which it was created. The art will be accompanied by a label with commentary by members of the Museum’s staff explaining what they most admire about the works.

The project will unfold in two phases—the summer installation begins in May 1st in the Philadelphia neighborhoods of East Passyunk and Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy; in Haddonfield, New Jersey; Media, Pennsylvania and Newtown, Pennsylvania. Inside Out will continue with installations this fall beginning in late August in Fishtown and Kensington in Philadelphia and in the Pennsylvania communities of Ambler, Norristown, Wayne and West Chester.

Communities participating in the project will receive free admission to the museum at designated times during the installation.

Find your local locations now, and get ready to experience some of the finest masterpieces in the open air.

Works on view

Media (Delaware County, PA)
Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child (1908)
Marc Chagall, Half-Past Three (The Poet) (1911)
Juan Gris, Man in a Café (1912)
Vasily Kandinsky, Little Painting with Yellow (Improvisation) (1914)
Paul Klee, Fish Magic (1925)
Claude Monet, The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny (1899)
Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon of the Colorado River (1892 and 1908)
Pablo Picasso, Self-Portrait with Palette (1906)
Henri Rousseau, Carnival Evening (1886)
Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Annunciation (1898)
Unknown (made in Korea), Lotus (19th century; Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910)
Unknown (made in India; attributed to Nihal Chand), Krishna and Radha (about 1750)

Haddonfield (Camden County, NJ)
Constantin Brancusi, The Kiss (1916)
Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1902–4
Frederic Edwin Church, Pichincha (1867)
Simon Jacobsz. de Vlieger, Marine (about 1652–53)
Daniel Garber, Tanis (1915)
Jacob Lawrence, The Libraries Are Appreciated (1943)
Sir Frederic Leighton, Portrait of a Roman Lady (La Nanna) (1859)
Joan Miró, Dog Barking at the Moon (1926)
Claude Monet, Poplars on the Bank of the Epte River (1891)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Two Calla Lilies on Pink (1928)
Unknown (made in France), Rondel Depicting Holofernes’s Army Crossing the Euphrates River (1246–48)

Newtown (Bucks County, PA)
Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) (1912)
Edward Hicks, Noah’s Ark (1846)
Winslow Homer, The Life Line (1884)
Jean-Antoine Houdon, Bust of Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) (1779)
Édouard Manet, Le Bon Bock (1873)
Charles Willson Peale, Portrait of Yarrow Mamout (Muhammad Yaro) (1819)
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Master Bunbury (1780–81)
Sarah Mary Taylor, “Hands” Quilt (Winter 1980)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance (1890)
Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834 (1834–35)

East Passyunk (South Philadelphia)
Canaletto, The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day (about 1745)
Eduard Charlemont, The Moorish Chief (1878)
Paul Gauguin, The Sacred Mountain (Parahi Te Marae) (1892)
Marsden Hartley, Painting No. 4 (A Black Horse) (1915)
Willem Claesz. Heda, Still Life with a Ham and a Roemer (about 1631–34)
Claude Monet, Manne-Porte, Étretat (1885)
Rubens Peale, From Nature in the Garden (1856)
Robert Rauschenberg, Estate (1963)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Girl in a Red Ruff (about 1896)
William Trost Richards, Newport Coast (1902)
Diego Rivera, Sugar Cane (1931)

Chestnut Hill & Mt. Airy (Northwest Philadelphia)
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, A Reading from Homer (1885)
Moe Brooker, Present Futures (2006)
John Constable, Sketch for “A Boat Passing a Lock” (1822–24)
Beauford Delaney, Portrait of James Baldwin (1945)
Thomas Eakins, Sailboats Racing on the Delaware (1874)
Daniel Garber, Quarry, Evening (1913)
Kano Hōgai, Two Dragons [in Clouds] (1885)
František Kupka, Disks of Newton (Study for “Fugure in Two Colors”) (1912)
Joan Miró, Horse, Pipe, and Red Flower (1920)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait of Mademoiselle Legrand (1875)
Rebecca Scattergood Savery, Sunburst Quilt (1839
Unknown (made in Central Tibet), Four Hevajra Mandalas of the Vajravali Cycle (early 15th century)
Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers (1888 or 1889)
Andy Warhol, Jackie (Four Jackies) (Portraits of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy) (1964)
Grant Wood, Plowing (1936)
Andrew Newell Wyeth, Groundhog Day (1959)

Streets Dept Presents The Evolution of Street Art

Streets Dept 44_cb_15_flyer_rd1_large


Yeah, so this is going down…

Streets Dept Presents: The Evolution of Street Art 
An Artists Panel Discussion at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
6:00 – 7:00pm
(Pay what you wish)

This hour-long panel discussion will pick the brilliant minds of some of today’s most active and exciting artists and talk to them about how they use public space (both legally and otherwise) to create dialogue, display their work, and enliven the streets of Philadelphia.

Panel to include Gaia, Joe Boruchow, Ishknits, Harlequinade, and Kid Hazo

pic via StreetDept

Represent: 200 Years of African American Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is highlighting their collection of works made by artists of African descent with a new publication and exhibit of the same name, Represent: 200 Years of African American Art.

Represent opened to the public, January 10, 2015. The exhibition features 75+ works culled from the museum’s holdings by consulting curator Dr. Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, and Project Curatorial Assistant, John Vick.

For the majority of the public, many of the pieces in this exhibit have only been seen in photographs. The exhibition is a reflection of the history of race in the United States, it is also comprised of unique voices that separate themselves from categorization with their creative freedoms.

The hand of the artist weaves itself in and out of historical, social and personal conflict with narratives we try to understand; our engagement with these stories is a base for commonality. They make one think about the things that say true and unchanging – the importance of identity – finding a place of belonging that can hold an honest grounding within our individuality. The diversity of this approach can be seen in the presentation of works chosen.

Before you enter the exhibit gallery, notice the drawings of the exterior and interior of the Main Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, attributed to the architect Julian Abele. In 1902, Abele was the first African American to graduate from the architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania.

It’s a fitting beginning to the complexity of art that ranges in means and interpretation throughout the five groupings; Early America, Imagining Modernity, Abstract Approaches, Past Made Present, Facing the Collection.

Notable Philadelphians in the exhibit: Moses Williams, former slave and profile cutter in the household of portrait artist and first museum entrepreneur Charles Willson Peale; Henry Ossawa Tanner, whose painting The Annunciation was the first African American work to be acquired by an American Museum; Dox Thrash, a printmaker ; Sculptor, Barbara Chase-Riboud; Moe Brooke; Barkley L. Hendricks.

As you walk through the exhibit, don’t miss this unintentional conversation between – The Deposition by Bob Thompson and Present Futures by Moe Brooker. The paintings sit cattycorner to one another, sharing the same celebratory color palettes. [Thanks to DuBois Shaw for pointing that out]

Within the exhibit space, Kara Walker is the youngest artist shown. At 46, Walker is still a very relevant artist, but it’s worth pointing out that artist Jayson Musson (Gallery 124 in the permanent collection) is a younger voice that bookends the exhibition. Musson’s, Trying to find our spot off in that light, light off in the spot can be seen in the permanent collection, with a reference to it’s inclusion in the catalogue and exhibition.

Represent: 200 Years of African American Art runs until April 5, 2015. A wide variety of special events and celebratory programs are happening in conjunction with this exhibit. Learn about them here.

Our Highlights:

Horace Pippin – The End of the War: Starting Home
From afar it can seem a simple canvassed painting. But a closer inspection will reveal scenes that depict the brutality of war. Notice its framing of carved weapons, helmets, and tanks.

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Carrie Mae Weems – Untitled
Three of the twenty photographs that comprise The Kitchen Table Series are shown here (One of our Art Basel Miami highlights). Weems stages these stretched scenes into long unspoken sentences comprised of emotions and identity within relationships.
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Glenn Ligon – Untitled (I’m Turning Into a Specter before Your Very Eyes and I’m Going to Haunt You)
Stand there long enough to realize that you are re-reading a single phrase; Ligon’s repetition of this phrase begins to dissipate into a powerful message as the words begin to blur and disappears into a bigger meaning.

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Wille Cole – Reversed Evidence
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Moses Williams – Peale Family Silhouettes

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Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography Opens at Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography opens today, to the general public at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  It’s the largest and most comprehensive major retrospective of his work in nearly 50 years- a celebration of the museum’s recent acquisition of more than 3,000 prints from the Paul Strand Archive.

The exhibition explores the evolution of Strand’s work over a spanned period of time; a well-versed turn through the relationships that helped garner his engaging shots.

Along with Strand’s compelling photography are great interactive components that should lure in even the mildly curious. Key photography books that highlight his work in New England, Luzzara, and Ghana, long since out of print, have been digitized allowing you to virtually explore them page by page. Clips from three of his most significant films can be viewed in either of the 2 screening rooms within the exhibit. (The films will be screened in their entirety at the International House later along with four films from other directors that impacted his filmmaking.)

The show also places a reflective look on his travels and relationships with interesting backs stories played out through personal effects such as: travel notes scrawled across a road map of Ghana, key works from photographers who greatly influenced Strand, and two weathered cameras Strand used to take some of these iconic photos.

Peter Barbarie’s curatorial affects have been translated throughout the exhibit with a richness of study that mount up to helping an audience see what made Strand a master at his craft. This is an exhibit you walk away from with more than just the memory of a photo.


Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from October 21, 2014 – January 4, 2015

For more information on the full range of programming built around Strand’s work throughout the duration of the exhibit, visit the PMA’s official site.


Cai Guo-Qiang likes to ignite things… few will ever forget his majestic display of pyrotechnics at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  I was present for his 2009 meditation on the passing of time, Light Passage, a gunpowder series on paper heralded by Fallen Blossoms, the gunpowder fuse shaped like a blossoming flower ignited at sunset outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  His artistic technic is memorable for the impressions that come after the loud bangs, leaving nothing but darkened images that drift off into the wind.   The shadows may phase out, but these outlines of the once existing things create palpable discussions that continue well after his installations have been set off.

Last year, 16,000 dead pigs floated down the Huangpu River in Shanghai last year, due to high levels of air pollution.  This catastrophic event inspired The Ninth Wave which not only questions China’s environmental conditions through more visual fare, but our day-to-day environmental interactions with mother earth on a more global scale.  The installations visual influence is culled from Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky’s 1850 painting, also entitled, ‘The Ninth Wave’, which depicts weary survivors helplessly clinging onto debris the night after they were shipwrecked in a storm, with the day breaking depicted in warm tones, it gives the viewer hope that these survivors might just make it.

The Ninth Wave opened with a elegy in his hometown of Shanghai –  eight minutes of multicolored smoke shooting up from the Huangpu River (very same river the pigs were found in) bought attention to an unexpected fishing boat floating down the river replacing Aivazovsky’s survivors with 99 faux animals, all looking sullen and weary.

The discussion continues with other installs built around the theme of social change at Shanghai’s contemporary art museum, the Power Station of Art.

Power Station of Art
200 Huayuangang Rd,
Huangpu, Shanghai,

Dig a little deeper with the artist with this Q&A.

Photo credit: Benoit Florencon and the Cai Guo-Qiang website





Michelangelo Pistoletto at the Philadelphia Museum of Art


Strolling into the contemporary wing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I stumbled onto the current installation of Michelango Pistoletto’s Tavolo Mediterraneo Love Difference (Mediterranean Table Love Difference).  Pistoletto’s tables in the shapes of seas from across the globe will be on view. These “mediterranean” tables metaphorically represent the spaces that exist in the “middle of land,” places whose in-between character provides a conceptual platform for conversation and exchange across cultures.

Starting November 2, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will host ‘Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956–1974′.  This is huge, Michelangelo Pistoletto is one of the most influential contemporary artists in Europe; this will be his first major solo exhibition in the United States in over 20 years. This exhibition will present the artist’s current work from his interdisciplinary laboratory, Cittadellarte—the name of which implies both a fortified enclave and a city of art. They’ll also be showing over 100 of Pistoletto’s work that deal with postwar sociocultural transformations of Italy, Western Europe, and North America.

Michelangelo Pistoletto:
From One to Many, 1956-1974

Michelangelo Pistoletto:

November 2, 2010 – January 16, 2011

Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

The Museum will be hosting a variety of activities and programs to accompany the exhibits:

Scultura Da Passeggio – A Restaging of Pistoletto’s Walking Sculpture
Saturday, October 30, 1 p.m.
Join the procession as Michelangelo Pistoletto rolls a giant ball of newspapers made by Spiral Q Puppet Theater through Philadelphia, beginning at the Museum’s West Entrance—rain or shine! The artist will recreate his seminal action Walking Sculpture, first performed in 1967 on the streets of Turin. Free and open to the public.

Three Conversations with Michelangelo Pistoletto, Germano Celant, and Carlos Basualdo
Saturday, October 30, 5 p.m.; Sunday, October 31, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear two of the founding voices of Arte Povera—art critic and curator Germano Celant and artist Michelangelo Pistoletto—in conversation with Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art. In three sessions over two days, they will cover Pistoletto’s early work in the context of Italian art in the late 1950s, the artist’s role in the Arte Povera movement, and his current work in relation to Italian and contemporary art. Free after Museum admission; ticket required.

posted by Ginger Rudolph