Bluestone Fine Art Gallery
Kristin Shattenfield moved to New York City to become an art star.
But she and the city weren’t a good fit. Shattenfield, a minimalist artist, often worked for maximalists there.
Eventually, she realized that was slowing her down, so she moved to Philadelphia.
“Art can make an impact without a bazooka,” she says. “For so long, especially in New York, I didn’t think that was a valid idea. So Philly sort of helped me nurture that.”
But maybe — just maybe — some of that maximalism rubbed off on her. In the exhibit “Kilauea,” Shattenfield’s drippy, trippy paintings are minimalistic without being dry. Her gutsy, almost tie-dye-like colors make that impossible.
Shattenfield says the paintings were inspired by the story of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes in Hawaiian mythology. She learned about her while traveling to the island with her kids.
“It kept sticking with me, and I sort of feel like it’s an allegory to parenthood,” she says. “Like I sort of feel as though I’m building these kids. But I’m also, in a weird way, destroying them.”
Through March 29, opening Fri., March 1, 5 p.m., 301 N. Third St., 856-979-7588, bluestone-gallery.com.
In “Geometrics,” Leigh Van Duzer takes a digital knife to archival photographs of serene landscapes. She uses Photoshop to make mountains look like snowflakes, and dirt look like crystals.
Van Duzer, a member of Vox Populi, says she fuses the different structures for a reason.
“My current interests are in human forms of building, mostly architecture. But also I’m interested in natural forms of buildings,” she says. “I’ve been looking at things like crystals and mountains and honeycombs and microscopic slides of amoeba.”
She slices up photos from the Library of Congress, as well as her own images.
Sculptural artist Heather Ramsdale is also exhibiting at Salon 1522. Her slick, mixed-media objects are a sensible complement to Van Duzer’s playful photos.
Van Duzer says the two artists have been planning a joint exhibit since their school days at the University of Pennsylvania.
“We have been interested in showing together since the day we met,” she says. “We entered grad school not knowing each other, but with very similar work. Although mine was photographic and hers was sculptural, we were literally using the same materials.”
Through March 30, opening Fri., March 1, 7 p.m., 1522 N. Lawrence St., 856-979-8159, salon1522.com.
Bridgette Mayer Gallery
A few years ago, Rebecca Rutstein was painting acrylic scenes of life under the sea. The charming pieces often included wireframe maps and other fantastical, out-of-place flourishes.
The exhibit “Deep Rift” demonstrates how much the artist has grown since then.
The same basic idea is there, but it has been refined. Rutstein’s paintings still hone in on geology and surreal landscapes. The wireframe maps are still there. The vibrant, jumpy colors are still there. But everything is less cluttered now.
“Imagery that formerly appeared now feels extraneous, as I seek to refine and pare down the space,” Rutstein says in a statement. “Wireframe maps that were a muted component of earlier paintings have become the subject of the new work.”
New World is a particularly strong painting, full of buzzing pinks, oranges and yellows. It features her signature maps and geometric abstractions. The show also includes a site-specific, large-scale sculptural piece mounted on the wall.
Rutstein says the exhibit was the result of a residency in Iceland, a place littered with waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers and other geological wonders.
“The island straddles two divergent tectonic plates. I was legitimately struck by the stark contrasts in the landscape and humbled by the forces behind it all,” she says. “In particular, a guided hike on Sólheimajökull glacier in the south of Iceland was the inspiration for many of the paintings.”
Through March 30, opening Fri., March 1, 6 p.m., 709 Walnut St., 215-413-8893, bridgettemayergallery.com.
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