Philadelphia Weekly Press

Forget the pumpkin pie, check out November’s art!
By R.B. Strauss
October 31, 2007

An uncanny cohesion is at the center of the latest offerings at Pentimenti Gallery (www.pentimenti.com), 145 North Second Street. A quartet of folks is presented in a pair of shows that hit at the heart of America today by channeling yesterday along with a dollop of modern technology.

From A Thousand Pages... features the tremendous trio of Glenn Fischer, Matt Haffner, and Nate Moore.

Glenn Fischer goes Old School with collage and mixed media work. His chief image is the oval, and various sizes of this inhabit his art. Within some are various designs that reference advertising or magazine illustration found well over a half century ago, while his themes are wholly now, such as a critique on hunting that would reduce Deadeye Dick Cheney to red-faced shame.

Matt Haffner also looks to yesterday then drags the past and tosses it into tomorrow. His work is cinematic to the max as he references film noir. Chiaroscuro and odd angles, dames and gumshoes in fedoras, plus a pervasive paranoia mark his (basically) black and white paintings. Yet what grounds them in a world as yet to be is that some pieces are from a sequence titled Revolution.

Nate Moore is an anomaly of sorts. He is at once a sculptor and a book artist. His medium is paper, specifically pages torn from books and magazines, including cheesy science fiction works and even more bizarre literature. His forte is origami, yet he holds a tight focus on his creations, which are exclusively jet fighters. He sets these planes in various formations, from grids to star patterns and beyond. The question remains, however: Do these jet fighters make love or war?

Rebecca Rothfus is on hand with Towers, which features works on paper. These titular towers are not the ancient structures where Rapunzel let down her hair, but rather sleek, spidery steel spires rising into the sky, and littered with devices that one can’t tell if they send or receive signals. A detached aesthetic belies the towers’ streamlined forms with contemporary commentary in light of warrantless phone taps and the like. That they rise naked into the sky with no attempt to mask them lends these ominous obelisks further fearful significance.

With these two shows Pentimenti proves itself again to be a gallery with a conscience.