Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof, OK artists

The Zero.1% for Art Commission
GUS, PIFAS (The Gallery Under the Stairs at The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study)

The Zero.1% for Art Comission as it was displayed in GUS.

Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon are predominately known as art writers and the creators of the internationally recognised artblog; Lessor known is that they also have a history of making art themselves, some of which is currently on view in a small little box, usually located under the stairs in Ramsey Arnaoot's studio, but which was conveniently placed on the table during the opening for The Zero.1% for Art Commission Reading Room and Fire Sale.

The Zero.1% for Art Commission is a project started by Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof in or around 1998. Their mission is " to put art in the hands of 0.1 percent of the population of Philadelphia . . . reestablish[ing] a critical lost link between the general public and art." (quoted from The art created to give away, were "bags o'art" , clothespins (yes, passed out by the Claes Oldenburg) that question some preconceived notions of art ("is bigger better?", is one of the questions, which is especially funny considering the Claes Oldenburg's proximity), pocket-sized paintings, and tools for blocking out art that is offensive to the eye.

Bad Art Tool by Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon

Their art is rather like their blogging; it is unpretentious, frank, optimistic, relies heavily on public interaction, and has a modest opinion of itself (their brand is "OK artists" because as Libby mentioned in an interview I did with the duo for The Vulture a year or so ago "[. . .] in terms of art we're not geniuses, but we think we're pretty smart on other things."). It is also free for the taking and given out generously for everyone to enjoy. Most notably, their art, like their art writing, inspires conversation about art.

Let the Dawn Only Come! mural by Ramsey Arnaoot.

Libby and Roberta's opening marks the last exhibition for the GUS that will be curated by PIFAS faculty member Ramsey Arnaoot, who is moving to Syria and might already be gone. His final exhibition, a mural, light installation, and a collection of drawings he has traded for via the mail for the past (?) years, collectively titled Let the Dawn Only Come was also on view. Ramsey increased the cultural capital of Philadelphia and will be sorely missed. This blogger wishes him the best of luck while looking forward to the future of the spaces he created under the new directorship of Constance Mensch, pictured below:

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