Kassem Amoudi, Absolutely Abstract 2013

Kassem Amoudi, White with a Past 2, acrylic, Absolutely Abstract 2013Philadelphia Sketch Club

DoN visited the beautiful sunny gallery on the second floor of the Philadelphia Sketch Club on a Wednesday afternoon to experience the Absolutely Abstract 2013 art show while no one else was around. But the doorbell rang and a lovely lady, a docent for PAFA Museum, wanted to do the same thing. Christine, the club’s secretary was busy working on party plans for the upcoming Mad Men gala at the club, so the art enthusiast and DoN talked sincerely about art while Christine designed the experience for the gala with the party planners. It was a bit surreal. DoN told her he was overwhelmed by the complexity of the term ‘abstract’ and how loaded and coded just the word ‘abstract’ is. DoN thinks of Pollock and Rothko and the last century but the meme behind abstraction today is more than un-controlled messiness, it’s part of our collective consciousness like no other art style.

An award-winning artist with an extensive exhibition record both nationally and internationally, Kassem Amoudi received his MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He has been a painting instructor there since 2000. He also leads courses at the Main Line Art Center, the Wayne Art Center, Perkins Center for the Arts and is a faculty member of the artist in residence at the MFA program of Vermont College – Union Institute & University. – Kassem Amoudi

Ben McCullough, Absolutely Abstract 2013

Ben McCullough,Untitled Branding, sculpture print making,  Absolutely Abstract 2013Philadelphia Sketch Club

The art show includes all types of media from this beautiful construction that just exudes action, tension with simple materials, intriguing abstract photography, digital design, mixed media and constructions. But the show highlights painting, oils and acrylics especially. There is an argument that abstraction is for painters and other forms are dada, conceptual, found art or everything else is just plain accidental art.  Absolutely Abstract 2013 designs the experience so that the viewer can relate how traditional abstraction in exciting brushwork and communicative color that is engrained in our group memory can work in unison with contemporary styles that confound and stimulate the mind just as well as a complex painting. There is so much color that sweeps through the room, with the sun shining in the skylight it really sets a contemplative mood.

Back to the pretty lady – DoN asked her how she would describe abstraction and she really took a minute and thought about it gazing around the room. She said Kassem Amoudi‘sWhite with a Past 2, was her favorite artwork in the show. “Abstract art exposes the soul of the artist in a spiritual way.” Her theory is that abstraction lets us see beyond our collaborative experience of reality to glimpse another universe like a spiritual time trip. Now DoN‘s meme of abstract art as non-representational imagery with a lingering beatnik vibe has a new sensitive new age meaning, making it fresh and alive, again and again.

Stuart Alter, Absolutely Abstract 2013

Stuart Alter, Drops, acrylic, Absolutely Abstract 2013Philadelphia Sketch Club

Brian Boutwell, Absolutely Abstract 2013

Brian Boutwell, Loggia Reverie, oil on panel, Absolutely Abstract 2013Philadelphia Sketch Club

Brian Boutwell‘s painting was awarded Best in Show in a field of artworks that are all beautiful and often stunning. The action painting with thick, clear oil color and pentimenti reads from across the room as if the rest of the paintings are the supporting cast in a color story. The layout of the show flows with lovely color ways, themes and styles are clustered with similar and complementary works, spaced carefully and thoughtfully around the room. Experience the show for yourself and you will come away inspired because abstract art is still futuristic as it was in the 50s, surviving Pop Art, Neo Geo, PoMo and more.

Absolutely Abstract 2013Philadelphia Sketch Club through August 23rd, 2013.

Read about DoN‘s abstract landscape photograph, light being (Kurt), at DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy Engle August 18, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thanks for sharing your friend’s interesting interpretation of abstract art. BTW, I thought your “Kurt”. was one of the stand-outs in the exhibit. Congrats!

Alan Soffer August 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Going to the Sketchclub is alaways a crapshoot. Frequently no one there to open the door. Looks like some quality abstractions.


John Tegley August 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Always a delight to see your work evolve. Congratulations on as outstanding piece.

John Tegley August 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Always a delight to see your work evolve. Congratulations on an outstanding piece.

Ora Bialik August 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Kasam Amudi, I love your new works! Ora

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