Philadelphia, PA

small scale : expansive visions

Dozier Bell

Flock, 4
charcoal on mylar
3 ¾ x 4 inches

November 17 - January 05, 2013

small scale : expansive visions


October 29, 2012

small scale : expansive visions at Gallery Joe

Gallery Joe is pleased to announce small scale : expansive visions, a group show of drawings by 6 artists; Dozier Bell, Tom Fairs, Marcel Gähler, Rob Matthews, Tom Molloy, and Charles Ritchie. The exhibition opens on November 17 and continues through January 5, 2013.

Each of the artists in this show has employed a very small format, none more than 5 x 7 inches, to create a complete world packed with depth and emotion. Two are familiar faces at Gallery Joe, Charles Ritchie and Rob Matthews. The other four artists are exhibiting here for the first time.

Swiss born artist, Marcel Gähler lives and works in Zurich. His pencil drawings are included the collections of Kunstmuseum Bern and the Kunstmuseum Winterthur. When asked in a recent interview about the subject of drawing Gähler stated,

Yes, …I need a lot of time to make a drawing, more time than for a painting. But it is also my disposition to make my small drawings. I feel the importance to create something in a radical simple way. … I believe in art as an independent global language. I intend to wake people’s memories and so I am offering a mental space. My works are marked by a timelessness of the representation and an ambivalence of the content.

Tom Molloy, b.1964 in Waterford, Ireland lives and works in Dublin. Molloy will show three graphite drawings first exhibited at the Limerick City Gallery of Art in 2006 in his solo exhibition Yo Lo Vi. The title translated, I have seen it references Goya’s etchings, Disasters of War. Molloy states, …I suppose the show is about bearing witness to contemporary media imagery as opposed to actual events. The drawings are beautiful renderings of the sky. On closer inspection, one notes the titles, Operation Ivy, Mike, 1952, Eugelab Island Pacific Ocean and realizes that they are drawings of photographs of the explosion of the largest thermonuclear devise by the US that completely destroyed the island.

Man is playing God: we can destroy ourselves and simultaneously create this beauty. Still, they are all just clouds at the end of the day. ….the idea of transformation interests me, more than just transforming the material.

Tom Fairs (1925-2007) a life long resident of London was a graduate of the Hornsey College of Art and The Royal College of Art. He taught art at the Central School of Art and Design from 1954-87. Though he devoted his life to art, he eschewed the commercial art world, rarely exhibited his paintings and drawings. After retirement he produced the work that he has become known for today. Two graphite drawings will be in the exhibition.

My interest is primarily in things seen: landscape, interiors, still life where, in the light of the imagination, the commonplace may be transformed into the extraordinary. The ever-present transforming principle moves me. I have no theories, no special techniques and no information to communicate. I try to achieve a brief glimpse of the implicit order that lies beneath what we perceive as reality.

Dozier Bell was born and raised in Maine where she continues to live and work. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bowdoin, ME. She is showing four landscapes in charcoal on mylar.

I have always understood my work as emanating from the level of animal consciousness, in which the “feeling-tone,” rather than the cognitive interpretation of a place or phenomenon is of primary significance. So when castles began to appear in my paintings a couple of years ago, I wondered what it could mean in terms of instinctual life – to what is that level of consciousness responding? …Extinction, plagues, shortages, and further natural disasters are almost certainly in our future and are, I think, being sensed by all of us on an instinctual level. The castle conveys both the dream of safety and the futility of isolated attempts to escape a common fate.

Rob Matthews was born in Wilson, North Carolina. His drawings merge disparate subjects such as humor, faith, human folly, Hitchcock movies and childhood adventures. Making sense of these things, often at odds with one another, fuels Matthews’ imagination. When discussing mans place in the real world Matthews remarked, …We attempt to organize and contain nature to experience it on our terms but in the end we loose control and succumb to our own end.

Matthews devotes equal time and energy to portraiture and landscape drawings. He has completed over 50 portraits of his friends and family. Twenty-five of Mathews graphite portraits are included the exhibition Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge on view at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC beginning November 16. Matthews lives and works in Philadelphia.

Charles Ritchie draws what is most near and dear to him; his studio, his home, and surrounding houses in the small cul-de-sac in Silver Spring, Maryland where he has lived for 27 years. Ritchie’s drawings are both monochrome and color. Most contain some mixture of the following media: graphite, conté crayon, watercolor, pen and ink, and gouache. The drawings in this show are some of the smallest that Ritchie has done. At 1 x 1 ½ inches they are truly intimate in both scale and subject matter.

By cultivating interplay between the interior and exterior worlds, I have tried to understand a tiny amount about the universe. I believe the glint of sun off a kitchen window is as rare and beautiful and disturbing as the light of a comet, if we are sensitive to its glow.

Ritchie began showing with Gallery Joe in 2005. Since then he has had three solo exhibitions and has been included in several group shows at the gallery. His work is included in numerous public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, The Baltimore Museum of Art, MD, among others.

small scale : expansive visions opens November 17 and runs through January 5, 2013. There will be a reception Saturday, November 17 from 4-6 pm. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12 - 5:30, other days by appointment. For additional information call 215.592.7752 or visit our website at

small scale : expansive visions

17 Nov - 05 Jan 2013

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