Historical Journal

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Joyce Fillip: Natural Phenomena and Atmospheric Effects

July 17, 1986
Holly Bishop

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"Fillip’s background as a sculptor is brought to mind as one looks at the thick, energetic volumes and the dense atmospheric spaces that have been deftly created on a flat surface."

July 17 through August 24, 1986
Morris Gallery exhibitions are partially and generously funded by a grant from Philadelphia Foundation.
Three years ago, while researching Greek and Roman architecture for a sculptural project, Joyce Fillip had a revelation. She realized that one of the most interesting and impressive aspects about the structures was their strength in surviving the powerful forces of nature throughout the centuries. In considering this, Fillip’s interest began to shift to the forces themselves. Natural disasters and phenomena became the subject of her work.
At about the same time, she switched media, relinquishing sculpture for work on paper. Fillip’s background as a sculptor is brought to mind as one looks at the thick, energetic volumes and the dense atmospheric spaces that have been deftly created on a flat surface.
Fillip studies waterspouts, earthquakes, tornadoes, tidal waves, and waterfalls, all of which suggest the awesome majestic power and force of nature. They communicate energy, uncertainty, threat, tension, and fear. For Fillip, these images can be “read as metaphors for psychological states of mind.” The large scale of her drawing and their dramatic contrasts of dark and light reinforce the galvanic impact of nature that inspired the work. Recently, Fillip’s attention has focused on the power and wonder of water in its various states, from ice to lake to atmosphere. These works are not as overpoweringly menacing as the earlier ones; they are a softer, subtler, more delicate exploration of the nuances of natural phenomena.

Holley Bishop
Curatorial Intern
1. Ricketts Glen, 1986
48″ x 34″
Oil medium on paper
2. Susquehanna River / Triptych, 1986
34″ x 136″
3. Golden Line Reflecting, 1986
9″x 5″
4. Kitchen Creek, 1986
24″ x 30″
Monotype and Conte
5. Carbon County, 1986
24″ x 30″
Monotype and Conte
6. Ricketts Glen / Harrison Wright Falls, 1986
24″ x 30″
Monotype and Conte
7. Untitled / Diptych, 1986
26″ x 34″
Monotype and Conte
8. N. W. Iceberg, 1985
36″ x 49″
Oil paint on paper
9. Iceberg North, 1985
36″ x 49″
Oil paint on paper
10. View from Above, 1986
42″ x 144″
11. Untitled, 1986
46″ x 34″
Oil medium on paper
All work is shown through the courtesy of the artist and the Marian Locks Gallery, Philadelphia.

Artist Biography
Joyce Fillip was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1953. She studied at Colorado State University and in 1975 graduated with a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana. In 1978 Fillip received an M.F.A. from the University of California at Davis. She has served on the Studio Arts faculty of several area institutions: from 1978 to 1982 at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University; in 1982 – 1983 at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.; and from 1984 to 1985 she served on the staff of the Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA. Since 1985 she has taught at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA. In 1982 and 1985, Fillip was awarded a Pennsylvania Council for the Arts fellowship. In 1984 she received a Yaddo fellowship, and most recently, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (1986).

Solo exhibitions
Marian Locks Gallery, Philadelphia (1986); Florence Wilcox Gallery, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa. (1982); Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia (1981).

Group exhibitions (selected)
Monumental Drawings: Twenty American Artists, Brooklyn Museum of Art (September 1986); Three Contemporary Surrealists, Falkirk, San Rafael, Calif. (1986); Works on Paper, Frumkin Struve Gallery, Chicago (1985); Philadelphia Drawing, Philadelphia Art Alliance (1985); Selections, The Drawing Center, New York, N.Y. (1985); Sculpture Show, Painted Bride Art Gallery, Philadelphia (1984); The New Art Examiner Benefit Exhibition, Philadelphia Art Institute (1984); Summer Show, Freidus Ordover Gallery, New York, N.Y. (1984); Four Artists, Roger LaPelle Gallery, Philadelphia (1984); Five Years of Fleisher, The Philadelphia Art Alliance (1983); The 67th Annual Show, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, N.Y. (1982); Views. Interior/Exterior, Stockton Art Gallery, Pomona, N.J. (1981); Art As Object, Semaphore Gallery, New York, N.Y. (1981); Emerging Artists, Alternative Museum, New York, N.Y. (1981); Group Show, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia (1981); Looking Forward, Marian Locks Gallery, Philadelphia (1980); Painted Structures, Jeffrey Fuller Fine Arts, Philadelphia (1980); Primavera, The Cheltenham Arts Center (1980); Sculpture of the 70s, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, N.J. (1979); The Crocker-Kingsley, Crocker-Kingsley Museum of Art, Sacramento, Calif. (1978).

Donohoe, Victoria. “Art on the Leading Edge of a Newly Popular Style,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 7, 1984.
________. “On Galleries,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 30, 1981.
Stein, Judith. “Art Review for ‘Fresh Air,”‘ WHYY FM, Philadelphia, 9,1981.
Jarmusch, Ann. “Relentless Serenity,” Art News, October 1980.
Pentak, Stephen. “Painted Structures,” The New Art Examiner, July 1980.
Stein, Judith. “Review of Painted Structures,” WHYY FM, Philadelphia, May 21, 1980.
Donohoe, Victoria. “Review,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 9. 1
Katz, Jonathan. “Canvas Isn’t a Painter’s Sole Surface,” The Bulletin, Philadelphia, May 4,1980.
Brown, Christopher. “Review,” Artweek, Sacramento, CA, May 13,1978.
Simon, Richard. “An Art Show That Defeats Every Law of Average,” The Sacramento Union, CA., May 13,1978.
The Morris Gallery displays the work of outstanding contemporary artists with a connection to Philadelphia, determined by birth, schooling, or residence. The, exhibitions are chosen by a committee composed of area artists, museum personnel, and collectors, and the curatorial staff of the Academy. Currently serving on the Morris Gallery Exhibition Committee are: Cynthia. Carlson, Bill Freeland, Dr. Helen Herrick, Jay Richardson Massey, Cheryl McClenney, John Moore, Elizabeth Osborne, Eileen Rosenau, Mark Rosenthal; Academy staff Judith Stein, Morris Gallery Coordinator, Frank Goodyear, Jr., Linda Bantel, Kathleen Foster, Betty Romanella; and Academy students Ed Lewis and Anna Yates.
Copyright, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1986
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