Latest Mt. Airy gallery exhibit explores a dialogue between art and architecture

After a several month hiatus, Mt. Airy Contemporary Artists Space (MACAS) was again abuzz with art lovers who came out to enjoy an opening reception at the gallery last week. MACAS’ latest exhibit features work from artists John Darling-Wolf and Abigail Patterson.

Billed as an “ongoing conversation between architecture and art,” MACAS pairs the work of two creatives whose art shares similarities in the balance of forms and language of spatial constructs.

John Darling-Wolf is a formally trained architect and has lived in Mt. Airy for 13 years. His work in the exhibit comes from an interest in sculptural architecture. In both his prints and sculptures, Darling-Wolf uses aluminum plates and wire recycled from a former wool mill in Manayunk. Besides being utilized to express the language of art and architecture, they also have value as a unique record of the mill’s existence, he said. Recovered metal plates, with marks of wear and age, bring information of their past to the printing process.

“When they gain that information, it’s more interesting to print,” Darling-Wolf shared.

Abigail Patterson is a printmaker and collage artist from Wilmington, Delaware, whose interest in implied architectural forms traces its origins back to her family environment. Growing up with a father who was a builder and an uncle who is an architect, Patterson developed an interest in creating images of enclosures as “very simple things and space”.

Patterson says she tries to impart an theatrical, animated aspect in her work through her use of layers and imprecise angles.

Though he had never met Patterson and was only aware of some examples of her work, Darling-Wolf says he was excited by the idea of collaboration. While Patterson’s work on display was curated from different series she had done in 2010, Darling-Wolf fabricated several pieces specifically for the exhibit to create a dialogue between their works.

Together, their work is “a very happy marriage”, being so similar in spirit that one might confuse the artists, Darling-Wolf noted.

MACAS’ John Darling-Wolf and Abigail Patterson exhibition runs through June 8.

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