ROUND-UP April 2-11, 2019

Hello, dear readers! For this round-up, please enjoy my review of a show at Philly's Magic Gardens, an essay on the Irish rock band The Saw Doctors, and a review of a show at Locks Gallery!
"As the show continues on the opposite wall of the first gallery, this technical and media-based divide begins to appear less rigid, as if the two artists were holed up in a single studio at the same time and began to incorporate each other’s styles into their own work. The intricate concentric circles clustered together on “Queen of Time” by Gabriel are echoed in the adjacent “Soap Bubble” by Chaflen. Both artists also use flat, solid sections of color devoid of surface texture as a foil for their more patterned areas. The apotheosis of this appearance of influence comes in the form of Chalfen’s “Side 2/Side B,” which echoes Gabriel’s methods of turning simple shapes into semi-abstract figurative imagery in his masks."
"It's this strongest material, plucked from among the five studio albums they had released at the time of Live in Galway and played with incredible vigor and lust for live, that make the Bruce Springsteen comparison incredibly apt. (There are even a few tracks where cars make a key appearance.) The melodies are simple, but incredibly infectious; the lyrics overflow with snapshot-like specificity. The delicate perfection of first love, as relayed in the ballad "Red Cortina": "Close your eyes for just one moment / Disco at the start of summer / Sun still shining through the window / You were just about to blossom." On the more prurient side, there are plenty of songs about sex, occasionally loaded with charming wryness about Catholic hypocrisy; notably, "Bless Me Father", a cheeky rocker, takes the form of a confession, where the sacrament becomes a raunchy round of humble-bragging about a particularly enchanting woman with "big brown eyes" and "silky skin". "Father, you have no idea what you've missed," indeed."
"Yet the first clue that McEneaney’s paintings in ‘Callowhill’ are not as straightforward as they appear to be comes in viewing ‘Studio-Early 2019’ (2019), an airy, wide-look at her studio space. The perspective is deliberately skewed, allowing you to both look down at the surfaces of the paint-splattered floor and movable table while also looking up at the turquoise-blue ceiling. The spectator’s position is a place that does not physically exist; you seem to float just at the surface of the image, somewhat thrown off balance. And then you take a look at what McEneaney has captured in her depiction of her studio: nearly all of the other paintings on display in ‘Callowhill’ make an appearance in ‘Studio-Early 2019.’ Propped up on an easel, hanging on the wall, resting on the floor—the other works have been rendered in miniature and collaged onto the surface of ‘Studio-Early 2019,’ creating a delightfully playful and meta atmosphere that lingers for the rest of the show."