Landscape of the Mind

Kathryn Frund's solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art tours the landscape of the artist's imagination and her search for an understanding of human and natural history against the backdrop of spirituality.

"Earthheavenhavenden" continues through Friday, Aug. 19 at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St.

Meditation and the material world intersect in these abstract explorations of creation and destruction, of history as "His" story.

In the understatement of a muted earthy palette in these mostly small-scale works, Frund finds the power to contemplate larger themes. The mixed media on wood panels – layered with paint, then scratched through – incorporates scraps of old newspapers and legal documents, wire, canceled postage stamps and other found objects. For Frund, the quest for meaning cannot ignore the detritus of civilization as a key for unlocking mysteries, both earthly and spiritual.

Posted on the wall alongside the art are quotations from Genesis, Exodus and Isaiah. The biblical passages add the religious context for Frund's explorations, but her work has an inherent power of its own.

In "Passages and Solace," the allusion suggested by the accompanying excerpt from Exodus is apparent, but passages and journeys, literal and spiritual, are recurring themes in this show. Passages can be historical, and they can be personal. Frund invites contemplating how the one adds resonance to the other.

In a statement by the artist, she says, "It is my hope that contemplations of the land and of the marks humankind leaves upon it, as well as the evocation of human spirituality in these panels, will create a context for dialogue and discussion."

Indeed, they do.

Her "Genesis" series of seven small (6-inch square) panels invite inspection and reflection. They are elemental yet monumental, powerful in their delicacy and modesty of scale.

The exhibit demonstrates the artist's ability to deftly direct the dialogue she hopes her work will generate.

Frund – who lives in Cheshire, Conn., and has her studio in a former toy factory – got her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, and did additional course work at the University of Hartford and the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 2001, she was awarded an artist's residency at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions.

Info? Call 215-627-6747.




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