The Philadelphia Art Alliance is pleased to present Permutations, a collaborative installation by Philadelphia and New York area sculptors Anna Boothe and Nancy Cohen, as well as solo exhibitions by Philadelphia artists Nancy Agati and Kristen Neville Taylor.

A Collaboration Featuring Anna Boothe and Nancy Cohen
Artists' talk: June 7 at 3pm
Since 2012, Anna Boothe and Nancy Cohen have collaborated on an evolving project entitled "Between Seeing and Knowing". This extensive piece, comprised of hundreds of glass objects, takes as a starting point the artists' long standing interest in Tibetan Buddhist paintings and the integration of their otherwise very separate studio practices. The installation reinterprets the symbolism in these Buddhist paintings to create a work that reflects the organizational structure and palette of the paintings, as well as the sense of expansiveness that is characteristic of Buddhist ideology.  

Anna Boothe and Nancy Cohen, Between Seeing and Knowing, 2013-2017; Glass Installation; dimensions variable. Photo: Rob van Erve.
The works featured in this exhibition use a variety of techniques, such as kiln-casting, slumping, fusing, blowing, hot-sculpting and sand-casting. The comprehensive understanding of these processes, each selected to achieve a specific result for every single element, is the result of working in the medium of glass for both artists: Boothe for over 35 years and Cohen for more than 20.  

For this exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Boothe and Cohen have enlarged the original project in response to the architectural details and natural light in the first floor galleries of PAA's Wetherill mansion. Once a historic home, the galleries have retained much of their original features as a sitting room, parlor and library.


Sewn Line: Nancy Agati
Temporary Stay: Kristen Neville Taylor

Sewn Line: Nancy Agati
Nancy Agati's work engages with nature's transformations and cycles, particularly the passage of time. She combines sewing, collage, stencilling, and sculpture in a unique drawing practice that emphasizes patterns and repetition. In her embroideries, the natural and the human merge, the delicate hand stitching evoking the veins of a leaf or light reflecting off water. Agati asks us to slow down and observe these subtle details of nature's craftsmanship-and her own.

Nancy Agati, Sewn Line Installation and sewn drawings, 2006; Tear away paper, thread, sewing machine and table, sewn drawings on wall. Image courtesy of  Karen Mauch.

Temporary Stay: Kristen Neville Taylor

In Ursula Le Guin's groundbreaking feminist essay "Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction," the author suggests that stories are containers, or carrier bags, of meaning. Fundamentally feminine rather than masculine, Le Guin's model for storytelling inspired Neville Taylor to create a series of containers organized according to the model of a story arc-exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Bringing together two- and three-dimensional work, Neville Taylor's installation challenges us to reconsider our assumptions about nature, narrative, and culture.

Kristen Neville Taylor, Accruing Meaning, 2014 (detail); Glass, wood, paint. Image courtesy of Joseph Hu 
The Philadelphia Art Alliance is dedicated to the advancement and appreciation of innovative contemporary art with a focus on craft and design, and to inspiring dynamic interaction between audiences and artists.
The Philadelphia Art Alliance is located at 251 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12 to 6pm; Suggested Donation: $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors.