Drexel University’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery will re-open on Friday, April 2, 2021 after COVID-19 closed the doors to its contemporary art space for the last year. Fittingly, the Pearlstein Gallery will open with a new exhibition, called Breathing Room, presented in collaboration with local gallery Twelve Gates Arts.
During the pandemic, the experience of moving through space has profoundly shifted. The space between things – the invisible, the air, the distance – has crept to the front of our psyche. Breathing Room is named for this space between artworks; space to understand, contextualize and locate “the passage from one to another,” according to the curators.
The exhibition will run from Friday, April 2 through Friday, May 28. The Pearlstein Gallery (3401 Filbert St.) is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12- 5 p.m. and by appointment. For safety, masks and social distancing are required. All visitors will be asked to fill out a health checker form for contact tracing and occupancy is limited to 20 people, including gallery staff.
The exhibition is curated by Aisha Khan and Atif Sheikh, the co-founders, directors and curators at Twelve Gates Arts, an art gallery based in Old City that promotes contemporary and modern South Asian, Middle Eastern and Diasporic artists.
Breathing Room will feature three regional artists, Amina Ahmed, Yamini Nayar and Maria Dumlao, working in drawing, printmaking, photography and installation. Though each artist’s practice and objects are unique, they are tied together in mutual understanding.
Ahmed, Nayar and Dumlao explore movement and dimensionality in their process with intimacy and abstraction, according to Khan. “The Gallery's vast, meandering, mutable space offers a realm of possibility to explore the intersections of Ahmed, Nayar, and Dumlao's practices,” she said.
Ahmed’s artistic process stems from a geometry practice. Her work expands on the eight-fold, referred to as the breath pattern, which layers the dynamic and static square — universally found in folk and traditional art. Her mark-making embodies repetition and pattern, with rhythm tracing through the work, offering a multitude of intimate perspectives on nature and transformation
Nayar’s photographs of assemblage sculptures are interrogations into materiality, temporality, and the body. Dumlao amalgamates elements of truth-telling and subverting dominant narratives by utilizing tri-color viewing slides to investigate archives of old negatives and photographs. In this manner, her work exposes and veils imagined truths in historical narratives by dynamizing a discerning focus.
The Pearlstein gallery is committed to cultivating engagement with emerging artists, community partners and contemporary culture. The gallery is a free, open and inclusive space for visitors to experience and reflect on current socio-cultural climates.
To learn more about the exhibition visit here.