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The Philadelphia Inquirer - Art Review
Posted on Fri, May. 13, 2005

By Edward J. Sozanski

Inquirer Art Critic

Of war and heroes

The fourth Challenge exhibition at the Fleisher Art Memorial closes the program's 27th season with a strong, three-artist presentation.

Images of war and destruction characterize the work of Daniel Heyman and Norman Paris, while Lindsay Feuer's delicate porcelain sculptures of fantastic organisms provide striking counterpoint.

Heyman's oil-and-ink paintings on Mylar are resonant of Japanese woodblock prints both in style and inclusion of specific motifs. But because they're layered, they're much denser.

His vivacious colors tend to ameliorate the brutality of images such as the hooded Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib, but without compromising his antiwar passion.

Paris' installation consists of 23 cast figures of basketball star Michael Jordan trying to capture 24 "Fat Man" nuclear bombs (the bomb dropped on Nagasaki). All the elements hang from the gallery ceiling. "Michael Jordan Save the World" represents the artist's longing for a hero to save humanity. Yet the numbers suggest that this isn't going to happen, because one bomb remains symbolically "unguarded."

Feuer's 11 white porcelain sculptures suggest marine invertebrates or plants. Some bear sinuous tentacles, one has a body like a sea slug, and another looks like a Venus flytrap.

None represents a real creature, but all celebrate the infinite variety of living organisms, and with such breathtaking delicacy one hesitates to approach too closely or cough in their presence, lest a protrusion be knocked loose.

Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays when school is in session, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Through May 21. 215-922-3456 or www.fleisher.org.