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The Midnight Sun

  • PILOT+PROJECTS 1719 North 5th Street Philadelphia, PA, 19122 United States (map)

David Aipperspach, Lea Cetera, Hugh Hayden, Gregory Kalliche, Caitlin MacBride, Ryan McCartney, Paul Rouphail, Jonathan Santoro, Matt Savitsky, Meredith Sellers


Curated by Jonathan Santoro and Meredith Sellers

June 9, 2018 - July 6, 2018

Opening Reception 7-10pm, June 9, 2018


“Alas, I am dying beyond my means.”

  • Oscar Wilde


In a 1961 episode of the popular television series The Twilight Zone entitled “The Midnight Sun,” a shift in earth’s orbit causes our planet to pass closer to the sun - a change that will inevitably result in a planetary climate too hot to support life. Society crumbles as order disintegrates, mass migration to cooler climates ensues, systems of communication break down, and resource shortages are sudden and rampant. Inside a sweltering New York studio apartment, an artist paints the sun in repetition as it approaches closer every day, a casual observer recording her own demise.


As the effects of climate change and socio-political putrefaction become increasingly severe in our present reality, we continue to make empty gestures towards the possibility of a sustainable future. We cope with feelings of futility by investing in #selfcare and designed living: instagrammably-perfect minimal apartments, pour-over coffees, and holistic workout regimens serve as a temporary reprieve for the aspirational class. As cultural tastemakers and harbingers of gentrification, artists are also implicated in this form of aspirational living, occupying a morally nebulous position. Creativity persists, whether in contrast to or in distraction of our increasingly precarious position.


In this exhibition, The Midnight Sun, artist-curators Jonathan Santoro and Meredith Sellers have crafted a stage set of sorts in the image of a studio apartment, making works in conversation with artists David Aipperspach, Lea Cetera, Hugh Hayden, Gregory Kalliche, Caitlin MacBride, Ryan McCartney, Paul Rouphail, and Matt Savitsky. The exhibition conceives an atmosphere of indulgent distraction and comfortable desperation, utilizing the language of popular lifestyle blogs and Pinterest boards serving up #interiorinspo posts of highly designed, composed spaces. Questions arise about artistic purpose, cultural capital, delusion, and idleness in the space of the domestic uncanny.




About the curators:

Jonathan Santoro and Meredith Sellers are artists living and working in Philadelphia, PA. They have engaged in a number of collaborative projects including If You Leave: A Panel Discussion on Artist Retention in Philadelphia (2014) through the St. Claire’s “Homeschool” program, co-curating the exhibition Chewing the Scenery (2016) at Crane Arts, and The One in the Other (2016), their collaborative installation as part of Unlisted with Lord Ludd.


Artist Bios:


David Aipperspach is a painter and educator based in Philadelphia. He earned an MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and a B.A. in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Ursinus College, where he teaches all levels of painting, printmaking, and drawing. His work has been shown in a variety of gallery and academic contexts in the Bay Area, New York, and Philadelphia.


Lea Cetera (b. 1983, Brooklyn, NY) works in sculpture, video and performance, often amalgamated into installation. She utilizes techniques culled from theatre and film-making to address constructed identities and the psychological spaces we construct and operate within, engaging with the mediation of technology, the alienation of the human body, and the aura of the object fetish.  Cetera has shown/performed in the US as well as internationally at Sculpture Center, The Drawing Center, Jewish Museum, Art in General, Southard Reid, London, UK, Pilar Corrias, London, UK, Simone Subal, Magenta Plains, Signal Gallery, Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellowship, LIC, NY, The Lighthouse Works Public Art Commission, Fishers Island, NY, High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, CA, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, OR, St. Marks Church on the Bowery, Anthology Film Archives and will be in an upcoming group show She sees the shadows, DRAF and MOSTYN Gallery, Llandudno, Wales this summer.  She holds an MFA from Columbia University, 2012 and a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art, 2005. She is represented by Southard Reid, London, UK. She lives and works in New York City.


Hugh Hayden grew up in Dallas, TX at the edge of the woods. He received his MFA in sculpture at Columbia University and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. He had his first solo show at White Columns in 2018, and has an upcoming solo show at Lisson Gallery. His work has appeared in group shows at Clearing, JTT, Derek Eller, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Postmasters, MoMA PS1, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Abrons Art Center, among others. His work has been written about in Interview Magazine, Surface Magazine, and Hyperallergic. He has completed residencies at Mildred’s Lane, Glenfiddich, Abrons Art Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council: Workspace Residency.


Gregory Kalliche has exhibited works in solo and group exhibitions and screenings at SIGNAL, Brooklyn (2018); The New Museum, New York (2017); ASHES/ASHES, San Francisco (2017); Knockdown Center, Queens (2016); MuseumofAmericabooks, Brooklyn (2016); Edel Assanti, London (2016); Mama Shelter in conjunction with the Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2015); Public Fiction, Los Angeles (2015); the Suzanne Geiss Company, New York (2014); and Arcadia Missa, London (2014).


Caitlin MacBride is an artist living and working in New York.  She received her MFA in painting at Bard College and holds a BFA from RISD. MacBride has had solo shows at Chapter NY , Real Fine Arts , and GRIN and appeared in group shows at Greene Naftali, Zach Feuer, 315 Gallery, Neiman Gallery, and 247365. Her work has been written about in Modern Painters, Art Forum, Dis Magazine, New York Magazine, and She has done residencies at the Salzburg Summer Akademy, Lighthouse Works, and Frontispiece.


Ryan McCartney received his MFA from Tyler School of Art, and received his BFA from the Cooper Union. His work has been exhibited at the Thomas Erben Gallery in New York, the Greenstone Gallery in Lincoln, UK, and numerous venues in Philadelphia including the Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Jenny Jaskey Gallery in Philadelphia, and Vox Populi Gallery. McCartney currently lives and works in Philadelphia.


Paul Rouphail (b. 1987) lives in Philadelphia, PA. He received is BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and his MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Rouphail has had recent solo and group exhibitions at Smart Objects, Los Angeles; Fjord Gallery and Little Berlin, Philadelphia; Fisher Parrish, George Adams Gallery, Nancy Margolis Gallery, and Microscope Gallery (New York), The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, and White Columns online. Rouphail's work has been reviewed online and in print, including in New American Paintings, Maake Magazine, and Gestalten Press' Imagine Architecture, among others. He is a 2016-18 AICAD fellow at the Maryland Institute College of Art where he teaches painting.


Jonathan Santoro is an artist living and working in Philadelphia. He has exhibited work with High Tide Gallery, UArts’ Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Lord Ludd, Bodega,The Woodmere Art Museum, Icebox Project Space and Vox Populi. Jonathan is a current MFA candidate at Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University.


Matt Savitsky is a multidisciplinary artist whose work encompasses digital photography and performance. He has received fellowships and grants from the Russel Foundation, the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Cooper Union. Exhibitions include solo exhibitions at Shoot the Lobster, University of California San Diego, Helmuth Projects, and Bodega in Philadelphia. Recent group exhibitions include Tag: Proposals on Queer Play and the Ways Forward at ICA Philadelphia, curated by Nayland Blake, as well as exhibitions at Gordon Robichaux at NADA New York, Torrance Art Museum, the Wight Gallery at UCLY, and the American University Museum in Washington DC. He is a lecturer in Digital Media & Photography at Cal State Fullerton and lives and works in Los Angeles.

Meredith Sellers is an artist and arts writer living and working in Philadelphia. She received her MFA from University of Pennsylvania and holds a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is an editor for Title Magazine, a 2018 Flaherty Fellow, and a participant in the 2017 Art Writing Workshop through the Andy Warhol Foundation. Her work has been exhibited at ICA Philadelphia, Lord Ludd, Vox Populi, Icebox Project Space, Black Oak House, and Delaware County Community College. 

Earlier Event: June 9
Jim Loewer - Recent Works in Glass
Later Event: June 10
Sonic Gallery Talk