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Latest Barnes Foundation exhibit takes art to Philly’s streets

There’s artwork on display throughout the city

The latest Barnes Foundation exhibit takes its art to Philly’s streets, including 915 Spring Garden.
Photo by Melissa Romero

The Physick House in Society Hill is looking a little different lately, and it’s not the scaffolding that’s gone up around the building while its roof gets restored. No, it’s the string of thousands of “Truisms” that have popped up on the side of the historic house.

The wall of one-liners is the work of artist Jenny Holzer, whose “Truisms” are meant to elicit responses and provoke passersby, wherever she posts them.

The pop-up art installation is just one part of the Barnes Foundation’s latest exhibit, Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie, which features the work of more than 50 international artists both in the museum and throughout Philly. The artists were included because they they often take their work to the streets, speaking to a wide variety of issues (think feminism, racism, gentrification, etc.).

So it makes sense that the Barnes has hand-picked a number of artists to take to Philly’s streets and buildings as part of the exhibit. In addition to Holzer’s Truisms, artist Allan Espiritu has plastered his Over and Over installation on the 915 Spring Garden Street building. And an anonymous group that calls itself the Guerilla Girls has their work displayed across three billboards along the I-76 and and I-95 with messages that speak to economic inequality.

From now through the exhibit’s end on May 22, the public artwork will be on display through the city, via billboards, street posters, and performances.