Triad Brilliant, Passaic River Hills

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

Fall 2015

Mining the Store II: American Drawings and Watercolors from the Permanent Collection
August 25–December 13, 2015

Hiram Draper Williams, Untitled Illustration for a Film on Racial Segregation, c. 1950, pen and ink with wash and watercolor. Gift of Betty and Edward Mattil, 91.170.Hiram Draper Williams, Untitled Illustration for a Film on Racial Segregation, c. 1950, pen and ink with wash and watercolor. Gift of Betty and Edward Mattil, 91.170.

In a reprise of the idea behind last summer’s Mining the Store exhibition, the Palmer Museum of Art offers a selection of drawings and watercolors by American artists that, mostly because of their paper support, have not been on public view for quite awhile.

Some of the sheets, such as Earl Horter’s Cézanne-inspired view of a New England home, or a mid-1930s sketch of guerilla fighters by Chicago socialist Mitchell Siporin, contain imagery that likely will not astonish inveterate museumgoers. On the other hand, visitors may be surprised to discover that prior to establishing his position within the Fourteenth Street School, Reginald Marsh regularly drew images for the New Yorker, among them a dramatic review of Lon Chaney in the film The Phantom of the Opera; or that, in addition to supplying his legendary caricatures for the New York Review of Books, David Levine painted a series of delicate studies featuring laborers in the garment industry. Other works in the exhibition include a proto-Cubist drawing by Marguerite Zorach, an early watercolor by Philadelphia realist Martha Mayer Erlebacher, and a study of the Pont Neuf in Paris by American expatriate Frank Myers Boggs.


You Have to See This: Abstract Art from the Permanent Collection
September 1–December 6, 2015

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1968–69, woodcut in cadmium red, 69.7. Morris Blackburn, Orchestration, 1947, screenprint. Purchased with funds from the Art Objects Endowment, 2008.65.

In the world of digital reproduction, it is increasingly difficult to understand the ways in which many works of art require direct viewing in order to be understood. This is especially true of abstract art, in which artists rely on color, surface texture, size, and orientation—all of which are almost impossible to capture through the humble JPEG—rather than representational subject matter. Compiled and researched by Penn State students under the direction of Dr. Sarah K. Rich, the exhibition brings together important abstract works on paper from the permanent collection in order to showcase the myriad ways in which abstract art can, through material and formal means, pose radical questions about the nature of imagery itself. 

Artists represented in the exhibition include Wassily Kandinsky, Morris Blackburn, Carlotta Corpron, Anne Ryan, Konrad Cramer, Aaron Siskind, Mark Tobey, Bridget Riley, Josef Albers, Adolph Gottlieb, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Gene Davis, Sol LeWitt, Helen Frankenthaler, Anni Albers, Norman Lewis, Janet Malcolm, Sam Gilliam, Ellsworth Kelly, Ruth Root, and James Nares.


Archipenko: A Modern Legacy
September 22–December 13, 2015

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1968–69, woodcut in cadmium red, 69.7. Alexander Archipenko, Queen of Sheba, 1961, bronze. Private collection. Alexander Archipenko © 2015 Estate of Alexander Archipenko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Archipenko: A Modern Legacy is a major retrospective of the life and work of Alexander Archipenko, a pioneering figure in the history of modern sculpture. Born in the Ukraine and active in European avant-garde circles in the early decades of the twentieth century, Archipenko revolutionized and reinvigorated sculpture by reintroducing color, incorporating negative space, and integrating mixed media. 

The exhibition spans Archipenko’s long career and will feature some fifty sculptures, mixed-media reliefs, and works on paper. Drawn from museum collections as well as private holdings, the exceptional objects chosen for this exhibition convey the richness of Archipenko’s vision.

Building on his rich experience in Europe, Archipenko immigrated to the United States in 1923 and pursued a lifelong affair with the figurative form during his forty-year career in this country, where he continued to use the abstracted figure as a carrier for sculptural innovation. Carefully selected works, made in America, will offer new insight into Archipenko’s practice: he explored lead casting, electroplating, and polychrome patina; refined ceramic as sculptural medium, finding complex ways of treating its surface; experimented with reflective and shiny materials, including mirrors and mother-of-pearl; and introduced non-traditional art materials such as Plexiglas and Bakelite, all the while engaging creative tools from the past and the present to foster artistic innovation.
Never-before-exhibited objects from the artist’s archives, including annotated photographs of sculptures, sketches, installation views, patent drawings for his “Archipentura” machine, and lecture transcripts, will offer an unprecedented view into the artist’s creative process and philosophy.

Archipenko: A Modern Legacy was organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Archipenko Foundation.


Spring 2016

Consciously Surreal: Photography, the Uncanny, and the Body
January 12–May 8, 2016

Joel Peter Witkin, Portrait of Greg Vaughan, 2004, gelatin silver print, 2009.388.

Championed as a medium capable of yielding unmediated copies of nature, photography is often believed to operate in the realm of the factual. The works on view in Consciously Surreal challenge this notion of photographic truth through the presentation of chance encounters, experimental techniques, and the fragmentation of the body.




From Dada to Dali: Surrealist Works on Paper
January 12–May 8, 2016

Wassily Kandinsky, Sehen, from Klänge, 1912, woodcut with typographic text. Private collection.

This exhibition has been organized in tandem with the April 2016 Center for the Performing Arts presentation of Daniele Finzi Pasca’s La Verità, a theatrical examination of the life and work of Salvador Dali. A wide variety of prints and drawings have been selected to represent the many manifestations of surrealism in Europe and America throughout the twentieth century.




Small Prints, Big Artists: Renaissance and Baroque Masterpieces from Carnegie Museum of Art

February 2–May 15, 2016

Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve, 1504, engraving. Bequest of Charles J. Rosenbloom, 74.7.81. Image courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.

This exhibition presents more than 100 masterworks from Carnegie Museum of Art’s exceptional collection of nearly 9,000 prints, many of which have not been on view for decades. The intimately scaled woodcuts, engravings, and etchings reveal the development of printmaking in Europe as a true art form, from fifteenth-century German book illustrations through the innovations of Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt van Rijn.





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