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Palmer Museum of Art announces 2018 exhibition schedule

by on January 11, 2018 12:42 PM

UNIVERSITY PARK — The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State has announce its schedule of exhibitions for 2018. Dominated by three major contemporary shows, the lineup highlights the work of 19- and 20-century American painters and printmakers, pop art luminaries and iconic photographers represented in the permanent collection.

The lead exhibition of the winter season is "Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials," opening Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Accompanied by a rich array of lectures, gallery talks and films, this groundbreaking exhibition brings together provocative works by an international roster of contemporary artists.

Large canvases exploring the potential ramifications of climate change will be on view this summer in "When the Water Rises: Recent Paintings by Julie Heffernan." The 2018 season will close with "A Small Radius of Light," a major retrospective of the work of Pennsylvania-based artist G. Daniel Massad, whose meticulous pastel still lifes can be found in museum collections across the country.

“This is a transformational year for the Palmer’s exhibition program,” said museum director Erin M. Coe, in a press release. “From a major traveling exhibition of contemporary art to shows that illuminate understudied artists, as well as a diverse range of media and topics in the history of American  art, there is truly something for everyone at the Palmer in 2018.”

■" Pop at the Palmer," through Sunday, May 13

Pop art emerged amid the proliferation of media imagery and consumer goods in the 1950s and ’60s. This exhibition highlights prints from the permanent collection by such pop art notables as Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and others.

The show is organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.

■ "Dox Thrash, Black Life, and the Carborundum Mezzotint," Tuesday, Jan. 16, through Sunday, May 20

Philadelphia-based artist Dox Thrash (1893-1965) pioneered a new approach to printmaking known as the carborundum process in the late 1930s. With its broad tonal range, the new process was ideally suited to the sensitive portrayals of African-American life, for which Thrash would become known. Also on view are watercolors and drawings by Thrash.

The exhibition is organized by the Palmer Museum of Art with Dolan/Maxwell, Philadelphia.

■ "Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials," Tuesday, Feb. 13, through Sunday, June 17

This exhibition includes 60 works by 30 contemporary artists designed to explore the environmental, aesthetic and technological entanglements of our ongoing love affair with the paradoxical, infinitely malleable substance we call plastic. Visitors will encounter a varied array of artwork, from drawings, photographs and video installations to 3D-printed objects and sculptures fabricated from found plastic.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art, this major loan exhibition will travel to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, the Smith College Museum of Art and the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison through January 2020.

A related exhibition, "Gravity Schmavity: Repurposed Plastic Sculptures" by Aurora Robson, organized by the Palmer Museum of Art and The Arboretum at Penn State, will be on view at the arboretum Friday, June 1, through Monday, Oct. 29.

■ "American Art Posters of the 1890s," Tuesday, May 22, through Sunday, Aug. 19

Art posters, many advertising periodicals to a burgeoning middle-class readership, thrived around the turn of the 20th century. Drawn from the Palmer Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition highlights the bold designs of Edward Penfield, a leading illustrator of the era and the art director at Harper’s magazine.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art. 

■ "Framing the City: Photographs from the Permanent Collection," Tuesday, June 5, through Sunday, Aug. 19                                                                                                               

Photographers have long turned their cameras on the city, often framing its architecture and residents from new vantage points and unexpected perspectives. Soaring skyscrapers, factory laborers and serendipitous moments on busy streets serve as the subject for many photographers in their quest to document the surrounding urban environment. Artists featured include Berenice Abbott, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Lewis Hine, Bill Jacobson, Frank Paulin, Charles Sheeler, W. Eugene Smith and Andy Warhol.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.

■ "When the Water Rises: Recent Paintings by Julie Heffernan," Tuesday, July 10, through Sunday, Sept. 2

Contemporary artist Heffernan’s recent paintings explore imaginative scenarios and alternative habitats as her personal response to the threat of environmental disasters. In her monumental canvases, she spells out the dilemma of climate change but also begins the conversation about how we might adapt to vastly different climatic conditions.

Organized by the Louisiana State University Museum of Art at the Shaw Center for the Arts.

■ "Instinctive Gestures: Recent Gifts from The Fishman-MacElderry Collection," Tuesday, Aug. 28, through Sunday, Dec. 16

This exhibition will feature contemporary works recently gifted to the Palmer by collectors Marilyn Fishman and James MacElderry. Artists represented include Mary Frank, Neysa Grassi, Willy Heeks, David Kelso, Elizabeth Meyer, Melissa Meyer, Elizabeth Osborne, Linda Plotkin, Ron Rumford, Shelley Thorstensen and Cheryl Warrick.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.

■ "Object Lessons: American Still-Life Painting in the Nineteenth Century," Tuesday, Sept. 4, through Sunday, Dec. 16

Still-life painting was a popular subject for many 19th-century American artists working in the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania, in particular, has a rich tradition of still-life painting. This exhibition features works by many specialists from the state — including John F. Francis, William Michael Harnett and Severin Roesen — as well as examples by a varied roster of American artists who specialized in this genre. The holdings from the Palmer Museum are complemented by rarely seen loans from private collectors to explore how flowers, fruit and simple household objects transfixed and beguiled viewers.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.

■ "A Small Radius of Light: G. Daniel Massad, A Retrospective," Tuesday, Sept. 25, through Sunday, Dec. 9

Contemporary artist G. Daniel Massad has dedicated the better part  of the last four decades to reenacting the world around him. His poetic, meticulously detailed still lifes, rendered in pastel, call to mind the work of the Old Masters and are layered with iconographical

“data” — maps, words, numbers, constellations and personal symbols.
Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art and accompanied by a major publication, this retrospective will feature signature works borrowed from public and private collections. The exhibition also will include an array of early work and drawings from throughout Massad’s career, as well as many of the objects featured in his mature still lifes.

About the Palmer

The Palmer Museum of Art is a free-admission arts resource for Penn State University and surrounding communities in central Pennsylvania. With a collection of 8,850 objects representing a variety of cultures and spanning centuries of art, the Palmer is the largest art museum between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Areas of strength include the museum’s collection of American art from the late 18th century to the present, Old Master paintings, prints and photography, ceramics and studio glass, and a growing collection of modern and contemporary art.

The museum presents 10 exhibitions each year and features 11 galleries, a print-study room, a 150-seat auditorium and an outdoor sculpture garden. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays.

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