Triad Brilliant, Passaic River Hills

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

Spring 2016

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

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 purposeful engagement of experimental techniques, fragmentation of the body, and chance encounters. Either positioned on the periphery of Surrealism or working well beyond the movement’s heyday, the artists highlighted in this exhibition nonetheless engage with surrealist concerns in a variety of ways.

Works by David Teplica, Robert Heinecken, and Manuel Alvarez Bravo duplicate, crop, and frame the body in such a way that denies its status as a unified whole, echoing the Surrealists’ preoccupation with deconstructing and reconfiguring the human form. In merging the fantastic with the banal, documentary photographers Walker Evans and Frank Paulin faithfully record incidences of the uncanny in rural America and the streets of New York respectively. Not afraid to experiment in the darkroom, Jerry Uelsmann and Bernard Siegel combine, overlap, and overexpose negatives as a means to arrive at both landscape and portrait images that are rather unexpected.

Other photographers represented in the exhibition include Gail Chase, Konrad Cramer, Adam Fuss, David Graham, Ann Hamilton, Barbara Morgan, Alexander Rodchenko, and Joel-Peter Witkin.


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

The Dada movement arose in reaction to the senseless destruction of World War I. First practiced, and named, in 1916 by writers and artists working in Zürich—among them Jean Arp, Hugo Ball, and Tristan Tzara—the idea soon developed independently in Berlin, Paris, and New York. The groups were united not so much in style or technique as in their rejection of convention and rationalism. The name Dada, French for “hobbyhorse” and derived, some say, by randomly stabbing a French-German dictionary with a penknife, fittingly denotes Dada’s nonsensical and decidedly anti-art propensities.

Surrealism evolved out of the Dada aesthetic, but rejected Dada’s preference for absurdity and adopted instead more programmed direction in its effort to combat rationalism. Influenced by the psychoanalytical work of Sigmund Freud, the Surrealists, including André Breton, Man Ray, André Masson, and Salvador Dalí, employed a variety of techniques, in particular, automatic writing and drawing, as a means of expressing the subconscious mind.

From Dada to Dalí, which features about forty prints, drawings, and texts by Surrealist and Dada artists and writers, 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 Dalí.

Image caption: Salvador Dalí, Hamlet, from Much Ado About Shakespeare, 1968, drypoint. Gift of Bertil E. Lofstrom, Class of 1954, 97.16.13.

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

February 2–May 15, 2016

Small Prints, Big Artists presents more than 100 masterworks from Carnegie Museum of Art’s exceptional collection of over 8,000 prints. The intimately scaled woodcuts, engravings, and etchings trace the development of printmaking as a true art form in Europe during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

The exhibition opens with a selection of later fifteenth-century woodcuts, by unknown artists, which were invariably employed to illustrate religious texts. These nascent examples provide important models against which one might measure Albrecht Dürer’s complex relief designs from just a generation later, represented by several sheets from his Apocalypse and Life of the Virgin series. The exhibition also features a number of Dürer’s important engravings, including a spectacular impression of Adam and Eve, dated 1504, and all three of the Meisterstiche, or Master Engravings, from 1513–14.

Joining Dürer’s work in the exhibition are examples by many of his contemporaries, such as Martin Schongauer, whom Dürer admired, and the Kleinmeister, or Little Masters, a group of printmakers who specialized in small-scale imagery. Italian engraving during the early years of the sixteenth century is highlighted by the efforts of Andrea Mantegna and Marcantonio Raimondi, whose masterpiece, The Judgement of Paris, created c. 1517–20, marks the pinnacle of his collaboration with Raphael.

The achievements of printmaking in the Low Countries during the sixteenth century are represented by Philip Galle, the van Doetechum brothers, and Hendrick Goltzius, whose Apollo and Pietà demonstrate an unparalleled skill with the burin. As the seventeenth century unfolded, particularly in the Netherlands, engraving gave way to etching, a medium that was particularly cherished by Rembrandt, whose twenty-three prints in the exhibition include his finest landscape, The Three Trees, from 1643, and the famed Christ Healing the Sick, completed c. 1649, perhaps better known as The Hundred Guilder Print, because within a few years of its creation the etching was exchanging hands for the remarkable price of 100 guilders, or about four months’ wages for the average worker.

This exhibition was organized by Carnegie Museum of Art.


Summer 2016

American Art in the Shadow of World War I
May 17–August 7, 2016

The First World War (1914–18) brought unprecedented destruction. This exhibition presents a diverse array of works from the permanent collection, including patriotic posters, photographs that capture aspects of the conflict, as well as prints, drawings, and watercolors by American artists who served in the military.


The Prints of Jules Heller
May 17–August 14, 2016

Jules Heller came to Penn State in 1963 to serve as the founding dean of the College of Arts and Architecture. Among his achievements is the role he played in 1967, as general chairman, in helping to create the first Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. This retrospective exhibition, organized to mark the festival’s fiftieth year, celebrates six decades of Dr. Heller’s printmaking efforts.

Still Moving: Photographs by Steve McCurry
June 14–September 18, 2016

Internationally acclaimed photographer Steve McCurry (’74 A&A) is often on the move. This exhibition explores the breadth of McCurry’s career, including lesser-known and recent bodies of work, and looks closely at the visual strategies that make the photographs of this peripatetic wanderer so captivating and moving.


Previous Exhibitions

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