Arts and Entertainment

Palmer Museum of Art announces 2018 exhibition lineup

Frank Paulin, "Flower Messenger," Times Square, 1955, is part of the Palmer Museum of Art's exhibit, "Framing the City: Photographs from the Permanent Collection," from June 5 to Aug. 19, 2018. Credit: Frank Paulin / Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art, 2015.145, Gift of Bruce and Silke Silverstein. Copyright Frank Paulin Archive, Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New YorkAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State has announced its schedule of exhibitions for 2018. Dominated by three major contemporary shows, the lineup also highlights the work of 19th- and 20th-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 on 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,” stated museum director Erin M. Coe. “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.”

Roy Lichtenstein, "Still Life," from the "Geldzahler Portfolio," 1997, screenprint, 30 x 22 ¼ inches. Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art, 98.102.7. Credit: Estate of Roy LichtensteinAll Rights Reserved.

Pop Art emerged amid the proliferation of media imagery and consumer goods in the 1950s and 1960s. This exhibition highlights prints from the permanent collection by such Pop Art notables as Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg, among others. Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.

Dox Thrash, "Life," c. 1938–39, carborundum mezzotint, 10 7/8 x 8 13/16 inches. Credit: Dox Thrash / Courtesy of Dolan/MaxwellAll Rights Reserved.

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 Black life for which Thrash would become known. Also on view are watercolors and drawings by Thrash, all of which powerfully document the artist’s intimate, invested engagement with African American culture. The exhibition is organized by the Palmer Museum of Art with Dolan/Maxwell, Philadelphia.

Aurora Robson, "Ona," 2014, plastic debris (PET + HDPE), aluminum rivets, tinted polycrylic and mica powder, 48 x 46 x 40 inches. Credit: Aurora RobsonAll Rights Reserved.

"Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials" brings together 60 works by 30 contemporary artists 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 meticulous 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, University of Oregon; Smith College Museum of Art; and the Chazen Museum of Art, 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 from June 1 through Oct. 29.

Edward Penfield, "Harper's March," 1895, color lithograph, 18 ¾ x 13 3/8 inches. Credit: Edward Penfield / Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art, 95.109 / Gift of Jack R. BershadAll Rights Reserved.

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.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, "Seville, Spain," 1933, gelatin silver print, 9 1/4 x 13 3/4 inches. Credit: Henri Cartier-Bresson / Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art, 69.5All Rights Reserved.

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.

Contemporary artist Julie Heffernan’s recent paintings explore imaginative scenarios and alternative habitats as her personal response to the threat of environmental disasters. In her intricately wrought, monumental canvases, Heffernan 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 LSU Museum of Art at the Shaw Center for the Arts.

Cheryl Warrick, "The Sound of the Bell," 2001, etching, drypoint, aquatint, woodcut, and monotype, 48 x 15 7/8 inches. Credit: Cheryl Warrick / Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art, 2017.37, Gift of The Fishman-MacElderry CollectionAll Rights Reserved.

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.

Richard La Barre Goodwin, "Still Life with Strawberries," c. 1885, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches. Credit: Richard La Barre Goodwin / Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art, 2011.104, Gift of Alvin and Jean SnowissAll Rights Reserved.

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 from the 19th century to the present day. Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.