ACTIVE ARCHIVE: Martha McDonald
Process + Performance
56 + 69 BROADWAY
September 21 – December 30, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, September 29, 5-7pm – Performance by Martha McDonald at 5:30 pm FREE
ACTIVE ARCHIVE is a stream of programs that pairs the museum’s extensive collection with contemporary artists, curators, and cultural thinkers. It launches with an exhibition featuring the museum’s permanent collection curated by Philadelphia-based interdisciplinary artist Martha McDonald.
McDonald brings the ideas of Black Mountain College alive through an exhibition of artwork and ephemera from BMCM+AC’s collection and an installation and live performance drawing on the rich history of experimental performance at BMC. The exhibition, across both galleries, focuses on the importance of color, process, and material exploration at BMC. It includes student color studies from Josef Albers’ influential Werklehre courses; paintings, sculptures, textiles, and ceramics by BMC faculty and students reflecting this legacy of material and color study; and a selection of idiosyncratic, hand-printed programs highlighting the history of collaborative performance at BMC.
McDonald’s performance will activate her installation of objects and costumes inspired by Xanti Schawinsky’s 1936-37 experimental theater piece, Spectodrama, which formed the basis of his Stage Studies course at BMC. McDonald’s performance features music inspired by John Evarts’ collaborations with Schawinsky at BMC from 1936-38.
Support for this project has been generously provided by the following: Henry Luce Foundation, North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Windgate Charitable Foundation. Special thanks to Bill Adair and Connie Bostic.
Xanti Schawinsky, Untitled, n.d., painting and pencil on print, 26 x 17.625 inches. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection. Gift of Brian E. Butler.
April 8 – 29, 2016
Occasionally, when the college atmosphere became too intense, Josef Albers would announce a week-long “interlude” when everyone in the community was expected to take a break from their studies and pursue activities unrelated to their course work. It was a time to recharge, recalibrate and refocus
January 22 – May 21, 2016
Curated by Theodore E. Stebbins Jr.
Ray Spillenger studied with Willem de Kooning and Josef Albers at Black Mountain College during the summer of 1948. This exhibition comprises two decades of his work from the BMC era to the late 1960s. Spillenger’s paintings demonstrate a total commitment to abstraction and a passionate love of color.
CONVERGENCE / DIVERGENCE: Exploring Black Mountain College and Chicago’s New Bauhaus / Institute of Design
September 4 – December 31, 2015
Curated by Michael Reid
This exhibition explores the relationship between the two most direct Bauhaus educational descendants in America: Josef Albers’ Black Mountain College in North Carolina and Chicago’s New Bauhaus/Institute of Design, founded by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. A full color, 64-page catalogue accompanies this exhibition.
June 5 – August 22, 2015
Curated by Michael Von Uchtrup
Lost for decades, the production materials from this innovative compendium of Ray Johnson’s mail art were only recently rediscovered, in time for the book’s re-publication and the 50th anniversary of its original 1965 release. Lively, quirky, often comic, the texts and drawings that meander among the book’s pages provide an intimate look at the early work of Ray Johnson (1927-1995) through the eyes of Johnson’s friend Dick Higgins (1938-1998)
January 30 – May 23, 2015
Curated by Brian E. Butler + Rachael Inch
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center celebrates our ReOPENING with special exhibition of work by Susan Weil. Susan Weil is a painter, printmaker and book artist living in New York City. She studied at Académie Julian in Paris before enrolling at Black Mountain College in 1948 and then later at the Art Students League in New York. Weil is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
September 5 – December 27, 2014
Curated by Brian E. Butler
This exhibition showcases the work of the lyrical abstract expressionist painter Dan Rice, a key figure in the ‘40s and ‘50s at Black Mountain College and in the art world centered on New York’s legendary Cedar Tavern. His friends included fellow artists de Kooning, Kline, Rothko, Pollock, Rauschenberg, and many others, along with poets such as Robert Creeley and Charles Olson.
May 29 – August 23, 2014
Our summer exhibition has two components: INTERLUDE showcasing recent or rarely seen additions to our growing collection of artwork and other material related to Black Mountain College and Site Reconstruction, a separate, focused exhibition of paintings of the World Trade Center reconstruction site by New York-based artist and BMC alumna Jacqueline Gourevitch.
January 24 – May 17, 2014
Curated by Connie Bostic
This exhibition examines the work of poet, potter and visual artist Cynthia Homire, a Black Mountain College alumna, now in her early 80s. Homire was a student at Black Mountain College from 1950-1954, where she studied with Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, and M. C. Richards, among many others. The artist will be present at the opening.