Our ninth annual ReVIEWING Black Mountain College international conference, in partnership with UNC Asheville, gathers artists and scholars who explore the history and legacy of Black Mountain College. This Year’s Conference Introduces two new programs: The BMCM+AC...read more
We’re excited to share that we’ve been awarded a $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and $60,000 from the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts to mount Between Form and Content: Perspectives on Jacob Lawrence and Black Mountain College.read more
Lend us your ears for the debut episode of Black Mountain College Radio, our new podcast dedicated to all things Black Mountain College and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center! In this podcast, hear: An interview with Julie J. Thomson, curator of our recently...read more
We have amazing interns here at BMCM+AC. Case in point, Carmelo Pampillonio: Late last year, he formed his own reading group to delve deeper into BMC’s history and legacy + art theory and art education in general. Using our two extensive public libraries, as well as...read more
This past December, I was honored to be part of a four person team that organized a week long conference dedicated to the history and legacy of Max Dehn. Max Dehn was a faculty member at BMC, from 1945-1952. This conference included 16 mathematicians and historians of science and the arts. The participants plan to produce a book about the life and legacy of Max Dehn. The book is intended for a broad audience of readers with interests in the history of mathematics and the arts.read more
“It is not sufficient in an art of pure composition to appeal to sensation: the work of art must evoke a response at a deeper level, the level we now call unconscious; and ‘the vibrations of the spirit’ that then take place are either personal, in that they effect some kind of mental integration, or perhaps supra-personal in that they assume the archetypal patterns into which mankind projects an explanation of its destiny.” Herbert Read, A Concise History of Modern Painting (p. 249)
My favorite old-school art historian Herbert Read could have written this about any one of the canvases on display in the exhibition Zola Marcus – Kinetic Origins, however, this passage is from his discussion of the German Expressionist movement and the writings of Vasily Kandinsky. It is one of many indicators of the connections that can be made between the works of Zola Marcus and a vast number of 20th century art theories and movements. It hints at how beautiful, stunning, and rich the material is that we get to explore when we delve into Marcus’s oeuvre. And it alludes to the quest on which we all embark – artists and viewers alike – about finding our destiny in our experience of the world.
Though with this introduction, I’m getting ahead of myself. To begin this journey, we have to take two steps back. The first step back is the one that establishes a connection between the artist and myself. When I originally received the invitation to moderate a panel on Zola Marcus, I was sure there had been a mix-up and they had contacted the wrong person. I had never heard of the artist (and only later found out that I’m not alone in this) and although my art historic training had been rooted in an environment strongly impacted by all things Abstract Expressionism, the movement itself had not become the focus of my scholarship.read more