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.

After leaving Black Mountain College, Spillenger moved to New York City, where he became a member of “the Club,” Cedar Tavern regular, and friend to Abstract Expressionist luminaries including Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Philip Guston. Despite significant contributions to the formation of the New York School, Spillenger did not find commercial and critical success. Ray Spillenger: Rediscovery of a Black Mountain Painter invites a re-examination of 20th-century American art history through a corpus of work never shown to the public. A full color catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Ray Spillenger, Composition: White, Aqua, Yellow, c. 1951-54, oil on canvas, 27 ½ x 23 ½ inches. Estate of Raymond Spillenger.

Related Programming


Thursdays - Saturdays, October 1 - January 12 BMCM+AC is teaming up with Hood Huggers International for the run of the Jacob Lawrence exhibition. Hood Huggers International, founded by visionary poet and artist DeWayne Barton, explores the past, present and future of...


photo+sphere  Saturday, November 10 at 1PM, 2:15PM + 6:30PM {120 College Street} photo+sphere is an innovative art/science event exploring how we see the environment and our role in determining the future. November 7–11, 2018 in Asheville, North Carolina, photo+sphere...


Wednesday, November 14, 12 - 1pm {120 College Street} PERSPECTIVES Lunchtime Conversations @ BMCM+AC. Explore our Jacob Lawrence exhibition along with an artist, historian, or scholar who will give perspective and context to the work from their particular point of...


Thursday, November 15, 7pm {120 College Street} Conversation with Barbara Earl Thomas. Exhibition curator and art historian Julie Levin Caro leads a conversation with Barbara Earl Thomas, granddaughter of southern sharecroppers, artist, and former student of Jacob...