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

PERFORMANCE: Black Mountain Songs

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and UNC Asheville present the Southeast premiere of Black Mountain Songs, an expansive choral and visual work performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.


September 29-October 1, 2017 {UNC ASHEVILLE RUETER CENTER}
Held at the Reuter Center on the campus of UNC Asheville, this annual conference explores the history and legacy of Black Mountain College. Keynote Speaker: artist Mel Chin and Keynote Panel: Black Mountain Songs creative team. Open to the public.

LISTENING SESSION: Experiments in Notation

Wednesday, October 11, 7PM {56 Broadway}
Listening Sessions at BMCM+AC examine the evolving culture of listening and investigate the larger lineage of music and interconnected styles. This session will investigate the relationship between time-based art forms and the highly defined and uses of musical notation.