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

FILM SCREENING: BAUHAUS: The Face of the Twentieth Century

Wednesday, November 29, 7pm {56 Broadway}
This documentary traces the story of the Bauhaus from its founding in 1919 to its closing in 1933. An understanding of the Bauhaus as one of the primary influences on Black Mountain College is essential to a full understanding of BMC.

PERFORMANCE: Aspects of Butoh

Thursday, December 7, 7pm {69 Broadway}
Presented in collaboration with the Asheville Butoh Collective, this evening includes dance performances, investigations, improvisations, and dialogue about the Butoh dance form.


Saturday, December 9, 8pm {69 Broadway}
An evening of poetry, organized by Asheville-based writer/educator Eric Steineger, showcasing five of Asheville’s favorite and most celebrated poets: Richard Chess, Tommy Hays, David Hopes,Beth Keefauver, and Eric Steineger.