Current Exhibitions


Zola Marcus: Kinetic Origins

Untitled, 1986, oil on linen, 42 x 60 inches. Collection of Alan Feinsilver

Interaction, n.d., oil on linen, 22 x 22 inches. Collection of Julie Feinsilver. Art Photography: Gregory R. Staley.

January 13 – May 13, 2017 {56 Broadway}

Curated by Alice Sebrell and Connie Bostic

Purchase Exhibition Catalogue

 Zola Marcus (1915 – 1998), long-time resident of New York and abstract painter attended the 1953 Summer Institute at Black Mountain College where he studied painting with Joe Fiore and Esteban Vicente. His early work (pre-Black Mountain) consisted of representational scenes, primarily landscapes. These early paintings displayed a remarkable feeling not just for natural beauty but also for color and, particularly, for formal clarity. It is the strength of formal composition that carried over into his abstract work, which he developed over a number of decades. Early in this development he had a one-man show at the famed Galerie Mai in Paris, and one can see the influence of his teachers, including Fernand Leger and, later, the dean of New York abstraction, Hans Hoffman. Marcus integrated a large number of the central developments of abstract painting into his work over the years, including large-scale calligraphic gestures and the employment of chance-elements, particularly drip-motifs. Many of Marcus’ later canvases display the unusual combination of fine technical precision with the appearance of improvisatory gestural spontaneity, and it is in these canvases that his distinctive aesthetic voice is perhaps most pronounced.

This project would not be possible without the dedication and support of Julie Feinsilver and Alan Feinsilver, niece and nephew of Zola Marcus. Special thanks to Garry L. Hagberg, Susan Rhew Design, and to Brian E. Butler and UNC Asheville. 

Related Events

From the Blog

Zola Marcus: Making Connections and Continuing the Conversation
Art historian and UNC Asheville Art lecturer Dr. Eva Bares reflects on the work + legacy of Zola Marcus.

Begin To See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College

Harry Callahan, Asheville, North Carolina , 1951, 1951 (image) late 1960s (print), gelatin silver print, 7.75 x 11.75 inches. © The Estate of Harry Callahan; Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York. Private Collection.

Jonathan Williams, Beauty and the Beast: Joel Oppenheimer and Francine du Plessix Gray, Black Mountain College, 1951, gelatin silver print, 21.75 x 21.25 inches. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection. Gift of the Artist. Courtesy of Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Collection. Permission to reproduce courtesy of Thomas Meyer.

January 20 – May 20, 2017 {69 Broadway}

Curated by Julie J. Thomson

Purchase Exhibition Catalogue

While thousands of photographs were taken at Black Mountain College there has not been a detailed examination of photography at the College. Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College will be the first in-depth exhibition and catalog devoted to this topic. Photography began as a workshop at Black Mountain College in the 1930s.

In the 1940s visiting photographers gave some instruction, and starting in 1944 photography courses were offered during the College’s summer sessions. In fall 1949 photography began to be offered as part of the school’s regular curriculum, with former student Hazel-Frieda Larsen being appointed the first full-time instructor in photography. Photographic education at Black Mountain College often focused on learning to see photographically, taking photographs, and the medium’s history.

Begin to See will feature photographs by a variety of artists including Josef Albers, Hazel Larsen Archer, Josef Breitenbach, Harry Callahan, Trude Guermonprez, Robert Haas, Clemens Kalischer, Barbara Morgan, Beaumont Newhall, Nancy Newhall, Andy Oates, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly, Stan VanDerBeek, Susan Weil, and Jonathan Williams.

Support for this project has been generously provided by the following: North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts; O. Wayne Rollins Foundation; Windgate Charitable Foundation; Michael Carlebach + Margot Ammidown; Cynthia + Donald Carson; John E. Cram + Matt Chambers; Andrew Glasgow; and Mary Holden Thompson. Special thanks to Connie Bostic + Susan Rhew Design.

Related Events

Aperture Article

Learning to See: Photography at Black Mountain College

Upcoming Exhibitions

Frank Hursh: Marking Space + Place

Frank Hursh – Untitled, 1994, acrylic on board, 36 x 48 inches © Frank Hursh

June 2 – September 2, 2017
Curated by Brian Butler

Frank Hursh attended Black Mountain College from 1949 until1950 and has been a working artist and educator in Mexico since 1956. Painting, drawing, and art education have been constants in Hursh’s life, and this exhibition of his visual works shows off his mastery of color and mark making, hallmarks of painters in the BMC tradition.

Related Events

  • June 2, 5:30pm – Opening Reception {Gallery talk withFrank Hursh at 6:45pm}
  • June 3, 2pm – Gallery Talk by Frank Hursh 
  • July 8, 7pm – Philadelphia-based choreographer Meg Foley
  • July 21, 7pm – Make Noise at BMCM+AC
  • August  24, 7pm – Book launch with Brian E. Butler, UNC Asheville professor of philosophy
  • September 1, 7pm – MadHat’s Poetry, Prose, & Anything Goes
Robert Motherwell: The Quiet and The Wild

Robert Motherwell, Drunk With Turpentine

Drunk With Turpentine No 14, 1979, 19 x 15 inches
© 1979 Dedalus Foundation, Inc / Licensed by VAGA, NY

June 2 – September 2, 2017 {56 Broadway}
Curated by Jerald Melberg and Alice Sebrell

“Art is an experience, not an object.” Robert Motherwell

As a teacher at Black Mountain College in 1945 and 1951, Robert Motherwell provided a strong link to the emerging Abstract Expressionist movement in New York City. This exhibition features a selection of his work from 1965 to 1990.

Related Events

  • June 2, 5:30pm – Opening Reception
  • June 8, 7pm & 8pm – Duets with Orchid: Biofeedback and Performance
  • June 22, 7pm – Presentation on Robert Motherwell with Jerald Melberg
  • July 27, 7pm – Film Screening: Robert Motherwell & The New York School: Storming the Citadel
  • August 6, 12noon – Image Speak workshop taught by Lynn Underwood
  • August 10, 7pm – Listening Session: John Cage’s Roaratorio: an Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake