Current Exhibition

ACTIVE ARCHIVE: Martha McDonald
Process + Performance

 56 + 69 BROADWAY

September 21 – December 30, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, September 29, 5-7pm – Performance by Martha McDonald at 5:30 pm FREE

 ACTIVE ARCHIVE is a stream of programs that pairs the museum’s extensive collection with contemporary artists, curators, and cultural thinkers. It launches with an exhibition featuring the museum’s permanent collection curated by Philadelphia-based interdisciplinary artist Martha McDonald.

 McDonald brings the ideas of Black Mountain College alive through an exhibition of artwork and ephemera from BMCM+AC’s collection and an installation and live performance drawing on the rich history of experimental performance at BMC.  The exhibition, across both galleries, focuses on the importance of color, process, and material exploration at BMC. It includes student color studies from Josef Albers’ influential Werklehre courses; paintings, sculptures, textiles, and ceramics by BMC faculty and students reflecting this legacy of material and color study; and a selection of idiosyncratic, hand-printed programs highlighting the history of collaborative performance at BMC. 

McDonald’s performance will activate her installation of objects and costumes inspired by Xanti Schawinsky’s 1936-37 experimental theater piece, Spectodrama, which formed the basis of his Stage Studies course at BMC. McDonald’s performance features music inspired by John Evarts’ collaborations with Schawinsky at BMC from 1936-38.

Support for this project has been generously provided by the following: Henry Luce Foundation, North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Windgate Charitable Foundation. Special thanks to Bill Adair and Connie Bostic.

Xanti Schawinsky, Untitled, n.d., painting and pencil on print, 26 x 17.625 inches. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection. Gift of Brian E. Butler.

 

Upcoming Exhibitions

Gerald van de Wiele: VARIATIONS – Seven Decades of Painting (1951-2017)

January 19, 2018 – May 19, 2018 {56 Broadway} 

Curated by Jason Andrew

This historic retrospective captures seven decades of art by Gerald van de Wiele; an exhibition that highlights the artist’s distinctive calibration of color and line while tapping the pulse-rhythm of the natural world.

Friday, January 19, 5:30 – 8pm – Exhibition opening reception. Gallery talk by the artist at 6:15pm.

Saturday, January 20, Time TBD – Conversation between Jason Andrew and Jerry van de Wiele

Between Form and Content: Perspectives on Jacob Lawrence and Black Mountain College

Jacob Lawrence, “Windows,” 1977, lithograph 79/300, 17 3/4 x 22, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center collection, gift of Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence

September 19, 2018 – January, 2019 {120 College Street}

Curated by Julie Caro

Between Form and Content aims to bring to light the larger artistic and educational projects in which Lawrence, his wife Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, and other BMC faculty members and students were engaged at the 1946 Summer Art Institute, projects never before previously revealed. In addition to Lawrence’s paintings, the exhibition will feature artworks by Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, Josef and Anni Albers, Leo Amino, Jean Varda, Ruth Asawa, and Beaumont and Nancy Newhall. Another focal point of the show will be the partial recreation of an exhibition of Lawrence’s paintings displayed at BMC that summer. Three international working artists—animator/filmmaker Martha Coburn, composer/performer Tyondai Braxton, and music curator/writer Jace Clayton (DJ Rupture)—will expand pathways into Lawrence’s paintings through original commissions.

Past Exhibitions

Robert Motherwell: The Quiet + The Wild

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

Frank Hursh: Marking Space + Place

June 2 – September 2, 2017 {69 Broadway}}
Curated by Brian Butler
Frank Hursh attended Black Mountain College from 1949 until 1950 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.

Begin To See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College

January 20 – May 20, 2017 {69 Broadway}
Curated by Julie J. Thomson
Begin to See featured 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.

Zola Marcus: Kinetic Origins

January 13 – May 13, 2017 {56 Broadway}

Curated by Alice Sebrell and Connie Bostic
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.

The Painters of Black Mountain College: Selections from Southern Collections

September 23 – December 31, 2016 {69 Broadway}

Curated by Connie Bostic & Alice Sebrell

The list of painters associated with Black Mountain College is a who’s who of mid-20th century artists. From influential and groundbreaking Europeans like Josef Albers, Willem de Kooning, and Theodoros Stamos to profoundly original Americans including Robert Rauschenberg, Jacob Lawrence, Robert Motherwell, Elaine de Kooning, Kenneth Noland, Dorothea Rockburne, Cy Twombly and Robert De Niro, Sr., the cumulative impact these painters have had on the history and trajectory of art is remarkable. This exhibition consists of work by many of the painters of Black Mountain College, both famous and lesser known, with work drawn from the museum’s collection and borrowed from other collections in the South.

Basil King: Between Painting and Writing

September 2, 2016 – December 24, 2016

Curated by Brian Butler and Vincent Katz

Better known as a poet and illustrator of other poets’ works, Brooklyn resident Basil King exemplifies the intentional independence and purposeful interdisciplinary qualities that Black Mountain College is famous for. And just like Black Mountain College’s legacy, King’s career defies easy categorization. This is most apparently true in the fact that he works as both a painter and a writer and is prolific in both disciplines. Arriving in the United States from England in 1947, he studied painting at Black Mountain College with Joseph Fiore and Esteban Vicente and poetry with Charles Olson and Robert Creeley. He then moved to New York and has been an important member of the New York poetry and art scene ever since. Under recognized because of his independence and interdisciplinary work, a 2012 documentary on his life, Basil King: Mirage, by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte has gone some way to remedy this. Between Painting and Writing aims to be an important step in giving King’s career proper attention by exhibiting his poetry, his illustrations and his paintings as a unified body of work. A chapbook of Basil King’s work will be published concurrently with the exhibition.

M.C. Richards, Centering: Life + Art, 100 Years

June 3 – August 20, 2016  

Curated by Alice Sebrell

Mary Caroline (M.C.) Richards (1916 – 1999) was born in Weiser, Idaho and grew up in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Reed College and received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1945 she joined the faculty at Black Mountain College (BMC) where she taught writing, translated plays, danced, studied pottery and founded The Black Mountain Review. She was one of BMC’s most popular faculty members in the late 1940s and later wrote: “I have no criticism of Black Mountain, it was an entirely transforming, maturing and inspiring experience.”