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.
October 13-16, 2021 | Virtual + In-person | Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and UNC Asheville – This four-day event will bring together acclaimed artists and scholars to explore the intersections of art, faith, and spirit. Public events will include performances, film screenings, community workshops, lectures, and more.
October 13 at 7:30PM | Live at BMCM+AC and Zoom | Presented as part of the Faith in Arts Institute. It is time to set aside old assumptions about the antagonism between art and religion and look again with fresh eyes. In this lecture, Aaron Rosen, a leading scholar on religion and contemporary art as well as a practicing curator and critic, explores some of the key ways in which artists today are reframing how we think about religion and spirituality and driving new approaches to ethical issues including climate care and racial justice.
October 14 at 2:30PM | Live at UNC Asheville Highsmith Student Union and Zoom | Presented as part of the Faith in Arts Institute. This presentation by Rachel Elizabeth Harding will explore thematic parallels in the work of painters John Biggers (1924-2001) and Daniel Minter (1961). Separated by more than a generation, and each with his own unique professional trajectory, these creative artists share Southern roots, diasporic visions, and sensibilities grounded in both the materiality and the mysticism of African American life.
October 14 at 7:30 PM | BMCM+AC (120 College Street) – Presented as part of the Faith in Arts Institute. Film screening and talk with Director Marie Cochran. “Testify, Beyond Place” pays homage to the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church as well as its relationship to Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC. The year the film was produced in 2021, marked the 85th anniversary of the church demolition and gravesite removal to make way for the expansion of the campus.