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Bold Expressions: Geometric Abstractions from the Collection

  • Beverly Fishman
    United States, born 1955
    Untitled (Missing Doses, 3 Opioid Addiction, 1 ADHD), 2018
    Urethane paint on wood
    42 ½ x 40 ½ in. diameter
    Weatherspoon Art Museum. Museum purchase with funds from the Lynn Richardson Prickett Acquisition Endowment and the Burlington Industries Endowment, 2019 

    Untitled (Missing Doses, 3 Opioid Addiction, 1 ADHD)’s title and formal elements relate to the pharmaceutical industry. The wood surfaces are milled according to the shapes of different pills, complete with their scored indentations for splitting doses. These forms are then assembled together to create wholly new shapes. Fishman assigns the panels vibrant colors applied in eye-popping high-finish automotive enamel, so bright in fact, that the hues are reflected on the gallery wall. Although the artist recognizes that medications can help people tremendously, Fishman is concerned with our cultural desire for quick fixes. She is wary of the marketing of prescription drugs and the ease with which they are obtained—especially in the context of the current opioid crisis.

    © Beverly Fishman. Image courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY. 

  • Charles Green Shaw
    United States, 1892-1974
    Polygon, 1937
    Oil on wood panel
    36 ¼ x 22 ¼ in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert S. Falk, Sr., 1973

    This painting exhibits a wildly unconventional shape for its time. Its stepped-back contours and reductive vertical geometry suggest New York City’s then-emerging skyline. The painting as a whole effectively and summarily interprets one of America’s key icons—the skyscraper—with little detail or sense of depth.

    © Estate of Charles Green Shaw. Courtesy D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc.

  • Jerry Walden
    United States, 1941-2019
    Study 061418, 2018
    Acrylic on gessoed Rives BFK paper
    4 x 4 in.

    Study 061118, 2018
    Acrylic on gessoed Rives BFK paper
    4 x 4 in.

    Study 032718, 2018
    Acrylic on gessoed Rives BFK paper
    10 x 10 in.

    Weatherspoon Art Museum. Gift of the artist and Robert Henry Contemporary to the Dillard Collection, 2019

    Jerry Walden employed a reductive, hard-edged language to create his geometric compositions. Although the drawings appear well planned and rationally arranged on the paper, the artist built his compositions through a combination of random choices and aesthetic reactions to previous decisions. At times he chose to counter the flatness of the picture plane through the choice and placement of color.

    © Estate of Jerry Walden

  • Carrie Moyer
    United States, born 1960
    Tickler, 2012
    Acrylic and glitter on canvas
    40 x 28 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum. Benefactors Choice Purchase, 2017

    Carrie Moyer merges figure and ground in her paintings. Her compositions are suggestive of natural forms, microscopic information, and sea life, among other interpretations. The paintings are elegant and intricately constructed, with multiple choreographed layers of poured acrylic. They draw viewers in and reward them with the visual pleasures of infused light, rich color, and often, glitter. As a feminist, Moyer addresses the familiar language of Abstract Expressionism and questions the authority of the “male gesture,” reinventing it for her own purposes.

    © Carrie Moyer

  • Robert Goodnough
    United States, 1917-2010
    Circle Z, 1963
    Oil on canvas
    80 x 80 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum. Museum purchase with funds from Burlington Industries, 1965

    In Circle Z Robert Goodnough applied patches and strokes of paint to suggest concentrated energy. The grid-like composition and color scheme indicate the influence of earlier artists and movements like Piet Mondrian, Henri Matisse, and Synthetic Cubism, while the shaped canvas—a form that began to be used more widely beginning in the 1960s—counters any sense of illusionism and serves as a hybrid of both painting and sculpture.

    © Estate of Robert Goodnough

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