Past Exhibitions

Amy Stacey Curtis

sort II (detail), 2007

10,080 acrylic-painted wooden circles, 18 receptacles, 16 color keys, Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm, instructions, tape, audience, 45 x 14'. Photo: Alan LaVallee

currents4: Amy Stacey Curtis

December 15, 2007 - April 13, 2008


Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

The fourth installment of the Museum's annual emerging- artist exhibition, currents, presents work by Maine-based installation artist Amy Stacey Curtis. Curtis, who has been working in abandoned industrial sites throughout the state for the past seven years, creates interactive works that examine our interconnectedness through themes of chaos, order, and repetition. For currents4, Curtis invites viewers to perceive, manipulate, and perpetuate her exploration of light and color.

Draped figure, Reclining

James McNeill Whistler

Draped Figure, Reclining, 1892

Transfer lithograph on paper, 11 1/4 x 17 1/4". The Lunder Collection. Photo: Peter Siegel

Whistler at Work: The Process of Printmaking

December 3, 2007 - June 15, 2008


Curated by David P. Becker

Peter and Paula Lunder have assembled one of the foremost collections of prints by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), comprising more than 200 etchings and lithographs of the highest quality. The latest in a continuing series of exhibitions drawn from this collection not only serves as an overview of Whistler's printmaking career but also highlights a number of rare examples that reveal Whistler's working process. Important selections include examples of Whistler's trial proofs, three pairs of prints that show how the artist developed his images through successive printings from the same plate, and a rare pastel that illuminates how Whistler treated similar subjects in different media.

Robin Mandel, Suitcase, 2007

Robin Mandel

Suitcase, 2007

Mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist

Fall Faculty Exhibition

November 6, 2007 - January 20, 2008


The Fall Faculty Exhibition presents an opportunity to view recent work by Colby College faculty members Bonnie Bishop, Bevin Engman, Gary Green, Maggie Libby, Robin Mandel, Abbott Meader, Nancy Meader, Garry Mitchell, Scott Reed, and Barbara Sullivan.

Philip Taaffe (American, 1955), Garden of Extinct Leaves, 2006

Philip Taaffe

Garden of Extinct Leaves, 2006

Mixed media on canvas, 119 3/4 x 104". Gift of the Alex Katz Foundation. Image courtesy of the artist

Contemporary Art at the Colby College Museum of Art: Gifts from the Alex Katz Foundation

July 14, 2007 - October 28, 2007


Encompassing a variety of media, the exhibition presents more than 30 recent gifts from the Alex Katz Foundation by some of the leading artists working today. This impressive gift includes recent work by Will Ryman in sculpture, Evelyn Hofer in photography, Julian Opie in printmaking, and major paintings by Jennifer Bartlett, Elizabeth Murray, Philip Taaffe, Martha Diamond, Francesco Clemente, Gary Hume, Julian Lethbridge, Nabil Nahas, Ellen Phelan, Dana Schutz, and John Zurier, among others.

Ninoslav Krgovic, The Golden Landscape, 2006

Ninoslav Krgovic

The Golden Landscape, 2006

Wood, plexiglass, mirror, 17 x 17 x 8"

Unusual Suspects - Senior Art Exhibition

May 10, 2007 - May 27, 2007


Featuring the great work of senior Studio Art majors Nick Bazarian, Ben Grandjean, Laura Keeler, Ninoslav Krgovic, Cindy Meadow, Stacy Robillard, Kristen Spalding, Felicia Teach and Anders Wood. 

Dara Birnbaum, Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978

Dara Birnbaum

Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978

Still from the videotape, color, stereo, 5:56. Museum purchase from the Jetté Acquisitions Fund. Image courtesy of the artist

Personae: Two Decades of Feminist Video

April 12, 2007 - July 1, 2007


Personae presents the museum's recent acquisitions of video art produced between the late 1970s and the late 1990s. Works by feminist artists Laurie Anderson, Eleanor Antin, Dara Birnbaum, Martha Rosler, and others explore issues of the body, definitions of gender, and the evolution of feminine culture in our media-saturated age.

Terry Winters, Untitled #9, 1993

Terry Winters

Untitled #9, 1993

Watercolor on paper, 22 1/4 x 30". Museum purchase from the Jere Abbott Acquisitions Fund. Image courtesy of the artist

Attraction: Abstraction!

March 18, 2007 - July 1, 2007


Art historian Kirk Varnedoe once wrote, "What is abstract art good for? What's the use--for us as individuals, or for any society--of pictures of nothing, of paintings and sculptures or prints or drawings that do not seem to show anything except themselves?" This selection of works from the permanent collection invites the viewer to consider the formal language of abstraction through diverse media. What is the attraction to abstraction?

James Mc Neill Whistler, Red House, Paimpol, 1893

James McNeill Whistler

Red House, Paimpol, 1893

Color lithograph, 10 1/4 x 6 5/8". The Lunder Collection. Photo: Alan LaVallee

Whistler and Printmaking

March 8, 2007 - September 9, 2007


Curated by David P. Becker

Printmaking was central to the artistic practice of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). While he achieved fame as a painter, he was also an extremely serious and innovative printmaker, producing some 450 etchings and about 180 lithographs over the course of his career. His imagery and the technical means that he developed for etching and for printing plates influenced not only his fellow printmakers in Europe and America but also many others who followed. This exhibition comprises another selection of prints, never previously exhibited at the museum, from a major collection of Whistler prints on loan to the Colby College Museum of Art.

Bernard Langlais, 1921 - 1977, Pigeon Holing, 1962

Bernard Langlais

Pigeon Holing, 1962

Wood relief, 73 1/2 x 49 1/2". Image courtesy of Aucocisco Galleries, Portland, Maine. Photo: Alan LaVallee

Bernard Langlais: Abstractions and Reliefs

March 4, 2007 - July 1, 2007


While working in New York in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Maine-born artist Bernard Langlais (1921-1977) began to explore the medium of wood relief. Using found wooden objects and scraps, Langlais developed a unique style of "painting with wood," creating complex works that are as viscerally stirring as they are familiar and mundane. This exhibition presents 24 of these evocative, early wood reliefs.

Losang Samten: Sacred Sand Mandala

Losang Samten

Sand Mandala, 2005

Colored sand

Losang Samten: Sacred Sand Mandala

February 4, 2007 - February 16, 2007


Artist and former Buddhist monk Losang Samten made an impression on more than 2,000 museum visitors when he created a sand mandala at Colby in the fall of 2005. He's coming back, and this year his mandala -- an elaborate circular "painting" made by pouring colored sand -- will be larger and more detailed. He will also lead a meditation and speak on a panel with members of the Colby faculty. All events are free and open to the public.

Watch the sand mandla being created and dismantled: Quicktime | Flash video

Kara Walker, The Gift, 1997

Kara Walker

The Gift, 1997

Gouache on paper, 93 x 52 1/2". Museum purchase from the Jere Abbott Acquisitions Fund

African-American Art: Selections from the Permanent Collection

February 1, 2007 - March 11, 2007


In honor of Black History Month, the Colby College Museum of Art brings together a selection of works from the permanent collection by important African-American artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and Kara Walker. Accompanying these works in the Museum's Theater Gallery is the film "Against the Odds: Artists of the Harlem Renaissance." This documentary tells the story of this passionately creative movement of the 1920s and 30s and the powerful impact it had on American art and society.

Kiyoshi Saito, Japanese, Wall of Kyoto, 1960

Kiyoshi Saito

Wall of Kyoto, 1960

Color woodblock, 36 x 25". Gift of Helen Warren Cummings

Harmony: Modern Japanese Prints

January 30, 2007 - March 18, 2007


Curated by Students in the Asian Museum Workshop

Organized by students in the Asian Museum Workshop, this exhibition explores Japan's struggle to achieve its own identity during 19th and 20th centuries. With a steady increase of Western influences during an era of World Wars, the Japanese esteem for Wa (harmony) was critically important in maintaining a dialogue between East and West. The prints in this exhibition illustrate Japanese artists' willingness to infuse their aesthetic sensibilities with those of the West to find a balance between tradition and modernity.

Harriett Matthews, Landscape with Minarets, 2005

Harriett Matthews

Landscape with Minarets, 2005

Steel/alkyd oil paint, 38 x 18 x 13"

Harriett Matthews: Recent Drawings and Sculpture

January 7, 2007 - February 18, 2007


This solo exhibition by Harriett Matthews, Professor of Art at Colby, brings together 45 recent drawings and sculptures by the artist, spanning the past 6 years of her work. Matthews, who has been teaching at Colby since 1966, works primarily with welded steel and bronze. Her fascination with the landscape and ancient architecture of Greece is manifested in her delicate pencil drawings, classically-influenced reliefs, and monumental sculptural forms.


Lihua Lei

Phantom Pain (detail), 2006

Installation in three parts. Photo: Alan LaVallee

currents3: Lihua Lei

November 16, 2006 - February 4, 2007


Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator and Gregory Williams, Assistant Director for Operations

Lihua Lei's work explores the sense of bounty and loss inherent to our bodily condition. Working in the gap between the figurative and the abstract, Lei uses diverse materials to allude to the body: a pool of carnelian colored thread suggests blood; a tube of cloth winds through the landscape like an esophagus or a birthing canal; a tree's knotty irregularities imply scars, burns, or tumors upon a torso. For currents3, Lei explores memory as a bodily phenomenon, exemplified by the phantom limb. How does our body remember, or feel, what it has lost? Lei's installation invites the viewer to reflect upon the vulnerabilities and transformations of the body.

Exhibition catalogue available.

Alex Katz, The Green Cap, 1985

Alex Katz

The Green Cap, 1985

Woodblock on paper, 12 1/4 x 17 7/8". Gift of the artist

Alex Katz Woodcuts and Linocuts

October 12, 2006 - January 28, 2007


Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

As the Colby College Museum of Art's contribution to The Maine Print Project, Alex Katz: Woodcuts and Linocuts takes a retrospective look at the artist's work in these print media. Katz has been a regular summer resident in Maine since he first attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the early 1950s. Katz's woodcuts and linocuts, usually composed of one, two, or three layers of color, exhibit the qualities of directness, simplification, and distillation that characterize his work across media.

James McNeill Whistler, Black-Lion Wharf, 1859

James McNeill Whistler

Black-Lion Wharf, 1859

Etching on laid paper (third state of three), 8 7/8 x 14 1/8". The Lunder Collection

Whistler as Printmaker

June 25, 2006 - February 25, 2007


Curated by David P. Becker

While James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) achieved fame as a painter, he was also a serious and innovative printmaker, producing some 450 etchings and about 180 lithographs. His imagery and the technical means that he developed for etching and for printing plates influenced not only his fellow printmakers in Europe and America but also many others who followed. This selection of prints is drawn from a collection on loan to the Colby museum consisting of almost 200 impressions representing the highest quality and range of Whistler's printmaking.