An accomplished sculptor, Peter Soriano began making wall drawings in 2012. Rather than shaping, carving, or casting three-dimensional forms, he now assembles and arranges visual experience, using what captures and holds his attention to generate orchestrated constellations of marks. Commissioned by the Colby Museum, Permanent Maintenance is Soriano’s largest wall drawing to date.More »
In his Ten O’Clock Lecture in 1885, James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903) presented himself as an artist set apart from the public, bearing no relation to the historical moment he lived in. However, the myth of artistic independence that Whistler developed was but one part of a complex and highly significant relationship he had with the world around him. As a painter, printmaker, and designer, Whistler engaged with a variety of places, people, and ideas that stretched from the United States to London, Venice, and Japan. Drawn entirely from the renowned Lunder Collection, this comprehensive exhibition—featuring the finest examples of his prints among works in other media—explores Whistler’s travels across Europe in his quest to re-imagine his surroundings and to transport the modern world into the “realm of art.”More »
Aesthetic Harmonies explores the many artistic, social, and historical contexts in which we can situate the artist James McNeill Whistler. Drawing from the museum’s rich collections of European, American, and Asian art, the exhibition reexamines Whistler’s relationship to the Etching Revival in Britain, French Realism, American Impressionism, and transatlantic Aestheticism. It also places the artist’s experiments with color, form, beauty, and nature in dialogue with early American modernism, mid-twentieth-century abstraction, and contemporary art. Aesthetic Harmonies thus constructs a history of modern art through Whistler’s diverse practices, philosophies, and influences. This exhibition is curated by Associate Professor of Art Tanya Sheehan and the students in AR497 (Fall 2014); Maria Bowe ’15, Catherine Maguire ’15, Caroline Pelham ’17, Francesca Soriano ’16, Veronica Vesnaver ’15, and Marina Wells ’15.More »
The 1950s saw American artist Alex Katz (b. 1927) take up and master painting directly from nature, lay claim to Abstract Expressionism’s size and scale on behalf of figurative painting, and innovate with collages and cutouts. It was a decade in which he looked to the portraiture of Édouard Manet for lessons in the relationship between figure and ground, and the one in which he met Ada, his most enduring model. Given the overwhelming popularity of painterly abstraction, this was also a period when he destroyed hundreds of canvases, and those that survived had little to no audience. This major exhibition will introduce audiences to an overlooked body of work and consider it within the context of the aesthetic commitments of the decade. Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s features sixty-five paintings, cutouts, and collages, including many on loan from the artist and major public and private collections.
Details about the exhibition tour coming soon.
For press inquiries, please contact Francisca Moraga López.More »
Featuring numerous recent acquisitions, this exhibition presents selections from the Colby Museum’s holdings of contemporary works on paper. Many of the artists represented are new to the collection and have entered it through their accomplishments in printmaking. These include Tomma Abts, Glenn Ligon, Raymond Pettibon, Lee Bontecou, Amy Sillman, and John Baldessari. Drawings by Richard Serra, Daphne Cummings, Sharon Louden, and Elena del Rivero, among others, offer vibrant evidence of that medium’s continued relevance and centrality. Photography, an area of the collection experiencing tremendous recent growth, is also amply represented by such artists as Richard Misrach, Loretta Lux, and An-My Lê.More »
The Alex Katz Foundation, incorporated in 2004, has played a central role in the development of the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection. Over the course of more than a decade, the foundation has given nearly four hundred and fifty works of modern and contemporary art to the Colby Museum. Founded with the mission of supporting artists and art institutions through the purchase of artworks and their subsequent gifting, the Katz Foundation has become a model of artist-led philanthropy. On view in this exhibition will be a selection of artworks by contemporary artists including Elizabeth Peyton and Dana Schutz, artists of Katz’s generation such as Ronald Bladen and Al Held, whose reputations continue to grow, and foundational early twentieth-century modernists such as Charles Burchfield and Marsden Hartley.More »
The Colby College Museum of Art is pleased to announce a pilot program, Young Curators, designed to offer Waterville and Winslow high school students immersion in museum practice through arts-centered learning and production. This installation will showcase the student’s research and art-making skills that directly relate to works on art in the Museum’s permanent collection. As part of this program students have both created and curated the works in this exhibition.
This exhibition can be found in the Harrimann Student Lounge on the second floor of the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion.
Young Curators Program Participants:
Skylar Addy, Waterville High School
Andrew Beckwith, Winslow High School
Bradley Carver, Messalonskee High School (documentarian)
Terry Chamblee, Waterville High School
Harrison Clark, Winslow High School
Sierra Hopkins, Winslow High School
Meg Nadeau, Winslow High School
Emily Pellegrin, Winslow High School
Al Perry, Waterville High School
Studio Art Teachers:
Katrina Billings, Winslow High School
Suzanne Goulet, Waterville High School
Colby College Student Mentor:
Veronica Vesnaver ’15
Museum Curatorial Mentor:
Ramey Mize, Anne Lunder Leland Curatorial Fellow
The artists of the Class of 2015 came all the way down from Mount Olympus to put together a final showing of their work in the Museum’s Davis Gallery. They have spent countless hours in preparation for this glorious moment that each god and goddess earns at the closing moments of their college careers. We want to share this miraculous moment with our friends, family, professors, and anyone who would like to rejoice with a little food and drink.
The featured artists are:
The theme of travel runs throughout the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, a Cuban–born, American artist who immigrated, via Puerto Rico, to the United States in 1979. In conjunction with Colby College’s 2014–15 Humanities Theme of “Migrations,” the Colby Museum is presenting two of Gonzalez-Torres’s stack pieces, works composed of printed sheets of paper that visitors may keep, display, or give to others. In the two-part piece “Untitled”, 1989/1990, one stack of papers features the sentence “Somewhere better than this place.”, while the other reads, “Nowhere better than this place.” In “Untitled” 1992/1993, the sheets of paper are printed with a black-and-white image of a bird in the sky based on a photograph by the artist. Public programs associated with the presentation of these works will include a Noontime Art Talk.More »