Ray Spillenger: Rediscovery of a Black Mountain Painter
September 11 - December 23, 2016
During the summer of 1948 Ray Spillenger studied with Willem de Kooning and Josef Albers at Black Mountain College. This exhibition, including over forty paintings and drawings dating from the artist’s Black Mountain College days to the late 1960s, reveals Spillenger’s deep commitment to abstraction and his passionate love of color. After leaving Black Mountain College, Spillenger moved to New York City where he became a member of “The Club,” a Cedar Tavern regular, and friend to Abstract Expressionist luminaries including Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Philip Guston. Despite his contribution to the formation of the New York School, Spillenger did not find commercial or critical success. Ray Spillenger: Rediscovery of a Black Mountain Painter is the first exhibition to examine this unseen body of work and to assess the artist’s contribution to the history of mid-twentieth-century American art. This exhibition has been organized by the Black Mountain College Museum Arts Center and curated by Theodore E. Stebbins Jr., Curator of American Art, Emeritus, Harvard Art Museums.