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Palmer Museum of Art highlights new contemporary collection additions in 'Amazing Stories'
Roger Shimomura, Kansas Samurai, 2004, lithograph, 44 ¾ x 31 inches. Purchased with funds provided by the Sidney and Helen S. Friedman Endowment, 2018.12.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.- The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State opened its second exhibition for the season, Amazing Stories: Recent Acquisitions, on January 12. The show features a diverse range of contemporary works recently acquired by the museum.

Amazing Stories highlights eighteen prints by late twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists whose work relies heavily on representation and visual storytelling. The complex prints are by an array of artists eager to share intensely personal tales, or to communicate ideas about mixed identities and ethnic stereotypes, as well as multicultural and shared histories. The narrative modes vary widely, from penetrating political caricature, starkly conveyed in graphic black and white, to vibrant Pop-inflected allegories that draw in equal part on appropriation and invention.

“The impulse to tell stories can be witnessed throughout history and across cultures,” said assistant director Joyce Robinson, who curated the exhibition. “Despite the rejection of narrative content in much of the avant-garde art of the last century, the last forty years have seen a resurgence of interest in figurative art and storytelling.”

Many of the narratives in the exhibition speak to current day socio-political realities even as they acknowledge distant family lore and historical truths. Past and present tense merge in these visual chronicles by an impressive roster of contemporary artists seeking, above all else, to tell us their remarkable stories.

Artists featured in the show include Claudia Bernardi, Squeak Carnwath, Enrique Chagoya, Francesco Clemente, Sue Coe, Claudio Dicochea, Leonor Fini, Anthony Peter Gorny, Hung Liu, Jacob Meders, Jenny Morgan, Mimmo Paladino, Ramiro Rodriguez, Roger Shimomura, Rufino Tamayo, Maria Tomasula, Vincent Valdez, and Matika Wilbur.

Amazing Stories was organized by the Palmer Museum of Art and closes on May 26.

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