PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
announces the addition of more than 140 works to its permanent collection of American art. The works include paintings, sculpture, photographs, and works on paper made from the early 20th century to the present.
Some highlights include the purchases of two conceptually and graphically dynamic Sensorium (2016) paintings and corresponding studies by artist, curator and critic Alexi Worth; an edition of four large-scale Time Lapse (2011) C-print portraits by groundbreaking performance artist and bodybuilder Cassils; four self-portrait pigment prints from the culturally critiquing Cargo Cults (2016) series by installation artist Stephanie Syjuco; and three quietly poignant large-format photographs from the Lesbian Beds (2002) series by photographer, video artist and zine editor Tammy Rae Carland.
"We're thrilled to bring work by these incredibly talented artists into our collection," said Jodi Throckmorton, PAFA's Curator of Contemporary Art. "Each of these artists employs innovative approaches to express powerful ideas about issues like gender roles, global culture, personal relationships, and the universal desire for connectedness."
The four Time Lapse works are currently on view at PAFA for the exhibition Melt/Carve/Forge: Embodied Sculptures by Cassils, on view through March 5. Cassils' first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Melt/Carve/Forge features the artist's groundbreaking work in photography, video, sculpture, and performance.
Expanding and diversifying its permanent collection through gifts and purchases is a key focus of PAFA's mission. The purchases are being made through collections endowments and dedicated collections funds. These acquisitions represent a busy year in which PAFA's collection has grown by 430 works of art.
Among the museum's most recently acquired gifts is a collection of 27 works on paper from artist and collector Ofelia Garcia representing a rich diversity of work from 20th- and 21st-century artists including Chitra Ganesh, Hung Liu, Louise Nevelson, and Faith Ringgold.
Linda Lee Alter, whose landmark 2010 gift to PAFA added nearly 500 works of art by women to its collection, has gifted another group of work by women that includes two collections of etchings by noted Philadelphia artist and educator Rochelle Toner: Annie Crow Road, Chesapeake (n.d.); and Io Drinks Coffee (2004).
"Linda Lee Alter and Ofelia Garcia have long celebrated the work of female artists, who have had far fewer opportunities for visibility than their male counterparts," said David R. Brigham, PAFA President, CEO, and Interim Museum Director. "The generous support of these two forward-thinking collectors adds even greater depth and richness to our growing permanent collection."
PAFA's contemporary collection is also greatly enhanced by a gift of 63 contemporary works on paper from the Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI) at Lafayette College. The collection includes serigraphs by Richard Anuszkiewicz, Willie Cole, Najee Dorsey, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Alison Saar, and William T. Williams.
Many of these important works will be on view in the exhibition A Collaborative Language: Selections from the Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI), opening in August 2017.
"Printmaking is all about exchange. It's one of the few artistic mediums intrinsic to a collaborative environment and as a destination for all visual artists, particularly African American; EPI is one of the most important print workshops in the country," said Kelli Morgan, PAFA's Winston & Carolyn Lowe Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Fine Arts. "One of the highlights of this show will be Ron's Tale by William T. Williams, a stunning work made in 2006 when Williams was a visiting scholar and artist-in-residence at EPI."