Exhibitions Archive - Exhibitions
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Surface Tension: Etchings from the Collection

Surface Tension celebrates etching, which involves the painterly and deliberate application of powdered rosins, grounds, solvents, and acids, to show why the medium holds such extraordinary scientific and artistic distinction within the broader practice of printmaking. Drawn entirely from the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection, including several recent acquisitions, the show features leaders of the nineteenth-century Etching Revival as well as contemporary practitioners.

Alive & Kicking: Fantastic Installations by Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Catalina Schliebener Muñoz, and Gladys Nilsson

This exhibition brings together three contemporary artists who have never shown together before, but are all remarkable for their punchy, surreal installations. Gladys Nilsson and Catalina Schliebener Muñoz contribute original works, made on-site in the gallery. Their spirited, strange, cartoonish scenes are complemented by Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt’s Mysterium Tremendum (late 1980s), a quasi-autobiographical tale illustrated across 125 aluminum lasagna pans.

Eastman Johnson and Maine

Maine native Eastman Johnson was one of the most significant painters of the nineteenth century and was instrumental in the development of genre painting, art that depicts everyday life, in the United States. At the height of his career in the 1860s and 1870s, he often turned to his home state for subject matter, creating works that portrayed various aspects of rural experience.

2024 Senior Exhibition

Seniors studying studio art have spent all year working on capstone projects in disciplines that include printmaking, photography, painting, and sculpture. This show serves as the culmination of their studies. An exhibition catalogue containing images, artists’ statements, and analyses of works in the show written by students in AR356 will also be available.

Playscape: Contemporary Art from the Colby Museum’s Collection

Inspired by the 2023–25 Colby College Center for the Arts and Humanities theme of play, and sourced from the Colby Museum’s collection, this exhibition invites you to consider the role of play in contemporary art. Games and art have elements in common: both depend on rituals, practices, and rules, whether passed down through generations or conceived on the spot.

Martha Diamond: Deep Time

Martha Diamond is among the most perceptive painters of the last five decades. Her work’s formal concision and painterly bravado reflect an inner dialogue with generations of abstract artists, and the results are exceptional: an inimitable handling of gesture and space that reimagines the landscape tradition while deftly sliding between abstraction and representation. Comprised of paintings, works on paper, and monotypes, this focused survey of Diamond’s career proposes “deep time” as a new way of understanding her contribution to American painting.

A Lot More Inside: Esopus Magazine

Published for fifteen years, from 2003 to 2018, and documented in a comprehensive archive held by the Colby College Libraries Special Collections, the celebrated alternative arts magazine Esopus remains “a thing of lavish, eccentric beauty.” A Lot More Inside: Esopus Magazine presents archival materials and original artworks associated with the abundant publication. It includes audio and video artifacts, photographs of studio visits and press runs, handwritten notes and diagrams, email exchanges, issue mockups, printers’ proofs, and artists’ notes, offering a behind-the-scenes vantagepoint on an innovative magazine committed to providing an unfiltered, unmediated (ad-free) experience of pure creative expression.

2023 Faculty Biennial

The 2023 Faculty Biennial features works in a diverse range of media explored by art department faculty members Bevin Engman, Gary Green, Amanda Lilleston, Audrey Shakespear, and Takahiro Suzuki.

The World Outside: Louise Nevelson at Midcentury

One of the first exhibitions to explore Louise Nevelson’s sculptures and works on paper in dialogue with their historical moment, The World Outside: Louise Nevelson at Midcentury illuminates the artist’s multidimensional command of form and attunement to postwar culture in the United States. It features more than sixty defining artworks by Nevelson, including wall works, installations, drawings, and prints.

Whistler: Streetscapes, Urban Change

This exhibition features works by artist James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) focused upon urban sites undergoing rapid transformation during the Victorian era. Despite the artist’s aversion to overtly narrative or political themes, his city subjects reveal a long-term engagement with social and economic forces. Whistler: Streetscapes, Urban Change invites us to consider the multivalent implication of paintings, drawings, and prints that silently witnessed the struggles of the working poor, at the same time romanticizing poverty for a rising middle-class art market.