Historical Journal

Journal Archives,Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Archives,Reviews


May 8, 1987
Anne Classen

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"Their stately exterior calm belies the jagged contours of their interior realms."

May 8 through June 21,1987
Nona Hershey, Evan Summer, and Herbert George all have distinct but sympathetic sensibilities. The Morris Gallery Committee chose the works of these artists to complement one another. Hershey and Summer’s unpopulated environments hint at a human presence, while George’s dramatic portraitheads confront the viewer with an introspective vision of the human form.
Nona Hershey’s works on view span the six-year period 1981 to the present. Her earliest mixed-intaglio works depict clothes-lines stretched across doorways, billowing draperies and wires wrapping around pipes or dangling from hooks. In these images, light often erupts in a play of shimmering reflections which distort and transform space. In the later prints, the mass of the building falls away. Flattened windows and doorways are alernately bathed in random streaks of stark, white light or enveloped by black shadows.
In the prints from 1984 and 1985, Hershey reduces her imagery to a more linear play of curving, twisting, looping filaments, which dance across the flat backdrop of white light. In the latest intaglio prints and monoprints, Hershey returns to the deliberately scratched and coarse textures of her earlier work. This distressed background offers a strong counterpoint to delicate and inadvertent patterns of the twine. Here, randomly draped wire and string begin to take on decidedly human characteristics. Fleeting shadow often fingering out of the forms themselves inspirit these ordinary architectural elements with presence and vitality.
Evan Summer’s prints and collages are an intense study in line and solid geometric form. His architectural landscapes are at once futuristic and ancient, suggesting states of both construction and destruction, not completely in our realm of experience. According to Summer, his curiously unpeopled environments suggest “a technological civilization represented only by vestiges, now only partly understandable, reasons and reality gone with its builders.” His collages evolved from etchings which he built up with plates made from paper glued onto aluminum board. He has painted and drawn over them with pastels, acrylic, and pencil.
Summer uses a wealth of textures to depict these stark remnants of another civilization. Hundreds of finely striated lines cut through the print, the straight edges and jutting corners strongly contrasting with the inky pools and cold expanses of white and gray surfaces. In his collages, Summer plays with the texture of thickly built up pastels. Layers of gray, steel blue, and seaweed green accumulate in drifts on the surface. Nearly every image includes a gently curving architectural element. This form softens not only the regular progression of geometric slabs but also the chunky heaps of discard. Relics of the actual and the imagined combine to warp our sense of what was and what may be.
Herbert George’s diverse portraitheads were worked from the same sitter over an extended period of time. Some are painted with successive layers of purple, blue, orange, and pink washes. Others retain the white of Hydro-cal, his casting material, which is a type of very hard plaster. A network of roughly filed marks crisscross the painted surface and often penetrate through to the white Hydro-cal underneath. Some of the heads have gouged sections and parts of the face modelled in the negative. The scratch marks and the cutaway sections vary the surface on which light can play.
George’s main concern in these heads is the literal and metaphorical edge that separates light and shadow. He challenges the notion of shadow as absence of form. Is the seam that separates the two the edge of the light or is the edge of the shadow? According to George, his portraitheads employ light and shade as metaphor for aspects of human consciousness. Their stately exterior calm belies the jagged contours of their interior realms.
Anne Classen
Curatorial Assistant
Herbert George
Born Seattle, Washington, 1940
University of Washington, Seattle, B.A. in English literature and education, 1963
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art, Philadelphia, sculpture, 1963-64
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, B.FA in sculpture, 1965
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, M.FA in sculpture, with honors, 1966
Tracks: A Journal of Artists’ Writings, founder and editor, 1974-77
University of Chicago, Illinois, 1986 to present associate professor of sculpture

1966-67 Fulbright Scholarship, sculpture, England
1978 New York State Council On the Arts, sculpture, CAPS Grant
1983-84 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, sculpture

Selected Individual Exhibitions
1975,1977 OK Harris Gallery, New York, New York
1977 Herbert George, Everson Museum of Art Syracuse
1980,1981 Robert Freidus Gallery, New York, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions
161st Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The Art of Organic Forms, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
The Partial Figure in Modem Sculpture, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD, curated by Albert Eisen
Sited Sculpture, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
Seven Sculptors in America, 1 Penn Plaza, New York, NY, curated by Dore Ashton
Selected Public Collections
Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
The Tate Gallery, Friends of New AA London, England
Nona Hershey
Born New York City, 1946
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, B.FA, 1967
Tyler School of An in Rome, Rely, M.FA, 1969
Instituto Statale d’Arte di Urbino, Italy, 1979,1980
Assistant Professor of Printmaking, Temple Abroad, Rome, Italy, 1979 to present

Selected individual Exhibitions
1983 Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY
1985 Galleria 11 Ponte, Rome, Italy
1986 Laboratorio Artevisive, Foggia, Italy
1987 Nona Hershey. Wires, Dolan/Maxwell Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Selected Group Exhibitions
Great American Prints 84/85, Dolan/Maxwell Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
The New Drawings, Dolan/Maxwell Gallery
New Directions in Printmaking, Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY
Hot Off the Press, Associated American Artists, New York, NY
24th National Print Exhibition, The Brooklyn Museum, New York
Grafica Originale, Palazzo Ducale, Pesaro, Italy
Pennsylvania Graphics: Then and Now, Penn State Berks Campus, Reading, PA
Premio internazionale Biella per L’Incisione, Rome, Italy
Garton and Cooke Gallery, London, England

Selected Public Collections
Calcografia Nazionale, Rome, Rely
Civic Museum, Piacenza, Italy
Minnesota Museum of Art
Mint Museum, North Carolina
Evan Summer
Born Buffalo, New York, 1948
State University of New York, College at Cortland, B.S., 1970
State University of New York at Buffalo, B.F.A,, 1973
Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut, M.F.A. in printmaking, 1975

Selected Awards/Grants
1979-80 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship Grant
1985 Boston Printmakers Award, Boston Printmakers Members’ Traveling Exhibition
1983 The EMES Editions, Inc., Prize, 59th International Competition, Phila. Print Club

Selected Individual Exhibitions
1979 Evan Summer Recent Prints and Drawings, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
1984 Evan Summer Paintings and Prints 1984, Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, DC
1985 Prints by Evan Summer, Philadelphia College of AA, Pennsylvania

Selected Group Exhibitions
21st National Print Exhibition, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
57th SAGA National Print Exhibition, New York, NY
Evan Summer and Stephen Weitz: Prints and Drawings, Woodmere Museum, Philadelphia, PA
The Tonal Range, Miriam Perlman Gallery, Chicago, IL
Drawing Competition, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Recent Acquisitions: 1980-1984, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
Prints Ensuite, The Katonah Gallery, Katonah, NY (traveling exhibition)
International Print Exhibit, Taipei City Museum of Fine Arts, Republic of China
Art in City Hall/Artists’ Books and Prints, City Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Selected Public Collections
The Brooklyn Museum, NY
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
The Morris Gallery displays the work of outstanding conemporary artists with a connection to Philadelphia, determined by birth,.school or residence. The exhibitions are chosen by a committee composed of area artists, museum personnel and collectors, and the curatorial staff of the Academy. Currently serving on the Morris Gallery Exhibition Committee are: Cynthia Carlson, Jennie W. Dietrich, Ofelia Garcia, Dr. HeIen Herrick, Harold Jacobs, Jay Richardson Massey, Charles Mather 111, Cheryl McClenney, John Moore, Mark Rosenthal; Academy staff Judith Stein, Morris Gallery coordinator, Frank Goodyear, Jr., Linda Bantel, Betty Romanella; and, Academy students Ed Lewis and Anna Yates.
Copyright Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1987
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