Tang Teaching Museum Presents Major Survey of Genre-Defying Artist Nicholas Krushenick
Nicholas Krushenick: Electric Soup explores artist's influential legacy and features paintings, collages, and drawings spanning 50-year career
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College will present a survey of genre-defying artist Nicholas Krushenick, February 7 – August 16, 2015. Nicholas Krushenick: Electric Soup features over 20 of the artist’s eye-popping paintings, along with collages, drawings, and prints from the 1950s through the 1990s, an under-appreciated body of work that has had a profound influence on generations of artists working in a variety of styles and media.
Electric Soup features Krushenick’s dynamic paintings that juxtapose bold forms with hard-edged abstraction, revealing a body of work that exists independent of and simultaneously connected to Op art, Pop, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Color Field painting. The exhibition includes well-known works created in New York in the 1960s and 1970s as Krushenick rose to prominence, as well as works created in Baltimore during the 1980s and 1990s, when art market tastes shifted away from Krushenick’s unclassifiable style. The survey also includes rarely seen drawings and prints influenced by Abstract Expressionist Hans Hoffman’s theory of “push-pull,” in which bright contrasting colors activate the space—a practice Krushenick continued to use throughout his career.
Krushenick’s boldly independent vocabulary and style helped him become a prominent figure on the New York art scene in the 1960s. His vibrant paintings hinge on a tension between figure and ground; flatness and spatiality; edge and interior; geometry and disorder; with influences as varied as Henri Matisse, Edward Hicks, and Henri Rousseau. While Krushenick’s graphic forms and bright colors are akin to Pop art, he remained interested in abstraction, distancing his work from the representational forms of Pop art. While not as widely recognized as other artists of the period, Krushenick’s work has been influential to many contemporary artists including Kathy Butterly, Peter Halley, Mary Heilmann, and Thomas Nozkowski.
“As a museum dedicated to interdisciplinary teaching and learning, it’s important to us that our exhibitions are valuable tools to inform study across a range of disciplines, and provide engaging experiences for all our visitors,” said Ian Berry, Dayton Director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Gallery. “We are thrilled to bring together this impressive group of Nicholas Krushenick’s bold and inspiring paintings, and to introduce a new audience to his significant body of work.”
The Tang Teaching Museum develops exhibitions and programming dedicated to interdisciplinary thinking and presents the works of influential and emerging contemporary artists. Through its multidisciplinary approach, the Tang Teaching Museum integrates the arts into academic life on campus at Skidmore College—providing a space for critical thought and inviting collaborative learning through active engagement with artworks and exhibitions. The Tang Teaching Museum was founded in 2000, and in 2015 will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a series of exhibitions and programs to be announced in the coming months.
Nicholas Krushenick: Electric Soup is the latest in a series of exhibitions at the Tang that present in-depth surveys of underappreciated modern and contemporary artists, including Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent (2013); Nancy Grossman: Tough Life Diary (2012); Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History (2009); Joachim Schmid Photoworks 1982–2007 (2007); Richard Pettibone: A Retrospective (2005); and America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler (2005); among others. Each exhibition has been accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue, re-introducing important bodies of work to new audiences.
An extensive catalogue will accompany the exhibition, chronicling the history of Krushenick’s work through images, scholarly essays, and excerpts from interviews with the artist. The exhibition includes loans from the Museum of Modern Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Walker Art Center, Johnson Museum at Cornell University, and several private collections along with key works from the artist’s estate. Many of the works have not been seen publicly in decades and have never before been brought together in the same exhibition.