Observation and Invention: The Space of Desire
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia
April 2014

The show features paintings by Michael Ananian, Lennart Anderson, Victoria Barnes, David Campbell, Tim Conte, Edwin Dickinson, Frank Galuszka, Elizabeth Geiger, Philip Geiger, Mark Green, David Jewell, Ben Kamihira, Tim Kennedy, Matt Klos, John Lee, Aaron Lubrick, Eve Mansdorf, George Nick, Scott Noel, Andrew Patterson-Tutschaka, Carolyn Pyfrom, Erin Raedeke, Brian Rego, Neil Riley, Thomas Walton, and Peter Van Dyck.

In a new video, produced by John Thornton, painter/curator Scott Noel discusses a lineage of observational painting that spans four generations from Edwin Dickinson to recent graduates of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

In the video Noel remarks: “The hope is that the show makes a convincing case, that a space is preserved in contemporary art for just this practice – this search for poetry in a direct and unmediated experience of looking. This particular activity is getting more and more marginal, at least in critical debate. There are very few critics or thinkers about contemporary painting that are much invested in defending the idea that direct observational response could be an interesting premise for a life lived in art.”

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