From Edwin Dickinson to the Perceptual Painters

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Edwin Walter Dickinson, Chair, Skowhegan I, 1956, oil on board (Pennsylvania AcaGeorge Nick, Folded Avenger, 2006, oil on linen, 40 × 50 inches (collection of tLennart Anderson, Portrait of Barbara S, 1976–77 (Pennsylvania Academy of the FiDavid Campbell, 2nd Attempt at My Future Brain, 2013, oil on linen, 26 × 34 inchNeil Riley, Winter Grey, 2010, oil on panel, 8 × 8 inches (Private collection)Brian Rego, Millwood Field, 2013, oil on board, 14 × 20 inches (courtesy of the Ben Kamihira, Fantasy II, 1976–85, oil on canvas, 50 × 36 inches (Pennsylvania ACarolyn Pyfrom, Blue Self-portrait, 2012, oil on linen, 22 × 18 inches (courtesyMichael Ananian, Presto!, 2010, casein on paper, 22 × 26 1/2 inches (courtesy ofVictoria Barnes, Circus, 2013, oil on canvas, 24 × 30 inches (courtesy of the arFrank Galuszka, Untitled (Santa Cruz Coast), 2003, oil on canvas, 18 × 24 inchesAaron Lubrick, Dan Walking His Dog, 2013, oil on panel, 14 × 15 inches (courtesyPhilip Geiger, Noa Asleep, 2012, oil on board, 18 × 24 inches (courtesy of the aPeter Van Dyck, Cotton Street at Night, 2013, oil on linen, 24 × 30 inches (courElizabeth Geiger, Night Music, 2012, oil on linen, 40 × 28 inches (courtesy of tThomas Walton, A Look Back, 2013, oil on linen, 22 × 25 inches (courtesy of the Mark Green, Figure (Icebergs), 2012, oil on linen, 60 × 72 inches (courtesy of tDavid Jewell, Social Media Failure (This isn’t the Zack you are looking for so sScott Noel, Telemachus and the Sirens, 2011, oil on linen, 78 × 90 inches (courtJohn Lee, Woodshop, 2013, oil on linen, 16 × 12 inches (courtesy of the artist)Tim Kennedy, July, 2007, oil on linen, 48 × 56 inches (courtesy of the artist)Erin Raedeke, The Party is Over, 2013, oil on board, 24 × 24 inches (courtesy ofMatt Klos, 120 Vessels, 2012–13, oil on panel, 30 × 48 inches (courtesy of the aAndrew Patterson-Tutschka, Bus Stop Near Ruhstaller Building, 2014, oil on canvaEve Mansdorf, Crouch, 2007, oil on linen, 48 × 60 inches (courtesy of the artistTim Conte, Tender Line, After the Rain, 2010, oil on linen, 19 × 22 inches (cour

Observation and Invention: The Space of Desire is on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, through April 6, 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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