The Ball State DOMA exhibit explores the career of Philadelphia artist Larry Day


David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA) at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, is showing the most important exhibition on the art of Larry Day (1921–1998) to date from February 24 to May 21, 2022. DOMA is open to the public without an admission fee Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Organized by the Woodmere Art Museum in philadelphia, Body Language: The Art of Larry Day

examines the artist’s major contributions to American art from the 1950s through the 1990s in a selection of 50 paintings and drawings. The exhibition is curated by Day’s longtime friend David Bindman, Professor Emeritus of Art History at University College London and Visiting Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

The exhibition highlights the most prominent thematic categories in Day’s career: abstraction, figuration and the cityscape. Together they work together to reinforce the artist’s meaning and enduring relevance while unveiling Day’s shift from abstraction to representation.

In his hometown, Tag became known as the “Dean of Philadelphia Painters,” indicative of his powerful inspiration and impact as a teacher at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and through the city’s many other art schools.

“Day challenged the dominant style of Abstract Expressionism in the New York art world and came at the forefront of artists moving towards figurative and representational painting,” said Robert G. La France, director of the David Owsley Museum of Art. “I think , that the exhibition will be a revelation for many and will appeal to students, studio artists, art historians and the general public alike. We are grateful to the Woodmere Art Museum for presenting the work of this contemporary Philadelphia artist in Muncie and East Central Indiana.”

A colored catalog for Body Language: The Art of Larry Day is available from the University of Pennsylvania Press. It includes essays by David Bindman; Sid Sachs, chief curator and exhibition director at UArts; Jonathan Bober, Curator and Head of Old Master Prints at the National Gallery of Art; and artist Eileen Neff, who studied with Day and subsequently taught alongside her. Also included is a “Memory Portrait” written by Day’s widow Ruth Fine, a retired curator at the National Gallery of Art.

To view the Body Language: The Art of Larry Day exhibition video, click here.


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