April 9, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Painter Ellen Phelan will give the annual Rapaport Lecture in Contemporary Art on Friday, April 19, at 4:30 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115) in Fayerweather Hall at Amherst College. Her talk, titled “Drawing into Painting,” will be free and open to the public.

Phelan has taught at a number of institutions, including Bard College and New York University, and at Harvard University, where she has chaired the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. Her work is held in numerous collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Walker Art Center. She is currently exhibiting at Senior & Shopmaker Gallery in New York.

Of her work, critic Ken Johnson wrote in The New York Times, “What has remained consistent, besides an always assiduous care for the craft of painting, has been the Modernist tension between material surface and illusory depth and a postmodernist play between romance and irony.” In The Los Angeles Times, David Pagel wrote, “Seemingly simple, her paintings are extraordinarily sophisticated in their capacity to capture the materiality of light, giving this ordinarily intangible substance a presence both palpable and wondrous.

The Rapaport Lectureship in Contemporary Art Fund, established in 1999, provides support for an annual lecture by an artist, art writer, or art critic on some aspect of contemporary art. The goal of the Rapaport Lectureship is to increase awareness and appreciation of contemporary art among students and the community. The Department of Fine Arts is pleased to bring Ellen Phelan to Amherst as part of the Rapaport Lectureship in Contemporary Art, with additional support from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.