February 16, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Works by contemporary American artists acquired since 2000 will be shown in “Back to the Future” at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College from Friday, March 30, through Sunday, Aug. 26. From Fluxus artist Geoffrey Hendricks’s (Amherst ’53) painted bronze “Sky Boots (Sunday), 1965-1992,” to Mary Frank’s abstract monotype “Untitled, Women with a Veil-C” (1981), the exhibition represents a range of contemporary works in a variety of media, including photography, works on paper, painting and sculpture.

Fluxus—a free-wheeling art movement that started in the ’50s—is also represented by Joe Jones, a key member of the movement, known for his experimental music and for the playful instruments he fabricated from found objects. The Mead’s “Framed Piece with Steel Drum” (1981) is one such “music machine,” made of a steel drum, motor, battery, electric cord and pingpong balls. Other sculptures in the exhibition include a bronze by Helen Evans Ramsaran titled “Cliff Dwellers” (2001), inspired by the sandstone villages of the Bandiagara region of Mali in West Africa.

Back to the Future includes paintings by Michael Mazur (Amherst ’57) and Joan Witek. Among the artists represented by works on paper are Dottie Attie, Sam Gilliam, Donald Sultan and Beverly Buchanan, whose oil pastel “Five Shacks” (2004) is inspired by the uniquely Southern structures of the artist’s childhood in rural Georgia and the Carolinas. The exhibition also includes photographs by Petah Coyne, William Eggleston, Emmet Gowin, Alex Harris, David Levinthal, Mary Ellen Mark, Duane Michals and Vik Muniz. Best known for her hanging wax sculptures and knotted webs of hair, Petah Coyne is represented here by “Monks II” (1992), a blurred photograph that captures fragments of moments and motion frozen in time. Coyne will give a slide lecture about her work in conjunction with the exhibition at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, in the Keefe Campus Center Theater. A reception will follow in the museum.

The works in “Back to the Future” attest to the strength and vitality of the Mead’s growing contemporary collection.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information is available on the museum’s Website or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.