Short Stories at the Painting Center, 2016

Pat Badt
 The Painting Center 

 May 24 - June 18, 2016

Opening Reception Thursday May 26 6-8 pm

Selfie Portugal with Cork and Stone Oak, 40 x 30, oil, 2015

(New York) The Painting Center is pleased to present Short Stories, an exhibition of recent paintings, by Pat Badt.

Short Stories refers to Badt’s recent series of paintings that explore the memories of people, places and things that create moments of experience.  Badt often uses the backs of her paintings to embed found objects that refer to the painting’s subjects, creating hidden “readings” that inform her work.  For this exhibition these works are presented on hinges to be able to see behind the paintings to this secret place.
Pat Badt's work is inspired by memory and place, filtered through experience and sensibility. Her studio is in an old barn along the Jordan Creek, surrounded by apple orchards, low mountains and the convergence of two creeks.  She loves the process of painting-- the putting down of paint through the appropriate handwriting, right color, texture and scale.
Pat Badt is Artist-in-Residence / Professor Emeritus at Cedar Crest College. She received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz.  She splits her time between New York City and Pennsylvania.

Pat Badt   Short Stories           
List of Work (s):

1.     Selfie Portugal with Stone and Cork Oak
Date: 2015
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 40 x 30
Price: $2200

Short Stories 2-9, handle gently
2.     I remember: Mohair
Date: 2015
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 12 x 9
Price: $1000

3.     I remember: Mahjong
Date: 2015
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 12 x 9
Price: $1000

4.     Dog Dog, People with Grey Hair
Date: 2016
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 12 x 9
Price: $1000

5.     I remember: Cancer of the Heart
Date: 2015
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 12 x 9
Price: $1000

6.     I remember: Pool at Palm Springs
Date: 2015
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 12 x 9
Price: $1000

7.     I remember: Coffee in a Styrofoam Cup
Date: 2014
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 12 x 9
Price: $1000

8.     I remember: Redwood Red Wood
Date: 2015
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 12 x 9
Price: $1000

9.     The Nana Series: Collecting Sea Glass
Date: 2015
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 12 x 9
Price: $1000

10.  Selfie Malta
Date: 2015
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 48 x 38
Price: $2400

11.  Colors of March
Medium: acrylic on panel with stamps
Date: 2015
Dimensions: 20 x 10
Price: $1000

12.  Colors of September
Medium: acrylic on panel with stamps
Date: 2015
Dimensions: 20 x 10
Price: $1000

13. Colors of August
Medium: acrylic on panel with stamps
Date: 2015
Dimensions: 20 x 10
Price: $1000

14. Small installation of painted string, NFS

Art From The Boros III, Denise Bibro Fine Art, 2015

Denise Bibro Fine Art presents...  

Art From The Boros III

 Running Through July 23rd- August 15th, 2015.

THURSDAY, JULY 23rd, 5-8pm.

Due to the popular demand from our previous Art From the Boros show
 Denise Bibro Fine Art is excited to announce Art From The Boros III ,on view July 23-August 15, 2015.

Out of hundreds of submissions, we traveled the city and pounded the pavement making studio visits to see the work of over 70 applicants, where only forty-plus  artist were chosen. Their works are diverse in medium, aesthetics and content. Not only do they come from all socio and economic circumstance, the artists exhibited in this show have varied education backgrounds, from seasoned veterans of the city's art scene to great undiscovered and self-taught talent. The juxtaposition of styles and media create a dialogue between a vast amount of work by artists of all ages, practices and cultures, regardless of which Borough they reside.

In a world that often projects galleries as jaded and inaccessible, we are demonstrating that we value and share the desire to keep up with the bustling creativity all around us. Our experience illustrates that one should always be open to thinking outside the box, taking risks, and informing your aesthetic vocabulary - if only to continue to appreciate and understand, or to be brave enough to inform and broaden one's world and visual horizons. We challenge the viewer to always be open and, of course, enjoy.

Artists Include:
 Olga Alexander, Pat Badt, Whitney Wood Bailey, Marc Brown, Candace Browne, Naomi Campbell, Woody Campbell, Brian Cavanaugh, Jason Cina, Marilyn Davidson, Cara Enteles, Camille Eskell, Laura Fantini, Robert Franca, David Fratkin, Nikki Geula, Yuka Imata, Laura Karetzky, Sol Kjøk, Elizabeth Knowles, Paul Kruger, Olga Lamm, Anthony Locane, Jessica Maffia, Vera Manzi-Schacht, Jo Mar, Stephanie Marcus, Gail Miller, Bruce Minson, Michael Mut, Douglas Newton, Jean-Antoine Norbert, David Outhwaite, Sue Ellen Paxson, Ben Ponté, Aleksander Popovic, Gail Postal, Claudia Sbrissa, Barbara Schaefer, Linda Schmidt, Deborah Simon, Jeff Sundheim, Suprina, Mark Taber, Mariyah Tareen, London Tsai, Ateet Tuli, Martha Walker & Junko Yamada

work included:
  Day 1, VCCA, acrylic on panel, 24 x 18, 2012

Day 1, VCCA-verso, coloraid and acrylic, 24 x 18, 2012

  Full Spectrum, VCCA, acrylic on panel, 24 x 18, 2012

 Full Spectrum, VCCA, acrylic on panel, 24 x 18, 2012

Hidden Objects / Primary Sources, Cedar Crest College, 2015


Essay for the Catalogue
by Elizabeth Johnson

     Pat Badt emphatically states, "I am not an abstract painter," and after deliberating, I have to agree with her. If you only look at the front of the paintings included in Hidden Objects/Primary Sources, you might think she's advancing the work of Abstract Expressionists; specifically, she seems to be multiplying and layering the effect of a Barnett Newman zip painting. A groundbreaking Minimalist or Color Field painter, Barnett Newman called the vertical stripes that divided his painting zips. His linear divisions replaced conventional subject matter, such as landscape, figure and still life, which reveal taste; and they suppressed gesture, which signifies the human hand or emotion. Distilling paintings into color equations, Newman pursued what he considered to be a holistic, sublime, pure and universal aesthetic by not referring to familiar realities. Working against these rules, Hidden Objects/Primary Sources links quotidian objects to the work that was derived from them, presenting Pat's primary sources--observations, stories, memories and keepsakes--as related, but subordinate to, her abstract painting.

     Pat dips her brush through a taut matrix of strings, accumulating brushstrokes that are firm and straight, but not hard-edged. She sources her color palette from unique, personal objects that she shares with us: her grandmother's nail buffer, sea glass they collected together, an invitation to a party, or the wool of a particular sweater is studied then safely stored and documented on the back side of a painting. Some of her paintings are hinged for easy flipside viewing; though she is careful to loosely define the relationship between the source objects and the painting, stating, "I am willing to tell and willing to not tell the audience what is behind the painting." She leaves the search for her sources completely up to the viewer. By removing herself and not directing but mirroring the viewer's curiosity, her work exits the realm of Abstract Expressionism, becoming instead a hybrid of sculpture, abstract and conceptual art.

     If I imagine a Pat Badt painting next to a Gerhard Richter Strip print, abstract work also indebted to Barnett Newman: Pat's striped brushwork looks textured, lush and three-dimensional in comparison. Richter creates luminous, rigid striations with image-editing software by taking a pixel-wide sample from a former painting and replicating the sample sideways. His densely striated, textile-like, digital patterns seem super-flat and hermetic compared to Pat's painted surfaces; though, both artists are attracted to blurring layered bands of color to suggest movement, speed and time passing. For each, the blur effect purifies and distills their primary sources into chromatic music. In the time it takes to look at them, Richter's prints become weightless; yet, Pat's painting/sculptures unfurl edges and corners, solidify as structures, allowing the viewer to move past the painting's surface, and explore the back and inside of an object.

     Time is of recurring importance for Badt: the paintings December, January, and February bring her primary source to the front of the painting, claiming a right hand margin for a date log. Next to a librarian's date stamp, she daubs each color she mixes as a dot--the simplest signature stamp. Clocking in and keeping track of her studio attendance reveals only the parameters of her studio practice, alluding to activities that she doesn't record. In our era of government surveillance and shrinking privacy, I find her pieces to be very satisfying, as they mock managers and bosses and fold conceptual art into her pieces. I'm reminded of On Kawara's Date paintings, part of his Today series. On Kawara and Pat Badt both: elevate the dates they record, slow the rhythm of time passing and
objectify the fact that we share time. Pat's use of the verso in her work reminds me of Kawara's pasting the corresponding day's newspaper clipping inside each Date painting's special built storage box. A painter, sculptor and conceptual artist who wrote postcards to friends stating simply "I'm still alive" from cities all over the world, On Kawara's use of the newspaper runs parallel to Pat Badt's inclusion of quotidian objects, as both artists sandwich the experiencing time between autobiography and fiction.

     And speaking of books, Pat creates one-of-a-kind, art books that lightly entertain: a volume of airplane window views with a drawn shade on one page; a collection of puns, Band adages for bandages; a map that collapses into book; and swatches of paint chips are sewn onto pages. Her work references handling books, as each has a front cover, a back cover and room inside for a mysterious, indeterminate middle. Her painted objects at first resist, then as you understand the sources, they reveal themselves like short stories, memories, haiku poems, magic tricks or dreams. Pat says a good piece snaps and I imagine a single hand closing cardboard covers, or the pause to gaze at a book's cover art after you have finished reading. Pat rifling through one of her pieces--a wooden box snuggly fitted with custom-made remembrance cards--recalls library card catalogues, the clack of the cards, chance discoveries and then returning the cards like fish back to the sea. The contained disorder, the way she relates color to particular people, seasons and experiences causes me to pause, subvert the visual and sense stories instead of read them.

List of Work:

1.     Sweet Life so far, oil on support, 60 x 48, 2014

2.     Sedona, oil on support, 36 x 18, 2014

3.     August Blooms Yellow in the Butterfly Garden, with hidden object, 36 x 18, 2013-14

4.     One Little Cloud, oil on support, 212 x 24, 6 x 9, 2014

5.     Topo, oil on support with hidden objects, 30 x 24, 2013

6.     Melba Toast (from the Nana Series), with hidden object, 30 x 30, 2013

7.     For Pops,
            a. (K)night, oil on alumalite mounted on wooden box with                                                         hidden object, 16 x 12
                   b. Curtains, oil on alumalite mounted on wooden box with                                                         hidden object, 16 x 12
            c. 7/5, oil on alumalite mounted on wooden box with hidden                                                         object, 16 x 12
                   d. Clubhouse, oil on alumalite mounted on wooden box with                                                         hidden object, 16 x 12, $700
            e. Beautiful Women, oil on alumalite mounted on wooden                                                         box with hidden object, 16 x 12
            f. Beach, oil on alumalite mounted on wooden box with                                                         hidden object, 16 x 12
            g. Battleship, oil on alumalite mounted on wooden box with                                                         hidden object, 16 x 12

8.     16 Waking Hours, oil on support, 18 x 18, 2012

9.      1-5 Monotypes, 2014

10. December, January, acrylic, 20 x 16, 2014-2015

11. I Remember series (1-9): oil on support, 12 x 9 
               a. Styrofoam Cup
               b. Her Nails
               c. LA evening
               d. Stone Harbor
               e. Nail Buffer
               f. Pressed Shirt
               g. Wehr's the Dam
               h. Collecting Sea Glass
               i. Mohair Throw
               j. Small Cabbage Whites

Night Web, 2014 
Litter of String, variable, 2015

Laura’s Torah, 1998         
Band Adages, 2014
Memory Swatches, 2012 
2592, 2014

Past Present: conversations across time, February 22 - May 17, 2015


IMAGINE a conversation between artists -- one a 21st Century world-weary, contemporary artist; and the other, a Renaissance Master of the 16th Century.  What would they have to say to each other?  Would this be a dialogue, a lesson, an argument?

PAST PRESENT establishes conversations between contemporary artists and the Allentown Art Museum’s Samuel H. Kress Collection.  Art is  always part of a larger conversation between artists and cultures, crossing time and place.  The art of the past from all cultures has a direct influence on the creation of art in the present.   Regardless of different styles and technologies, art can remain fresh through the ongoing discovery of looking.

NINE ARTISTS working individually or collectively were invited to study the Kress collection and select a specific painting from it.  These contemporary artists have created new works that exist in conversation with their Kress selection.  In many cases these contemporary artists use very different tools, techniques and technologies than the Kress masters, but each has identified a common interest that they share with the artists of the past.   The new work and the old masterpiece are hung together to foster more conversation with each other and you, the viewer.  Although art always exists within its time and reflects the concerns and ideas of its day, this exhibition demonstrates that there is much to be gained from a conversation with the past. 

The paintings from the Kress Collection used in this exhibition are a few of the many masterpieces given to the Allentown Art Museum by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in 1960.  These works were part of Samuel Kress’s important collection of European Old Masters that graced his Fifth Avenue penthouse in Manhattan.  The Samuel H. Kress Foundation donated his collection to the National Gallery and ninety other institutions including the Allentown Art Museum.

GUEST CURATOR The Third Barn is an experimental studio portal and curatorial project in an unspecified location.  Pat Badt and Scott Sherk,  Professors of Art at Cedar Crest College and Muhlenberg College, respectively, have collaborated on several large-scale installations and independently curated exhibitions on sound, painting, and sculpture.

Past Present: Conversations Across Time 
by Stephen Maine

Countless artists have reinvigorated their studio activity through a speculative engagement with art of centuries past. Examples abound: Pablo Picasso’s enthusiasm for ancient Greek sculpture radiates from his work of the 1930s; Willem de Kooning looked back to Ingres, among many others; Piero della Francesca was a touchstone for both Giorgio de Chirico and Philip Guston. The list is endless, because the practice is self-perpetuating; Ingres revered Raphael’s clarity, while de Kooning’s Ingres-inspired, linear approach to distorting human anatomy and space prompted innumerable mid-20th-century painters to embrace expressive figuration. Though the interpretation of documents from a cultural tradition is commonly considered the province of the translator, historian or critic, it is also a fundamental function of the artist’s creative imagination.

The curatorial premise of “Past Present: Conversations Across Time” recognizes this impulse to come to grips with the historical record. It is realized through the Samuel H. Kress Memorial Collection at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, one of eighteen regional museums that benefited from Mr. Kress’s decision to disburse much of his extraordinary collection of Renaissance art across the US. The value of this gift is enormous, in part because it facilitates an intimate contact between working artists and significant examples of the European heritage.

Curators Pat Badt and Scott Sherk asked the participating artists to review the Allentown Art Museum’s Kress Collection, and to respond to a particular work. The nature of these responses varies widely but each in its own way reflects aspects of the process by which artists assimilate their understanding of historical artworks. This may or may not have anything to do with the work’s original significance; as the painter Thomas Nozkowski has noted, time easily obscures the artist’s intentions:

The longer you look, the stranger all the artist’s choices appear. We don’t really know what was meant. But what you do get is a believable machine that is capable of running independently of its intended meaning. The logic of the structures of the painting may remind a viewer of an order that he senses in the visual world.[1]

What matters is that the work is somehow legible. A hermeneutical response unravels and extrapolates for the audience some aspect of the viewing experience, even while respecting the original work’s essential inscrutability.

In pursuit of this elaboration, the contemporary artists in “Past Present” engage various strategies. Alison Hall enters a Trecento Crucifixion from Rimini by way of the pattern adorning the gold leaf treatment of the painting’s ground, which reiterates the panel’s surface even as it dematerializes its position in pictorial space. For Jonsara Ruth and Loretta Di Cintio, architecture and light are central; the Giovanni del Biondo panel prompts them to reimagine its “golden interior landscape” as another mystic interior, a space of contemplation such as the convent cell the painting might have originally adorned.

The circumstances of viewing also intrigue Gregory Coates, whose source painting, by a follower of Giovanni Bellini, is a sacra conversazione among the Virgin and Child, a donor, and a female saint. In imitation of this intimate group, Coates recontextualizes the work in a living-room setting, where it inhabits the same space as the accouterments of relaxed conversation. Paulo Uccello also depicts non-contemporaries in his Madonna and Child with Saint Francis, an effect that collapses time; Pinkney Herbert gently satirizes this conventional pictorial fiction of “time travel” within a painting by combining the technologies of oil painting and digital printing. A pair of Dutch portraits from 1625 provides Creighton Michael with a point of departure for a meditation on drawing as a mode of response, analysis, and the generation of new meaning.

The nonhierarchical organization of Sanford Wurmfeld’s painting is akin to the “density of information” he has noted in Canaletto’s panoramic pictures, such as the 1740 View of Piazza San Marco, Venice, and as such it is the visual equivalent of our “primary experience” of our surroundings.[2] Pat Badt and Scott Sherk also consider perception in relation to subject matter, in a multimedia installation, pegged to an altarpiece by a follower of Leonardo, that brings into play the tactility of that painting’s abundant drapery, the varied angles of the onlookers’ gazes, even the sound of the angel’s lute.

The instantaneous online availability of images of artworks from all periods and a great many places is, on balance, a boon for contemporary artists. A consequence, however, is that art history then collapses, not just temporally into a continuously present moment, but also spatially, into a backlit, computer-screen-sized template. Iconography—whether two- or three-dimensional, abstract or referential—and style inevitably displace other, more experiential aspects of the work, such as its scale, surface and tactility; the behaviors of light and sound the object (or installation) engenders; and its relation to the enclosing architecture or surrounding landscape.

“Past Present” insists on the primacy of these experiential components of looking at pictures. In this exhibition, we do not confront postmodernist “pastiche,” the arbitrary aping of historical manners and modes. The participating artists experience history as more than merely a repository of stylistic options ripe for the quoting. They are engaged with their chosen sources on a corporeal, even visceral level—the level on which perception fully occurs.

The critic Harold Bloom refers to “poetic misprision” in describing the creative misreading of prior texts that incubates a poet’s individuality, identity, voice.[3] Of course, an artist can happily and productively work away without any awareness of or investment in tradition. But when native curiosity—or a curator’s invitation—draws an artist to scrutinize and reinterpret a predecessor’s visual language, the resulting conversation can both stretch customary creative boundaries and help to refine, within those boundaries, a creative self.

[1] David Ryan, Talking Painting: Dialogues with Twelve Contemporary Abstract Artists. New York: Routledge, 2002.  Quotation is from “Thomas Nozkowski: In Conversation,” p. 182.

[2] Sanford Wurmfeld, “Canaletto: Maps and Panoramas.” Privately distributed.

[3] Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.


David Mickenberg

Priscilla Payne Hurd President and CEO

Every museum struggles to make collections relevant to new audiences, to bridge the gaps between time, intention and production.   The phenomena of the Kress Collection affords opportunities to ask questions, seek new perspectives, and observe the art of the past with new eyes and fresh thoughts.  Past/Present gives us the ability to bridge that divide, to see the works entrusted to the museum in new light and through a lens of contemporary creativity and thought. We owe a debt to both Pat Badt and Scott Sherk, the curators of The Third Barn, for allowing the museum a rare opportunity.  In proposing this exhibition, in working throughout this past year on the numerous possibilities that bringing the nine artists of Past/Present together creates, both have allowed many to look at the old master painting in the collection with fresh insight and experience the art of today in an ever fascinating series of perspectives.  There is no greater gift to a museum than to extend the boundaries of thought while giving access to new ideas.  It is a pleasure to be able to present their work both as curators and as artists.

The Museum wishes to recognize and thank all of the artists in Past Present.  They have been extraordinary in responding to the challenge of conversing with, and responding to, individual works in the collection and sharing their ideas and works with a broad community. Their trust in the museum, for presenting their works to a broad community is cherished by all.

No exhibition would be possible without the excellence and expertise of the museum’s staff.  All museum practice is a collaborative effort on the part of many.  Without Bev Hoover, Steve Gamler, Sofia Bakis and Kim Tanzos, Past/Present would not have been designed, installed and accessible with such finesse and beauty.   Maureen Connolly, Tom Edge, Janet Egbert, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Don Gunn, Missy Hartney,  Rhonda Mark Hudak, Joe Kimock and the entire Office of Security, Lalaine Little, Julia Marsh, Elaine Mehalakes, John Pepper, Chris Potash, Linda Schmoyer, Irene Smith,  and Sharon Yurkanin, have all worked tirelessly to make Past/Present a reality.

It is often necessary to augment the expertise of the staff to ensure opportunities to expand upon the museum experience.  The museum wishes to recognize the work of Aria Mickenberg who produced the introductory videos on each of the artists in Past/Present.  Her work has made the works in the exhibition more accessible to all and has given a “pre-visit” voice to all of the artists. 

As with all exhibitions at the Allentown Art Museum Past/Present has been supported by numerous friends and patrons who have ensured our continued excellence and growth. Past/Present has been funded through the generosity of the Audrey & Bernard Berman Fund, the Leon C. & June W. Holt Endowment Fund, The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Office of the Provost, Muhlenberg College and the Muhlenberg College Art Department, Cedar Crest College, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Members and Trustees of the Museum.