Exhibition - Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist

Monday, Oct 26, 2020 at 11:30am

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014

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Agnes Pelton (1881–1961) was a visionary symbolist who depicted the spiritual reality she experienced in moments of meditative stillness. Art for her was a discipline through which she gave form to her vision of a higher consciousness within the universe. Using an abstract vocabulary of curvilinear, biomorphic forms and delicate, shimmering veils of light, she portrayed her awareness of a world that lay behind physical appearances—a world of benevolent, disembodied energies animating and protecting life.  For most of her career, Pelton chose to live away from the distractions of a major art center, first in Water Mill, Long Island, from 1921 to 1932, and subsequently in Cathedral City, a small community near Palm Springs, California. Her isolation from the mainstream art world meant that her paintings were relatively unknown during her lifetime and in the decades thereafter. This exhibition of approximately forty-five works introduces to the public a little-known artist whose luminous, abstract images of transcendence are only now being fully recognized.

Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist is organized by the Phoenix Art Museum, and curated by Gilbert Vicario, The Selig Family Chief Curator. The installation at the Whitney Museum is overseen by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant.

Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist is organized by Phoenix Art Museum.

In New York, major support is provided by Judy Hart Angelo and the Barbara Haskell American Fellows Legacy Fund.

Generous support is provided by Lynda and Stewart Resnick.

Significant support is provided by the Opatrny Family Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Georgia and Michael de Havenon and Sarah Pearsall and Michael Lippert.

Exhibition Date: March 13, 2020 - November 1, 2020 

General Admission

Adults: $25

Seniors, Students, and Visitors with Disabilities: $18

18 and under: Free

Museum admission is Pay What You Wish on Fridays, 6–9 pm. 

All visitors and members must book timed tickets in advance. Please note that the Whitney is operating at a significantly reduced capacity for your safety, and same-day tickets may be extremely limited. 

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