The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' (PAFA) collection has grown tremendously in the past three years due to the generosity of numerous donors of works on paper. This exhibition featured several unusual donations to the collection made since 2011, including a group of work by self-taught artists, two works by Milton Avery from radically different periods of his career, and important study collections of work by single artists. It included major works selected from large collections of art by Sue Coe, Surrealist Boris Margo, Chicago-based “Monster Roster” artist Seymour Rosofsky, and Abstract Expressionist Theodoros Stamos.
This is a wide-ranging cross-section of new acquisitions, including a realist nude drawing of artist Diana Moore by her husband William Beckman, a self-assured dazzlingly colorful self-portrait by Luis Azaceta, a tiny, mysterious drawing of a house ablaze by Scott Espeseth, and a simultaneously abstract and meticulously compulsive drawing of yarn by Samantha Mitchell. The latter two artists are young, emerging figures in the contemporary art world who work primarily on paper. Arranged thematically to interact and encourage cross-period dialogues, the exhibition aimed to be one of an ongoing series celebrating great gifts to PAFA’s growing collection.