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New Acquisitions: Minna Citron after Atelier 17 opens September 5 at the Palmer Museum of Art

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Minna Citron, Plato’s Cave, 1959, etching and aquatint with collagraphic relief. Gift of Christiane Citron, 2015.168.

The Palmer Museum of Art will present a new exhibition, New Acquisitions: Minna Citron after Atelier 17, from September 5 through December 10.

Minna Citron began her professional career as a member of the Fourteenth Street School, a loose confederation of artists—among them Reginald Marsh, Isabel Bishop, Raphael Soyer, and Kenneth Hayes Miller—whose paintings and prints regularly depicted the daily activities they observed in and around Union Square, in lower midtown Manhattan. In the mid-1940s, though, after nearly fifteen years of successfully representing urban America, she shifted decidedly toward abstraction. The impetus was Atelier 17, Stanley William Hayter’s experimental printmaking workshop, originally located in Paris but transplanted to New York at the start of World War II. While working at the studio, Citron experienced the full force of European modernism. She became particularly interested in automatism, a technique Hayter adopted from the Surrealists, which she began to employ in her work in order to allow the unconscious to play a greater role in its realization. By the time Hayter returned to Paris to reopen his studio in 1950, Citron’s efforts, by her own account, had begun to fall firmly within the realm of Abstract Expressionism.

This exhibition presents four decades of Citron’s printmaking, following the completion of her studies with Hayter. The sixteen intaglios, the majority selected from two groups of prints recently gifted to the Palmer Museum of Art by Christiane Citron, the artist’s granddaughter, demonstrate how she continued to probe the expressive possibilities of abstract line and form, an approach that was central to the Atelier 17 aesthetic, for the remainder of her career.

Jo Megas, curatorial assistant, will lead a Gallery Talk titled Minna Citron after Atelier 17 at 12:10 p.m. on Friday, September 8, in the exhibition gallery located on the museum’s second floor.

All programs are held at the Palmer Museum of Art and are sponsored by the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art unless otherwise noted.

Also on view at the Palmer Museum of Art this fall are Asher B. Durand: To Begin Again, September 5 through December 10; and BIG Deal: Sizeable Paintings from the Permanent Collection, September 5 through December 17.

The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is located on Curtin Road and admission is free. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays. Reduced hours: Saturday, November 18, through Sunday, November 26; and Saturday, December 16, through Thursday, December 21, noon to 4:00 p.m. Closed: Thursday, November 23; Friday, November 24; and Friday, December 22, 2017, through Monday, January 1, 2018.

The Palmer Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.