Ball State DOMA Exhibit Explores the Career of Philadelphia Artist Larry Day


David Owsley Art Museum (DOMA) at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, will present the largest exhibition to date of the art of Larry Day (1921–1998) from February 24 through May 21, 2022. DOMA is open to the public without paying admission from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Organized by the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, Body Language: The Art of Larry Day

explores the artist’s significant contributions to American art from the 1950s to the 1990s in a selection of 50 paintings and drawings. The exhibition is curated by Day’s longtime friend David Bindman, Emeritus Professor of Art History at University College London and Visiting Fellow at the University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies. from Harvard.

The exhibition highlights the most significant thematic categories of Day’s career: abstraction, figuration and urban landscape. Together they work in concert to reinforce the significance and enduring relevance of the artist while revealing Day’s move from abstraction to representation.

In his hometown, Day was known as “Philadelphia’s Dean of Painters,” a sign of his powerful inspiration and impact as an instructor at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and in the many other art schools in the city..

“Day challenged the dominant abstract expressionist style of the New York art world and established himself at the forefront of artists transitioning to figuration and figurative painting,” said Robert G. La France, director of the David Owsley Museum of Art. “I believe the exhibition will be a revelation to many and will appeal to students, studio artists, art historians and the general public alike. We are grateful to the Woodmere Art Museum for bringing the work of this modern Philadelphia artist to Muncie and East Central Indiana.

A color catalog for Body Language: The Art of Larry Day is available for purchase from the University of Pennsylvania Press. It includes essays by David Bindman; Sid Sachs, chief curator and director of exhibitions at UArts; Jonathan Bober, Curator and Head of the Department of Old Prints at the National Gallery of Art; and artist Eileen Neff, who studied with and then taught alongside Day. A “memory portrait” is also included, written by Day’s widow, Ruth Fine, retired curator of the National Gallery of Art.

To watch the Body Language: The Art of Larry Day exhibition video, Click here.


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