Philip Wofford: Paintings and Works on Paper

September 14–October 12, 1986
Beaver College Art Gallery

The Philadelphia Inquirer, "On Galleries", October 4, 1986

Art Matters, "Phillip Wofford Beaver College Gallery Sept 14 to Oct 12"

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The Beaver College Art Gallery opens its fall season with an exhibition of large-scale paintings and works on paper by Philip Wofford. The show opens with a public reception on Sunday, September 14 from 2:00–4:00 PM and continues through October 12, 1986. The Wofford opeing coincides with the annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition held on the Beaver College campus lawn.

Wofford's abstract paintings clearly follow an expressionist mode in terms of their gestural energy, intense color, and heavily-painted surfaces. In this particular body of work, his imagery consists of broad, organic shapes which collide with jagged, geometric elements, creating a dynamic structure with an ensettling turbulence. Occassionally, his abstract subject matter gives way to a visual symbol, such as a cross or gragment of a figure, supplying possible clues into its origins.

"His paintings have often been described in terms of their mythic and poetic allusions," said Gallery Director Zina Goldsmith, "yet, for me, his iconography reflects the mysterious, underlying forces of man and nature expressed through a personal vision, perhaps inspired by the visual language of primiitve culture."


Philip Wofford was born in Arkansas in 1935. He received his B.A. from the University of Arkansas, then continued to study painting at the Univesity of California at Berkeley. He received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in 1982, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1974, and a Bronze Medal from the California Museum of Art in 1978.

His work has been widely seen in galleries, museums, and universities throughout the country, including the Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York; Yale University; The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Boston; The Baltimore Museum of Art; The Oakland Museum; and Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont, where he has taught since 1969.

A partial list of public collections in which his work is represented includes: The Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut; The Australia National Gallery, Canberra; The Brooklyn Museum; Prudential Life Insurance Company, Newark, New Jersey; and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence.

Wofford's work comes through the courtesy of the Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York.