Past Exhibitions

Toward Resolution: Artists' Studies from the Collection

May 31 – July 31, 2014

Artists frequently work with absence; blank space and incomplete lines. The artists work from nothing, and must create a language to shape the void. Studies help form transitions: between concept and composition, between a blank canvas and a final piece. The works intrigue the viewer in part because of the sometimes unintentional mystery that they create. Less pressured for perfection and less concerned with audience, artists use studies to experiment and explore. Studies are incomplete, snapshots of the process, with countless possible directions to follow. Artists like John Singer Sargent and George Tooker utilize studies as a way to master techniques and develop figures easily identifiable in their final works. Others, such as Sol LeWitt, bravely delved in their studies into bold styles or revolutionary techniques rarely seen in their standard body of work. Some studies render no polished final work, as exemplified by Donald Greason’s gestural ink wash drawings. Studies can be unapologetic in their rough edges and unafraid of emptiness. They allow a rare glimpse into the skills and vocabularies artists employ, and into their transition from observation to expression. The study is a documentation of an artist’s investigation into raw and uninhibited ideas. Toward Resolution showcases a group of studies ranging from the suggestively minimal to the precisely figurative, selected by Phillips Academy students in Art 300, Visual Culture: Discovering the Addison Collection.

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