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The renowned artist Irwin Kremen’s collages, paintings, and sculptures are composed from such diverse materials as scraps of weathered paper, wasp nests, saw blades, and steel. Irwin Kremen: Beyond Black Mountain (1966 to 2006) is the exhibition catalog accompanying a retrospective covering forty years of the artist’s career. The work will be on display at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art from March 22, 2007 through June 17, 2007. A longtime North Carolina resident and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Duke University, Kremen studied literature and writing with M. C. Richards at the legendary Black Mountain College in the mid-1940s. There he met John Cage, David Tutor, and Merce Cunningham, all of whom became close friends, artistic inspirations, and ardent supporters.
Kremen did not show his work publicly until a 1978 exhibition at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art featuring mostly small non-representational collages. In 1979 his works were exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fine Arts, where they were received enthusiastically; the Washington Star heralded him as “an American master of collage” on the level of “Robert Motherwell, Anne Ryan, and Romare Bearden.” Since then, Kremen’s work has been shown in nearly thirty shows in the United States and abroad; favorably reviewed in the New York Times, Washington Post, Artforum International, the Chicago Tribune, and Art News; and acquired by museums and private collectors across the country.
The catalog includes full color illustrations of more than 100 of Kremen’s collages as well as twelve sculptures and three monumental pieces made over the past decade in collaboration with the Duke art professor William Noland.