The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Psychotopia: Paintings by Paul Chidester on Display at Juniata College Museum of Art

Spillway by Paul Chidester

Penn State School of Visual Arts Professor Paul Chidester will have a solo exhibition, Psychotopia, at Juniata College Museum of Art, November 10, 2016–January 28, 2017. A public reception will be held on Thursday, November 10, 5:00–6:30 p.m.

An internationally-recognized artist, Chidester has always been drawn to the landscape. Inspired by the entropic landscapes and photography of Robert Smithson, the “hallucinatory descriptions of urban spaces and landscapes” used by writer J.G. Ballard, and nostalgia in the works of painters De Chirico and Philip Guston, Chidester attempts to collage and merge various points of view. The fictitious landscapes borne out of this process stimulate our imagination and offer new ways of seeing. 

“My process begins with walking,” said Chidester. “For over twenty-five years, my walks have taken me through many kinds of urban edges.”

Images produced from these walks are used to arrive at the new, imagined spaces in his paintings. These new paintings introduce an indistinct Mediterranean light/space (the series began during an extended stay in Umbria) with a variety of landscape and architectural novelties. These subjects may appear cloaked in Romanesque stripes, dazzle camouflage motifs, or in various hues of terracotta brick. The resulting arrangements are mash-ups where anachronistic events and features come to be reconciled in an imagined landscape, a Psychotopia.

Chidester received his B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has received a Heinrich Boll Foundation Award, a Ballinglen Foundation Award, a CAAP Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award. His work has been shown at the Chicago Cultural Center; Zg Gallery, Chicago, The Painting Center, New York; VIAFARINI, Milan; the Royal Hibernian Academy of Art, Dublin; John Post Lee Gallery, New York; ang Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Chicago. Reviews of his works have appeared in ARTFORUM, The Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Business News and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. Chidester is represented by Zg Gallery, Chicago. 

For complete exhibition details, click here.

Photo caption: “Spillway”, 2014-16, flashe on panel, 42 x 53 inches

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