Exhibition celebrating the work of Woodbury professor, Carolee Toon scheduled for Nan Rae Gallery

Carolee Toon - Red Bloom, oil on panel, 2012
Carolee Toon – Red Bloom, oil on panel, 2012

The work of Carolee Toon (1936-2016), a revered and influential artist and professor at Woodbury, will be shown in an exhibition at the Nan Rae Gallery, scheduled to open in January 2020. “She established the Design Foundation program at Woodbury and was revered by students and faculty alike for her high standards, meticulous aesthetic, and artistic voice,” said Sue Vessella, dean of the School of Media, Culture & Design. “I am thrilled that this exhibition is an opportunity to remind us of her work and incredible legacy.”

Professor Toon’s solo exhibitions from 1996-2003 at L.A.’s Kiyo Higashi Gallery were widely regarded as groundbreaking, affirming her distinctive artistic voice. Her idiosyncratic, obsessively crafted abstract paintings and drawings – known for their hyper-refined surfaces –exposed unique relationships among shape, color and surface. Her subtle, obliquely-shaped paintings on meticulously sanded wood united the duality of reflection and absorption of light.

The esteemed curator, critic and professor from Claremont Graduate University, David Pagel will curate this exhibition providing curatorial acumen and historical breadth to Professor Toon’s artistic work. The exhibition will consist of paintings and drawings currently owned by Woodbury University and various private collections within the Southern California area.

“Many thanks to Patrick Nickell, director of the Nan Rae Galley, for his work in securing a $10,000 gift of support from Rosa Giovanna Panza di Biumo,” said Dean Vessella. Based in Milan, The Panza Collection contains some 2,500 works, including works by Professor Toon and installations that circulate among some of the world’s leading museums, including the Guggenheim in New York, the Museo Cantonale d’Arte in Lugano, Switzerland, and MOCA, in Los Angeles.

“Carolee’s inclusion in the Panza Collection is a cornerstone that provided gravitas to her life as an artist,” said Patrick Nickell. “The Panza Collection is a crucial link that reminds informed audiences of contemporary art – and the general public – about the importance of Carolee’s profound artistic contribution. We’re deeply grateful to Rosa Giovanna Panza di Biumo for her generosity in supporting the exhibition and look forward to sharing the work of this incredible artist with the Woodbury community and beyond.”

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