Women of Black Mountain College
June 1, 2018 to August 2, 2018

View all pieces by Cora Kelly Ward.

Cora Kelly Ward

Cora Kelley Ward (1920-1989) was a Louisiana-born artist and photographer, who took part in the Abstract Expressionist movement during the 60s and 70s. She studied at the famous Black Mountain College, an arts school in Asheville, North Carolina, under Josef Albers (1888-1976) and Clement Greenberg (1909-1994).1 Ward was known throughout art circles in New York not only for her paintings, but also for her superb photography skills. Described as a formalist, her work focuses on the compositional elements of her images, such as color, line, and texture, and has little to no iconography or social context. Her paintings suggest emotions and memories, and, to Ward, were the answers and solutions to self-imposed questions and challenges in her own life.2
The Fine Arts Collection at St. Mary’s holds several works by Ward, including the painting Warning, a large-scale work done in acrylic paint. The primary colors emphasized are purple, green, and red hues, with hints of blues peeking out from underneath the layers. The most distinctive feature that draws the eye is a strip of black and white that forms a right angle, framing the painting on the right side. Although the line is not particularly jarring or harsh, it looks to have been painted with two long, nearly unbroken strokes, one in black and one in white, making it clearly distinct in pattern and texture from the rest of the painting. The lines over a blended background seem to be a recurring theme in Ward’s work throughout her career as an artist, and can be found in most of her pieces.3 It can be assumed that this was brought into the St. Mary’s collection by Leonard Bocour; although no official documentation can be found on its purchase and transportation. Bocour donated several other paintings by Ward to institutions around the country, such as Note 4 and Tom’s Point.5
Working in an abstract vocabulary, Ward was also aware of the Color Field movement, as it came about during her lifetime and was taught at Black Mountain College.6 The deliberate rejection of art styles of the past is apparent in her work, but not nearly as blatantly as some other artists. Ward is more experimental than defiant, thoughtfully swirling and dragging her brush, creating many layers of color and building up her image until it answered some unknown question in her soul. Warning is just such a painting, as only Ward herself likely knows the true meaning behind the name, and what personal message she has encoded into the layers of this work. Even though her work is impressive, there is still much work to be done by historians, as even though she worked in circles with influential people, her work as an abstract expressionist artist is still relatively unknown.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cora Kelley Ward
Born
1920
Eunice, Louisiana, United States
Died
1989

Cora Kelley Ward (1920–1989) was born in Eunice, Louisiana and lived through the New York City art movements of the 1960s to the 1980s, such as the Color Field Movement. Ward studied painting at the Newcomb Art School at Tulane University and later earned a Master of Arts degree from Hunter College in New York City.[1] Ward is known for her work in Abstract Expressionism and her meticulous picture-taking of the New York art scene from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Cora Kelly Ward, untitled, ink on paper, 1960
She studied under Josef Albers and Clement Greenberg, who became a lifelong friend to Ward. At Black Mountain College she learned the concepts of Modernism"through the teachings of European artists who taught at BMC and other schools when they fled Hitler's 'purification' of German culture".[1] In 1955 she moved to New York City and settled in Greenwich Village and continued to pursue her art. "Ward's work was based on the second generation of Abstract Expressionism, ideologies which explored art at its most elemental core."[1] She worked on solutions to self-imposed challenges, amassing a large body of work. Ward is most remembered as a photographer by her contemporaries and fellow artists from this period. The shy Ward would attend events, camera in hand, where she captured the interaction and excitement of the contemporary art world. In the exhibition held after her death in 1989, her longtime friend Clement Greenberg wrote in the catalog, “Cora was a dear and selfless friend. But I can confidently say that that doesn't sway me. It's only with these paintings of the eighties that I am able to hail her art without reservation. That makes me glad – regretfully so because she’s not here to read what I write.” Ward completed many works in her lifetime, but unfortunately she only began to be recognized near the end of her life. Her family was left with a huge number of paintings and no one to take them, so they ended up being donated to various museums and institutions, and later on, anyone that would take them.[2] A large part of her estate, around a thousand paintings, was given as a gift to the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum of Louisiana by the heirs of the state.[3] Ward died of what is believed to be cancer at age 69.[4]

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Cora Kelly Ward

 

Cora Kelley Ward (1920-1989) was a Louisiana-born artist and photographer, who took part in the Abstract Expressionist movement during the 60s and 70s. She studied at the famous Black Mountain College, an arts school in Asheville, North Carolina, under Josef Albers (1888-1976) and Clement Greenberg (1909-1994).1 Ward was known throughout art circles in New York not only for her paintings, but also for her superb photography skills. Described as a formalist, her work focuses on the compositional elements of her images, such as color, line, and texture, and has little to no iconography or social context. Her paintings suggest emotions and memories, and, to Ward, were the answers and solutions to self-imposed questions and challenges in her own life.2

The Fine Arts Collection at St. Mary’s holds several works by Ward, including the painting Warning, a large-scale work done in acrylic paint. The primary colors emphasized are purple, green, and red hues, with hints of blues peeking out from underneath the layers. The most distinctive feature that draws the eye is a strip of black and white that forms a right angle, framing the painting on the right side. Although the line is not particularly jarring or harsh, it looks to have been painted with two long, nearly unbroken strokes, one in black and one in white, making it clearly distinct in pattern and texture from the rest of the painting. The lines over a blended background seem to be a recurring theme in Ward’s work throughout her career as an artist, and can be found in most of her pieces.3 It can be assumed that this was brought into the St. Mary’s collection by Leonard Bocour; although no official documentation can be found on its purchase and transportation. Bocour donated several other paintings by Ward to institutions around the country, such as Note 4 and Tom’s Point.5

Working in an abstract vocabulary, Ward was also aware of the Color Field movement, as it came about during her lifetime and was taught at Black Mountain College.6 The deliberate rejection of art styles of the past is apparent in her work, but not nearly as blatantly as some other artists. Ward is more experimental than defiant, thoughtfully swirling and dragging her brush, creating many layers of color and building up her image until it answered some unknown question in her soul. Warning is just such a painting, as only Ward herself likely knows the true meaning behind the name, and what personal message she has encoded into the layers of this work. Even though her work is impressive, there is still much work to be done by historians, as even though she worked in circles with influential people, her work as an abstract expressionist artist is still relatively unknown.

 

 

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

Cora Kelley Ward

Born

1920

EuniceLouisianaUnited States

Died

1989

 

Cora Kelley Ward (1920–1989) was born in Eunice, Louisiana and lived through the New York City art movements of the 1960s to the 1980s, such as the Color Field Movement. Ward studied painting at the Newcomb Art School at Tulane University and later earned a Master of Arts degree from Hunter College in New York City.[1] Ward is known for her work in Abstract Expressionism and her meticulous picture-taking of the New York art scene from the 1950s to the 1980s.

 

Cora Kelly Ward, untitled, ink on paper, 1960

She studied under Josef Albers and Clement Greenberg, who became a lifelong friend to Ward. At Black Mountain College she learned the concepts of Modernism"through the teachings of European artists who taught at BMC and other schools when they fled Hitler's 'purification' of German culture".[1] In 1955 she moved to New York City and settled in Greenwich Village and continued to pursue her art. "Ward's work was based on the second generation of Abstract Expressionism, ideologies which explored art at its most elemental core."[1] She worked on solutions to self-imposed challenges, amassing a large body of work. Ward is most remembered as a photographer by her contemporaries and fellow artists from this period. The shy Ward would attend events, camera in hand, where she captured the interaction and excitement of the contemporary art world. In the exhibition held after her death in 1989, her longtime friend Clement Greenberg wrote in the catalog, “Cora was a dear and selfless friend. But I can confidently say that that doesn't sway me. It's only with these paintings of the eighties that I am able to hail her art without reservation. That makes me glad – regretfully so because she’s not here to read what I write.” Ward completed many works in her lifetime, but unfortunately she only began to be recognized near the end of her life. Her family was left with a huge number of paintings and no one to take them, so they ended up being donated to various museums and institutions, and later on, anyone that would take them.[2] A large part of her estate, around a thousand paintings, was given as a gift to the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum of Louisiana by the heirs of the state.[3] Ward died of what is believed to be cancer at age 69.[4]

Cora Kelly Ward

Cora Kelley Ward (1920-1989) was a Louisiana-born artist and photographer, who took part in the Abstract Expressionist movement during the 60s and 70s. She studied at the famous Black Mountain College, an arts school in Asheville, North Carolina, under Josef Albers (1888-1976) and Clement Greenberg (1909-1994).1 Ward was known throughout art circles in New York not only for her paintings, but also for her superb photography skills. Described as a formalist, her work focuses on the compositional elements of her images, such as color, line, and texture, and has little to no iconography or social context. Her paintings suggest emotions and memories, and, to Ward, were the answers and solutions to self-imposed questions and challenges in her own life.2

The Fine Arts Collection at St. Mary’s holds several works by Ward, including the painting Warning, a large-scale work done in acrylic paint. The primary colors emphasized are purple, green, and red hues, with hints of blues peeking out from underneath the layers. The most distinctive feature that draws the eye is a strip of black and white that forms a right angle, framing the painting on the right side. Although the line is not particularly jarring or harsh, it looks to have been painted with two long, nearly unbroken strokes, one in black and one in white, making it clearly distinct in pattern and texture from the rest of the painting. The lines over a blended background seem to be a recurring theme in Ward’s work throughout her career as an artist, and can be found in most of her pieces. 3 It can be assumed that this was brought into the St. Mary’s collection by

Leonard Bocour; although no official documentation can be found on its purchase and transportation. Bocour donated several other paintings by Ward to institutions around the country, such as Note 4 and Tom’s Point.5

Working in an abstract vocabulary, Ward was also aware of the Color Field movement, as it came about during her lifetime and was taught at Black Mountain College.6 The deliberate rejection of art styles of the past is apparent in her work, but not nearly as blatantly as some other artists. Ward is more experimental than defiant, thoughtfully swirling and dragging her brush, creating many layers of color and building up her image until it answered some unknown question in her soul. Warning is just such a painting, as only Ward herself likely knows the true meaning behind the name, and what personal message she has encoded into the layers of this work. Even though her work is impressive, there is still much work to be done by historians, as even though she worked in circles with influential people, her work as an abstract expressionist artist is still relatively unknown.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born

1920

Cora Kelley Ward

Eunice, Louisiana, United States Died
1989

Cora Kelley Ward (1920–1989) was born in Eunice, Louisiana and lived through the New York City art movements of the 1960s to the 1980s, such as the Color Field Movement. Ward studied painting at the Newcomb Art School at Tulane University and later earned a Master of Arts

degree from Hunter College in New York City.[1] Ward is known for her work in Abstract Expressionism and her meticulous picture-taking of the New York art scene from the 1950s to

the 1980s.

Cora Kelly Ward, untitled, ink on paper, 1960
She studied under Josef Albers and Clement Greenberg, who became a lifelong friend to Ward. At Black Mountain College she learned the concepts of Modernism"through the teachings of European artists who taught at BMC and other schools when they fled Hitler's 'purification' of

German culture".[1] In 1955 she moved to New York City and settled in Greenwich Village and continued to pursue her art. "Ward's work was based on the second generation of Abstract

Expressionism, ideologies which explored art at its most elemental core."[1] She worked on solutions to self-imposed challenges, amassing a large body of work. Ward is most remembered

as a photographer by her contemporaries and fellow artists from this period. The shy Ward would attend events, camera in hand, where she captured the interaction and excitement of the contemporary art world. In the exhibition held after her death in 1989, her longtime friend Clement Greenberg wrote in the catalog, “Cora was a dear and selfless friend. But I can confidently say that that doesn't sway me. It's only with these paintings of the eighties that I am able to hail her art without reservation. That makes me glad – regretfully so because she’s not here to read what I write.” Ward completed many works in her lifetime, but unfortunately she only began to be recognized near the end of her life. Her family was left with a huge number of paintings and no one to take them, so they ended up being donated to various museums and

institutions, and later on, anyone that would take them.[2] A large part of her estate, around a thousand paintings, was given as a gift to the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum of

Louisiana by the heirs of the state.[3] Ward died of what is believed to be cancer at age 69.[4]