Body Language: Selections from the Permanent Collection

November 25, 2011 - April 22, 2012

Posture, gestures and facial expressions…non-verbal signals that we send and interpret subconsciously, can convey amusement, contempt, pride and shame.  It is estimated that 93% of human communication is through body language and paralinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves. 

Artwork provides a fascinating medium to study body language, as artists depict thoughts and emotions without words. 



Body Language features 50 works from the Permanent Collection, brimming with non-verbal messages. Featured artists include:  Mary Cassatt, Miguel Covarrubias, Red Grooms, Elmer Novotny, Philip Pearlstein, Clyde Singer and Janis Mars Wunderlich.

Elmer Novotny, Last of the Whitleys , oil on masonite, 35 ½” x 41 ½”, Gift of Mr. Elmer L. Novotny 66.45

In Novotny's words, "I’ve always considered portraiture as a fine art and not a commercial venture..Though I might be considered a realist, I feel that my biggest efforts are given toward the juxtaposition of shape to shape, line to line, and color to color working once again toward that ultimate goal of the synthesis of form and content, wherein the form enhances the idea.


Red Grooms, Mango Mango, silkscreen, 40 x 29”, Gift from Argosy Partners & Bond Street Partners 80.11

Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1937 Charles Rogers Grooms has become known as Red Grooms.   For Grooms, learning to be an artist did not take place in art schools.  He didn’t stay long at the Art Institute in Chicago or the Han Hofmann School in New York City.  The real teacher of Grooms was art history. Grooms early on rejected the intricacies of abstract expression and later Pop Art because for him it didn’t have the flavor he wanted to portray in his work. His colorful, hectic characters are clearly meant for the amusement of both the artist and viewer.  In an article by Kazuo Yamawaki, Grooms states,  "My problem with Pop paintings was the way the subject matter was used...I liked Pop imagery, but I liked it to have warmness to it."

Featured artists from the Permanent Collection:

Gifford Beal
Thomas Hart Benton
George Biddle
Harvey Breverman
Shirley Aley Campbell
Mary Cassatt
Miguel Covarrubias
Mable Dwight
Julius Faysash
Verne Funk
Red Grooms
Chaim Gross
Werner Groshans
Hazel Janicki
Lester Johnson
Rockwell Kent
Harold Kitner
Jody Klein
Ridgeway Knight
Kathe Kollwitz
Leon Kroll
Richard McDermott Miller
Alec Miller
Dean Mitchell
Barbara Morrow
Beverly Mayeri
Elmer Novotny
Philip Pearlstein
August Rodin
Joyce Reopl
George Sacco
Richard Segalman
Phyllis Sloane
Clyde Singer
Ellsworth Smith
Mark Soppeland
Raphael Soyer
Nancy Krehl Stillwagon
Yan Sun
Jozesf Vudy
Abraham Walkowitz
Patty Warashina
Robert Weaver
Jerome Witkin
Janis Mars Wunderlich
William Zoarch
Francisco Zuniga