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Sunday, January 15, 2017 through
Sunday, February 26, 2017


Ruth S. Harley University Center Gallery

Remembering Thomas McAnulty

January 15–February 26, 2017, with a reception held on February 1 from 4:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Ruth S. Harley University Center Gallery
Monday–Friday: 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Thomas McAnulty, 1942-2016

Professor McAnulty received his BFA from Philadelphia College of Art and his MFA from Indiana University. He was an artist and beloved teacher for over thirty years, creating a vast array of work in a variety of media, from liturgical pieces, to sculpture and relief, to drawing and painting. He taught at Adelphi University for over 20 years in the Department of Art and Art History. He was a professor of various disciplines, specializing in sculpture and figure drawing. He spent the last decade leading an annual study-abroad program in Florence, Italy.

“McAnulty’s work is about the simple act of looking and trying to clarify the subtle and complex relationship we have with the things we habitually overlook but with which we are deeply connected. He is drawn to simple common objects- a peach, a bottle or a table, and using a variety of materials and working in the a several techniques, including relief sculpture, charcoal drawing and painting, McAnulty present his subjects stripped of unnecessary elements while retaining their essential and archetypal features. The resulting work, is arresting in its gorgeous simplicity and its ability to capture the very essence of the object and its connection to the viewer.

McAnulty exhibited widely, including extensively in New York and has work in many private collections. In addition to several awards for his sculpture, he also received a number of commissions. He also had done several ecclesiastical works and installations and exhibited his work at major liturgical venues.”  – Carter Burden Gallery


“As a sculptor I have always been compelled by forms and their connection to the psyche. Some, in particular, seem to resonate in the mind with inexplicable power and persistence. In my work I try to select such resonant forms from the world of objects I see on a daily basis. For reasons I don’t fully understand, I’m especially drawn to simple and common objects-like a light bulb, a peach, or a bottle. Perhaps through their timelessness and simplicity they attain a rich suggestiveness that more complicated subject matter seems to lack.

These objects have the paradoxical tendency to suggest a narrative even in the starkest settings. I call this tendency paradoxical because they are, after all, only props in the theatre of life. It is strange to met that they should be so suffused with implication. Most mysterious of all is the way the shape of a simple functional object radiates sculptural authority. This appears to be most true of things that have evolved to conform to the human body over the course of several generations. The contours, balance and proportions of a carpenter’s hammer for example, manifest “rightness” in a way that one typically encounters in the natural world as in the shape of stones and shells. I present these things stripped of the unnecessaries while retaining their essential and archetypal features. Using the most direct means possible I try to clarify the subtle and complex relationship we have with artifacts we habitually overlook but with which we are deeply linked.”



» View the gallery photos


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