Emphatic: American Painting from the Collection

Thursday, Feb 28 – May 12, 2019

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of Fine and Applied Arts
500 E Peabody Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820

Main Level, West Gallery

Drawn from KAM’s collection and including artwork by Sue Coe, Louise Fishman, Leon Golub, Robert Indiana, Annette Lemieux, David Park, Mark Rothko, Hedda Sterne, and Purvis Young, this exhibition features works that offer resolute statements on the physical and emotional significance of painting. Their emphatic tones resonate despite—or because of—the artists’ great ambivalence towards the representability of history, violence, and desire.

Emphatic is a preview of Art Since 1948, an upcoming reinstallation of KAM’s modern and contemporary art collection opening in August 2019.

Curated by Amy L. Powell, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art


Featuring a newly acquired, large-scale painting by abstract painter and University of Illinois alumna Louise Fishman. It is the first work by Fishman to enter the museum’s collection, and the latest of many artworks by women that KAM has recently added to the collection.

Fishman’s 1995 painting “Blonde Ambition” is more than 7 feet tall and 5 feet
long, with brilliant white gestures of paint across a dark background. Madonna's 1995
concert tour of the same name, which Fishman saw that year, inspired the artist, and the
painting connects to a network of powerful blondes referenced in her work, including
Marilyn Monroe and Fishman herself.


Image: Louise Fishman, Blonde Ambition, 1995. Oil on linen. Museum purchase through the John N. Chester Fund and the Art Acquisition Fund. 2019-1-1.