In September 2019, the Brandywine River Museum of Art will present an exhibition of the Halloween-themed paintings of renowned Philadelphia artist Peter Paone (born 1936). Halloween has long been a subject of fascination for the artist, and in the last decade he has produced a series of works devoted to the theme. Richly painted in jewel tones and textured surfaces, these works give visual form to his view of Halloween as a “day of denial,” one in which people have the freedom to adopt different personas that often reflect their inner desires. Paone creates paintings of extravagantly costumed figures whose mask-like expressions create an unsettling mood.
Paone works in the figurative tradition, yet his subjects spring wholly from his imagination. These mysterious, provocative and sometimes unsettling works reflect Paone’s own psychologically charged conception of Halloween. At the heart of Paone’s Halloween paintings is his pursuit of conveying a visual connection to the human condition. Deeply personal, the works that will be exhibited are deliberately open-ended, inviting speculation and challenging viewers to bring their own interpretation.
Paone’s remarkable career has spanned six decades. He has had over 50 solo exhibitions of his paintings and prints in his native Philadelphia as well as in New York, London, Vienna and Hamburg. He has also participated in numerous national and international group exhibitions. Among the many public institutions in which Paone’s work is represented are the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Woodmere Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University Art Gallery, and the British Museum, in London. A respected teacher, Paone taught for over 30 years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.