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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Stepping Out
On exhibit: Peter Max's world
Banish the winter blues with a museum outing
By Karen Bloom
Courtesy Nassau County Museum of Art
An artist’s odyssey: Peter Max stops by a wall of his iconic posters during a visit to Nassau County Museum of Art. The posters, along with paintings and drawings continue to delight visitors to the museum. Max will be back at the museum on Feb. 2 to sign books and posters.

Shake off those winter doldrums and warm the soul by checking out some of the many art offerings in the area. Local museums offer a wide range of exhibits that are sure to make you forget about winter for a while. Here’s a sampling.

Peter Max at Nassau County Museum of Art
Nassau County Museum of Art’s current exhibit, “Peter Max,” offers a showcase of the celebrity pop artist’s bold works, synonymous with the psychedelic ‘60s and early ‘70s. But more than just a look back at those familiar pop art images that adorned dorm room walls back in the day, this show focuses on Max’s little-known drawings (mostly black and white) on paper.
These studies show a different side to the iconic artist, who revolutionized the ‘60s art scene just as the Beatles transformed the music of that decade. From visionary pop artist to master of dynamic neo-Expressionism, Max continues to occupy a unique place in American culture.
This exhibition, which runs through Feb. 23, is Max’s first large-scale solo museum show in New York and the first in-depth look at the artist’s individual drawings, which until now have not been on public view.
“It’s kind of unbelievable that this is my first big show in New York,” Max says reflecting on his prolific, accomplished career. “I’ve had 1,123 museum shows around the world, and my pieces have been here and there in New York, but never anything like this in New York before.”
The museum’s interest in mounting an exhibit of Max’s works piqued after a trustee asked him to donate a poster for a 2012 silent auction. From there discussion ensued about a show and Museum Director Dr. Karl E. Willers was invited to visit Max’s Manhattan studio.
“I was amazed to see all these drawings, which are wonderful examples of different stylistic periods of his career,” Dr. Willers says. “I knew we had to include these drawings, which line up with the paintings. He had never shown any of these before and he literally kept almost every drawing he ever did.”


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