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Christiane Citron & Jennifer Streb, Exhibit Curators, March 2014

Minna Citron: The Uncharted Course from Realism to Abstraction is a career-spanning retrospective exhibition of the work of award-winning American painter and printmaker Minna Citron. During a career stretching from the 1930s to the 1980s, Citron’s work was at the forefront of developments in modern art, experimenting with cutting-edge styles and techniques from her own unique, self-described feminist perspective. Citron believed strongly in the primacy of individual expression, and this belief led her though what she described as the “uncharted course” of her life and career. From the social realist style of her early work to the abstraction and experimental collages she developed later, the principles underlying her methods remained steadfast as she searched the world around her for inspiration, let herself be guided by her unconscious in much of her work, and expressively captured the essence of her subjects. The exhibition includes paintings, prints, drawings and mixed media constructions-some of which have never before been exhibited to the public-from throughout Citron’s career, and highlights the full creative range of an historically important 20th-century American artist. On loan from the artist’s granddaughter, Christiane H. Citron, the exhibit had its debut at the Juniata College Museum of Art and was displayed at the HIllstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus Adolphus College from February through April 2014.

2/18/14 Christiane Citron

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Chris Citron talks to Peter Shea about The Uncharted Course from Realism to Abstraction, at the Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus College, a retrospective exhibit of artwork by her grandmother, leading abstract expressionist Minna Citron. She talks about her involvement with Minna Citron’s art, growing up in an artistic milieu and acting as her agent in the 70s and executor after her death in 1991. She describes the beginnings of Minna’s artistic life in New York’s Fourteenth Street School, concerned with social inequity, feminism, and satire. She recalls the homeless man who became her cohort’s model. She talks about the development of the exhibit after 1996 and her collaboration with art historian Jennifer Streb of Juniata College. She talks about her and and Minna’s shared belief in political activism, and Minna’s ongoing teaching, lecturing, and writing about modern art. She mentions Minna’s interest in the new field of Freudian psychoanalysis, and discusses how she weighed public success with personal artistic vision as she moved from realism to abstraction. She recalls how Minna’s belief in the centrality of art to life manifested itself in her own work in historic preservation.

3/4/14 Jennifer Streb

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Jennifer Streb is Curator of the Museum of Art and Associate Professor of Art History at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Streb’s doctoral dissertation at Juniata dealt with Minna Citron’s social realist paintings of the 1930s-40s. Together with Christiane Citron, Streb is curator of the Minna Citron exhibit.

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