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Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller Premieres in Philadelphia at Lightbox Film Center

From sci-fi to avant-garde, discover the unsung legacy of multimedia artist Ed Emshwiller with a full-scale exhibition of his groundbreaking work in film, video, and visual art. On view from October 18 – December 7, 2019.

Ed Emshwiller, Dance Chromatic, (1959). 16mm, 7 minutes, color. Courtesy of the Estate of Ed Emshwiller and Anthology Film Archives, New York.

Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller is the first major monographic exhibition of the artist’s groundbreaking work in film, video, and visual art. With an immensely diverse body of creative work, Ed Emshwiller (1925-90) is perhaps one of the most significant yet under-recognized artists of the latter half of the 20th century. Emshwiller’s career spanned abstract expressionist painting, commercial illustration, film, video and computer art, and collaborations with dancers, choreographers, and composers.

Dream Dance includes the preservation of two of Emshwiller’s earliest films, Dance Chromatic (1959) and Lifelines (1960), which will be screened at Lightbox Film Center along with 19 of his other films—some of which have never been publicly presented in Philadelphia—as well as notable films by other filmmakers for which he served as cinematographer. A concurrent exhibition at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at the University of the Arts highlights Emshwiller’s visual and fine art background, including video works, early paintings, notes, sketches, ephemera, and many early science fiction cover paintings.

Dream Dance is a full-scale investigation of the artist’s legacy, presenting his multidisciplinary oeuvre to a new generation of audiences. A comprehensive full-color catalog featuring Emshwiller’s artwork with cover art by Robert Beatty will be available for purchase onsite as well as on Anthology Editions’ website. Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

For more information, visit lightboxfilmcenter.org/dreamdance.