Burchfield Penney Art Center
March 7 — May 23, 2010

From the clear-eyed landscapes of his early watercolors to the transcendental interpretations of nature embodied in his later paintings, Charles Burchfield emerged (as President Lyndon Johnson once referred to him) as an “artist to America.”

Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield is an inspired retrospective that celebrates the man and his art. After successful runs at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and at the Burchfield Penney Art Center here in Buffalo, the exhibition will be on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City from June 24 – October 17, 2010.

Widely acclaimed by the national press, Heat Waves is curated by renowned artist Robert Gober, and brings together an unprecedented selection of Burchfield’s paintings, drawings, and writings, including a compelling recreation of his 1930 Museum of Modern Art exhibition—the first ever solo show by any artist at the MoMA.

The exhibition draws heavily upon the Burchfield Penney Art Center’s substantial permanent collection, extensive archives, and the collective insights of the curatorial team. Explore this site, experience Heat Waves, experience Burchfield, and experience a work of art


Exhibition Overview

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967) chose to focus his nature-based art on the ground beneath his feet. Working almost exclusively in the medium of watercolormore

Curator Robert Gober

Heat Waves in a Swamp is the first major Charles Burchfield exhibition to be mounted on the west coast and the first in New York for more than twenty years.more

Floor Plan

Guest curator Robert Gober explains in his introduction that: “The show is organized chronologically, with each room presenting a distinct phase of Burchfield's life and work.”more

Read the Reviews

Curated by renowned artist Robert Gober, Heat Waves received critical acclaim from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and was also selected as one of the top 10 exhibitionsmore


Heat Waves in a Swamp is made possible through the generosity of LP Ciminelli; the Joan and Peter Andrews Family Foundation; Charles E. Balbach & the Hon. Carol E. Heckman Balbach (Ret.)more