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Filmmaker David Lynch Is Remembered In A Major Retrospective Of His Art In Philadelphia

Pictured here are Isabella Rossellini and David Lynch at the 1990 "Wild at Heart"  screening at Cannes Film Festival.

Pictured here are Isabella Rossellini and David Lynch at the 1990 “Wild at Heart” screening at Cannes Film Festival.

David Lynch’s work its not everyone’s cup of tea. But then, you can say that about every artist who takes you outside your comfort zone.

Lynch tells a story of an experience as student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia. Working in his studio with the window open, the wind kept moving his drawing. “I thought its better, more interesting, when its moving,” he said, “and that’s when I decided I wanted to make art that moved.” The event inspired Lynch’s first project in film. Using a 16-mm wind-up camera, he produced a one-minute animated film related to his contemporary drawings and paintings that he projected at a sculpted screen bearing relief casts of his body. This multimedia installation, titled Six Men Getting Sick, brought together painting, sculpture, sound, film, and installation.

A Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts exhibit titled David Lynch: The Unified Field will be on view here September 13, 2014 through January 11, 2015.

The Unified Field will be the first major U.S. museum exhibition of internationally-renowned filmmaker and PAFA alumnus David Lynch (b. 1946), featuring works from all periods of Lynch’s career. The exhibition will feature approximately 90 paintings and drawings from 1965 to the present, many of which have rarely been seen in public. Included will be a section exploring his early work and its origins in Philadelphia (1965-70), which was a critical time in Lynch’s creative development.

In 1970, Lynch moved to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking at the American Film Institute Conservatory. He went on to become internationally acclaimed as the director of films such as Eraserhead (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), Mulholland Drive (2001), and Inland Empire (2006), as well as the groundbreaking TV series, Twin Peaks (1990). In recent years, Lynch has initiated internet-based projects and recorded original music. Throughout his career, Lynch has continued to work as a visual artist and has maintained a devoted studio practice.

For additional information on see the museum’s website at

About the Author

In 2000, following a long and successful career as head of his own public relations agency, Jim became a freelance travel writer. In 2003 he was named travel editor at New York Trend. Jim travels widely in North America and Europe and has also visited in Asia, Africa, and Central America. He enjoys writing stories that bring alive his travel experience and entice the reader to visit new destinations. Jim is a member of the International Association of Black Travel Writers.