With a camera in every cell phone and a cell phone in practically every pocket, photographs are no longer what they used to be. An individual image can take on a life of its own as it travels beyond the traditional photo album to all corners and cultures of the world. The meaning of the photographic images in relation to changing context is examined in a new exhibition that opened Saturday at the Princeton University Art Museum.
“The Itinerant Languages of Photography,” traces historical modes of photographic itinerancy from its origins in the 19th century as a shifting archival record to its conceptualist manifestations in the present.
On view are rare black and white photographs by masters as well as lesser known and emerging photographers: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand, Marc Ferrez, Manuel and Lola Alvarez Bravo, Joan Colom, Graciela Iturbide, Susan Meiselas, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Joan Fontcuberta, and Rosângela Rennó.
“This exhibition asks us to consider the photograph as a globally transmitted, continually translated and annotated document — reinterpreted and re-animated through the lens of our shared histories, memories, and experiences,” said Princeton University Art Museum Director James Steward.
The image that opens the show is a “Googlegram” by the Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta who was born in 1955. Titled Niépce, the work takes inspiration from the earliest-known photograph, View from the Window at Le Gras, by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, circa 1826. Mr. Fontcuberta created his tribute by processing the results of a Google image search for the words “photo” and “foto” through photomosaic software.
The result is a huge composite comprised of some ten thousand pieces from all over the world that brings the past and the present together and sets the stage for rest of the exhibition, which is arranged in four sections. The dizzying artwork suggests that every image is laced with multiple connotations.
Mr. Fontcuberta received the prestigious Hasselblad Award this year and will deliver the keynote address at a symposium on Thursday, November 21, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The show’s first section, “Itinerant Photographs,” features work from two Brazilian collections, one assembled between 1891 and 1925 and held in the National Library of Brazil, and the other from a similarly early collection of work by the itinerant photographer Marc Ferrez and others.
The second, “Itinerant Revolutions,” presents several modernist photographers working during and after the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), including locals Manuel and Lola Alvarez Bravo as well as pieces by Tina Modotti, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Paul Strand.
Don’t miss Hugo Brehme’s portrait of Emiliano Zapata and his marvelous mustache with his sash and sword; Gracielo Iturbide’s cemetery with flocking birds; the iconic image of Adelita the Soldadera; and photojournalist Enrique Metinides’s sorrowful images among others depicting mourning mothers, murdered men, and dead children.
Almost all of the photographs in this small show of some 90 works from public and private collections in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and the United States, are black and white. The exhibition is detailed and well-presented, informative and thought-provoking. Curators Eduardo Cadava, of the department of English, and Gabriela Nouzeilles, of the department of Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures, offer a privileged look at this material and have authored an illustrated 240-page catalogue that includes an essay by Mr. Fontcuberta.
The third section, “Itinerant Subjects,” examines ways in which photography approaches moving subjects with scenes from the streets of Spain and Latin America. Here is the work of street photographer Joan Colom and surrealistic photo-essays by Mexican photojournalist Nacho López as well as work by Eduardo Gil, Graciela Iturbide, Elsa Medina, Susan Meiselas, and Pedro Meyer.
“Itinerant Archives,” the last section of the exhibition, explores ways in which photographs are used and reused, quoted and revitalized. The highlight here is a stunning piece that is an aerial perspective of a crowd, “Multiples: it is us (people),” by Cassio Vasoncellos. Everyone is wearing a hat and the effect evokes an organic form like moss or lichen.
Highlights include Marcelo Brodsky’s The Undershirt / La Camiseta, shot in 1979 and reprinted in 2012; Joan Colom’s Fiesta Mayor, 1960; and Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s Striking Worker, Assassinated (Obrero en Huelga, Asesinado), 1934.
According to a press release, “Latin America has been at the forefront of the development of new aesthetic paradigms in modern and contemporary photography and the exhibition calls attention to “significant but often neglected histories of photography beyond the dominant European and American canon.”
The digital revolution has created an explosion in the production, circulation, and reception of photographic images. Attending this exhibition brings fresh perspective to the activity of taking and/or making photographs.
“The Itinerant Languages of Photography” is on view at the Princeton University Art Museum through January 19. For more information, call (609) 258-3767, or visit: www.artmuseum.princeton.edu.
Gallery 14 in Hopewell begins its fall season, its 13th annual, with an exhibition of work that will transport viewers to another time. Theresa (Terri) Hood’s color photographs conjure up the still lifes of the Dutch masters of the 17th century, painters like Willem Kalf (1619-1693) whose work is much admired by Ms. Hood. Her black and white landscapes are evocative of Ansel Adams (1902-1984).
That Ms. Hood has chosen her influences well will be shown by an exhibition of 26 of her photographs, (13 color, 13 black and white) opening this Friday, September 6, at Gallery 14 with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m.
“I fell in love with still lifes when studying the Dutch masters,” said Ms. Hood in a phone interview. “They studied light and that is what photography is all about. I’ve been working on still lifes for some five
years now and I craft them painstakingly.”
Ms. Hood’s attention to composition results in gorgeous images of pottery and drapery with artful placement of gourds and grapes, a wine glass, ferns, fruits, and flowers.
But while the Dutch painters infused their compositions with symbolic meaning, Ms. Hood focuses on beauty and light. “Sometimes I am able to use natural light from a window but more often than not I use studio lighting to mimic natural light,” says the artist for whom photography is not only a passion, it’s something of a second career.
Before turning serious attention to the camera some seven years ago, Ms. Hood had her own title insurance agency. “Now I have another life,” said the art photographer, who is in her 50s and works from her home studio in Glen Gardner, Hunterdon County.
The seeds of her present passion were sown when Ms. Hood took a college course and was introduced to the work of the great American photographer Ansel Adams. “Now, I embrace it with unbridled joy,” she said. “When I am working in my studio I am totally absorbed and unaware of the passage of time. There is so much beauty around and that’s what I am hoping to make people realize. Everybody has digital cameras in their phones today and go around taking pictures all the time, but there is a difference between taking a photograph and making a photograph. I make photographs.”
Besides Gallery 14, which she joined less than a year ago, Ms. Hood is a member of the Hunterdon County Photography Club and the Photographic Society of America where she serves as a commentator for a digital study group program on Nature. She co-manages the Exhibition Committee and the Contemporary Arts Group of the New Jersey Photography Forum.
Her work has previously been exhibited in the Hunterdon County Library; Mayo Performing Arts Center; Crane’s Mill Gallery; Overlook Hospital, Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission, and the Watchung Arts Center where she received an award of merit for her “Shabby Chic” portrait of a house.
She’s been in the New Jersey Photo Forum Juried Show for the past three years and has participated in the Grounds for Sculpture Focus on Sculpture juried show two years running. In 2012, her black and white image Ocean Zen received Best in Show award there.
According to Ms. Hood, black and white photography is very different from color photography. The latter forces you to look at content. “Anyone who sees a black and white photograph develop in a dark room witnesses something magical and will be transported by it, as I was.”
Her solo exhibition “Life Along the River” is currently being displayed at the Musconetcong Watershed Association Gallery.
The works in her Gallery 14 show are either 16 x 20 or 16 x 24 inches. Prices for the former at $145, and for the latter, $175.
Also featured at Gallery 14, alongside Ms. Hood’s work, will be photographs by Charles Miller of Ringoes. “Waterlilies — Monet’s Flower” in the Jay Goodkind Gallery includes traditional photography as well as images printed on fabric as large wall hangings, photographs on watercolor paper, and macro images. Mr. Miller has exhibited throughout New Jersey and has won several best in show awards.
Both exhibits open on Friday, September 6. There will also be an opportunity to Meet The Artists on Sunday September 8, from 1 to 3 p.m.
The exhibit runs in Gallery 14, 14 Mercer Street Hopewell, through October 6. Hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, call (609) 333-8511, or visit: www.photogallery14.com.
When I was 15 I used to walk from Washington Square North across Sixth Avenue and down Greenwich Avenue for a midnight snack at a cozy little White Tower hamburger joint located where Greenwich meets 7th Avenue South and 11th Street. Quoted in Gail Levin’s Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography (Rizzoli 2007), the artist says the setting of his most famous work, Nighthawks (1942), was “suggested by a restaurant on Greenwich Avenue where two streets meet.” At least half a dozen websites have been dedicated to determining the identity and actual location of the place Hopper’s referring to, the consensus being that it can’t be found. However, the only actual late-night eatery shown to have occupied the triangle formed by that three-way intersection is the humble White Tower (you can see it in various online photos including the one on shadeone.com/nighthawks); while the tiny building — it looks like a white toy next to a toy gas station — has little in common with the spacious, streamlined structure in the painting, it sits in the only locale that could have accomodated the Flatiron shape of Hopper’s nighthawk’s cafe.
All I know is that I was enjoying those little melt-in-your-mouth hamburgers on the piece of Manhattan geographically aligned with one of the landmarks of 20th century art, the iconic image that has been alluded to, celebrated, and improvised upon by generations of artists, writers, filmmakers, and poets. It’s also nice to know that Edward Hopper (1882-1967) was still alive and well and painting at the time in a studio on the other end of the block at 3 Washington Square North.
Nighthawks has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. Of course this is true of just about any accomplished work of art, but the only way to comprehend the magnitude of this painting is to stand in front of it. You can see Nighthawks, along with other key works like New York Movie (1939) and Office at Night (1940), in the Whitney Museum’s “Hopper Drawing,” which is billed as “the first major museum exhibition to focus on the drawings and creative process of Edward Hopper.” Organized by curator of drawings Carter Foster, the exhibit will be on view through October 6.
The Power of the Painting
It’s a tribute to the power of Nighthawks that admirers have gone to such lengths to determine the real-world model and location of a place that is so obviously a composite developed in the artist’s imagination. One feature that strikes you when you stand before it is the color and smoothness and sweep of the pale green sidewalk comprising almost half the painting. It’s safe to say that you will not find pavement that immaculate nor of such a subtle shade of green anywhere on the island of Manhattan or indeed anywhere this side of The Land of Oz. The countertop in this extraordinarily roomy “coffee stand” is, according to the notes in the artist’s ledger, made of “cherry wood” rather than the standard greasy spoon formica. Also painted as if they were things of rare worth are the sugar sifters, salt and pepper shakers and napkin holders, and, noted in the ledger under “bright items,” two “metal tanks” more familiarly known as coffee urns.
As for the nighthawks of the title, there’s the man with his back to us, hunched over the counter, described in the ledger as a “figure dark sinister.” Faces lit with a caffeinated intensity, the man and woman, posed for by Hopper (using a mirror) and his wife, are described in the ledger’s shorthand: “night hawk (beak) in dark suit, steel grey hat, black band, blue shirt (clean) holding cigarette,” the brunette in “red blouse” looks venal and lively compared to Hopper’s generally passive, lost, spaced-out females; this one’s wide awake and hungry for action, ready to take a bite out of the counter man once she finishes her sandwich. The dark figure whose face is hidden could pass for (and might even have been inspired by) one of the title characters in Ernest Hemingway’s 1927 story, “The Killers.” An admirer of Hemingway, Hopper actually wrote a letter to Scribners Magazine praising the story in contrast to “the vast sea of sugar coated mush that makes up most of our fiction.”
As Hemingway does in “The Killers,” Hopper presents a situation and some characters and leaves it to us to imagine the rest. The hypnotic image inspired a poem by Joyce Carol Oates and five different dramatizations in a special issue of Der Spiegel; has surfaced as a favored setting in The Simpsons; in a film-within-a-film in Wim Wenders’s End of Violence; and in a parody, Nighthawks Revisited, by Red Grooms, who calls himself “a jester to the great sage” in the National Gallery Hopper documentary narrated by Steve Martin.
The timing of Nighthawks is a story in itself. Unfazed by the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and FDR’s declaration of war, Hopper remained tenaciously focused on the immense canvas while his wife Jo feared “the very likely prospect of being bombed” (“we live right under glass sky-lights and a roof that leaks whenever it rains”). Jo wasn’t alone. Hopper’s gallery thought he should take the precaution of moving some of his paintings to a storehouse for safekeeping. Clearly the artist knew he was on to something special. “E. doesn’t want me even in the studio,” Jo complained. “I haven’t gone thru even for things I want in the kitchen.”
According to Gail Levin’s biography, Jo was “short, open, gregarious, sociable, and liberal” while Hopper was “tall, secretive, shy, quiet, introspective, and conservative.” Both were in their early forties when they married in 1924. A painter of real gifts, Jo was Hopper’s model and his advocate, but she resented the fact that her career was secondary to his. Of all her “roles,” the most warmly, sympathetically, and interestingly rendered was as the blond usherette in New York Movie.
At the Movies
Ask any film buff about Hopper’s influence on film noir and they will likely start talking about Nighthawks. Bring up film in general and they will mention New York Movie. Hopper was an ardent filmgoer. At the time of the painting, while there had been only intimations of noir like 1940’s The Stranger on the Third Floor (where someone is murdered in a diner), Hopper had seen and absorbed gangster flicks like Scarface (1932), Public Enemy (1930), Little Caesar (1931), and Bullets or Ballots (1936). Meanwhile he’d also discovered an appealing subject in moviehouse interiors like the one in New York Movie, which Hopper researched by taking his sketchbook to Times Square theatres like the Globe, Republic, Strand, and his primary model the Palace. Before it was finished, New York Movie required 54 drawings, more than any other painting in his career.
For the thoughtful usherette standing in an alcove out of view of the screen, Hopper posed his wife in slacks in a lighted corner of the studio. As he’d done with the diner in Nighthawks, Hopper added a touch of elegance that in this case makes the word “usherette” seem too workaday for the pensive blonde in the lustrous blue uniform and the stylish shoes (in one of the drawings, he pencils in “flesh-colored feet in black sandals”). Though Jo was in her mid-fifties at the time, Hopper painted her as a young woman in her twenties. Like the female in Nighthawks, the usherette is a departure from the lonely, abstracted, lost-looking individuals Hopper customarily depicted. There’s a benignly encompassing warmth about this person, enhanced by the yellow light all around her, that tempts you to guess at her thoughts. She may only be listening to voices on the soundtrack of the film, but what makes her so sympathetic and interesting is that you can feel the intelligent presence of the artist’s wife. She was a painter, too, remember, who might well be thinking, as she holds the pose, that she should be doing her own work. Or she might be pondering a new project as she stands there locked into the image of the thinker, chin propped on hand, her time and her art at the mercy of her artist husband. The positive side of the tension that makes her so much worthier of our notice than even the beautifully crafted interior of the theatre is in what we know to be her absolute devotion to Hopper’s work, her confidence in its greatness and superiority to her own, in spite of her sense of herself as an artist, an intelligence, a creative individual in her own right.
In the Office
In Office at Night, the curvaceous secretary standing by the filing cabinet offers yet another alternative to Hopper’s less forthright females and once again, the 20-something brunette secretary is being impersonated by a 50-something Josephine Hopper in a form-fitting skirt that reveals a shapely hip and leg that you know will eventually catch the eye of her boss, who is seated at his desk intently reading a letter. Of all the stories to develop from Hopper’s images, this would be the oldest, easiest, and most obvious to imagine. A better story, however, concerns the painter and his wife, who writes in her journal, of the young woman “fishing in a filing cabinet” that “I’m to pose for … tonight in a tight skirt — short to show legs. Nice that I have good legs and up and coming stockings.” A few days later Hopper is still working on Office at Night when a Viennese waltz comes over the radio. Edward “left the easel and came to waltz with me — and did very nicely …. The music got E. and about he went. He’s amazingly light on his feet when he dances.”
The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University reopens September 1, after an August hiatus, with an exhibition of work by beloved children’s book illustrators Jean and Mou-sien Tseng.
“Maples in the Mist: Chinese Poems for Children” in the museum’s Duvoisin Gallery brings together art and children’s literature.
Earlier in the year, the Zimmerli presented this exhibition in a curator-led Art After Hours program and musical performance. At that time, Marilyn Symmes, director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and curator of the museum’s prints and drawings presented vibrant images by the Taiwanese husband and wife team whose illustrations have introduced some of the celebrated poets of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) to a contemporary audience. “These are poems that have been popular since the 18th century and many Chinese children today learn to read by reciting these poems,” she said. The poems were translated into English by Minfong Ho with the aim of introducing her own children and those of others to traditional Chinese culture. Each image in the exhibition is accompanied by the poem that inspired it.
“The Tang Dynasty is known as the golden age of poetry in China’s 2000-year literary history and the Tsengs’ illustrations are a captivating introduction to that rich heritage,” said Ms. Symmes who organized the exhibition with Beth McKeown, former assistant curator of prints and drawings.
The 22 original watercolors on view were chosen from the Zimmerli’s extensive collection of original artwork for children’s books. The Tsengs’ book was published in 1996; they donated their original watercolor illustrations to the museum in 1998. Each image demonstrates the Tsengs’ mastery of composition and color.
The illustrators capture the coziness of traditional customs against a rural backdrop to yield glimpses of domestic life with some nostalgia. In their illustration of “Traveler’s Song” by Meng Jia we see a mother mending her son’s coat by candlelight before he leaves home. Their image for “Quiet Night” by Li Bai, shows a young man in bed, gazing at the moon and longing for home.
The Tsengs’ feeling for nature finds expression in their illustration to “Symmetry” by Du Fu in which a flock of white egrets fly between willow trees in the foreground and majestic snow-capped mountains in the distance. See also their tender treatment of sunset for “Climbing Stork Tower” by Wang Zhi-Huan.
The exhibition uses three preliminary sketches by the Tsangs to show their creative process in working toward an illustration for Wang Jian’s poem “Little Pine.” The working drawings document the artists at work in developing the pose, clothing, and gesture of a little boy tending a sapling.
According to Museum Director Suzanne Delehanty, the images “demonstrate the craft and process of designing books before computer-generated illustrations became common practice.”
Born in Taiwan in 1940 and 1935, respectively, Jean and Mou-sien Tseng met while studying art at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. Since the couple immigrated to the United States in 1974, they have illustrated more than 30 children’s books, including The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy (Scholastic, 1990), Kenji and the Magic Geese by Ryerson Johnson (Simon & Shuster, 1992), and Fa Mulan by Robert D. San Souci (Hyperion, 1998). In 1999, they illustrated White Tiger, Blue Serpent (HarperCollins) by their daughter Grace. They now live on Long Island, New York.
“Maples in the Mist: Chinese Poems for Children Illustrated by Jean & Mou-sien Tseng” is at the Zimmerli Art Museum at 71 Hamilton Street at George Street on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Hours are: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission: $6 for adults; $5 (65 and over); free for museum members, children under 18, and Rutgers students, faculty, and staff (with ID), and on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call (848) 932-7237 or visit: www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu.
With its new Grace Kelly exhibition opening in just two month’s time, the staff of the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown held a press conference last Thursday to show just what all the fuss is about.
Lisa Tremper Hanover, Michener Director and CEO, described the contents of the exhibition, “From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly Beyond the Icon,” which aims to immerse visitors in the life and legacy of the Oscar-winning American actress and Princess of Monaco.
Besides items of designer clothing worn by Ms. Kelly, personal letters and memorabilia, there will be film clips and archival documents. The Michener is the sole U.S. destination for the exhibition, which was seen earlier in Canada.
According to Ms. Tremper Hanover, the exhibition sets out to relate “the real story” of the girl from Philadelphia who loved scrapple and adored raising her children as much as she loved clothes and culture. “Her real story isn’t a fairy tale as you will see from the exhibition’s intimate photographs, love letters from her husband, home movies and fashions that are as elegant today as they were 50 years ago,” she said.
On hand to raise the level of excitement were representatives of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, the Consulate General of Monaco in New York, and other exhibition funders such as the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau.
Consul General and Minister Counselor Maguy Maccario Doyle described Grace Kelly’s lasting impact on Monaco through the theater and arts festival she founded there as well as the library that was created from her private collection of Irish literature after her death.
Ms. Kelly’s son, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, spoke via Skype from his home. “Those of us who were fortunate enough to know my mother knew her to be a genuine, warm, and loving woman — a woman who always put her family first. I hope that through experiencing this exhibition you will be able to glimpse the real Grace Kelly,” he said. It was Prince Albert who provided the impetus for the exhibition’s North American tour.
The press conference, which was held, appropriately enough, at the Hotel Monaco in the heart of the actress’s hometown of Philadelphia, also featured short presentations by Regina Canfield of the PNC Arts Alive program which is funding the exhibition, and others.
Kristina Haugland, of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and author of Grace Kelly: Icon of Style to Royal Bride and Grace Kelly Style, described Ms. Kelly’s iconic style and provided a perspective on her influence on fashion. “She was far from the typical Hollywood clotheshorse,” said Ms. Haugland. “Her signature style was timeless, simple and elegant, a classic look that is emulated today on red carpet runways and exemplified by brides like Kate Middleton.”
“This exhibition will benefit the whole of Bucks County as well as Doylestown,” commented Paul Bencivengo, Bucks County marketing and communications director, anticipating the regional economic impact. “Bucks county tourism provides some 11,000 jobs and brings in some $850 million a year,” he said, adding that Grace Kelly was a “simple sell” for the region and the state.
“The opportunity to bring together a comprehensive exhibition that focuses on the depth and breadth of Grace Kelly’s life is an important acknowledgment of her impact on so many facets of the 20th century,” said Ms. Tremper Hanover. “Throughout the years, interest in Grace — her compassion, her radiance, her dignity, and her individuality — has never waned. Her hometown of Philadelphia is eager to honor this spirit.”
Ms. Kelly’s nephew, Christopher Le Vine, provided a touching take on his relative. “Grace never lost touch with her family here in Philly, her children grew up much as she did,” said Mr. Le Vine as he recalled home movies of his aunt and his mother on the beach at Ocean City. Mr. Le Vine is the owner, of Grace Winery and Sweetwater Farm Bed and Breakfast in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley.
“From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly Beyond the Icon” will be accompanied by a series of events on Grace Kelly’s jewelry, fashion, style and impact as a royal bride, culminating with a screening of one of her most popular films High Society in December.
The Michener will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Bucks County Playhouse, where Ms. Kelly made her stage debut.
Jed Bernstein, the theater’s producing director spoke about Ms. Kelly’s early years and of the role that the Buck’s County Playhouse has played in the region and in American theater as a whole. Besides Ms. Kelly, those associated with the theaters comprise a veritable “who’s who” of American stage and screen in the 20th and early 21st centuries: Robert Redford, Liza Minnelli, Helen Hayes, Walter Matthau, Angela Lansbury, and Tyne Daly, as well as renowned playwrights George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart, Neil Simon, and Terrence McNally.
The companion exhibition, “Local Mill Makes Good: Celebrating 75 Years of American Theater at the Bucks County Playhouse,” will be on view from October 26, through March 2, 2014.
“From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly Beyond the Icon” opens October 28 at the James A. Michener Art Museum,138 South Pine Street, Doylestown. For more information and hours, call (215) 340-9800, or visit: www.michenermuseum.org. The Michener will be using a timed ticket entry system for non-members. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended, and available only at www.MichenerArtMuseum.org or by calling (800) 595-4849.
A reception for the artists with works in the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s latest exhibition will take place Thursday, August 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The exhibition, titled “The Feathered and the Field: Birds in Autumn,” features stirring images in many media with artists interpreting the transition from summer to autumn, a time when preserved habitat is particularly essential to migrating birds. It is designed to encourage people to preserve and to plant bird-friendly habitats and throughout the evening, native plants may be purchased from the Trust’s on-site Native Plant Nursery, to transform home gardens into bird-friendly habitats.
Artists include Francesca Azzara, Beatrice Bork, Bill Dix, Carolyn H. Edlund, Jennifer Hawkes, Brenda Jones, David Robinson, Rye Tippett, and Charles David Viera.
All the art is for sale, with a percentage supporting the land trust’s preservation and stewardship mission.
Guests are also encouraged to include a sunset bird exploration in Greenway Meadows.
Linda Mead, D&R Greenway CEO and president, suggests that guests treat this exhibition as a bird walk, even to the extent of beginning “a life list” of species represented in these diverse works, such as committed birders maintain. She reminds visitors to hike St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell, where D&R Greenway preservation is increasing sightings of rare and threatened species such as the meadowlark, the American kestrel, and the bobolink.
“This exhibit celebrates the diverse beauty of birds, particularly their vulnerability during migration to their wintering grounds,”
notes D&R Greenway Curator Diana Moore.
“The Feathered and the Field: Birds in Autumn,” is on view during business hours of business days at the D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, off Rosedale Road, through October 5. Admission is free. For more information and to register for the free reception, call (609) 924-4646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 14th Annual Art in the Garden at Paxson Hill Farm will be held, Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1. The event, which runs each day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is held rain or shine, will feature an exhibition and sale of work by local artists and fine-crafters.
This is the first time Art in the Garden will take place over two days.
Sponsored by horticulturist Bruce Gangawer, owner/operator of the nursery at Paxson Hill Farm, the event brings together some 58 painters, printmakers, jewelers, photographers, wood turners, fiber artists, ceramicists, and others.
This year’s exhibitors include Sandy Askey-Adams, Mandy Baker, Kathy Barclay, Rob Barrett, Kristen Birdsey, Nurit Bland, Jen Brower, Karen Caldwell, Keppler Castano, Diana Contine, Sheila Watson Coutin, Lara Ginzburg, Bernard Hohlfeld, Deborah Holcomb, Michael Holcomb, Mickie Marshall-Jacoby, Brenda Jones, Sandra Jones, Susan Kern, Evelyn King, Carla Klouda, Donna Kudra, Carole Kyle, Nora Lewis, Leda Manfre, Denise Marshall, Sallie Marshall, Claudia McGill, Kim McGuckin, Janet Miller, Kelly Money, David Money, Mindy Mutterperl, Susan Nadelson, Isabel O’Brien, Rebecca Proctor-Weiss, Ron Prybycien, Michael Ressler, Robert J. Richey, Jr., Glenn Rile, Susan Rosetty, Cindi Sathra, Scott Schlauch, Gale Scotch, Kathe Scullion, Jane Stoller, Deborah Tinsman, Patricia Tolton, Sean Tucker, Amy Turner, Helena van Emmerik-Finn, John Wear, Dawn Weseman, John H. Williams, Katy Winters, Steve Zazenski, and Barbara Zietchick.
Since 2000, Art in the Garden has grown from 17 artists selected for the first event. The garden setting includes numerous sun, shade, Oriental, and water gardens. Visitors are encouraged to wander the gardens, greenhouse, and fish ponds.
The free event takes place at Paxson Hill Farm, 3265 Comfort Road, Solebury Township. For more information, call (215) 297-1010, or visit: www.paxsonhill
For six weeks, beginning on Friday, August 9, the entire first floor of the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park will play host to twelve talented area photographers who have been invited back to the museum after they had taken part in the recent Ellarslie Open exhibition. According to a recent press release, a survey of photographs included in the Ellarslie Open revealed an immense diversity of styles, technique and printing.
The twelve photographers will display their work in an entirely new exhibition titled, “Camera Work 2013,” which will run through September 22. There will be an opening reception this Friday from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. following a members and artists only reception from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The show takes its name from the publication, Camera Work, that was edited by Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) from 1902 to 1917. It features contemporary photographers Bill Hoo, Peter Cook, Richard DeFalco, Joseph Gilchrist, Dwight Harris, Mary Leck, Ed Nyul, Martin Schwartz, John Slavin, Igor Svibilsky, Kristina Tregnan and Kevin Hogan and pays tribute to Stieglitz and other early 20th century photographers who took photography into the realm of art.
The American born Stieglitz championed the idea that photography was on par with accepted mediums of painting and sculpture in its ability to convey artistic expression. He promoted the idea in Camera Work, the publication of the Camera Club of New York.
The cross-section of works on display in “Camera Work 2013” represents how Stieglitz’s original concept of a photograph being able to convey mood and evoke emotion has been passed down, re-interpreted, and refined over the last century. The installation includes several selections on subjects ranging from people to places, including Classical Italy, Europe, Route 66, and the natural world.
For more information, call (609) 989-1191, or visit: www.ellarslie.org. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays and municipal holidays.
Susan I. Winter was born on a large farm in rural Monmouth County where she had few playmates outside of her family. And yet her paintings, even her landscapes, invariably include human figures. “I suppose it is this lonely background that lends itself to the themes of most of my work; I enjoy painting people either interacting with others or in quiet reflection” she says.
Now living in Hightstown, where, since 1983, she’s part of the Art Station Studio, which she describes as “a wonderful studio setting where other artists are available for both critique and support.” A certified teacher, she has taught art at the Peddie School, at Artworks in Trenton, and elsewhere throughout central New Jersey for over 35 years.
Her influences derive from Master Classes with Nelson Shanks and studies with Daniel Greene, Robert Sakson, Rhoda Yanow, Richard Pionk, Christina DeBarry, and Stephen Kennedy. One of her paintings was chosen to be included as part of the White House Collection and her painting “Ole Freehold” is owned by Bruce Springsteen
Inspired also by Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, and, she says, awed by “their genius and value to the art community,” she is a charter member of the New Jersey Pastel Painters Society and a member of numerous galleries and arts councils including the West Windsor Arts Council.
Her recent exhibitions include works on paper at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, and one-woman shows at Bordentown’s Farnsworth Gallery, Trenton’s Gallery on Lafayette, and Princeton’s Triumph Brewery.
Interviewed by phone, the artist shared her excitement at this new exhibition, titled “Connecting Impressions.” “The Plainsboro show is a perfect opportunity for me to express my love of people, and let my viewers see how important my personal connections with humanity are to me,” she says.
The artist’s rural upbringing figures heavily in her art, and although she works predominantly with landscapes, people play a critical role in the theme of each piece. But it wasn’t always so. From 1985 to 1996, she worked as a freelance artist with Greater Media Newspapers. “For 10 years I did nothing but paint portraits of houses; after that I did landscapes because that’s what galleries were interested in, but now I include people in my paintings and that’s what excites me about this show,” she says.
“Connecting Impressions” will feature oils, oil/collages, and pastels, paintings of seemingly ordinary scenes that are awash with light and color. Look for her lively park scene, Girl with the Yellow Balloon and The Washing, her rendering of women washing clothes in the Ganges.
In a statement of her artistic philosophy, Ms. Winter says: “I try to capture the beauty of my life: impossible; to try to capture the beauty in each extraordinary moment is only possible through the artist’s eye and imagination. This is my goal with each new painting.”
Ms. Winter’s exhibit will be at the Plainsboro Library from August 3 to August 28 with a reception on Sunday, August 11, from 2 to 4 p.m., at which time the artist will be on hand to answer questions about her work.
The Plainsboro Library is located at 9 Van Doren Street, Plainsboro. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For more on the artist and her work, visit: www.paintings
For more information, call (609) 275-2897.
“Structure and Sound,” an exhibition of sculpture, furniture, monoprints, and jewelry by the Italian-born artist Harry Bertoia, opened Saturday, July 20 in the Beans Gallery at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown.
Described as a man ahead of his time, Bertoia (1915-1978) experimented with space and sound. A longtime resident of Bally, Pennsylvania, he created his well-known sonambient or tonal sounding sculptures and designed furniture for Knoll, Inc. there.
Born in 1915 in San Lorenzo, Italy, Bertoia came to the United States at the age of 15 to visit his older brother. He learned art, design, and jewelry making in high school and at the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, now the College for Creative Studies.
In 1937 he received a scholarship to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he encountered the work of Walter Gropius, Edmund N. Bacon, and Ray and Charles Eames whose wedding rings he designed and made.
In 1943, when he married Brigitta Valentiner, the couple moved to California to work for Charles and Ray Eames.
His early studies in printmaking and metalwork at the Cranbrook Academy of Art informed the work of his later career. Drawing was an important part of the artist’s creative process, and many of his compositions articulate his planning and experimentation for sculpture.
In 1950, at the invitation of the Knoll furniture design company, he moved to eastern Pennsylvania and designed, among other pieces, the Bertoia Diamond Chair series, a series of wireframe chairs that became an iconic part of the modern furniture movement. His famous “Diamond Chair’ is a fluid, sculptural form made from a molded lattice work of welded steel. He described the chairs as being “mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them.”
Made by hand and produced with varying amounts of upholstery over their light grid-work, the chairs were an immediate commercial success and are still sold by Knoll today. Bertoia’s earnings from them allowed him to devote himself exclusively to sculpture and to explore the ways in which metal could be manipulated to produce sound. By stretching and bending the metal, he made it respond to wind or to touch, creating different tones.
The sculpture most associated with Bertoia is “The Tonal.” Varying in size from a few inches up to 19 feet and made of steel, copper, and brass rods capped with cylinders or drops of metal, Bertoia’s sculptures swayed, emitting sounds according to the weight and materials of their composition.
He performed with his pieces, manipulating his artwork manually, in a number of concerts and produced a series of ten albums, all entitled Sonambient.
The artist’s Pennsylvania home and studio included a barn space installation of 75 tonals of varying heights and is maintained today by his son, Val Bertoia, who is also an artist. Occasional symphonic musical performances are held there. Album recordings made by Harry Bertoia are included in the Michener installation.
Besides tonal and static sculptures by Bertoia, the exhibition also features work from his explorations into jewelry making, crafting organic forms of silver and copper, as well as monoprints and furniture. It is made up of selections from private collections, as well as from the Reading Public Museum, Knoll, Inc., the Woodmere Art Museum, and the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College.
Bertoia is known not only for his signature 1952 Diamond Chair but also for his work with a number of major 20th century architects: Eero Saarinen, Henry Dreyfuss, Roche & Dinkeloo, Minoru Yamasaki, Edward Durell Stone, I. M. Pei and others. In 1956, he received the AIA Craftsmanship Award, followed by the Critic’s Award in 1968.
His work is held in numerous public collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and museums in Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.
To coincide with the exhibition, independent scholar Mary Thorp, who has been cataloguing Bertoia’s sculptures, organizing exhibitions, and lecturing on his work at auction houses, museums and universities since 1998, will give an overview of the artist’s work on Tuesday, September 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. The artist’s daughter, Celia Bertoia, who is currently at work on a biography of her father, will discuss his techniques and share behind-the-scenes stories on Friday, October 4, from 2 to 3 p.m.
“Harry Bertoia: Structure and Sound,” continues through October 13 at the Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, Pa. For admission and hours, call (215) 340-9800 or visit: www.michenerartmuseum.org.
This summer, the Princeton University Art Museum will offer visitors a smorgasbord of tasty morsels by way of a special installation designed to highlight the range and depth of its collections.
Faces and Facets, a multifaceted show featuring 50 works acquired since 2010, underscores the Museum’s position among the leading university art museums in the country. Since it was founded in 1882 with a gift of porcelain and pottery, the Museum has grown to include over 80,000 works of ancient to contemporary art of the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, China, the United States, and Latin America.
Exhibition curator Juliana Dweck, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Collections Engagement, faced quite a challenge when the Art Museum decided to put a selection of recent acquisitions on display. The eclectic grouping could have been arranged in any number of ways. In the beginning, the task of handling what seemed like a rather ungainly grouping, became manageable when she decided on a thematic grouping, after soliciting suggestions from her fellow museum curators.
“This exhibition is unusual in that it displays items across a broad range of materials, media, periods, styles, and cultures and it provides a rare opportunity to juxtapose an intentionally eclectic selection,” said Ms. Dweck who has been with the museum for three years and a Mellon Curatorial Fellow for less than two. Although she has managed the interpretations of several exhibitions, this is her curatorial debut.
The exhibition is arranged in four thematic sections and takes its name from the first of these: “Faces and Facets,” which traces the varying ways that “portraits” — whether of a person or an object — both shape and are shaped by the viewer’s understanding of the world. In addition to famous faces like Thomas Edison and Marlene Dietrich, this section, says the curator examines, for example, portraits of a bird and of a building.
The “Symmetry” section plays with the idea of how balance, regularity, and repetition can offer pleasing compositions or suggest the opposite — asymmetry and disorder — to achieve a particular effect. Here are examples of graphic patterns as well as textiles and ceramics.
The section titled “Assemblage” examines how the elements of a work of art can be just as meaningful as the overall configuration. It looks at collage-style items as well as spatial arrangements and images such as one that shows a network of roads in California. Another section, “Revealing and Concealing,” ponders the way in which narratives, visual layers, and data are either encoded (concealed) or exposed (revealed) in works of art. That is to say, explains Ms. Dweck, “it looks at the way art reveals and conceals the truth.
Asked to select a personal favorite, Ms. Dweck says that her favorites vary from day to day. “Today, perhaps because I’ve been spending time with it, it’s most definitely the Chimu Textile, a fragment from Peru circa 1200 A.D. that depicts a procession of prisoners. It is thought to be a record of an historical event and it’s not only historically significant it is very appealing graphically,” she says, adding “one of my other favorites is the 19th century Indian watercolor of Mana Lalji showing him in profile and wearing gold necklaces and holding prayer beads.”
The works on display represent a small selection of the hundreds of gifts and purchases that have recently been added to the Museum’s holdings. They include major works by Rembrandt, Robert Smithson, Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Wilke, and many other artists including Jules Olitski, Philip Pearlstein, Bridget Riley, Florian Schmidt, John Trumbull, and Hale Woodruff. The exhibition features Greek, Japanese, and Native American ceramics; ancient Cypriot and Pre-Columbian sculpture; a Korean six-panel folding screen; a French medieval architectural fragment; Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and African works on paper; and French, British, and American photography.
“The past few years have brought an abundance of stunning and distinguished new objects that complement the Museum’s comprehensive holdings in innumerable ways,” said Princeton University Art Museum Director James Steward. “While we often feature new acquisitions throughout our galleries, this seemed an auspicious moment to unveil a number of outstanding works in a special installation offering surprising insights and juxtapositions.”
Two artists with strong affinities for color are presenting a joint show of their work, titled “True Colors,” at the Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville.
Alla Podolsky of Philadelphia is a Ukrainian-born artist known for her dog portraits and for narrative paintings that show people in their environments, at home, in bookstores and cafes, often in city or town settings.
“I paint memories,” says Ms. Podolsky, “moments plucked from experiences, and in my mind, they are all bathed in very specific colors. Not necessarily the colors I saw at the time, but rather the colors I felt, the colors of the moods and emotions I remember. If the moment was sad, I paint it in a cooler, more subdued palette. If it was happy, the colors will be brighter. If it’s a distinct memory, the colors are sharper. It’s often not so much a deliberate choice but rather a natural, instinctive one.”
For Charlie Katzenbach of Hopewell, primary colors hold particular attraction. Inspired by the prisms of light falling on the floor of her Hopewell studio, Ms. Katzenbach paints boldly in blue, red, and green oils on glass planes in various geometric designs and constructions. Rainbows are often the result and Ms. Katzenbach could be said to chase the rainbow for this “True Colors” show, which includes vibrant primary colors on glass panes in various geometric designs that are often reminiscent of Amish quilts. One such is her “Equal Rainbows,” 20” by 18”, oil on glass and stained glass.
“I’ve been painting the spectrum for some time,” says Ms. Katzenbach. “I try to capture the brilliant colors that I see as the crystals in my studio window break the light into its components. There is an exuberant joy in the cascade of colors and the rainbow is also a cultural and political symbol celebrating unity despite diversity for both the civil rights and LGBT movements. As a person affected by both this means much to me,” she says, alluding to her own transgender history.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of works on display in “True Colors” will be donated in support of The Trevor Project, a leading national organization that provides crisis and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
Since the late 1970s, the rainbow has been a symbol of Gay Pride and has come to represent the diversity of the LGBT movement.
“Artists are storytellers. And colors are our words. And all I can hope for as an artist is that my words speak to people the same way they speak to me when I paint,” says Ms. Podolsky, who describes color as both universal and personal, capable of invoking visceral reactions of love and hate. “To an artist, color is a language. It’s how we communicate. It’s how we compose. It’s how we translate. It’s what connects all artists, no matter what the medium, or style, or form,” she says.
The Artists’ Gallery is a partnership of 18 established artists with national and international reputations. Ms. Katzenbach and Ms. Podolsky are both members of the group that includes such accomplished artists as Beatrice Bork of Flemington, Gail Bracegirdle of Bensalem, Jennifer Cadoff of Princeton, Joe Kazimierczyk of Hillsborough, Patricia Lange of Hopewell, Carol Sanzalone of Lambertville, and Andrew Werth of Princeton Junction. The Artists’ Gallery attracts collectors and art lovers from all over New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
“True Colors,” opened Friday, July 5, and will continue through Sunday, August 4 when the artists will host a closing reception from 4 to 6 p.m.
Located at 18 Bridge Street, Lambertville, the gallery is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment. Printed 5×7 inch cards featuring selected artwork by Ms. Podolsky can be purchased from the Artists Gallery for $2.25 each or 10 for $20.
For more information or to arrange a visit outside of regular hours, call (609) 397-4588, or visit: www.lambertvillearts.com.
A range of works in a variety of media by artists Silvere Boureau, Gail Bracegirdle, Linda Brooks Hirschman, Bisa Butler, Dolores Cohen, Lora Durr, Kathie Miranda, Linnea W. Rhodes, William Vandever, Andrew Wilkinson, and Anne Zeman comprise the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s current show, “Dangerous Blossoms.”
The title of the show says it all. But while the focus is on poisonous and invasive species that do harm to humans, insects, and other plant species, the images on view celebrate their beauty at the same time. You’ll find “Flowery Foes” such as Foxglove, Pokeweed, and Porcelain Berry.
You’ll learn of the potent secrets of poisonous plants such as those which authors like Agatha Christie have favored as a means of murder as well as how beautiful but fatal flowers are increasingly destroying native species in our region.
“New toxicities spell the death of native plants, who have no defenses against the exotics,” says Curator Diana Moore. “Despite their beauty, invasives such as loosestrife, certain celandines, honeysuckles, and multiflora rose spell doom for native landscapes.”
All art is for sale, a 35 percent of each sale supports D&R Greenway’s preservation and stewardship mission. “A key factor of D&R Greenway stewardship is the removal of invasive species, replacing them with the natives that belong here,” says President Linda Mead.
To this end, the D&R Greenway sells native plants grown from seed to local gardens and gardeners. Natives require less water and fertilizer to thrive. They evolved with their pollinators, nourishing insects and birds over the centuries. The seeds are gathered by volunteers on the Land Trust’s preserves.
Highlights of “Dangerous Blossoms” include Silvere Boureau’s oil paintings of Porcelain Vine, Foxglove, and Belladonna, and Andrew Wilkinson’s outstanding photographs.
Don’t miss Anne Zeman’s photographs. “I began photographing flowers for their beauty,” says Ms. Zeman. “I now photograph plants primarily for identification and to understand how they relate to their environment. To look at a plant closely you become aware of something else — perhaps how an insect is drawn to it or how it survives in harsh or unusual conditions,” she says.
For the “Dangerous Blossoms” exhibition, Ms. Zeman writes, in the commentary to her work, that she “began to think about the unique relationship of beauty and danger, whether it be toxic to humans, insects, or the environment. The poisonous properties of many plants are well known, but other dangers lurk, too: the Round-leaved Sundew’s sticky moonscape is lethal to the insect that lands on it; the Pitcher Plant lures with sweet nectar only to consume the unsuspecting; and the lovely looking Porcelain Berry is so invasive it chokes out edible native plants necessary for our birds and insects.”
Of course, no exhibition at the Greenway would be complete without advice on the environment. In this instance you will find listings of alternative natives such as Swamp Milkweed, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Hollow Stem Joe Pye, Swamp Rose, New England Aster, and Narrow-leaved Mountain Mint as well as a Top Ten List of What Not to Plant: Japanese Barberry, Butterfly Bush, European Privet, Siebold and Linden Viburnums, Amur and Japanese Honeysuckles, Purple Loosestrife, and Callery Pear, which have been found to be most invasive to the landscapes managed by the D&R Greenway Trust.
Emily Blackman, who manages the Native Plant Nursery, mentions the following perennials, shrubs, grasses and sedges as currently available: Hollow-Stem Joe Pye, Autumn Helenium, Narrow-Leaved Mountain Mint; Buttonbush, Sweet Pepperbush, Steeplebush; Pennsylvania Sedge, Bottlebrush Grass, and Woolgrass. A current nursery catalog is available online.
“Dangerous Blossoms” is in three rooms at the Johnson Education Center, including the Marie L. Matthews Gallery, named for the noted Princeton artist and a nature photographer, at the D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place (off Rosedale Road) through July 19, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except holidays. The nursery is open to the public from 3 to 6 p.m. on Fridays through the end of August (except July 5). For more on the nursery, contact Emily Blackman at (609) 924-4646, ext. 126, or email@example.com. For more on D&R Greenway, call (609) 924-4646, or visit: www.drgreenway.org.
Local photographers will showcase their work and inaugurate a new gallery space dedicated to the photographic arts when the exhibition “A Point of View” opens this Thursday, June 13, at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton. An opening reception will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The exhibition, a collaboration between the hospital and the Princeton Photography Club, will feature five full series selected from the works of the club’s members: “Curves of Steel” by Lillian Ciuffreda, “Into the Sky: Gehry at Bard” by Carl H. Giesler, “Musicians” by Simon Laufer, “Yesterday’s Papers: The Human Condition” by Maia Reim, and “Cannas in Black and White” by Martha Weintraub.
Also on view will be individual photographs by India Blake, Randy Koslo, Mary Leck, Valerie Chaucer-Levine, Sandra Shapiro, Pat Steo, Serge Trigoubovich, and J. Verni.
The Lakefront Gallery was developed with the guidance of photographer and RWJ Hamilton cardiologist Ilya Genin, MD, and Sheila Geisler, who curated this first exhibition. It is managed by Diane Grillo, vice president of marketing and communications at RWJ Hamilton. The gallery space, which is ADA-accessible, is on the first floor of the hospital along the mezzanine above the Roma Bank Café.
Designed as a not-for-profit dedicated to emerging artists to whom it provides space at no charge, the new gallery hopes to encourage experimentation and creativity. The idea is to provide exposure for local artists as well as to enrich the hospital environment by bringing original artwork to the walls of the hospital. Curator Sheila Geisler is happy to consider new photographic art of all kinds.
The new gallery shares a kindred philosophy with the Princeton Photography Club. Founded by a small group of photographers in 1982, the Club promotes artistic excellence while helping its members gain expertise in photographic techniques. Its nearly 300 photographers range from veteran professionals to beginners. “It has been my privilege to be president of the club for the past six years,” said Carl H. Geisler. “What a delight to have seen the club grow and the quality of images soar.”
The club meets regularly at the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center. During the past few years it has hosted talks by invited photographers the likes of Amy Arbus, Larry Fink, Emmet Gowen, Seward Johnson, Stephen Perloff, Mary Louise Pierson, Jeff Rotman, Ernestine Ruben, and George Tice.
In addition, the club hosts workshops throughout the year, led by experts and by members with particular knowledge and skills in the areas of introductory and advanced camera techniques, color management and composition, image editing, documentary photography, matting and framing, and more.
Dr. Genin offers monthly workshops and Ricardo Barros gives two sequential six-session courses in creativity, in which he explores what makes a creative photograph. Each level has a waiting list as word of mouth has spread and class size is limited.
“A Point of View” is at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, One Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton. For more information, visit rwjhamilton.org. To submit work for consideration, contact gallery curator Sheila Geisler at (732) 422-3676 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about the Princeton Photography Club, visit princetonphotoclub.org.
Photographers Martha Weintraub, Rhoda Kassof-Isaac, and Wiebke Martens feature in a joint exhibition at Hopewell’s fine photography Gallery 14, opening Friday June 7 and running through July 7.
Ms. Weintraub has a series of “Into the Garden” images in the show. “Since the ancient Egyptians, people have been taming the wilderness into spaces reflecting beauty, style, and status,” says Ms. Weintraub, who likens a garden to a work of art “Like painters, garden designers plan perspectives of foreground, middle, and background in their compositions. Designs thus express more than the flowers, trees, shrubs, and water features they may include; history and geography influence design; European and American gardens differ from the gardens of the Far East, which value irregularity and surprise.”
Ms. Weintraub approaches her photography as if it were painting rather than a record of reality. In Photoshop she often improvises, combining and modifying different elements to create a composition. Some of her work is whimsical and surrealistic with imaginary and colorful landscapes, while other work is sensitive consisting of lovely botanical renditions. In either case the viewer is invited to immerse oneself in quiet contemplation.
She has visited many gardens near her home and in travels abroad. For her garden images, she creates hand-colored gel transfers, post computer. She begins by taking photographs, which she then converts to black and white positives and prints on transfer film. Using a gel medium and a roller, she transfers the positives to artist’s water color paper and then hand-colors each image using water color pencils and acrylic paints.
The results are impressions of gardens, not literal translations. Her work is reminiscent of illustrations found in 19th century English literature, etchings, and Chinese and Japanese wood block prints.
Ms. Weintraub’s photographs have been chosen for a number of local and national juried shows. Her image City of Books was awarded Best in Show at Phillips’ Mill Annual Photography Exhibit in 2012. She is the current president of Gallery 14 and her work can be viewed at: www.martha
Both painter and photographer, Ms. Kassof-Isaac is a founding member of Gallery 14 and has been inspired by the group’s growth and reputation. “This gallery is a place where professional photographers gather to discuss, share, and explore the new directions that the art of photography is moving toward. Inspiration thrives, grows, and is content in this atmosphere,” she says. The collection of her works on show is titled “Look Again.”
Of the relationship between painting and photography in her work, she says; “Is this like having two languages? The two media speak with each other and offer greater inspiration.”
Ms. Kassof-Isaac is also a teacher and a psychoanalyst. She has lived in Switzerland and Italy for many years. Her photographic work is enhanced by painting on each image.
Ms. Martens has been fascinated by photography ever since receiving her first camera at age 12 and concentrated on travel and landscape when she grew up.
In recent years, she has significantly expanded the scope of her work, exploring the great variety of textures, patterns, and colors in nature.
Last year, on a tour of Iceland, she was captivated by the landscapes, from farm houses in lush, green, pastoral settings to surreal black tuff ring volcanoes. Looking closely, she discovered small flowers covering an orange rock face, algae growing on stones like hair, and beautiful basalt formations. Her images capture the contrasting colors of Iceland. Her collection “Colors of Iceland” is in Gallery 14‘s Goodkind Gallery.
Her work has previously been exhibited at Dalet Gallery in Philadelphia, Art Way Gallery in Plainsboro, and the Bank of Princeton in Lambertville, among others.
For more information and gallery hours, call (609) 333-8511.
Although they share their home and their lives, and have the creative impulse in common, husband and wife artists Lucy Graves McVicker and Charles McVicker rarely exhibit their artwork together. So, the show that opens this Sunday, June 2, at the Sawmill Gallery at Prallsville Mills in Stockton, promises to be a rare treat.
The exhibition, for which there is a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, is titled “Opposites Attract,” appropriately enough. This is their first joint show in many years.
As the exhibition will demonstrate, each artist has maintained a unique approach borne of differing personalities, temperaments, and conceptions of art. Although they have worked side by side for many years, the couple say that they have not influenced each others’ output. Rather, with encouragement and humor, each has watched the other develop an individual artistic path.
Through critiques, art classes, and individual teaching, the couple has affected a broad range of local artists over the years.
The McVickers married after college when Charles was in the Army. Lucy supported her husband while he studied at The Art Center College of Design on the GI Bill, and raised the couple’s three daughters when they came to Princeton, during which time he commuted to Manhattan as a free-lance illustrator. When their youngest daughter, Heather, was in school, Lucy commuted to Parsons School of Design for two years to renew her own interest in painting.
Mr. McVicker, then became an assistant professor of art at The College of New Jersey, and both artists began to enter local, statewide, and national juried exhibits.
Both have won significant honors and awards in state and national competitions and both are called on to serve as jurors for art exhibitions.
Charles McVicker has works in the permanent collections of the U.S. Capital, The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, and Princeton University. As one of the founders of the Princeton Artists Alliance, he has seen this organization expand the scope of art through significant venues such as Bristol-Myers Squibb Gallery, The Newark Museum, and the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NewJersey.
Artwork by Lucy Graves McVicker is in the collections of Bristol Myers Squibb, Johnson and Johnson, AtlantiCare, and ADP Corporation. She was represented by Janet Hunt of the Coryell Gallery in Lambertville for over 15 years.
Both have paintings in the collection of the DuPont Corporation, and their artworks have recently been selected to be hung in both the Capital Health System’s new hospital, and The University Medical Center at Princeton.
The exhibition benefits the Delaware River Mill Society and takes place through June 15 at the Sawmill Gallery at Prallsville Mills, Route 29, north of Lambertville, Gallery hours are: Tuesday through Sunday, 1-6 p.m. Charles McVicker will lead a gallery “Talk and Tour” on Wednesday June 5, at 2 p.m. and Lucy Graves McVicker will offer a watercolor demonstration on Saturday, June 8 at 2 p.m.
This summer, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) will showcase artwork by New Jersey’s K-12 students alongside innovative lessons designed by their talented art teachers.
Students from Princeton High School, The Hun School, Maurice Hawk School in Princeton, as well as students from Notre Dame High School and Slackwood School in Lawrenceville have artwork accepted to the exhibition, “Art, Innovation, and Ideas,” which is co-organized by Dr. Lisa LaJevic, assistant professor and program coordinator of art education at TCNJ, and Emily Croll, director of TCNJ’s Art Gallery.
The exhibition opens in the college’s Art and Interactive Multimedia (AIMM) Building on Sunday, June 2 and continues through June 23. An opening reception will be held at the gallery, Sunday, June 2, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Of the more than 440 artworks submitted to “Art, Innovation, and Ideas,” 121 submissions were accepted after review by a jury of contemporary artists, curators, and educators, including internationally acclaimed artist, illustrator, and author Faith Ringgold.
Known for her painted story quilts, Ms. Ringgold has works in the permanent collections of many museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her many awards include 22 honorary doctorates. A devoted advocate for art education, she has illustrated sixteen children’s books, eleven of which she authored. Her first book, Tar Beach, was a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration.
Other jurors include New Jersey artist and educator Aylin Green; Baltimore-based sculptor and fine artist Christine Tillman; painter and director of Art Collaborations in Princeton, Heather Barros; and TCNJ Gallery Director Emily Croll.
Ms. Green is currently the membership director at Grounds for Sculpture. She holds a Masters of Ed from Tufts University in Boston, Mass., and a BFA in Sculpture from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Her mixed media paintings and cast metal sculpture has been exhibited at galleries and art centers throughout the region including Philadelphia, Princeton, and Trenton. She has taught classes for adults and children in a variety of traditional and experimental media in a range of educational settings including private studios, city and county programs, public schools, and art centers.
Ms. Tillman is primarily a sculptor who draws. Her main interests lie in ideas surrounding handmade celebrations and man-made interpretations of natural forms. She earned her MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Iowa.
Ms. Barros directs Art Collaborations, an art school in Princeton offering year-round classes for children, teens and adults. She began teaching children at the Arts Council of Princeton in 1990 and now directs art programs and summer art camps at the Arts Council, Montgomery Cultural Center, Charter School of Princeton, and now with Art Collaborations. She studied oil painting with Gregory Perkel for ten years and paints every day, en plein air every week. “I’ve visited art museums around the world and I’ve seen some of the greatest art ever made, but children’s art work is still my favorite genre,” says Ms. Barros. “I once thought that if I surrounded myself with children’s art long enough that I could do it as well. I’m not even close.”
“Art, Innovation, and Ideas” is intended to connect student learning and art to current real world issues. It aims to exhibit meaningful two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and media artworks and to recognize efforts by New Jersey art educators to push the boundaries of the arts in K-12 schools. Submissions were received from more than 100 cities and towns across the state.
“As the world is changing, it is vital that arts pedagogy and curriculum reflects the world in which we live,” says Dr. LaJevic. “As such, I support innovative art making that connects student learning and art to the real world, academic subjects, social issues, big ideas, and/or contemporary art.”
TCNJ Art Gallery is located in the Arts and Interactive Multimedia Building (AIMM) on the campus at 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing. In June, the gallery is open to the public free of charge, Wednesdays and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. and by special appointment for groups and school visits.
For more information, call (609) 771-2633, or visit: visit www.tcnj.edu/edu/artgallery.
The James McPhillips Museum and Gift Shop Show opens at Jane on Spring Street this Saturday, May 18, with a Meet and Greet with the artist from noon to 4 p.m.
Jane is a consignment and fair trade shop owned by Jane Henderson Kenyon and her daughter Isabelle Kenyon. In addition to selling men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, and home goods, the store has recycled and fair trade items.
It has also made room for original artwork by local artists.
Store manager Johnna Hooban, who has worked at Jane for two years, recalls the first time James (Jay) McPhillips stopped by. “He’s funny and personable and phenomenally talented,” recalls Ms. Hooban. “He was interested in the fact that the store consigns artwork and he brought along his oil paintings. We thought his work was out of this world.”
Since then, Mr. McPhillips has had oil paintings regularly on display at Jane alongside items such as T-shirts. His work has also been featured at Small World Cafe, in the NJ Skateshop, 72 Witherspoon Street, and at the Chapman Gallery, 46 E. State St., Doylestown, Pa.
The former Comedy Central TV staffer and advertising agency art director, whose diverse clients have included The Guggenheim Museum and Brooklyn Chewing Gum, has worked in the Princeton area for over a decade, five of those, from 2002 to 2007, as McCarter Theatre’s graphic designer.
His work has been exhibited on Times Square billboards, gallery paintings, clothing, bumper stickers, and numerous print and web publications. He has an ear for humor and an eye for visual puns. Witness his T-shirts sporting the face of musician Prince above the word Ton. His book of humorous stories, drawings, and notions, Staff Pick is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.
A native of Philadelphia, now residing in Doylestown, Mr. McPhillips was living in Lambertville when he first came to Princeton to work for McCarter. Before that, his two-hour daily train commute to Manhattan for his job at Comedy Central was compensated for by his love of the work there, creating ads for shows such as South Park and The Daily Show.
While working at McCarter and cutting across the Princeton University campus on his way into town, the artist began painting local scenes. “The architecture in Princeton is incredible,” says Mr. McPhillips who has also painted scenes of Bucks County and Doylestown.
Since leaving McCarter, the artist has been focusing full-time on painting and on producing his own greeting cards, T-shirts, bags and other items. He’s received several local commissions for his work and hopes that the exhibition at Jane will result in more exposure. The exhibition will feature some 15 oil paintings, influenced by the Pennsylvania Impressionists and the early 20th century Tonalists, ranging from the elegantly moody to the wildly humorous.
When Jane, which also sells vintage Princeton ephemera, was thinking about upcoming graduation and reunions, the idea of an exhibition was born. Mr. McPhillips’s scenes of Princeton were an obvious fit. The exhibition will include Princeton paintings, giclee prints and greeting cards, T-shirts, and bag designs as well as Art Mini’s (bagged, tagged hand-painted mini paintings of famous works throughout art history).
The James McPhillips Museum and Gift Shop Show at Jane, 7 Spring Street, opens Saturday, May 18 and continues through June 14 with a second Meet and Greet with the artist on Saturday June 1, noon to 4 p.m.
For more information, visit: www.jaymcphillips.com.
“If Van Gogh were living today, he’d be painting digitally,” says Princeton resident Eva Flatscher. Instead of the traditional tools of paint, brush, and canvas, Ms. Flatscher uses light, a grip pen (the equivalent of a mouse in stick form), and a graphic tablet. “I paint live. It’s not prepared and its projected on stage against a white background with dancers.”
To paint live means that this artist’s work is very much of the moment. It’s a digital performance that, according to Wilfried Seipel, is nonetheless rooted in the Dutch masters of the 17th century. “Johannes Vermeer knew, that with the first stroke of the brush a painting is ready and readable for its entirety,” says Mr. Seipel in the introduction to Ms. Flatscher’s newly published book LightPainting (Long Pipe, LLC., New York, N.Y.).
Mr. Seipel is the executive director of the Museum of History of Art (KHM) in Vienna, a major cultural institution with a rich collection of Dutch Masters such as Bruegel and Rembrandt. His high praise is enormously gratifying to the artist and his is not the only voice expressing delight in Ms. Flatscher’s unique approach. Michael Birkmeyer, director of the School of Ballet at the Vienna State Opera, who worked with Ms. Flatscher in Austria, speaks of her as a “pioneer” who makes music visible. Her performances are an “avant garde combination of painting, dance, and music.” The Princeton resident has performed with jazz and classical musicians here in the United States and throughout Europe, to which she returns with some frequency.
Her live performances have taken place in the Jewish Museum in Vienna; the Festival Hall, St.Pölten, Austria; the Schauspielhaus, Bremen, Germany; and the Musikvereinssaal, Vienna.
Ms. Flatscher’s work “transforms traditional understanding of fine art and takes it to an entirely new level,” says Mr. Seipel. “At times, Eva Flatscher’s productions recall the Traumpfade, the ‘song lines’ or ‘dream lines’ of the Australian aborigines, who by dancing and singing seek to decipher the mystery of the cosmos, of ‘dreamtime,’ in a pictorial realization of the past.”
As a record of her work, Ms. Flatscher created 40 pieces, not on canvas, but on satin. These are the paintings in LightPainting, and that will be presented in a upcoming exhibition that is still in the beginning stages of preparation.
Created during live performances in venues spanning the globe, the paintings were meticulously finished in the artist’s Princeton studio.
Originally from Vienna, Ms. Flatscher and her husband, journalist Alfons A. Flatscher, moved to Princeton just under three years ago and have made their home on Birch Avenue close to the center of town. The artist, who describes herself as a city-lover, says the move was prompted by a desire for a comfortable town with good schools that would be a safe environment for the couple’s two children: David (17) and Alina (15), now a junior and freshman at Princeton High School.
“There is a high quality of life here in Princeton, especially for a painter,” says Ms. Flatscher who describes the move as having been surprisingly easy. She describes the people here as “warm and welcoming.”
LightPainting by Eva Flatscher is available online via Amazon.com. For more information, visit: www.evaflatscher.com/book.
If April is Communiversity, May is Morven. Coming on the heels of last weekend’s town-wide festival, this weekend’s “Morven in May: A Celebration of Art, Craft, and Garden” promises a more leisurely pace but just as much interest for those inclined toward the arts, crafts, and gardens.
The event starts on Friday evening, with a special preview reception, and runs through Sunday, May 5.
The museum has selected 20 professional artists and artisans from throughout the northeast region of the U.S. to present their works in glass, ceramics, decorative and wearable fiber, mixed media, jewelry, furniture, and fine art.
Included among them is the Japanese-born ceramicist Hideaki Miyamura, now based in New Hampshire. His work is compelling and exquisite. To look is to want to touch.
Mr. Miyamura’s fine porcelain is much-collected and can be found in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, New York’s Museum of Arts and Design, Newark Museum of Art, Sackler Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, and Wheaton College, Newton, Mass. He is revered by serious private collectors.
Known for his experimentation with traditional Chinese glazing techniques and for recreating the Yohen Tenmoku glaze of the Sung Dynasty, the artist’s interest in glazes stems from ancient Chinese tea bowls with such ancient and rare glazes that no one has been able to reproduce. He set out to create new iridescent glazes that convey inner feelings of purity and peacefulness.
During a five year apprenticeship in Japan, he developed new glazes, mainly Tenmoku, those dark brown/black glazes with a varied iridescent quality, and “oil spotting.” His research involved over 10,000 test pieces. Ultimately, the hard work paid off. Mr. Miyamura discovered the iridescent glaze on a black background, his original contribution to the art of Yohen Tenmoku.
“Over the last few years”, says Mr. Miyamura on his web site, “I have experimented to discover new glazes which combine crystallization with iridescence. I have researched crystal glaze techniques in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China. In the long history of crystal glazes, I could find no iridescent crystal glaze.”
The artist’s search, which he describes as a “ten-year long passion” for an “iridescent crystal glaze which has never been made anywhere, at anytime in history,” yielded his newest glaze: the Yohen Crystal Glaze, inspired by the “stars glistening in a night sky.” According to Mr. Miyamura, it’s “the most complicated glaze formula and firing process that I have ever done.” A fitting culmination to a lifelong passion.
While glazes may be at the heart of Mr. Miyamura’s work, form is not forgotten. He creates his own interpretations of the classical. “I am very conscious of the ways in which a form interacts with the space around it,” he says. “I want my pieces to feel in balance with their environment, to feel as though they co-exist naturally with their surroundings. When I create my pieces, I hope to make people feel good when they look at my work. My goal is to try and evoke a feeling of inner peace and tranquility.” To see more of Mr. Miyamura’s work, visit: www.miyamurastudio.com.
Along with Mr. Miyamura’s stunning work, this year’s event includes: beaded sculpture by Tristyn Albright; wearable fiber arts by Tess Colburn and Gary Temple, and Pamela Bracci; baskets by Martha Dreswick; ceramics by Katherine Hackl and Phoebe Wiley; jewelry by Sheila Fernekes, Beth Judge, and Sue Sachs; furniture from John Landis and Brad Smith; glass artistry by Karen Caldwell and Nick Leonoff; fine art paintings by Meg Michael; turned wood by James Ruocco; decorative fiber arts by Erin Wilson; clothing designs by Tess Crowninshield; and floorcloths by Elie Wyeth. Their hand-crafted offerings will be displayed for sale in gallery-style booths, under a grand tent on the museum’s Great Lawn.
Heirloom Plant Sale
For many locals, the arts and crafts sale is the highlight of Morven in May. For others, it’s the museum’s heirloom plant sale, which has grown in the last few years to become a stellar source of unusual heirloom perennials and annuals.
For the general public, the sale is open Saturday May 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday May 5, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Friends of Morven get to preview the plant sale on Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. Not only do Friends get first pick, they receive a 10 percent discount, which might well make it worth your while to join the group. The individual $40 level gives you free access to the museum, discounts, and other benefits. For more information, including a list of all the plants available, visit www.morven.org.
Garden enthusiasts will find this sale a must for heirloom vegetables and classic herbs. You will also find perennials, biennials, peonies and tree peonies, shrubs and roses, climbers and cascading plants, as well as plants suitable for containers. The online listing is peppered with timely tips (like mulching with straw instead of that smelly black stuff).
On Saturday at 2 p.m., botanical artist Wendy Hollander, will speak about the edible plants that grow in fields, forests, even your own backyard. Ms. Hollander is the illustrator and co-author, with Dina Falconi, of Foraging and Feasting, a combination field guide and cookbook that will be published next month. She will draw upon her “food for free” enthusiasm for forgotten skills that once allowed many to recognize edible plants in the wild and bring them in the kitchen to create delicious and nutritious meals. Admission to her talk is free with art show admission.
Before you leave the garden, however, look out for Artful Trellises in the Garden, featuring freestanding trellises designed and built by local community groups, individuals, and businesses. These will be going up and planted with annual vines over the summer at Morven.
Sponsors for this year’s event, proceeds from which help fund the museum’s collections, exhibitions, historic gardens, and educational programs, include: Rago Arts and Auction Center; Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty; PNC Wealth Management; Saul Ewing, LLC; Munich RE; Masterminds Agency; Contemporary Graphics; and Jack Morton Exhibits.
“Morven in May: A Celebration of Art, Craft and Garden” at the Morven Museum and Garden, 55 Stockton Street, starts Friday, May 3, and runs through Sunday, May 5. Preview Garden Party tickets are available by calling the museum at (609) 924-8144 extension 113.
Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday public sale are available at the door and are $10 per person ($8 for Friends of Morven). No ticket is necessary for the plant sale. For more information and to purchase tickets: visit: www.morven.org.
For Preview Garden Party tickets, call (609) 924-8144, ext. 113.
God really is in the details in an exhibition of icons currently on view at the Erdman Center Gallery in Princeton.
The icons are by master iconographers and advanced apprentices of the Prosopon School of Iconology, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
The exhibition, “Locating Prosopon: On the Path Towards the Divine Countenance” features 20 sacred images including several by the school’s founder Vladislav Andrejev.
Born in 1938 in St. Petersburg, Mr. Andrejev studied illustration and fine art at a time when sacred art was forbidden in the Soviet Union. Iconography had flourished in Russia, reaching its apex during the post-Byzantine era. Mr. Andrejev’s interest in the centuries old tradition of icon and fresco painting led him to independent study with a monk who was an iconographer in his native land. He came to the United States in 1980.
In 1988, he founded the Prosopon School of Iconology. Icon is a Greek word meaning “image” and prosopon, also Greek, can be translated as “face,” but was adopted by early Christian theologians to denote the “Countenance of God.”
Mr. Andrejev’s sons, Dmitri Andrejev and Nikita Andrejev, also teach at the school which boasts an estimated 4,000 students since its inception.
Prosopon iconographers work in the traditional medium of egg tempera and gold leaf on gessoed wood panels. The work is distinctive for sparkling, painterly highlights and luminous, textured surfaces achieved through careful layering of multiple transparent glazes of paint.
Exhibition curator and iconographer Maureen McCormick describes the technique as challenging. “It takes years just to become adept at using these materials,” she says. Egg tempera is an emulsion made from raw egg yolks and water mixed with white wine as a stabilizer (vinegar was used until it was discovered that wine works equally well and smells sweeter). Natural dyes like indigo and carmine, and pigments such as lapis lazuli, malachite, and azurite are used. “My favorite is one we don’t use any more,” comments Ms. McCormick of a pigment called Indian Yellow, the dried urine of oxen fed with mango leaves. Many are expensive. A tablespoon of the best lapis from Afghanistan, for example, can cost around $200. “It’s hard to make something ugly when working with such beautiful materials,” says Ms. McCormick who became intrigued by the medium when she attended a Prosopon workshop 17 years ago. At first, she intended it as a hobby, but soon volunteered as workshop coordinator. Some thirty students from across the U.S. and abroad are expected to sign up for the six-day, $700-workshop at Trinity Church, in Princeton, this July 7 to July 12.
Besides teaching at the school since 2005 and organizing exhibitions since 2007, Ms. McCormick is Iconographer in Residence at Trinity Church, where she produces commissioned icons and offers classes and lectures to parishioners and church and community groups in central New Jersey. Until recently, she was the chief registrar and manager of collections at Princeton University Art Museum.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a recent icon by Mr. Andrejev and never before exhibited. Also on display are depictions of the Archangel Barachiel, 2013, by the hands of Vladislav Andrejev and Dmitri Andreyev; and Christ Emmanuel, 2011, by the hand of Vladislav Andrejev.
Subjects include: Saints Maximos the Confessor, Gregory Palamas and Symeon the New Theologian; Jacob Wrestling the Angel of God; Archangel Raphael with Tobias; Angel Hesychia; as well as depictions of Christ and Christ as a child with his mother. Several icons of the same subject by different iconographer are grouped together for comparison.
Other iconographers with work in the exhibition include: Dmitri Berestova; Lynette Hull, Nikita Andrejev, Susan von Medicus; Dmitri Andreyev; Mary Kay LaPlante; Kristina Sadley; Tatiana Berestova.
You won’t find names of the artists writ large by these works of art. That’s not the tradition with sacred art. The preferred terminology is “by the hand of.” Ms. McCormick explains: “This is because we don’t feel that we are the author of these images but rather the means through which they are made incarnate.”
In orthodox Christianity, icons convey “the Gospel in light and color.” They are described as being “written” rather than “painted.” As letters of the alphabet combine to form meaning, so the colors, compositional elements, and conventions of depiction are thought to create “a symbolic language capable of compressing complex Biblical narratives and theological truths into images that can be comprehended in an instant,” explains the exhibition curator.
Most viewers will be able to recognize familiar saints, angels and, sometimes, stories. And if you are puzzled, there is usually a name written on the icon. For anyone who may feel uneasy about the “graven image’ aspect of icons, Ms. McCormick explains her own rule of thumb for distinguishing icons from idolatry. “The difference, as I see it, is that if it points you toward God, it is not an idol, but if it points toward yourself or something else, then it is an idol,” she says. “As human beings we relate to faces but how to represent the godhead is still a disputed issue.”
In 726, the Byzantine Emperor Leo III declared icons to be idolatrous on the basis of the Second Commandment, which prohibits the making of “graven images.” “People lived and died over this issue,” said Ms. McCormick. The Second Council of Nicea in 787, also known as the Seventh Ecumenical Council, was convened specifically to address the problem.
With degrees in fine art and printmaking, Ms. McCormick thinks of herself as a creative artist. In response to those who would describe her as a “copyist,” she says: “Would you call Glenn Gould a copyist?”
Although icons are created according to a strict canon, unlike the art of the west, which places a high value on artistic originality and innovation, there are, says Ms. McCormick, opportunities for the artist to be creative within the canon and Prosopon School icons are as unique as they are similar. “As an artist working in sacred art, one is bound by many constraints, and yet in that there is infinite freedom,” she says.
Like a poet working within the form of a sonnet, one has to observe rules of prosody. Poetry is a great analogy, she believes, because like a poem, an icon compresses. “An icon can teach you volumes like that! she says with a snap of the fingers. “It bypasses the rational mind.”
As in any atelier, the school has developed new conventions for depicting garments, in wool and silk, and even, as was a recent challenge to students, painting a garment made of light.
“The act of writing, an icon for me, is an act of gratitude. We live in the world surrounded by beauty and there is a transfiguring of these raw materials in offering them back to God. This is an act of devotion,” says Ms. McCormick, “something for me to do with my hands while I pray.”
“Locating Prosopon: On the Path Towards the Divine Countenance” continues through June 30 in the Erdman Gallery at the Princeton Theological Seminary, 20 Library Place. Admission is free and the event open to the public, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1:30 to 9 p.m. For more information, call (609) 462-0975, or visit: www.prosoponschool.org.
As a boy growing up in Bridgewater, New Jersey, David Wiesner was known to his classmates as “the kid who could draw.” In high school, he made silent movies and drew wordless comic books. Then he went on to hone his talent at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he not only committed his future to art but furthered a passion for visual narrative.
Ultimately, Mr. Wiesner found his niche in picture books. The exhibition, “World Within Worlds,” currently on view in the Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School, features rarely-seen drawings, preliminary sketches, and finished works from the artist’s personal collection as well as an animated video of his book Tuesday, with music by Paul McCartney.
“The idea is the process, or writing and drawing, and how the stories come together. I’m including pieces I drew during high school and earlier, to show how visual themes reoccur in my work,” he says.
A public reception for the artist will take place on Thursday, April 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the gallery.
As part of Princeton Day School’s annual “Imagine the Possibilities” program, Mr. Wiesner will spend time with PDS students on Thursday, April 18, and Friday, April 19, sharing his ideas and discussing his process. The “Imagine” series is made possible through the John D. Wallace, Jr. ’78 Memorial Guest Artist Series Fund, which has been bringing authors, illustrators, and poets to the school since 1996. The artist will spend time with students at all grade levels.
According to his website, Mr. Wiesner generally “spends several years creating each new book. Many versions are sketched and revised until the story line flows smoothly and each image works the way he wants it to.” To explore imagined creatures like flying pigs and standing lizards, he creates three-dimensional models so that he can become better acquainted with the objects of his fancy. This is the sort of attention to detail that lends authenticity to his drawings.
“By his redeployment of everyday items — a fish, a string bean, an amphibian — Wiesner suggests that fantastical things are happening all around us, that our dreams are closer than we think — whether those dreams belong to humans, clouds, or frogs,” said Andrew Leonard in the New York Times Book Review.
The author/illustrator is one of the best-loved and most highly acclaimed picture book creators in the world. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have won numerous awards in the United States and abroad.
Three of his picture books have become classics and each is a Caldecott Medal winner: Tuesday in 1992, The Three Pigs in 2002, and Flotsam in 2007. He’s one of only two artists to win three medals in the award’s long history.
“We are overjoyed to be exhibiting David Wiesner’s personal works at the Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery,”’ said Gallery Director Jody Erdman. “Sometimes spending several years on one book, with at least a half a dozen galleys and sketches, the detail, and beauty of his
illustrations is both intricate and remarkable,” said Ms. Erdman.
But it’s not Mr. Wiesner’s images alone that inspire the smiles. He brings a new wildness to the familiar. Take his telling of The Three Little Pigs. In Wiesner’s version of this oft-told tale, the big bad wolf blows the three pigs into a whole new imaginative landscape, where they wander — and fly — through other stories, encountering the likes of a dragon and a cat with a fiddle along the way. The story engages grownups as much as kids.
In Flotsam, Mr. Wiesner taps into grownup’s memories of days at the beach, rummaging among the treasures of say, the New Jersey Shore. But in Wiesner’s story, the kid on the beach, a bright, science-minded boy, finds a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera with secrets to share … and to keep.
“World Within Worlds,” runs through April 24 in the Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School, 650 Great Road. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., when school is in session; and by appointment on weekends. For more information, call (609) 924-6700 or visit: www.pds.org. For more information on the artist, visit: www.davidwiesner.com.
I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure I was the only person on the packed-to-the-gills Manhattan-bound Jersey Transit train who was reading a 57-year-old paperback edition of J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories. Aside from the fact that I still spend time rereading Salinger’s fiction while still foolishly looking forward to that legendary trove of unpublished work (hey, it’s only been, what, 47 years?), my choice made perfect sense. We were on our way to a night at the Algonquin, the crown jewel of New York’s literary hotels, where Salinger and his then-editor at the New Yorker, Gus Lobrano, often met to talk about these selfsame stories, all but one of which first appeared in the pages of that magazine. And when the reclusive author made forays into the city from his New Hampshire sanctuary, he would revisit the hotel for lunch with his New Yorker pals William Shawn and Lillian Ross. If you have any doubt about the symbiotic relationship between the magazine and the hotel, take a look at the decor on the hall outside your room and you’ll see framed New Yorker covers from the golden years and framed vintage New Yorker cartoons.
In the time-honored tradition of hotel guests everywhere, I came home with some souvenirs, but you can be sure that this is the only hotel that provides a blue cocktail napkin bearing a quote from playwright George S. Kaufman (“When I was born I owed twelve dollars”); a note pad illustrated with an Al Hirschfeld caricature of the Round Table crowd; a postcard of Natalie Ascendios’s painting of Dorothy Parker and “The Vicious Circle”; and a handsome postcard portrait of Matilda, the hotel’s resident feline. And if you are someone who writes every single day of your life, how can you resist bringing home a card for maid service that says Quiet, Please. Writing the Great American Novel on one side and Service Please. Went Out to Find Some New Ideas on the other.
I almost forgot to mention the Algonquin stationery I made off with. As if anyone could forget the item that at the moment most famously represents this hotel’s intimate connection with literary greatness. You read about it just the other day in the March 27 New York Times article, “Faulkner’s Past Isn’t Dead Yet: You Can Buy It at Auction,” which reports that the sheet of Algonquin stationery on which William Faulkner wrote the first draft of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech is among the pieces of his undead past expected to fetch between $500,000 and $1 million in a June auction at Sotheby’s.
We’d always heard that the rooms at the Algonquin were, uh, well, you know, small, and Room 512 was no exception. The fact is, however, that small, cleverly set-up rooms are preferable to big impersonal spaces if you’ve come to the Algonquin hoping to spend quality time in the proximity of the luminaries who have stayed, are staying, and will always stay there. Speaking of Faulkner, you’re also that much closer to the author of Light in August, particularly if you’ve read of his lifelong devotion to the hotel and of the binges he slept off in one or another of its 170-plus rooms. According to various biographies, including Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect, the novelist was in New York during the fall of 1937 trying to finish The Wild Palms when the woman he’d been having an affair with abandoned him to marry a concert pianist. As a result, he went on “an enormous bender” and “passed out in his hotel room at the Algonquin, with his bare back against a radiator steam pipe, and suffered third degree burns.” The wound was slow to heal, had to be skin-grafted, and made it impossible for him to sit and type for more than an hour at a time. On his next visit to New York, Faulkner resumed seeing the woman for liasions at the Algonquin, where they apparently resumed the affair.
You don’t need a plaque on the wall saying Faulkner made love or suffered or wrote in Room 512. What matters is knowing that by reading, sleeping, passing time in his favorite hotel you’re entering into a literary continuum housed by the Algonquin, and should you doubt it, the image of Matilda, the most recent incarnation of the resident Algonquin cat, is posted on the door to your room with a quote from a typically scathing Dorothy Parker review: “This is not a novel that should be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” The room service breakfast menu contains this choice tidbit from the inimitable Mrs. Parker: “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” Walk into the corridor to take the elevator, and you see that every door has its quote from this or that Round Table wit, along with the aforementioned framed reproductions of New Yorker covers and cartoons.
Until last Saturday the only time I’d visited the Algonquin was many years ago for an interview with veteran newspaperman Harry Hansen. All I have to jog my memory of that occasion is a Chicago Tribune article (“A Young Hoosier Author Looks at Writing Game”) that begins, “A studious young man of 20 was talking quietly about the way books get written, in a room where, 36 years before, F. Scott Fitzgerald had aired similar views.” Hansen sets the stage (“It was the cocktail hour at the Algonquin”), noting that “a member of the junior class at Indiana University” was getting “his first glimpse of the red carpet and stained walls that had seen hundred of authors lift a drink in times past.” That was it. I remember neither the carpet nor the walls nor anything else, but my wife does, having met with authors there a number of times over the years in her capacity as an editor at Rutgers University Press. This was her first visit since the recent refurbishment, and though the infrastructure is the same (dark oak woodwork, grandfather clock, black cast-iron stairs), she misses the overstuffed chairs and sofas and other pieces of atmosphere-saturated furniture that made it possible to at least imagine being in touch with authors and editors from the hotel’s Round Table prime. She also misses the miniature four-poster bed near the front of the lobby occupied by the resident Matilda, as all female cats since the 1930s were named; it was Hamlet for the males, thanks to John Barrymore, who named the first stray to cross the threshold.
Regardless of the updated furnishings, the Algonquin aura was all around us when we had breakfast in the lobby with the Ascendios painting of Dorothy Parker and the gang at the Round Table for company (including an upside-down Matilda), not to mention thoughtful service from the Algonquin staff. The legend continued in the Blue Bar with its framed Hirschfeld caricatures of show biz and literary stars, among them Princeton’s Bebe Neuwirth in Chicago.
Lost Time on 35th
That time and memory would figure so prominently during our day in the city was inevitable, and not merely because the first place we went after arriving at Penn Station was to the Morgan exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way, the first volume of In Search of Lost Time. The Morgan also happens to be in close proximity to the church where we were married a longlost time ago, with a statue of St. Francis looking on, and one of the running jokes of our marriage is that neither of us is ever quite sure which street it’s located on. I said I was sure it was 32nd Street, my wife doubted it, and as we came to within a block of the Morgan, she pointed toward a nondescript structure halfway down 35th Street. Can’t be, said I. Is, said she. We checked, and what do you know, she was right; she usually is.
Proust and Degas
Like our room at the Algonquin, the Swann’s Way exhibit, on view through April 28, was small but striking, a Parisian extension of the continuum marked by a quote from Abbé Mugnier: “Proust? No one is less dead than he is.” We followed the course of his writing life, from ideas scribbled in the tall, slender, elegant cahiers, then the larger student exercise tablets, then the school exam book where he jotted down subjects for Swann’s Way and sketched a bird at the top of one page and at the bottom a slender female presumed to be Albertine. By the time we got to the actual correction-ravaged typescripts, we could see the Abbé’s meaning in the work’s labyrinthine additions and vehement deletions.
On the Morgan’s second floor there’s a fascinating exhibit on view through May 13, focused on a single work by Degas, Miss Lala at the Cirque Fernando (1879), his only painting with a circus setting.
A Salinger Moment
In the Jersey Transit waiting room at Penn Station and on the train home, I started reading J.D. Salinger’s “For Esmé with Love and Squalor” in my Signet paperback of Nine Stories. The pages are yellowed, faded, and fragrant with the cozy scent of the same cheap paper comicbooks were made of, and it’s pleasant to think back on our night at the Algonquin and to imagine that Salinger and Gus Lobrano met there to talk about this story that never fails to charm and move me and that apparently had the same effect on the many readers who wrote him letters about it after its appearance in the April 8, 1950 New Yorker. We were on the train home when I finished “For Esmé.” As I looked up from the book, I saw a little girl effortlessly forming words on the fluid surface of the iPad being held by her mother, who smiled to see me admiring the beauty of a child seemingly writing on air, and when the mother saw my book, she smiled again, a little sadly, as if she knew the story I’d just read, with its flawless, subtly felt picture of two children, a brother and sister, in a dark time. Or maybe she was only smiling at the oddity of anyone in 2013 reading a 47-year-old paperback. Any way you looked at it, it was a Salinger moment.
Art critic Burton Wasserman once described Mel Leipzig as “New Jersey’s greatest living painter.” Ask anyone at Mercer County Community College (MCCC), where he’s taught since 1968, and you’ll find equally enthusiastic accolades.
Being painted by the professor of Fine Arts and Art History is regarded as an enormous privilege. He’s considered a gem among the faculty.
After teaching there for 45 years, Mr. Leipzig has announced his retirement. “I just want to paint,” says the artist, who turns 78 next month.
“Professor Leipzig has been a treasured member of the Mercer faculty,” says College President Patricia C. Donohue. “Not only has he taught countless numbers of artists who have gone on to professional careers in the arts and to teaching the arts, he’s chosen to make College faculty, staff, and students part of the canvas of his life.”
To say that Mr. Leipzig paints portraits of family and friends hardly does justice to his work or its subjects. This is a unique kind of portraiture, one that captures not only individuals but their entire milieu. He records his subjects relaxing at home, or working in their offices.
His paintings are direct and unsentimental. His peers are the realist figure painters Edward Hopper, Ben Shahn, Alex Katz, Larry Rivers, and Philip Pearlstein.
Mr. Leipzig uses acrylic paints, which are brighter and more intense in color than oils, with a palette that he reduced to four colors: dark blue, dark red, yellow, and white in 1990. His paintings, which are done directly from life, have been described as being “filled with vitality and joy of life.”
Asked what keeps his work fresh over a 60-year career, and the painter replies that he has “an epiphany every ten years or so” that usually brings fresh vigor to his work. In 2008, he changed his approach to working directly with paint on canvas. His recent work is some of his best, he says, singling out a five panel painting of Michael Graves. He’s been doing a lot of diptychs and triptychs recently, painting in situ and working fast, he says.
Although his style has often been described as “photorealist,” Mr. Leipzig doesn’t work from photographs. These days he foregoes even using sketches drawn from life that he would once take back to his studio. In fact, these days, Mr. Leipzig says that his studio is more likely to be his subjects’ homes, where he’ll set up for as long as it takes to complete a painting.
“I studied with abstract painters, so I do a lot of things realists typically don’t,” says the artist, noting that he occasionally distorts perspective and uses white paint that most realists shy away from. “I’m a realist in subject matter, I want to do paintings that are scenes of everyday life; the personal environment reveals a lot about an individual.” Focus on context began, he says, in 1991 with paintings of his son and daughter. “My son’s room was covered in graffiti and my daughters in posters.”
“Great figure painting is always integrated into its background,” says Mr. Leipzig, describing his favorites Manet and Degas as “masters of integrating the figure skillfully into context.”
In recent years, Mr. Leipzig has included his MCCC colleagues as subjects, featuring images of people in myriad roles in more than 100 portraits of college faculty and staff.
Take for instance his portrait of Frank Benowitz and Doug Fee of the Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management program at MCCC. They are shown in the space that is so important to them.
“While best known for his painting, he was also MCCC’s specialist in teaching art history,” comments Ms. Donohue. “We will always remember his passion for his teaching and for bringing out the best in his students; everyone here is proud and deeply grateful that Mel chose Mercer as the destination for his professional life,” she says.
With a scholarship to study art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Mr. Leipzig went on to study art at The Cooper Union, at Yale University, and Pratt Institute. He’s had numerous one man shows at museums and institutions and has been featured at the Henoch Gallery in New York City.
His works are part of the permanent collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Yale Art Gallery, the National Academy Museum, Cooper Hewitt Museum, New Jersey State Museum, and the White House Collection in Washington, D.C. In 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Design in New York.
Before he leaves the college, Mr. Leipzig will present two lectures and slide presentations. The first, “Portrait of a College,” takes place at noon, April 10, in the College’s Kerney Hall at 102 North Broad Street in Trenton.
In the second, “A Lifetime Devoted to Painting,” the artist will review his 60-year career from his high school years to the present day, at noon, April 23, in the Communications Building, CM107, on the West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. This will be his last lecture before retirement.
Both lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call (609) 570-3324 or visit www.mccc.edu/events.