January 10, 2018

Two New Exhibits at Arts Council of Princeton

“IT’S A DOG’S LIFE”: This painting by Charles David Viera is part of his “Narrative Paintings” exhibition, on view in the Arts Council of Princeton’s Lower Level Gallery through February 3. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 13 from 3-5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton presents two new exhibitions, “Heroes of Comic Art” and “Narrative Paintings.” Both will have opening receptions on Saturday, January 13 from 3-5 p.m.

“Heroes of Comic Art” features original published artworks by Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, Curt Swan, John Buscema, Jack Davis, Steve Ditko, and other artists that created many of the comic heroes in today’s books and films. It will be on view in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery through March 10. The works are from the collection of Charles David Viera.

Each artist in this exhibition has made major contributions to the history of the comic books as we know them. In 1940, Jack Kirby and writer-editor Joe Simon created the superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. During the 1960s, Kirby and Stan Lee co-created the Fantastic Four, the Mighty Thor, the X-Men and the Incredible Hulk among other characters for Marvel. Steve Ditko also co-created Spider-Man. Previously, DC Comics’ Carmine Infantino had introduced the Flash to readers, which sparked the renewed interest in superhero comics. This allowed artists like Joe Kubert (Hawkman) and Gil Kane (Green Lantern) to follow suit and reintroduce other characters, initiating what historians consider to be the Silver Age of Comics.

“At some point I became aware that I could own the original drawings used in the publication of the comics that educated and entertained me through my formative years,” Charles David Viera says of his collection, “Partly for their artistic value and partly for nostalgia purposes, I am presenting this exhibition of the true comic book heroes, the artists themselves.”

The timing of this exhibition coincides with the February 2018 release of Black Panther, a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The character debuted in 1966 in an issue of Marvel’s Fantastic Four comic book series. Coincidently, Viera’s collection includes two pages from Jack Kirby’s Black Panther.

An exhibition of Viera’s own original work, “Narrative Paintings,” will simultaneously be displayed in the Arts Council’s Lower Level Gallery through February 3. Viera’s narrative works have rarely been displayed as a group and are the focus of this exhibition which coincides with a special class, Narrative Painting: Making a Statement, which will be offered at the Arts Council on Saturday, January 20 from 1-2:30 p.m.

Viera’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, the Nassau County Museum, Adam Gimbel Gallery, and the First Street Gallery in New York, as well as locally at the Artists’ Gallery and the Riverrun Gallery in Lambertville. Viera has taught painting and drawing to students of all levels and ages, including graduate students at Long Island University, inmates at the Brooklyn House of Detention, and children at the Montclair and Hunterdon Art Museums. He currently teaches beginner to advanced painting for adult students at the Arts Council of Princeton and for Hunterdon County Parks and Recreation.

“We are very excited to have Charles David Viera’s work and collection here at the Arts Council,” said Artistic Director Maria Evans, “We’re thrilled to bring this exhibition, that combines modern and classical influences, to our Taplin Gallery for the community to enjoy.”

Arts Council of Princeton is located at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. For more information, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org or call (609) 924-8777.