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This story by Pat Summers was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on
August 12, 1998. All rights reserved.
A Transcendent Quartet
They’re dramatically different, these 43 works by four
artists with vastly different approaches. They’re also complementary.
They talk to and of one another, and visitors to the Gallery at
Squibb can sense the relatedness and interplay among them, all
the Surface," each in its maker’s own way.
Entering the gallery, you first encounter the world of Margaret
Johnson, a display of spare, suggestive, and elegant prints and
paper. Between two panels, a photograph by Susan Hockaday is visible,
hinting at what can be seen in the area beyond that’s devoted to her
work. Peripherally, you’re aware of vibrant reds, then multi-hues,
vivid and deep — Trudy Kraft’s mixed media works and Joy Saville’s
fabric constructions fill the left side of the gallery.
The four artists, all area residents with international reputations,
need no further introduction. In four different ways, their approaches
enrich and deepen what is ostensibly two-dimensional art, offering
the look of layers, color-studded depths, movements of hues, internal
and external interactions.
Incorporating mylar, graphite, handmade paper, mesh, and strands of
wire, Margaret Johnson’s 13 works convey an austere mysticism
in part by her years of living and making art in Japan. Intellectually
curious and artistically inventive, Johnson keeps pushing the envelope
in her genre.
While making paper, she wondered what effect embedding wire strands
might have: would they rust, and if so, how? Two results: her
with Rust, I and II." Listening to music, she sketched what became
intaglio-relief prints, "Of Music in the Night" —
Presto" and "Allegretto." These are landscapes, diagrams
of sound, whose color choices further add to the mood. Her punningly
titled print, "Story Upon Story," looks at once medieval and
distantly related to Paul Klee — but wholly Johnsonian. Its unique
shading adds to the mystical, seemingly-symbolic work, in which each
window is treated differently, and the overall effect is both
From her Egyptian travels, Johnson shows two intaglio relief prints,
"From Under the Shifting Sands" and "Preserved
both haunting and suggestive, with her own incised hieroglyphic marks
and a treatment in keeping with the subjects. Artists may eschew
titles or labor to craft them. Johnson is in the second school, and
her intaglio, relief, and embossed work called "Quiet
is apt for both for that piece and this selection of her art.
"Photographs" seems an inadequate word to describe Susan
eight pieces on view at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Five of these large
pictures — also printed by the artist — involve and
the "North Aspy," a river near her summer home in Nova Scotia.
Hockaday, whose art output has also included papermaking and
in the last few years has developed an unusual photographic method
that made casualties of at least one camera and much film. An artist
keenly aware of natural phenomena — from seaweed and mussel shells
to light through water, pine cones and seed pods — she collects
natural elements that interest her, ultimately arranging and
them in double exposures. This results in a layered, and often lovely,
look, that can both capture and disguise its components. The resulting
ambiguity makes suggestive and sometimes mysterious images.
Currently also represented by one of her "Aspy" series in
the Fleisher Art Memorial Challenge show in Philadelphia, Hockaday’s
name was omitted from the list of area artists the Fleisher provided
for U.S. 1’s July 15 story on the exhibition.
Hockaday’s two "Towpath" pictures show blades of grass and
leaves in greens and browns, with a white rectangle that could be
wet paper, or a submerged drawing, among the layers of impressions.
One includes pronounced dark strokes, calligraphy-like, on white,
among the other elements.
Trudy Kraft’s mixed-media works — 14, in various sizes —
the surface through intricate patterns of luscious colors and shapes
that suggest depth and texture. Sometimes one shade, such as purple,
prevails overall; or a piece might present a controlled wild riot
of color and design that practically moves. "Gaia’s Gift"
resembles a fireworks-finale effect, with sprinkles and squiggles
and fizzes and loops and tails that look like all-over explosions
Using watercolors, sumi ink, gouache, and frisket, Kraft
achieves an amazing level of detail. For instance, in part of one
picture: a series of small orange circles, studded with four or five
yellow dots, on top of black and purple color bands. She uses colored
dots and stripes and dry-brush looks; she outlines forms with
touches of color — for instance, fire-engine red defining teal
shapes, with bright yellow dots further embellishing the reddish
Even fragments of some pieces would make rich fabric or wallpaper.
In many cases, their titles match the pictures’ exotic effect:
I and II" (with brilliant, almost fluorescent greens on a ground
of reds, yellows, blues); "Kicho," a vertical piece with
and palm suggestions, but such otherworldly flowers and palms;
Duro," with a spinning, sun-like shape and rays at upper left,
and growing elements in the diagonal corner.
As Kraft’s work is densely ornamental and curvilinear, Joy Saville’s
eight fabric constructions — think of these as paintings in cloth
— are geometric, hard-edged, but multi-textured, and vivid in
quite another way. "Opus in Red," the wall-sized beacon
visible from the gallery’s entrance, announces Saville’s presence
in the gallery’s fourth quadrangle. A wash of diamond-shaped, sewn
pieces of varied materials, this piece is simply spectacular.
Three of Saville’s eight works, the smaller ones, are framed in light
wood. This serves effectively to define, for instance,
composed completely of pale tones — ivories, whites, beiges —
interrupted by a red, a green and a blue color triangle, for an
landscape in fabric. "Orange Study I" shows the coming and
going and contrasts of orange on a continuum of eight horizontal bands
of pieced fabric. In "Canyon Falls," gorgeous green tones
cascade in a diagonal movement of color shapes.
To "paint" a picture with both color and texture, Saville
uses pieces of cotton, linen, silk, and wool, all worked in a unique
way that resembles quilting only in as much as that, too, involves
Pamela V. Sherin, curator of the Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb,
says she originally she planned to pair the artists differently. Of
her ultimate arrangement, she says now, "Till I got it up in the
gallery, I didn’t know how much I loved it."
Altogether, this exhibition invites — and deserves —
viewing. To begin with, the gallery space is striking, even
It demands works that live up to the setting — works that are
large in nature and in effect (and affect) — that have much to
say. In "Transcending the Surface," a quartet of highly
area artists offers dialogue and cross-conversations, contrasts and
comparisons, subtle elegance and joie de vivre.
— Pat Summers
The Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Route 206, Princeton,
Featuring works by Susan Hockaday, Margaret K. Johnson, Trudy Kraft,
and Joy Saville. Gallery is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Thursday to 7 p.m.; and weekends, 1 to 5 p.m. To September 7.
609-799-6706. "Six New Jersey Artists," with Malcolm Bray,
Dan Fernandez, Milt Liebson, Fran McIlvain, Doug McIlvain, and
van Dommelen. To September 18. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Thursday,
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to
children’s folklore and fantasy gallery features works by Russian-born
illustrator Gennady Spirin. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 11
a.m. to 6 p.m.
609-452-7800. "In Focus: India-Nepal," a photo exhibition
by Bill Taylor, well known for his architectural photography, and
president of Taylor Photo. The show features scenic and portrait
taken on a recent trip to India and Nepal. To August 29.
Nassau, 609-921-6748. "Practical Photographers: The Rose Family
Studio," images from the collection of 10,000 glass plate
The Rose Studio was founded in Princeton in 1873 by Royal Hill Rose
whose commercial photography studio stood on Nassau Street through
three generations of family owners, until its closing in 1951. To
December 30. Free. Museum hours are Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
609-497-7330. Works by European and East European artists. Friday
and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and by
Portraits and figure studies in water color and pastel by Carol Scott.
Part of sales benefits the Medical Center. To September 17. Open daily
from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
609-497-4192. Show of work by the Senior Center watercolor class.
To September 10. Open daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"Twentieth-Century Paintings & Prints," featuring Japanese
printmakers Rieko Fujinami and Kenichi Tanaka. To August 15.
West: Recent Acquisitions of American Photography," featuring
20 photographs by 15 artists. Featured photographers include Barbara
Bosworth, Peter de Lory, Wanda Hammerback, Mark Klett, and Richard
Misrach. To September 6. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m.; Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Tours every Saturday at 2 p.m.
The permanent collection features a strong representation of Western
European paintings, old master prints, and original photographs.
of Chinese, Pre-Columbian Mayan, and African art are considered among
the museum’s most impressive.
"Sing Whatever is Well Made," an exhibition of Irish poetry,
celebrating the library’s acquisition of the Leonard Milberg ’53
of Irish Poetry, comprising more than 1,000 printed works by 50 poets.
To September 20.
609-397-2226. Photographs of San Francisco and Paris by Joyce Gulick
and vintage photographs of Lambertville in the 1960s by her father,
the late Frank Gulick. To August 22.
609-397-2300. Featured from the collection, Marc Chagall color
including the suite of 12 Jerusalem Windows and original pencil-signed
posters. Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Street, New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "Victor Vasarely,
and Op Art" and "Arthur Podolini-Volkman, Artist and
Both shows to September 27. $2 donation. To September 27.
& Heritage, River Road, Piscataway, 732-745-3030. "New Jersey
Shipwreck and U.S. Lifesaving Service Artifacts," a maritime
exhibit. To December 31.
732-524-6957. Leni Paquet-Morante, an exhibition of drawings by the
Trenton artist. To September 9. By appointment.
732-257-4340. An outdoor contemporary sculpture gallery. Hours are
Friday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment.
early August. Call for alternate directions.
"Eclectica," the debut group show of the gallery recently
relocated from Chester, with painters May Bender, Karen Bokert, Lois
Brion, Cathy Lang, Aleksandra Nowak, and photographers John
Craig, Laurel Hills, and Gerard Scaglione. To August 30.
"Historic Trains," from steam engines to diesel locomotives,
are featured in photographs, models, and memorabilia. To August 30.
Museum is open Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.
Oil paintings by Etzir Desir, an artist born in Haiti, whose work
evokes the colorful spirit of the islands. Also Zsolnay porcelain.
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays noon to 3 p.m.
Murals by gallery owner Eric Gibbons. To August 21. Summer hours are
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
908-725-2110. Work by teachers and students in classes, workshops,
and the Roving Press programs. To August 15. Gallery hours are
to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.
"Four Stars Rising," a group show by four recent graduates
of College of New Jersey art department: Amanda Eckert, Domenick
Kelly Anne Seymour, and F. Paul Shields Jr. To August 30.
1860 House, 124 Montgomery Road, 609-921-3272. An exhibit exploring
themes of human rights, oppression, and freedom, to benefit the Tibet
Fund and the Siddhartha School Project in India. To August 30. By
The show is part of an international summertime awareness campaign
with 3,000 artists in 45 countries joining with support of Richard
Gere, Elie Wiesel, Harry Wu, and Diane Feinstein. The group of 30
participating artists, who donate a portion of their sales to the
Tibet charities, include sacred sand mandala painter Tenzin Dhodak;
painters Sabrina Gaydos, Jacob Landau, Chuma Okoli, Maria Owens, and
Seow-Chu See; and sculptors Gyuri Hollosy, Peter Chinni, and Colleen
609-394-9436. "City to Farm," an exhibition celebrating the
`Plein Air’ or Fresh Air Art Form featuring works by artists,
designers, and gardeners. To August 16. Gallery hours are Tuesday
to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.
Trenton, 609-394-4095. Group exhibition featuring Sal Panasci, Helen
Post, and Patricia Rosenblad. To August 21.
TAWA Invitational members’ shows. Museum hours are Tuesday to
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.
"Heroes and Monuments," recent portrait sculptures in bronze
and iron by Gyuri Hollosy. The exhibit is dedicated to the World
for Tibet, an international campaign to promote peace and freedom.
To September 3. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4
609-292-6464. "Abstraction from the Collection," features
works from the permanent collection by Clyfford Still, Arshile Gorky,
Vincent Pepi, Francis Picabia, Helen Soreff, Joseph Stella and others.
To August 30.
Also, "Building the Collections: Recent Acquisitions in the Fine
and Decorative Arts," works from the Zoltan Buki Fine Arts
by Tova Beck-Friedman, Victor Davson, Marion Held, Hughie Lee-Smith,
James Seawright, Mel Leipzig and others, to September 6.
On extended view: "Dinosaur Turnpike: Treks through New Jersey’s
Piedmont"; "Amber: The Legendary Resin"; "The Moon:
Fact & Fiction". Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m.
to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Free.
Line Road, 609-252-6275. "Transcending the Surface: Layers,
and Textures" featuring the work of Susan Hockaday, photography,
Margaret Kennard Johnson, prints, Trudy Kraft, painting, and Joy
fabric construction. To September 7. Gallery hours are Monday to
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday to 7 p.m.; weekends & holidays, 1 to 5
609-895-7307. "Innovative Imprints and Impressions," an
of electroetch prints by Marion Behr and mesh prints by Margaret
Johnson. Behr is a professional printmaker and co-inventor of an
safe method of etching copper and zinc plates. Johnson studied with
Josef Albers at Black Mountain College and is co-author of
Prints Today." To October 23. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
215-340-9800. "The Passionate Eye: Paintings by European and
Masters from Bucks County Collections," with works by Balthus,
Bonnard, Cassatt, Cezanne, Gaugin, Hopper, Picasso, and Monet; to
August 23. Also, "Contemporary Woodworkers," a Bucks County
invitational show of works by Jeffrey Greene, Mira Nakashima-Yarnall,
Phillip Lloyd Powell, Mark Sfirri, and Robert Charles Whitley II,
to September 13.
Also featured, "Creative Bucks County: A Celebration of Art and
Artists," an interactive exhibit honoring 12 maverick Bucks County
figures that include Oscar Hammerstein, Pearl Buck, and Dorothy
Hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays. Adults $5; students $1.50; children
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