Art in Town

Art in the Workplace

Campus Arts

Art by the River

Area Museums

Art In Trenton

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This article by F. R. Rivera was prepared for the November 27, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Art Review: `Cezanne in Focus’

Henry Pearlman was born in Brooklyn in 1895. He grew

up on New York’s Lower East Side where he took a job for the United

Cork Company for $7 a week. Pearlman worked hard and before long he

had founded his own business, Eastern Cold Storage.

Success came fast along with an appetite for fine art. As a collector

he was self-taught. He started with the old masters, but by the 1940s

he had acquired his first Soutine. Cezanne, however, was his first

love, his obsession. By the time he finished buying, he had acquired

33 Cezannes that spanned the artist’s entire career.

When Pearlman’s collection was first shown in Brooklyn in 1974, he

had already begun thinking of a custodial home for it. Princeton University

Art Museum’s then-director Peter Bunnell suggested that the show come

to Princeton; and it made its Princeton debut in 1976. Happily for

the Princeton community, the collection earned its official long-term

loan status in 1980

The full collection numbers about 70 pieces; most are not light sensitive

and may be seen year round, unlike the present selection of 16 watercolors,

which has only been shown three times in the last 30 years. In the

summer of 2001, the curatorial staff decided to document this extraordinary

piece of the larger collection. The result may be seen in a remarkable

catalogue that accompanies the show.

The Watercolors

Certain of Cezanne’s contemporaries have suggested that

the master of Aix under-valued his watercolors. It is clear that what

he valued above all else was his engagement with nature; and the medium

was less important. The portable watercolors were, perhaps, an ideal

arena in which to work out his researches, but they hold their own

with his oils, even his larger, more ambitious ones.

What comes through in the watercolors is Cezanne’s keen observation

of nature and his struggle to realize its essence. As the poet Rilke

has remarked, "Cezanne took his religion from nature."

Watercolor behaves like air except in Cezanne. What Cezanne does with

it is model building. The least Cubist of all nature’s features are

the skies. Gertrude Stein wrote, however, in a 1938 monograph on Picasso

that Cezanne comes just short of cutting the sky into cubes. Art critic

Clement Greenberg wrote that it was the "Cubists’ luck" to

have Cezanne as a predecessor.

The watercolors, no less than Cezanne’s great oils, reveal a harmonic,

descriptive geometry. Painter Robert Delaunay noted in one of his

sketchbooks that "the watercolors of Cezanne announce cubism."

Whether the Master of Aix valued these watercolors or not was immaterial

to a new generation of artists. Delaunay’s statement was prophetic.

To commemorate Cezanne’s death (October 22, 1906), the gallery Bernheim-Jeune

opened an exhibition of 79 watercolors. The year was 1907, a pivotal

year in the history of modern art; and the show was in a pivotal place,

Paris. These watercolors were seen by — among others — a young

painter called Picasso, who remarked, "As soon as Cezanne makes

his first stroke, the picture is already there."

Little patches of raw canvas are common in Cezanne’s oils; in his

watercolors these areas grow larger and more ubiquitous. They are

framed by end points of color that allow these areas to acquire a

density uncharacteristic of watercolor. Picasso, with his uncanny

ability to drink in what he saw, found in Cezanne’s watercolors a

purposeful misalignment of drawn and painted contours that surfaces

in Picasso’s own "Study for Bathers" in 1907. Picasso, however,

uses water-soluble sepia ink rather than the emerald greens and Prussian

blues of Cezanne.

In Cezanne’s watercolors short bunches of parallel pencil strokes

chase patches of color, but seldom contain them; they are like two

planar screens out of register. Although these planes tilt and bend,

they are spirited along by a system of vectors.

Cezanne had his first show at the Ambroise Vollard Gallery in Paris

in 1895, the same year Pearlman was born, but his watercolors did

not have wide exposure until after his death. Now dead, Cezanne’s

mantle was there for the taking. "He, Cezanne, was my one and

only master," Picasso told the photographer Brassai. "It was

the same for all of us — he was like our father."

The same Cezanne who so prefigured the future — for Picasso, Leger,

Braque, and others — was so rooted in the past that he went to

the Louvre not only to study the masters, but to copy them as well,

right up to the end of his life.

Cezanne abhorred the decorative in painting and he wanted to make

of Impressionism something solid and enduring, "like the art of

the museums." He abstracted from nature, but by no measure did

his work approach pure abstraction. As commentators have said, it

is this door that he left open for the Cubists.

In the Cubism of Picasso and Braque, color is all but banished for

the neutrality of grays and buff, along with copious amounts of black

graphite. As John Rewald has noted in the catalogue raisonne, only

15 percent of all of Cezanne’s watercolors contain no graphite and,

of course, there is plenty of color.

An exceptional Cezanne, unlike the other watercolors, can be seen

in this show. Entitled "Roofs Seen through an Open Window,"

this piece is comprised mostly of graphite, with only minimal washes

of muted color. It could be argued that it is a classical archetype

for subsequent collages by Picasso and Braque. Here Cezanne takes

the basic Cubist tenet of averaging middle ground and foreground into

one shallow compression of space. This piece, intended to be viewed

horizontally, appears vertically because it is on the other side of

"Trees Forming an Arch," a vertical piece.

In her excellent catalogue commentary on the piece, graduate student

Heather Hole compares it to another version of "Roofs Seen Through

an Open Window" in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She notes the

absence of foliage in the Princeton piece; and she writes that Cezanne

has included instead a series of "sensuous arabesques of curving

scrollwork." These scrolls provide a secondary frame, echoing

the frame of the open window, creating what Hole calls "frontal

compartmentalization."

The juxtaposition of the scrolls (railing) and the oblique lines of

the rooftops results in a leaner, far more architectonic Cezanne than

we normally see. Its affinities with a collage by Picasso, "Bottle

on a Table," dated 1912, are remarkable. The two works are almost

identical in size — about 18 x 24 inches.

There has been so much written about Cezanne from the 1870s to the

present that it must be a daunting exercise to ferret out a new insight,

yet along with Hole, graduate students Scott Allan, Peter Barberie,

William McManus, Mark D. Mitchell, and Marta Weiss do a creditable

job. Also included in the catalogue are an introductory essay by Matthew

Simms, with accompanying remarks by the museum’s associate curator

of prints and drawings, Laura Giles, and the Philadelphia Museum’s

conservator of works on paper, Faith Zieske.

Giles speculates that Cezanne might have been irked by all this attention.

(He was, after all, sometimes called the "Hermit of Aix.")

Late in his career, besieged by admiring artists and critics, he told

an associate that all he wanted was to be left alone so he could spend

his last years painting under his beloved Provencal sun.

— F. R. Rivera

Cezanne in Focus: Watercolors from the Henry and Rose Pearlman

Collection , Princeton University Art Museum, 609-258-3788.

The exhibition of 16 rarely-seen works on paper continues to January

12. Free.

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Highlights tours every Saturday at 2 p.m.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

CG Gallery Ltd, 10 Chambers Street, 609-683-1988. "New

Visions" group show by area and international artists features

Pedro Rodriguez. Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.

to 5:30 p.m., and by appointment. To November 30.

Chapin School, 4101 Princeton Pike, 609-924-7206. Exhibition

of decorative and functional weavings by Princeton artist Armando

Sosa. A native of Salcaja, Guatemala, Sosa weaves his dreams on handmade

looms creating scenes of soccer games, bullfights, and kite flying.

Open by appointment during school hours; to December 20.

Historical Society of Princeton, Bainbridge House, 158

Nassau Street, 609-921-6748. "From Tow Path to Bike Path: Princeton

and the Delaware and Raritan Canal," an exhibition on the history

and creation of the canal, the life of death of its workers, and recent

environmental and preservation issues. Open Tuesday to Sunday, noon

to 4 p.m.; to March.

SweeTree Gallery, 286 Alexander Street, 609-934-8665.

"One World, One Love," a vibrant show of art, crafts, and

jewelry featuring work by two area artists: ceramics by Erica Barton

Haba and glass art by Ed Steckley. Also on exhibit, hand-painted Haitian

silk, paintings, ceramics, and other arts from the Caribbean. Open

Fridays and Saturdays, 1 to 6 p.m., and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. To December

24.

Triumph Brewing Company, 138 Nassau Street, 609-924-7855.

Jorge Armenteros, owner of Little Taste of Cuba, introduces "Artista

Cuba," an exhibition of contemporary Cuban folk art presented

on the walls of Triumph. Show is on view through December.

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Art in the Workplace

Doral Forrestal, 100 College Road East, Plainsboro, 609-452-7800.

Watercolorists Unlimited group show through January. members include

Donna Senopoulos, Betty Donovan, Miriam Friend, Harriet Kaftanic,

Virginia Hopkins, and Joan Quackenbush. To January 5.

Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Route 206, Lawrenceville,

609-252-6275. "Up the River, Now" an exhibition of works by

contemporary painters in the Delaware Valley area. Artists include

Elizabeth Augenblick, Joseph Barrett, Robert Beck, Malcolm Bray, Tom

Chesar, Anne Cooper Dobbins, Suzanne Douglass, Evelyn Faherty, and

James Feehan. Weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends and holidays, 1

to 5 p.m. To December 1.

Area Galleries

Artful Deposit Gallery, 1 Church Street, Allentown, 609-259-3234.

New works by Bill Giacalone. Open Wednesday through Sunday and evenings

by appointment. To December 1.

Artful Deposit Gallery, 201 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown,

609-298-6970. Group show by new gallery artists Eugene Maziarz, Joe

Kassa, and Ed DeWitt. Thursday to Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m.. Sunday, 1

to 4. To December 15.

Holroyd Gallery, 35 West Broad Street, Hopewell, 609-466-0556.

In the Broad Street Antiques Center, the oil, pastel, and watercolor

paintings of Olga Holroyd. Wednesday to Sunday, 11 to 5.

Hopewell Frame Shop, 24 West Broad Street, Hopewell, 609-466-0817.

"Sky Flowers," paintings by Hartini Gibson. Open Tuesday to

Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To December

24.

Montgomery Center for the Arts, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road, 609-921-3272. Juried show selected by Sam Hunter, professor

emeritus, Princeton University. Award winners are Gilda Aronovic,

Carol Hanson, Anita Benarde, and Connie Gray. In the Upstairs Gallery,

"Oil and Water," watercolors and oils by Diana Wilkoc Patton

and Larraine C. Williams. Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday

1 to 4 p.m.

Morpeth Gallery, 43 West Broad Street, Hopewell, 609-333-9393.

"Recent Paintings" by Stephen Kennedy. Apprenticed to internationally-known

Nelson Shanks during the 1970s, the Fort Washington artist is best

known for his commissioned portraits. Gallery is open Wednesday to

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To November 30.

Printmaking Council of New Jersey, 440 River Road, North

Branch Station, 908-725-2110. Annual juried members show featuring

award winners Erena Roe, Gary Briechle, and Liz Mitchell. Juror was

Barbara Madsen of Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts. Gallery

hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1

to 4 p.m. To January 18.

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Campus Arts

Milberg Gallery, Firestone Library, Princeton University,

609-258-3184. "Unseen Hands: Women Printers, Binders, and Book

Designers," a Milberg Gallery exhibition curated by Rebecca Warren

Davidson. To March 30.

Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson

School, Robertson Hall, 609-258-1651. "After September 11,"

an exhibition that explores how the work of area artists has been

influenced by the events surrounding September 11, curated by Kate

Somers. Artists represented: Robert Beck, Eleanor Burnette, Thom Cooney

Crawford, Alan Goldstein, Margaret Kennard Johnson, Amy Kosh, Ken

McIndoe, Barbara Osterman, Margaret Rosen, Ludvic Saleh, Sheba Sharrow,

and Madelaine Shellaby. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To

December 1.

College of New Jersey, Art Gallery, Holman Hall, Ewing,

609-771-2198. "A Painting for Over the Sofa (that isn’t really

a painting)," an invitational exhibition curated by the Bernice

Steinbaum Gallery. Artists represented by paintings and inflatable

sofas include Louise Bourgeois, Rico Gatson, Hung Lui, Pepon Osorio,

Miriam Schapiro, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Deborah Willis. Monday

to Friday, noon to 3 p.m.; Thursdays 7 to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to

3 p.m. To December 11.

Gallery at Mercer County College, Communications Center,

609-586-4800, ext. 3589. "Line of Inquiry: Artworks that celebrate

the element of Line." Invited artists are Joy Kreves, Elizabeth

McCue, Helen Mirkil, Paul Mordetsky, and Harry Naar. Artists talks

December 4, at 7 p.m., and December 11, at noon. Tuesday to Thursday,

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesdays 6 to 8 p.m.; Thursdays 7 to 9 p.m. To

December 19.

Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts, Lawrenceville,

609-620-6026. In the Hutchins Gallery, "David FeBland: Paintings."

Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to noon; and 1 to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday

and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. To December 10.

Princeton Theological Seminary, Erdman Hall Gallery, 20

Library Place, 609-497-7990. "Mountain Tops," an exhibition

of miniature landscape sculptures of natural stones and sand by William

Brower, poet, sculptor, and seminary faculty member emeritus. Monday

to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 to 8 p.m. To November

30.

Rider University Art Gallery, Student Center, Lawrenceville,

609-895-5589. "This and That: The Art of Michael Ramus," a

retrospective show featuring the paintings, drawings, and illustrations

of the Princeton-based artist. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday,

11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. To December 17.

Zimmerli Art Museum, George and Hamilton streets, New

Brunswick, 732-932-7237. Exhibitions include: "Paul Signac: A

Collection of Watercolors and Drawings"; to January 19. "Russian

Cover Design, 1920s to 1930s: The Graphic Face of the Post-Revolutionary

and Stalinist Periods"; to March 30. "Sonia Delaunay: La Moderne,"

celebrating the accomplishments of the key figure (1885 to 1979) in

the development of 20th-century abstraction; to December 28.

Also "Yurii Dyshlenko: Abstraction, Modernity, and Mass Media;"

to January 12. "The National Association of Women Artists Collection

at Rutgers," to December 8. "Ben Shahn: The Rilke Portfolio,"

to December 31. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to

4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Spotlight tours every

Sunday at 2 and 3 p.m. Admission $3; under 18 free; and free on the

first Sundays.

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Art by the River

Artsbridge, Canal Studios, 243 North Union Street, Lambertville,

609-773-0881. November group show by Robert Allen, Connie Campbell,

Sheila Coutin, Wendy Gordon, Daniele Newbold, Jeane Nielsen, Nancy

Shelly, and Sandra Young. Open Thursday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

To December 1.

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-4588.

Shared show of works by artists Peter Petraglia and Leonard Restiva

featuring an eclectic blend of realistic, impressionistic, and abstract

paintings. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m.

to 6 p.m. To December 1.

Atelier Gallery, 108 Harrison Street, Frenchtown, 908-996-9992.

"Another Woman’s Dream," a group show of works by Stacie Speer

Scott, Kim Robertson, and Angela Del Vecchio. Open Thursday to Sunday,

noon to 5 p.m. To December 2.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-0804.

Annual holiday show featuring paintings by Katharine Steele Renninger

and watercolors by Barbara Watts. Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

To January 12.

Greene and Greene Gallery, 32 Bridge Street, Lambertville,

609-397-7774. Holiday jewelry show. Open Sunday to Friday, 11 a.m.

to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To December 31.

Louisa Melrose Gallery, 41 Bridge Street, Frenchtown,

908-996-1470. Invitational show including Ed Baumlin, Ed Bronstein,

W. Carl Burger, Christian Corey, Nessa Grainger, Carol Ross, Rhoda

Yanow, and Frank Zuccarelli. Open Wednesday & Thursday, 11 a.m. to

5 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

To January 30.

Studio 233, 233 North Union Street, Lambertville, 609-397-0818.

Recent paintings by Ellie Wyeth Fox and ceramic work by resident artist

Jim Webb. Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5.

To December 22.

Travis Gallery, 6089 Route 202, New Hope, 215-794-3903.

"A Celebration: Our Land and Its Bounty," a one-man show of

watercolors by Don Patterson. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to

5 p.m., Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. To November 30.

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Area Museums

American Hungarian Foundation Museum, 300 Somerset Street,

New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "From the Old World to the New World,"

recent additions to the collection featuring works by nine Hungarian

Americans who emigrated to the U.S. between 1920 and 1957. Artists

are Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Bertha and Elena De Hellenbranth, Sandor Sugor,

Emil Kelemen, Willy Pogany, Tibor Gergely, Zoltan Poharnok, and Vincent

Korda. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and

Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $5 donation. To April, 2003.

Cornelius Low House Museum, 1225 River Road, Piscataway,

732-745-4177. "Uncommon Clay: New Jersey’s Architectural Terra

Cotta Industry," an exhibition of artifacts and written and oral

histories of New Jersey’s once booming architectural ceramics industry.

Open Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

On view to May 30, 2003.

East Jersey Olde Towne Village, 1050 River Road, Piscataway,

732-745-3030. National touring exhibit, "Preserving Memory: America’s

Monumental Legacy," telling the stories behind America’s outdoor

sculptures.

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park, 609-989-3632.

"Robert Sakson: Alone at Last," a solo show by Trenton’s gifted

watercolor artist, part of the Trenton art scene for over 40 years.

Sakson is a member of the major watercolor societies; his work is

in the permanent collections of Princeton’s Firestone Library, the

Ellarslie, Shearson-Lehman, Avon Corporation, AT&T, and others. Tuesday

through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To January

5.

Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown,

215-340-9800. "Earth, River, and Light: Masterworks of Pennsylvania

Impressionism," an exhibition of notable and rarely exhibited

Pennsylvania Impressionist works. The touring show originates at the

Michener and is accompanied by a new, comprehensive study of Pennsylvania

Impressionism by Brian Peterson; to December 29. $6 adult; $3 child.

Also "The Berenstain Bears Celebrate: The Art of Stan and Jan

Berenstain," the storybook authors’ first museum retrospective,

organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum and curated by David Leopold.

The show coincides with the publication of "Down a Sunny Dirt

Road: An Autobiography" by Random House; to January 12. $10 adult;

$7 child.

Also "Retreating to Ideal Environments," works from the New

Hope colony by Daniel Garber, Fern Coppedge, Robert Spencer, and others;

to February 2. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday

and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings to 9 p.m.

New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, College Farm Road and

Route 1, North Brunswick, 732-249-2077. "Barnscapes: The Changing

Face of Agriculture in New Jersey," photographs of New Jersey

barns and farmlands, with 42 images by New Jersey landscape photographer

Louise Rosskam. On view to January 17. $4 adults, $2 children.

New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton,

609-292-6464. "100 New Jersey Artists Make Prints," an exhibition

celebrating 15 years of the New Jersey Print and Paper fellows program

at the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper (RCIPP). Judith

Brodsky, Rutgers professor emerita, is founding director of RCIPP

which is currently directed by Lynne Allen. Museum hours are Tuesday

to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To January

5.

Also "Cultures in Competition: Indians and Europeans in Colonial

New Jersey." Show traces the impact of European settlement on

the native Indians’ way of life after 1600.

On extended view: "Art by African-Americans: A Selection

from the Collection;" "New Jersey’s Native Americans: The

Archaeological Record;" "Delaware Indians of New Jersey;"

"The Sisler Collection of North American Mammals;" "Of

Rock and Fire;" "Neptune’s Architects;" "The Modernists;"

"New Jersey Ceramics, Silver, Glass and Iron;" "Historical

Archaeology of Colonial New Jersey;" "Washington Crossing

the Delaware."

New Jersey State Museum, Department of State, 225

West State Street, Trenton, 609-292-6464. "A Decade of Collecting:

Works from the Museum’s Archaeological, Ethnographic, and Natural

History Collections." Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.,

to January 5, 2003.

Top Of Page
Art In Trenton

Capital Health System, Mercer Campus, 446 Bellevue Avenue,

Trenton, 609-394-4023. In the main lobby gallery, watercolors, photographs,

and hand-painted prints by Deborah Paglione. Always open. To November

29.

Extension Gallery, 60 Sculptors Way, Mercerville, 609-890-7777.

Bronze sculptures by LaRue Harding. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday,

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To December 12.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Fall/Winter Exhibition. In the Museum, new work by glass

artist Dale Chihuly, to April 6, 2003. In the Domestic Arts Building,

work by winners of 2002 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary

Sculpture Award, to January 10, 2003. Regular park admission $4 to

$10.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., year round; Sunday

is Members Day. Adult admission $4 Tuesday through Thursday; $7 Friday

and Saturday; and $10 Sunday. Memberships start at $55.


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