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This review by Frank Rivera was prepared for the November 10,
2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Art Review: Euro-American Exchange
The show "West to Wesselmann: American Drawings and Watercolors" now
at the Princeton University Art Museum includes 77 representative
works on paper drawn from the museum’s permanent collection. Organized
by Professor John Wilmerding and Laura M. Giles, curator of prints and
drawings, the work is handsomely installed. There is a cohesive feel
and singularity sought but rarely achieved in survey exhibitions.
A fully-illustrated 386-page book, which traces the history of
American art at Princeton, accompanies the exhibition. This show
affords the visitor a tidy overview of the 1,300 drawings and
watercolors in the collection.
A subtext of the exhibition, which begins with the allegorical
romanticism of Benjamin West (1738-1820), who lived and worked in
England, is the Euro-American exchange. The show concludes with a
drawing by contemporary pop artist Tom Wesselmann, who began
exhibiting abroad early in his career.
Even the leading exponent of the ultra-American Hudson River School,
English-born Thomas Cole (1801-1848), returned to Europe for three
years while still in his formative 20s. While there he assimilated the
work of Turner. One of Cole’s sketchbooks is included in this show,
along with sketchbooks by Thomas Nast and William Glackens.
Also included are the famous expatriates, Mary Cassatt (1845-1926) and
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), two artists who stayed in Europe. The
show illustrates the way in which native-born artists were able to
hold onto their American identity while absorbing the latest
revolutions in European art.
Charles Herbert Moore delivers fastidious pen work in a drawing
entitled "Pine Tree" (1868). The exhibition documents late 19th
century tendencies – like the rugged chiaroscuro of Philadelphian
Thomas Eakins and the dissolving contours of American impressionism,
as practiced by Bostonian Lillian Westcott Hale.
Westcott Hale achieved such weightless silky grays that it prompted
fellow artist William Paxton to say that she appeared to be drawing
with butterfly wings. In her drawing of a young woman, entitled
"Floretta," the sitter is positioned in front of a floral-patterned
wall. The model handles a string of beads that echo her luxuriant
Parlor room subject matter faded with the emergence of the Ash Can
School (active from about 1908 through the early 1920s), and was
replaced with the rough and tumble subjects of urban landscape and
working-class life. Led by the influential teacher and painter Robert
Henri, former newspaper illustrators Everett Shinn, George Luks, John
Sloan, and William Glackens formed the group known as the Ash Can
School. Henri is represented here by a wonderful blue ink wash drawing
of a seated woman.
For those artists who had not yet traveled to Europe, Europe came to
New York in fast-breaking installments, beginning in 1908 when
American photographer Alfred Stieglitz opened his gallery at 291 Fifth
Avenue. The gallery became ground zero for the Stieglitz circle, which
generated a hotbed of ideas shared by such painters as Charles Demuth,
Arthur Dove, John Marin, and Georgia O’Keeffe, later Stieglitz’s wife.
Although the museum’s prized O’Keeffe was made years after the gallery
closed its doors, the exquisite abstraction posing as an orchid is a
testament to that fertile period of cross-pollination. Although his
work is not in this show, Stieglitz’s influence, like that of Henri,
is keenly felt.
By the time of Stieglitz’s death in 1946, European styles had adopted
a distinctly American vernacular due in large part to the emigres
coming from Paris to New York at the time of World War II. This
fitting reversal of the previous century, when the shuttle was from
New York to Paris, would establish New York as the undisputed art
capital of the world. In this show the period is ably represented by
single works of Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Motherwell.
There are of course many omissions, but the quality of the Gorky and
the Pollock are impressive.
The untitled drawing by Pollock, a kind of double-headed bull hovering
like some menacing weather balloon, is thought to have been inspired
by Picasso’s preparatory drawings for his famous "Guernica" and seen
by Pollock in the Valentine Gallery in New York in 1939. This powerful
drawing is a unique example of his image-based expressionism.
Work from the late 1950s and 1960s that was not available for
inclusion in this exhibition is almost more noticeable than the
inclusions. On view are works by Claes Oldenberg, Wayne Thiebaud, Lee
Bontecou, Eric Fischl, Alex Katz and, of course, Tom Wesselmann. None
of these works is particularly distinguished. One assumes that over
time the gaps will fill in as purchase funds become available and
bequests are made. In the meantime we are grateful for what we have.
West to Wesselman, American drawings and watercolors in the Princeton
University Art Museum, through January 9; Tuesday through Saturday, 10
a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 609-258-1860 or visit
Two Perspectives on American Drawings and Watercolors discussion and
reception. Thursday, November 11, 4:30 p.m. With Kathleen A. Foster,
Robert L. McNeil Jr. Curator of American Art, Philadelphia Museum of
Art, and Harriet K. Stratis, Head of Paper Conservation, the Art
Institute of Chicago. McCormick 101.
Themes and Variations in American Drawings and Watercolors, Talk with
Laura M. Giles, curator of prints and drawings, Princeton University
Art Museum. Friday, November 12, 12:30 p.m.
Musick from the Age of Copley, West, and Stuart with Eugene Roan,
harpsichord and John Burkhalter, English flutes. Sunday, November 14,
6 p.m. Reception to follow. Reservations: 609 258-3043 or
CG Gallery, 10 Chambers Street, Princeton, 609-683-1988. Exhibit by
Shelly Lependorf and Stan Shire. Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6
p.m. Through November 30.
Dynasty Arts, 20 Nassau Street, Unit F, 609-688-9388. The recently
opened Chinese antique and art gallery features a silk-screen series,
"Last Dynasty," oil and watercolor, and limited edition prints. Artist
and owner, Lu Zuogeng, combines Chinese brushwork with Western
watercolor. Also, Chinese antique furniture of Ming and Qing
dynasties. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to
Historical Society of Princeton, Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street,
609-921-6748. "Princeton Recollects" exhibition was organized to
celebrate the accomplishments of the Princeton History Project. The
exhibition includes original letters, documents, and artifacts. Free.
Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
Marsha Child Contemporary, 220 Alexander Street, 609-497-7330. Group
exhibition of art by new artists from The Netherlands, Argentina, and
the United States. Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and
by appointment. Through November 30.
Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, Princeton, 609-924-0103.
"Images," an exhibit of photographs and drawings by Janet C.
Eschenlauer. Through December 5. Weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and
2 to 4 p.m.; Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Princeton Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street, 609-921-0100. An exhibit
of abstract acrylic painting inspired by flowers and gardens by
Princeton resident Gilda K. Aronovic. Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to
5 p.m.; Friday until 3 p.m.; and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Closed
Saturdays. Through December 5.
Small World Coffee, 14 Witherspoon Street, 609-924-4377. Exhibit of
oil and acrylic canvasses created by Princeton resident Jannick
Wildberg. Through December 7.
The Williams Gallery, 6 Olden Lane, 609-921-1142. Exhibit features the
works of a selection of artists from Japan, Australia, Germany, The
Netherlands, and the United States. Through November 27.
The Artful Deposit Gallery, 201 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown,
609-298-6970. "Against the Grain," an exhibit of woodcuts and
paintings by Thomas Kelly. Gallery open Tuesday through Sunday. Show
runs to November 21.
Babbet Gallery, 120 Georges Road, New Brunswick, 732-828-5150. Group
exhibition featuring art work by the Princeton Artists Alliance in
honor of the gallery’s 20th anniversary. The alliance was founded in
1989 by artists seeking opportunities to exhibit as a group and to
offer educational events to the community. Artists with works on
exhibit include Joanne Augustine, Hetty Baiz, Anita Benarde, Clem
Fiori, Carol Hanson, Shellie Jacobson, Margaret K. Johnson, Nancy Lee
Kern, Marsha Levin-Roger, Lore Lindenfeld, Elizabeth L. Lombardi, Pat
Martin, Charles McVicker, Lucy Graves McVicker, Ruane Miller, Harry I.
Naar, Barbara Osterman, Tina Salvesen, Madelaine Shellaby, Marie
Sturken, and William Vandever. Through November 19.
Firehouse Gallery, 8 Walnut Street, Bordentown, 609-298-3742. A show
of artwork by gallery owner Eric Gibbons, and his great aunt, Anita
Gish. Both have collections throughout the world. Through December 18
to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the exhibition.
Also, "Wizard of Oz Exhibition," a show of photographic monoprints
created by Eric Gibbons from the movie. Each image is unique,
un-repeatable, and have a dreamlike quality. On view through December
Gallery 14, 14 Mercer Street, Hopewell, 609-333-8511. "The Large
Print," a contemporary photography show by the members of Gallery 14.
Photographs are no less than 16 by 20 and some reach 50 inches.
Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and by
appointment. Exhibit through November 14.
Gold Medal Impressions, 43 Princeton Hightstown Road, West Windsor,
609-606-9001. Newly-expanded gallery of photographer Richard Druckman,
a freelance photographer for Associated Press. Six rooms and over 250
photographs of professional football, basketball, hockey, tennis, and
Olympic events. Photographs for sale are matted and framed and in a
variety of sizes and prices. Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gourgaud Gallery, Cranbury Town Hall, Schoolhouse Lane, Cranbury,
609-395-0900. Exhibition of mixed media entitled "Eclectic
Expressions" by Allentown artist Susan Winter. Works include oil,
pastel, and watercolor renditions of local scenes and people. Through
November 28, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sundays noon to 3
Grounds For Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, 609-586-0616.
Sculptures by David Paul Bacharach and Vesna Yankovich. Bacharach’s
‘The Philadelphia Quilt Series,’ features woven and folded steel and
copper wall hangings. Yankovich created baskets woven on a fabric
loom, then sewn together. Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. In
the Toad Hall Shop and Gallery through December 31.
Also, a seasonal outdoor sculpture exhibition featuring the ISC
Outstanding Student Achievement Awards Exhibition. "Twisted Logic" by
Patrick Dougherty, "Earthwords and Geoglyphs" by Australian artist
Andrew Rogers. Through May 1, 2005.
Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lily Street, Lambertville,
609-397-0275. Opening reception for the first solo exhibition for
artist Bette Baer, "Diversity: Recent Paintings and Ceramic Art,"
revealing her whimsical works of paint and clay. Through November 20.
La Principessa Ristorante, Route 27, Kingston Mall, 609-921-3043. "La
Dolce Vita," a collection of original photographs from Italia by Ed
Tseng. The exhibition remains on permanent display. Restaurant hours
are Tuesday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.;
and Sunday, 4:30 to 9 p.m.
Montgomery Center for the Arts, 124 Montgomery Road, Skillman,
609-921-3272. Annual juried show of works of art in oil, acrylic,
origami, watercolors, pastels, collages, prints, photographs, and wood
sculpture. Curated by Frances Chaves, the executive director. Through
Morpeth Gallery, 43 West Broad Street, Hopewell, 609-333-9393. Group
exhibition featuring recent paintings and still life curated by
Lafuente in conjunction with her solo exhibition. Tuesday through
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Through November 20.
Plainsboro Public Library, 641 Plainsboro Road, 609-275-2897. Murali
Harathi of Plainsboro presents a watercolor exhibit, "Pushing Past:
The Royal Palaces of Hyderabad." Harathi, an architect and
construction engineer, renders architectural details of buildings
amidst people and seasons. Art chat on Sunday, November 21, 3 p.m.
Through December 5. Monday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday to
Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Printmaking Council of New Jersey, 440 River Road, North Branch
Station, 908-725-2110. Annual juried show featuring prints by 31
members. Artworks include woodcuts, etchings, digital prints, and
handmade paper. Through January 22, 2005. Sale through December 18.
Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Princeton University Art Museum, 609-258-3788. The museum’s galleries
are open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5
p.m. Tours are given on Saturdays at 2 p.m.
"Bringing into Being: Materials and Techniques in American Prints 1950
to 2000," an exhibition of 30 prints by American artists. Through
January 23, 2005.
"Contemporary Photographs from the Museum Collection." Through January
Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts, Lawrenceville,
609-620-6026. "Selections from the Raab Collection," a collection of
original historical documents by Washington, Adams, Jefferson,
Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, Lee, Grant,
and Churchill. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 9 a.m. to
noon, and 1 to 4 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. Through
December 15 (Closed November 23 to 30).
Erdman Gallery at Erdman Hall, Princeton Theological Seminary, 20
Library Place, Princeton, 609-497-7990. Exhibit "The Best of Us," by
disabled artists. Through December 10. Free.
Rider University Art Gallery, Student Center, 2083 Lawrencelle Road,
609-895-5588. "Wilbur Niewald: A Retrospective," an exhibit of still
lifes, figures, and paintings, by Wilbur Niewald. Through December 12.
Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 4
Rutgers University, Alexander Library, 732-932-7505. "The Mask of
Ceremony: Recently Acquired Festival Books," a study of the elaborate
festivals that monarchs and church officials staged in Renaissance
Europe to proclaim their power. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Through November 19.
Zimmerli Art Museum, George and Hamilton streets, New Brunswick,
732-932-7237. "Beyond Memory: Soviet Nonconformist Photography and
Photo-Related Works of Art." Also, "Photo-related Works of Art." Both
through November 28.
"Alexsandr Arefiev and the Artists of His Circle." Through December
31, 2004. "Designs for Theater, Opera, and Dance." Through February
13, 2005. "Transcultural New Jersey: Residents and Visitor, Works on
Paper from the Collection of the Newark Public Library. Through
January 2, 2005. Pastels in Paris: From the Fin-de Siecle to La Belle
Epoque." Through January 30. "Beyond the Border: Picturing Mexico in
Children’s Book Illustrations." Through February 6, 2005.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hopewell Campus, 609-252-5120. Outdoor sculpture
show features works by seven prominent East Coast artists: Hope Carter
of Hopewell, Kate Dodd, Richard Heinrich, John Isherwood, Joel
Perlman, John Van Alstine, and Jay Wholley. Exhibition is on view
during business hours and will remain for two years.
The artists were selected by a panel composed of Alejandro Anreus,
veteran curator and scholar, Jeffrey Nathanson of the International
Sculpture Center, and visual artist Sheba Sharrow, working under the
guidance of Kate Somers, curator of the company’s corporate gallery in
Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Route 206, Lawrenceville,
609-252-6275. An exhibit featuring the work of Roswell Weidner. Known
as a landscape painter, he also painted still life, cityscapes, and
portraits. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends, 1 to 5 p.m.
Through November 14.
Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville. "Now and Then: The
Art of Merle Citron and B.A. Keogh," an exhibit of paintings,
sculpture, and experimental art. Through November 28. Friday through
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville, 609-397-0804. Annual
fall show with featured artists Colette Sexton with oil painting and
Gabrielle Baumgartner with watercolors. Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5
p.m. Through November 14.
Gratz Gallery, 30 West Bridge Street, New Hope, 215-862-4300.
"Pennsylvania Painters and the Philadelphia Ten." Wednesday to
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; and by
appointment. To November 14.
New Hope Arts, Union Square, West Bridge Street and Union Square
Drive, New Hope, 215-862-3396. Second annual New Hope Sculpture
Exhibition featuring an indoor exhibition of works by 43 artists and
an outdoor show of seven large-scale works.
Robert Beck Painting Studio, 21 Bridge Street, Lambertville,
609-397-5679. Robert Beck’s "Separate Stories" featuring images
painted in Michigan, Maine, the Jersey shore, and the Lambertville
area. Weekends noon to 5 p.m., weekdays by appointment. To November
Travis Gallery, 6089 Lower York Road, New Hope, 215-794-3903. "River
Reflections," an exhibit of recent paintings by Daniel Anthonisen.
Through November 27. Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Druch Studio Gallery, 920 Brunswick Avenue, Trenton, 609-394-3698.
"Gleaning DeLight," an oil painting exhibit by Jadwiga Heidi
Jedrzejczyk. Through November 28.
Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park, 609-989-3632. "Blue
Notes: Chronicling the Blues from Polk County to Trenton." Photographs
by Phil McAuliff, Gary Saretzky, Eugene Piere, and Deborah Raven.
Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. Through
The Old Barracks Museum, Barrack Street, Trenton, 609-396-1776.
"Furniture, Curios and Pictures: 100 Years of Collecting by the Old
Barracks," a display in the gallery is included in the tour fee. Every
day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
American Hungarian Foundation Museum, 300 Somerset Street, New
Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "Enchanting Modern: Ilonka Karasz 1896-1981"
Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Through February 6, 2005.
Hunterdon Museum of Art, 7 Lower Center Street, Clinton, 908-735-8415.
Exhibition of unusual, eccentric, and functional furnishings by
well-known studio furniture designers and by emerging artists. Guest
co-curators are Hildreth York and Ingrid Renard. Tuesday to Sunday, 11
a.m. to 5 p.m. To January 9. 2005.
Mercer Museum, Pine and Ashland streets, Doylestown, 215-345-0210.
"White House or Bust," the history of presidential campaigns from
broadsides to bumper stickers. Through November 21.
James A. Michener Art Museum, Union Square Complex, Bridge Street, New
Hope, 215-340-9800. "Creative Bucks County: A Celebration of Art and
Artists," featuring 19th and 20th century painters, writers,
composers, and playwrights. Also on exhibit, "Pennsylvania
Impressionists of the New Hope School." $6; $2 youth. Tuesday to
Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.
James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown,
215-340-9800. "The Artists Among Us," a permanent interactive exhibit
dedicated to the history and legacy of the artists who have made New
Hope an internationally recognized arts colony. It is a permanent
exhibition. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday 10
a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Museum admission $6.50
adults; $4 students. www.michenerartmuseum.org.
Also, "Edward W. Redfield: Just Values and Fine Settings," an
exhibition of over 50 works created by the 20th century Pennsylvania
impressionist. The exhibit features works from early students
drawings, landscapes painted in France, and some pieces never before
on public view. Through January 9, 2005.
Also, an exhibition, "Selma Bortner: Body of Work," containing
Bortner’s prints from the late 1960s to 2004 including her New Mexico
landscape series. On view to January 30, 2005.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 709-721 Catharine Street, Philadelphia,
215-922-3456. "African Art, African Voices: Long Steps Never Broke A
Back," a display of African Art, runs through Jan. 2, 2005.
Also, an exhibit of 88 paintings focuses on Rajput courts of India
from the 17th to 19th centuries. Illustrates themes of pious devotion,
poetic love, the play of Hindu gods, and the pleasures and intrigues
of court life. Exhibit runs through mid-April 2005.
Museum hours are Tuesday to 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 adults; under 18 free. Free admission on the first Sunday
of each month.
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,
3620 South Street, Philadelphia, 215-898-4000. Australian Aboriginal
Paintings of the Wolfe Creek Crater. The museum is open Tuesday
through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. $8,
adults; $5, students and seniors. Exhibit runs through Sunday,
February 27, 2005.
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