Art in Town

Art On Campus

Other Museums

Art In Trenton

Art by the River

Art in the Workplace

Corrections or additions?

This review by Nicole Plett was prepared for the December 13, 2000

edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Click! Captures Marvels

The big ground-floor galleries of the New Jersey State

Museum are currently offering a wintertime site for dreamers. With

the ongoing exhibition of found photographs, "Click! The Marvelous

in American Vernacular Photography," visitors can wander the

mysterious

dreamspace of photographic representation. Curators Donald Lokuta

of Kean University and Robert Yoskowitz of Union College have taken

the surrealist Andre Breton’s interest in the "marvelous"

in all its broadest and multifarious possibilities. Working with

assistant

curator Margaret O’Reilly, Lokuta and Yoskowitz have brought together

three big rooms of small photographs that drench the viewer in a

deluge

of diverse images. Representations span a range from silly snapshots

to haunting horrors. Their power is truly the stuff that dreams are

made on.

Dating from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, the 90 "ordinary

photographs of ordinary people" featured in this exhibition were

found, we’re told, in shoe boxes offered at flea markets and yard

sales and retrieved from family attics. Taken for the most part by

anonymous photographers, the lenders to the exhibition include the

M.F.Y. Collection, the Sarah Morthland Gallery in New York, and three

private collectors.

In its time, the gelatin silver print photograph was as high-tech

as you could get. How does it happen then that its practitioners

manage

to tap into such a fount of primal imagery? All the prints on exhibit

are the work of amateurs or plodding journeymen, and many take on

an aura of the marvelous simply by being torn from their native

moorings.

Yet whether the result of a lucky accident or inspired planning, the

photo-interested viewer will gravitate to memorable compositions that

are strikingly reminiscent of such recognized photo masters as Man

Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, and Andre Kertesz.

Whereas photography began in the 1830s as the plaything of gentleman

scientists and entrepreneurs, all that changed in 1888 when George

Eastman introduced the box camera. Much like today’s

"disposable"

cameras, the Brownie box camera made photographers out of everybody.

You shot a roll of film, sent the entire contraption back to Kodak,

and received photographs and reloaded camera back by mail. As Margaret

O’Reilly reminds us in her introduction to the show’s illustrated

catalog, "snapshot" was originally a hunting term that means

shooting from the hip. Yet for the 175 years since the development

of photography’s technology, it has remained an apt term to describe

the way the camera owner roams the world seizing upon this and that.

The show includes one authentic round (lens-shaped) image from the

Brownie era in the 1892 print by an unknown maker of a "Girl from

Behind."

The curators have clustered the images into four categories that

loosely

unite them in terms of concepts they call "Targeting,"

"Herding,"

"Accidentals," and "Grafting." Although the terms

do not covey much in the way of intention or substance, they do add

to the intensity of the viewer’s experience by presenting us with

groups of comparably astonishing output. The result is a wonderland

of provocative images, whimsical compositions, and enigmatic puzzles.

Do faces tell the whole story, we ask ourselves, or

are these hapless photographs just a little behind the times with

so many beautifully framed portrait shots taken from the back? No,

we conclude; a back can speak at least as eloquently as a face.

Some images galvanize our attention by their bold presence. Such a

picture is the 1919 photograph titled "Right Hand of Champion

Jess Willard," a life size portrait of the famed fighter’s weapon.

Others persuade by their pure labor intensity, such as the 1935 print

montage of "Druggists and Visitors to the 37th Annual NARD

Convention,"

a composite of some 750 individual portraits.

In the disaster category, we view "The Hindenburg", 1936,

neither as a triumphant vessel nor a burning wreck but as a haunting

shadow cast onto a sandy beach. Crime makes a gritty showing with

"Looted!," a comically serious portrait of a crime scene,

already tamed by the graphic artist whose hand-penned headline is

designed to shock tomorrow morning’s readers. Crime hangs like a

specter

over "evidence" photographs such as a flash shot from the

1950s of a policeman examining a hank of rope and a hatchet used for

nefarious purposes. Darker still is a 1935 untitled print of a child’s

tricycle beside a curb, crushed, presumably, by a passing car, with

a tiny cap, toy gun, and tin star strewn ominously on the pavement.

If we still harbor any illusions that photography ever represented

"reality," look at the Life magazine-worthy portrait of

"Mr.

and Mrs. Eban and Javits," four distinguished men and woman at

dinner. The image is destined for publication, yet, but with a fifth

diner, a woman seated on the couples’ left, mercilessly cut out.

In a lovely category of "Accidentals", you’ll find a charming

photograph of a child at a piano. Although the print is so sharp you

could play the notes of her sheet music, the playful child seated

on the piano stool appears to the camera simply as an elusive blur.

In their catalog notes, the curators hit the nail on the head when

they identify "the element of joy" present in so many of these

found family snapshots. "They left us a sense of delight from

their appearance frozen in time," they write. "The figures

presented to us were the `stars’ to their friends of family."

Such a "star" is the tiny image of a woman in the snow —

a woman alone in a universe stripped of all form save for the tiny

cabin on a hill in the middle distance. A mere two inches wide and

three inches high, this portrait has everything the subconscious could

wish for. Dream on.

— Nicole Plett

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

609-292-6464. "Click! The Marvelous in American Vernacular

Photography,"

curated by Donald Lokuta of Kean University and Robert Yoskowitz of

Union College, through December 31. Museum is open Tuesday through

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday

and state holidays. Free.

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Art in Town

Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street,

609-924-8777.

"Sauce for the Goose," the annual holiday fine art and craft

sale continues through Saturday, December 23. Proceeds benefit

children’s

art scholarships. Sale hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30

p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4:30 p.m.

Borders Books, 601 Nassau Park, 609-514-0040. In the Cafe

Expression, an exhibit of oils and pastels by Helen Post, on view

through December 31. Artist’s reception is Friday, December 22, from

7 to 9 p.m.

Firebird Gallery, 16 Witherspoon Street, 609-688-0775.

A holiday exhibit of original watercolors by the Russian-born

illustrator

Gennady Spirin from two new picture books: "Philipok" by Leo

Tolstoy, and "Joy to the World, a Family Christmas Treasury."

His exquisitely detailed watercolor also graces the playbill and

poster

for McCarter Theater’s new production of "A Christmas Carol."

Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To January

15.

Historical Society of Princeton, Bainbridge House, 158

Nassau Street, 609-921-6748. "Old Traditions, New Beginnings,"

a major exhibition celebrating 250 years of Princeton Jewish history,

jointly presented and exhibited at the Jewish Center of Princeton.

This is the first-ever exhibit on the history of Princeton’s Jewish

community, scheduled to coincide with the Jewish Center’s 50th

anniversary.

Topics addressed include early arrivals, family life, social

organizations,

work and business pursuits, religious traditions, and anti-Semitism.

On view through March.

Medical Center at Princeton, 253 Witherspoon Street,

609-497-4192.

Dining room exhibit of works by Pennsylvania resident artist Susan

Ketcham. She has been an instructor at the Doylestown Art League Day

Workshops and a member of the Doylestown Art League. Her solo exhibits

have been in Doylestown, Phillips Mill, and Philadelphia. Part of

the proceeds benefit the Medical Center. On view 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

daily, to January 18.

Numina Gallery, Princeton High School, Moore Street,

609-683-4480. The new student-run professional gallery features,

"Sculptors,"

an exhibition of photographs by Ricardo Barros, featuring a series

of environmental portraits of artists currently being developed as

a book. All profits from sale of works go directly to PHS art

programs.

Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 3 to 5 p.m.; and by appointment

from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Show runs to January 5.

Numina, a Latin word that means "sacred space," is a gallery

space salvaged from a neglected and under-used space overlooking the

school’s visual arts studios. Faculty advisor John Kavalos, in his

fifth year teaching at PHS, says his own high school education

deprived

him of the art education he desired. "The visual arts faculty

at PHS does not want our students to have that disadvantage. We want

to satisfy all of their needs to fulfill their obligations to their

love of art — in any and every possible way."

Princeton Theological Seminary, Erdman Hall Gallery, 20

Library Place, 609-497-7990. "Witnessing to the Word," a group

show featuring the work of sculptor Patrick Birge, potter Patrick

Caughy, and painter Patrick Ellis. The artists met through a

consortium

of theological schools. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m.

to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 to 9:30 p.m. To January

5.

The Williams Gallery, 8 Chambers Street, 609-921-1142.

First day for "The Familiar and Not So Familiar," an exhibit

of works by digital artist Roman Verostko that includes traditional

landscapes and still lifes to futuristic visions of space and nature.

Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery

will be closed for the holidays, December 23 to January 2. Show

continues

to January 27.

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Art On Campus

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

"Material

Language: Small-Scale Sculpture after 1950," an exhibition that

complements the newly-dedicated Richard Serra sculpture on the

university

campus, selected from the permanent collection by professors Peter

Bunnell and Hal Foster, and museum director Susan Taylor. Artists

include Alexander Calder and Kenneth Snelson, Leo Steppat, Jasper

Johns, Barry Bertoia, Poly Bury, Anthony Caro, George Segal, Jonathan

Shahn, Claes Oldenburg, and Christopher Wilmarth; to December 30.

On extended view in the Bowen Gallery, Richard Serra’s "Weight

and Measure" etchings. The museum is open Tuesday through

Saturday,

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free tours of the collection

are every Saturday at 2 p.m. Free.

Also: "American Drawings from Copley to O’Keeffe," to December

30; "Contemporary Photographs," to January 7; "Dutch

Drawings

in the Golden Age, an exhibition of Old Master drawings, to January

7.

Princeton University, Milberg Gallery, Firestone

Library, 609-258-5049. "Art Deco Paris: 1900-1925," a portrait

of the spirited, affluent Parisian society manifest in the printmaking

technique known as "pochoir." The show features 100 color

prints, including a folio by Matisse, reflecting the era of jazz,

tango, high fashion, and modern art. On view to April 8.

Firestone Library, Princeton University, 609-258-3184.

The Graduate School continues its centennial observance with the

exhibition

"A Community of Scholars: Graduate Education at Princeton,"

an exhibition of more than 100 photographs, documents, and artifacts

that chronicle the evolution of graduate studies. To April 8.

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Other Museums

American Hungarian Museum, 300 Somerset Street, New

Brunswick,

732-846-5777. "Herend: Hungarian Porcelain at its Finest,"

an exhibition of hand-painted porcelain pieces created since the

company’s

founding in 1839. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to

4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Show runs to February 25. $5 donation.

James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street,

Doylestown,

215-340-9800. The Lenfest Exhibition of Pennsylvania Impressionism.

Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest bequeathed 59 paintings that tell the

story of the renowned art colony, centered in New Hope, in the early

20th Century. Museum hours Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;

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

p.m. Exhibit continues through February 11. Museum admission $5

adults;

$1.50 students.

Also, "In Line with Al Hirschfeld," a retrospective

documenting

Hirschfeld’s life, career, and the history of the performing arts.

Exhibit, with accompanying lecture, tour, and film series, runs

through

February 11.

Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton Street,

New Brunswick, 732-932-7237. Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10

a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is

$3 for adults age 18 and up; free for children and students; admission

is free on the first Sunday of each month. Gallery is open throughout

the December holiday season, closed only on Christmas and New Year’s

Day.

Inaugural exhibitions include: "Michael Mazur: A Print

Retrospective"

covering a 40-year span of the artist’s career, to February 16.

"Monotypes

in Contemporary American Printmaking" from the rich resources

of the Rutgers Archives for Printmaking Studios, to February 18.

"An

Arkful of Animals: Captivating Creatures," from the Rutgers

collection

of original illustrations for children’s literature, to December 22.

"Realities and Utopias: Abstract Painting from the Dodge

Collection,"

to January 14. "Opening Up: A Half-Century of Artistic Dialogue

between Japan and the West" (ongoing). And "A World of Stage:

Designs for Theater, Opera, and Dance from the Riabov Collection,"

to March 31.

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Art In Trenton

Artworks, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton, 609-394-9436.

"Fantasy

and Desire," a seasonal group show by TAWA artists, featuring

more than 70 multi-media works. Show continues to Thursday, December

21. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 9:30

a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park,

609-989-3632.

"What a Combo!," a shared show by Mel Leipzig and Vince

Ceglia.

Leipzig is a professor of art at Mercer County Community College and

his paintings are in collections at the New Jersey State Museum, Yale

Art Gallery, Newark Public Library, and the White House Collection.

Ceglia is retired from 28 years teaching at MCCC and Trenton Junior

College; his paintings can be found at Penn State University, James

A. Michener Art Museum, and Educational Testing Service. To January

7

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Art by the River

ABC Gallery, Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lilly Street,

609-397-0275. An exhibit of works by members of the Hunterdon

Watercolor

Society. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 1 to 9 p.m.; Friday

1 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To January 5.

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville,

609-397-4588.

"Small Works Show" featuring drawing, painting, photography,

and sculpture by 18 gallery artists including Gail Bracegirdle, Alan

Klawans, Lisa Mahan, Marc Reed, and Annelies Van Dommelen. Gallery

hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To February

4.

Artsbridge Gallery, Prallsville Mills, Route 28, Stockton,

609-773-0881. Group show featuring clay by Hannelore Devlin, jewelry

by Diane Contine, and paintings by Gale Shanks Scotch, James Lucas,

Judith Shaw Hoctor, Alex Bacon, Cheryl Raywood, Edie Sharp, and Ty

Hodanish. Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. To

December

31.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville,

609-397-0804.

Holiday show features watercolors by Lucy Graves McVicker and casein

paintings by Katherine Steele Renninger. Gallery hours are Wednesday

to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To January 14.

"The moods of nature have always been my primary concert,"

says watercolorist McVicker, who pursued graduate studies at Pratt

Institute and at Rutgers. Her works are in corporate collections that

include Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson. Renninger, a

graduate

of Moore College of Art, is known for her paintings that offer

intimate,

carefully crafted glimpses of Victorian architecture and artifacts.

In Rare Form Gallery, 14 Church Street, Lambertville,

609-397-1006. "[Second] Skin," an exhibition of light boxes

and collages by Rebecca Rutstein. To December 31.

Olde English Pine, 202 North Union Street, Lambertville,

609-397-4978. "Kentemperere 2000," artist and curator Malcolm

Bray’s sixth annual show of innovative contemporary painting and

sculpture

by 14 artists. Exhibitors include Jacques Fabert, Pat Martin, Barry

Snyder, Rachel Bliss, Diane Levell, Michael Hale, Stacie Speer-Scott,

Virgil Sova, Dolores Poacillo, Sandra Flood, Annelies van Dommelen,

and Tom Birkner. Hung upstairs above the antique showroom, the show

is open every day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To December 31.

Riverbank Arts, 19 Bridge Street, Stockton, 609-379-9330.

Open Monday to Wednesday, noon to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Sunday, 10

a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; open Christmas

Eve till 7 p.m.

Riverrun Gallery, 287 South Main Street, Lambertville,

609-397-3349. A shared show of multi-media artist Angela Del Vecchio’s

big moving paintings on a "Wheel of Chance" theme, and

paintings

by Bill McNamara. Gallery is open daily, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed

Tuesday. To January 2.

Area Galleries

The Artful Deposit, 201 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown,

609-298-6970. Holiday show by gallery artists Hanneke de Neve, Ken

McIndoe, Thomas Kelly, and others. Thursday through Saturday, 4 to

8 p.m. To December 31.

Firehouse Gallery, 8 Walnut Street, Bordentown,

609-298-3742.

"Silver & Gold," a holiday show featuring work on family and

angelic themes by Christine Parson, Brian Cezario, and Eric Gibbons.

Wednesdays from 4 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To

December

20.

Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts,

609-620-6026.

In the Hutchins Rotunda: "Classical Inspiration:

Lawrenceville

Parents Collect."

Gallery at Mercer County College, Communications Center,

West Windsor, 609-586-4800, ext. 3589. "Absolute Music," a

shared show of recent works by artist Jordin Isip and multi-media

sculptor Helena Lukasova. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Thursday, 11

a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. To December

21.

Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road, 609-921-3272. "Joel Popadics: Recent Traditional

Watercolors."

Also, the Professional Artists Group’s holiday show. Gallery hours

are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Both

shows remain on view through January 26.

Morpeth Gallery, 43 West Broad Street, Hopewell,

609-333-9393.

"Handcrafted Gifts, Small Works," ceramic, fiber, metal

jewelry,

glass ornaments, and handmade objects of art, on exhibit through

December.

Also group show of small works, paintings, and works on paper. Gallery

hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Top Of Page
Art in the Workplace

Educational Testing Service, Carter and Rosedale roads,

609-921-9000. In the Brodsky Gallery of the Chauncey Conference

Center,

an exhibit of watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic, charcoal, and

silk-screen

works by New Jersey teenagers. Exhibit is open Monday through

Saturday,

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., through December 28.

Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building Two,

Lawrenceville,

609-895-7307. A new series of oil on paper and mixed-media paintings

by Wanda Blake, a professional artist living in Morris County who

studied at Newark’s School of Fine and Industrial Arts. Curated by

Gary Snyder Fine Art. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To January 26.


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