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This article by Pat Summers was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July 14,
1999. All rights reserved.
Deciphering `Six Points’
You’re into visual arts, and the current Artworks
exhibition, "Ways of Knowing: Six Points of Abstraction,"
sounds like just the thing. Open since Monday, June 28, it runs through
August 15, with an artists’ reception set for Friday, July 16, at
5 p.m. The newspaper calendar names six artists whose work is included:
Jack Harris, Susan Hockaday, Micheal Madigan, Pat Martin, Mary Ann
Miller, and Ann Starkey.
More than a week after the opening date, you make the trip to Trenton,
expecting both a knock-out show and, with luck, an equally stunning
slice of pizza afterwards. It all starts out so well: You walk into
the high-ceilinged, converted warehouse, with sun pouring down through
the skylights, and a reasonably cool climate going. Immediately, you’re
surrounded by art, and it’s exciting. A small class is in progress
in the front room — the big, white-walled gallery where 22 paintings
and three photographs hang.
Then you encounter the first hitch: the wall labels are just that
— labels. In blue pencil on each one is written a name matching
one of the participating artists. Some labels also include what seem
to be titles. But there’s no information about medium, or when any
work was created, or price. Could this be "new-age gallery style,"
an undeniably arty and throw-away approach to information sharing?
You look around for information sheets about the artists, the work,
the curatorial aims, the curator’s name. No dice. You’re on your own
in figuring out the selections, the connections, the works themselves.
(As far as clues go, this is worse than "Untitled" throughout
So you start with the wall on your right, where four paintings by
"Pat Martin" hang. Isn’t she a New Hope-based artist? Wasn’t
she recently one of four featured artists at the elite Michener Museum’s
Bucks County Invitational? "Secrets," one of the two smaller
oils, is muted in tones and austerely interesting, with a worked surface
that includes pieces of fabric, painted lines, a checkered pattern,
and layers of paint through whose scumbled brush strokes underlying
colors are still visible. Much larger and more irregularly patterned,
"Eight" looks black and gray overall, with hints of mauve
and yellow — and explicit repetition of the number eight, in different
iterations that overlap and angle and cover the surface in pleasing
ways. This despite the continuing subterranean question: "Why
`eight’?" except perhaps as ex post facto forerunner to the Beatles’
immortal "Number 9"?
Martin’s work invites long, appreciative looks at its multi-dimensional
surfaces. Sequentially, it is followed by five paintings by the late
Jack Harris, a long-time fine art teacher at Mercer County Community
College. You remember numerous exhibitions of his work that have followed
his recent death. His surfaces are also textured, but in sandy-looking
ways and typically in "industrial" shades of gray and black
and white, with occasional surprising touches of hot pink and fiery
One of Harris’s two bigger works, "White Light Radiance,"
shows layers of surface distinctly suggesting levels of meaning, overlapping
and fitted together, with bright white shafts before and behind cloud-like
matter. His large "Untitled," in aqua tones with grays, meshes
curved shapes suggesting outer space, with narrow, vibrantly colored
bands that look like service ribbons.
Three of Susan Hockaday’s photographic layered landscapes — double-exposed
studies of waterways in Nova Scotia, where she summers — complete
the right side of the gallery. You recall that in the last year or
so, Hockaday’s work has twice appeared in the Bristol-Myers Squibb
gallery and at Rider University, as well as in Morristown and Manhattan.
Her big, watery compositions merge her photographs of the natural
scene with her own calligraphic additions.
Bridging the center hallway off the gallery, you come to five paintings
by Micheal (an unusual spelling, but he goes by Mike) Madigan. You
know he is a veteran Artworks faculty member and painter whose work
was recently on view at Morpeth Gallery in Pennington. Two of his
lollipop-colored acrylics are framed, one with a startling, wide wooden
window frame painted deep aqua. Once safely past the frame, this picture,
"Wishing on Ashes," is appealingly mystical and seems to radiate
out from its deep purple center. His "First Seen Pass," distinguished
by its orange focus and brightly colored rings.
Five paintings by Mary Ann Miller and three by Ann Starkey complete
the six points of abstraction. Starkey’s palette ranges from soft
shades in "Blue Door" through much deeper hues in "Flutters,"
whose waves of color stream over a textured background. Miller works
in washes of either primary colors ("Mercury Seep"), or more
subdued shades ("Sub Acqueo One"), sometimes producing loose,
geometric shapes, with a recurring motif of a stylized fish, or leaf,
Inarguably, the "Six Points" at Artworks are disparate jumping-off
sites into abstraction. You can’t help wondering how they were selected,
what the artists would say about their own pieces and their interaction
with others in the gallery. You can’t help wishing for more information
about the artists, especially those you weren’t familiar with before
you came to Artworks. This is, after all, a venerable teaching facility,
with extensive outreach and ambitious programs. If only the preparatory
work on "Ways of Knowing" had been completed before it opened
— for your sake and that of other visitors, for the artists involved,
Oh, well, on to the pizza. No mystery there.
— Pat Summers
19 Everett Alley, Trenton, 609-394-9436. Artists’ reception for the
show, curated by Micheal Madigan, that continues to August 15. Gallery
hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 4
p.m. Friday, July 16, 5 p.m.
"Heart of the Matter: New Abstraction," an exhibition of photographs
by Ray Anderson, sculpture by Lee Tribe, and paintings by Atanas Zgalevski,
Natalia Zaloznaya, and Lucien Dulfan. To July 31. Gallery hours are
Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment.
609-799-6706. "May Bender," the East Brunswick artist’s first
retrospective show, covering the years 1945 to the present. A lifetime
painter, trained as the Art Students League, Bender has produced more
than 350 paintings, working in figurative, geometric, and abstract
expressionist genres. Show features oils on canvas and works on paper.
To August 14. 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 6 p.m.
East, 609-452-7800. "Dual Perceptions," a show of paintings
by Joy H. Barth, to July 26. This solo exhibition includes Barth’s
recent works which combine painting, drawing, and printmaking. "Using
the different media, I hope to invent a language that is nature-based,"
says Barth. "The art speaks of the indefinable, that illusive
moment, the passage of wind, or the cadence of rain."
"Funk-Tional Art," a mini-exhibit of African animal lamps
by Cape Town artists Michael Methven and Mwande Mthini. To July 31.
Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday,
noon to 8 p.m.
At the Merwick Unit, paintings by Alice Warshaw, to September 7. Formerly
of Roosevelt, and now residing in Lawrenceville, Warshaw traces her
love of figure painting to studies with Elizabeth Lombardi at the
Arts Council of Princeton. She studied art at the College of New Jersey,
MCCC, and Rider, earning her state certificate to teach art while
working as a porcelain figurine decorator and inspector with Ispanky
"Bill, Hank & Al: Landscapes," an exhibition of paintings
by William Wolfe, architect, and Henry Arnold and Alan Goodheart,
landscape architects, professional colleagues who share a passion
for painting. To August 2.
Says Alan Goodheart: "These landscape paintings are real places
reinvented on location with acrylic colors. The places themselves
are important to me, but the paintings are about something special
that happens `out there.’" Adds Bill Wolfe, who has been carrying
a sketchbook for 10 years: "Whereas photography previously
distracted me, drawing intensified my vision. The natural settings
themselves compelled me to paint, as lines could not suffice. I paint
to celebrate the light, colors, and rhythms of the natural world,
and in particular the various moods of water."
from the Collection of Dr. M. Jay Goodkind ’49," a show of 39
works of landscape and nature photography collected since 1964, part
of the collector’s promised bequest to the museum. The show includes
Ansel Adams’ "Aspens, New Mexico," 1958, the first work acquired
by Goodkind in 1964, which, together with eight additional Adams photographs,
set the tone of the collection. To September 5.
The Goodkind collection includes images by Edward Weston, Brett Weston,
Bruce Barnbaum, Paul Caponigro, William Clift, Robert Dawson, Dianne
Kornberg, and George Tice, among others. One area of concentration
is the sand dunes of Oceano and Death Valley, California, with works
in the collection by a variety of different artists.
Also "From Ritual Simplicity to Imperial Splendor: Chinese Ceramics
from the Collection of Nelson Chang ’74," to September 26; "Chinese
Painting and Calligraphy: In Memory of John B. Elliott," to September
In the Milberg Gallery, "Artifacts: The Biographical Object in
the Princeton University Library Collections," to September 15.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; noon to 5 p.m. on weekends.
"Panoramas," an exhibition of landscapes and seascapes by
Dorothy Wells Bissell and Eileen Shahbender, is the inaugural show
at Forsgate’s new Highlands Gallery. Anita Benarde is the series curator.
Hightstown, 609-448-1474. An exhibition of rock concert photographs
by Joe Ryan featuring the Grateful Dead, Blondie’s reunion tour, and
more. Website: www.gratefuljoe.com. Through July 31.
Road, 609-921-3272. "Tour de France Exhibit" by watercolorists
Ellen Faber, Nancy Jorgenson, Beverly Nickel, and Gail Robertson.
To July 31. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30
p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Group show of landscape and still life in oils by Stephen Kennedy,
Christine Lafuente, and David Shevlino. To July 17. Gallery hours
are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Christine Lafuente paints exclusively from life and is an instructor
and artist-in-resident at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia.
"I spend so much time looking in nature for what I paint: images
in life that satisfy an internal esthetic vision I have," she
says. Shevlino, a painter of plein air landscapes, won a regional
NEA fellowship in painting. Kennedy is a graduate of the National
Academy of Design who apprenticed with portraitist Nelson Shanks.
"Mixin’ the Media," a two-person show of paintings by Alan
J. Klawans and collages by Stacie Speeer Scott. Both artists, although
long-time residents of the Bucks County region, represent a contemporary
art approach and use of materials. Show continues to August 1. Gallery
hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Klawans studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, and the
Philadelphia College of Art. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney
Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He has
worked as an instructor at the Tyler School of Art and Moore College
Speer’s pictures are made of both traditional and found materials
and take on forms appropriate to the materials. She studied with Tom
Bostell in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and teaches at the Intstitute
for Art at the Annenberg Center.
Watercolor and mixed-media prints and handpainted ceramics by Maria
Madonna Davidoff, to July 31.
A shared exhibition of wood engravings by Anne Steele Marsh and watercolors
by Charles R. Ross. To July 31.
609-397-4590. "Silver Prints," an exhibition of photographs
by New Jersey multi-media artist Victor Macarol, to September 30.
"Like a poet whose successful verse relies on descriptive imagery
and creative economy of words, Macarol composes his images with an
exact arrangement of chosen elements," says curator Cynthia Reed.
Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
609-397-2300. Joan Miro, signed and authenticated color lithographs,
1939 to 1972, by one of the 20th-century masters. To July 25. Gallery
hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
A landscape painting show by four of Poland’s well-known artists featuring
Jerzy Gnatowski, Jansuz Olszewski, Stanislaw Jan Lazorek, and Anna
Olszewska. The recently opened gallery features Delaware Valley artists
in a variety of creative media including painting, sculpture, photography,
woodworking, blown glass, and stained glass.
of Knowing: Six Points of Abstraction," an exhibition of non-representational
work by New Jersey artists including Jack Harris, Susan Hockaday,
Micheal Madigan, Pat Martin, Mary Ann Miller, and Ann Starkey, curated
by Micheal Madigan, runs through August 15. Artists’ reception is
Friday, July 16. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.
to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.
In the lobby gallery, an exhibition of flower paintings in watercolor
by area artists Robert Raphael, Howard Siskowitz, and Yvonne Skaggs.
To July 23. The lobby gallery is always open.
TAWA Invitational juried group show, selected by Brian H. Peterson
of the Michener Museum in Doylestown. Selected artists are Hope Carter,
Michael C. Lees, John MacCalus, Michelle Soslau, and Idaherma Williams.
Show continues to August 1. Free.
TAWA, the Trenton Artists Workshop Association, is a 19-year-old organization
founded to promote the arts in the greater Trenton area. Its events
have included an exchange with Russia, the "Trenton Takes 24 Hours"
photography exhibit and book, and "Eyes on Trenton."
Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 2
to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays. TAWA website is at www.ilovelbi.com/tawa.
An exhibition of cast bronze and iron sculpture by Colleen O’Donnell.
Artist’s reception is Saturday, July 24, from 5 to 7 p.m., for the
show that runs to August 5. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
609-586-0616. Gallery hours are Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to
4 p.m. at the 22-acre landscaped sculpture park is on the former state
fairgrounds site, with indoor exhibitions in the glass-walled, 10,000
square foot museum, and the newly-renovated Domestic Arts Building.
609-292-6464. "New Jersey Arts Annual" featuring Emma Amos,
Miriam Beerman, Wendell Brooks, Marguerite Doernbach, Nancy Lee Kern,
Barbara Klein, Bill Leech, Mel Leipzig, Bob Mahon, George Segal, Debra
Weier, and others. Curators are Alison Weld and Margaret O’Reilly.
To August 29. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45
p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Also "Apollo 11 Remembered," an exhibit of commemorative items,
to January 2; "Sunstruck!" an exhibit that explores the cultural
myths, music, literature, archaeological artifacts, and astronomy
of Earth’s nearest star, to March 12. On extended view: "Dinosaur
Turnpike: Treks through New Jersey’s Piedmont"; "Amber: The
Legendary Resin"; "The Moon: Fact & Fiction."
"The Boxing Pictures," digital prints by Howard Siskowitz,
to July 31.
An established area artist, Siscowitz specializes in capturing the
movement and drama of the athlete. His work has been shown at the
Sam Dorsky Gallery in NYC and he was an original member of the 41
Union Square New York Artists Open Studio Group. Siskowitz’s commissioned
paintings for NASA will be included in the three year National Touring
Exhibit, "The Artistry of Space," on the Artrain. This exhibit
begins July 20, in Washington, D.C.
732-524-3698. "Joseph Csatari Retrospective," an exhibition
by the South River artist known as "heir to Norman Rockwell"
runs to August 5. The show includes portraits, watercolors, book cover
art, and commercial illustration. Free by appointment.
Street, New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "The Hungarian Spark in America,"
an exhibition highlighting Hungarian contributions to the arts, sciences,
humanities, commerce, religious and civic life in America. To January
31, 2000. Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.;
Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. $3 donation.
732-257-4340. Contemporary sculpture by 110 artists in natural outdoor
installations. The outdoor venue remains open through October. Hours
are Friday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment.
Avenue, New Brunswick, 732-932-2222, extension 838. "Veiled Time:
Contemporary Artists and the Holocaust," curated by Judith Brodsky,
featuring works by Aharon Gluska, Melissa Gould, David Levinthal,
Zbigniew Libera, Diane Neumaier, Gabrielle Roassmer, Lubo Stacho,
and Murray Zimiles. To July 31.
215-340-9800. "The Philadelphia Ten: A Women’s Artist Group, 1917
to 1945." Show presents work by 30 Philadelphia-based painters
and sculptors to banded together with the sole purpose of "showing
just the work they wished to present, in the most dignified and harmonious
manner." To October 3.
Fern Coppedge and M. Elizabeth Price are among the Bucks County artists
represented. The show was organized by the Moore College of Art and
Design, curated by Page Talbott and Patricia Tanis Sydney. Museum
hours Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday,
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also, "From Soup Cans to Nuts," an exhibition of prints by
Andy Warhol, on loan from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The artist,
who died in 1987, is best known for his flamboyant, multiple silkscreen
prints that explore icons of popular culture from the famous soup
to Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. To September 5.
Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday
evenings to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed
Mondays. $5 adults; students $1.50; children free.
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