In the Galleries

Campus Arts

Art In Trenton

Art by the River

Art in the Workplace

Area Museums

Corrections or additions?

These articles were prepared for the May 30, 2001 edition of U.S.

1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Destination for Art: Chelsea

It’s Manhattan’s latest "in" art scene; it’s

the new SoHo but without as much retail or as many tourists; and


it’s where artists want to be shown and art dealers want to be. A

carefully choreographed day in Chelsea, a somewhat gritty and gray

neighborhood on the far West Side, south of Penn Station, offers good

walking and people-watching, besides the chance to see one art


in the making and to experience an established one — quite


the catalyst for Chelsea’s second coming — where an exciting


that’s both historical and timely runs until mid-June.

As a statesman might act with or without portfolio, and a leader might

wield informal or ascribed authority, an art dealer can operate with

or without a gallery space. For the last three years or so, Princeton

area native and resident Gary Snyder has made his presence as an art

dealer felt without benefit of building. That all changes Friday,

June 1, with the opening of Gary Snyder Fine Art in Manhattan.

The new gallery, located at the northern tip of Chelsea, was only

recently carved out of a low-slung building at the corner of 29th

Street and 11th Avenue. In early May, the site still looked like the

express-mail facility it had been: flat roofed, with four bay doors

fronting 29th Street, and a long side wall along 11th Avenue.

By June 1, Snyder’s 4,000-square-foot share of this space will be

converted into two levels with two large galleries, each with


ceilings, skylights, and natural light spilling in — among other

amenities. It will also house two computer stations where visitors

can follow up on their art viewing with art reading. One of Snyder’s

avowed objectives is "education," and not just one but two

websites will facilitate that mission, supplementing his gallery staff

of four, signage, and printed materials that will also be on hand.

As the gallery’s director of special projects, Kristen

Accola, Snyder’s wife and former director of the Hunterdon Museum

of Art, will complement the gallery’s historic focus — modern

American art rooted in the 1920s to 1960s has for years been Snyder’s

specialty — with a selective program of contemporary work. After

more than seven years as curator and exhibitions director at


she left that position to focus on New York, where she had previously

been managing director of Lefebre Gallery, on 77th Street.

Individual and corporate art consulting is an ongoing activity for

Snyder. In this area alone, he created an exhibition program for Stark

& Stark, in Lawrenceville, and still curates shows there; with


abstract-expressionist painter Thomas George, he conducted a salon

to benefit Artworks; with Accola, he co-curated an exhibition at the

Hunterdon Museum; and as an alumnus-member of the Lawrenceville


fine art committee, he helps develop strategies for acquisitions and

use of its expanded galleries.

Snyder, son of Lambertville-based artist Barry Snyder, "grew up

with and around art," he says. His parents (since divorced) had

an art gallery at two sites in Princeton, and he opened his own first

gallery on Chambers Street, Princeton — until recently the site

of the Williams Gallery and Pringle International Art. Snyder opened

his second gallery, in SoHo, New York, in 1990, and after about four

years there, he moved to West 57th Street for about four more years.

Chelsea became the targeted next spot, but the longer he searched

for the right place, the more expensive space became. When he learned

the owner of his present building would subdivide and wanted an art

gallery to be part of the mix, Snyder’s immediate response was


in." Now he’s already saying, "I may play with that


wall outside for artists’ projects."

Gary Snyder Fine Art will open with two exhibitions, both running

through August 25: In the front, or south, gallery, the work of


Abstract Classicists: Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick


and John McLaughlin," will be featured. "Modern American Art

of the 1930s and 1940s" will be shown in the larger back, or north

gallery. Five more shows are scheduled to round out 2001:


Expressionism: Expanding the Canon," September 7 to October 13;

"The Triumph of Bea Mandelman (1911-1998) and "Taos


October 19 to November 24; "Luke Gray: New Work" and


Strzelec: Recent Sculpture," November 30 to January 5.

It’s easy to reach Gary Snyder Fine Art. Driving from this area, go

south from the Lincoln Tunnel and make a right on 29th Street. Pass

the gallery for possible parking on the right. Or, take New Jersey

Transit to Penn Station, then walk south to the corner of 29th. A

bit south of the gallery, around 25th and 26th, any number of


start to appear; a Chelsea guide will list them. Confident that


still has burgeoning to do, Snyder says, "Just wait till you see

this area in three or four years!"

— Pat Summers

Gary Snyder Fine Art, 601 West 29th Street, New York


212-871-1077. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


At Chelsea’s Dia Center

Bridget Riley might be thought of as picking up in


where Gary Snyder Fine Art currently leaves off. Usually recognized

as a leading exponent of the eye-dazzling Op Art movement, the British

artist first drew international attention in 1968, winning the grand

prize for painting at the Venice Biennale. "Reconnaissance,"

a retrospective exhibition of some 40 years of Riley’s work, is on

view at Dia Center for the Arts, just a few blocks away from Snyder’s

new gallery in Chelsea.

Dia, a not-for-profit contemporary art museum, is definitely a Chelsea

art pioneer. Housed in a converted four-story warehouse, Dia is known

for long-running installations by individual artists, each one usually

occupying an entire floor or more. On huge canvases or stretched


and in one case, on a 50-foot plaster wall, where Riley has produced

a dizzying site-specific work for Dia, the artist plays mind games

— make that eye games — with the viewer.


is the medium, not the canvas and the paint," Riley has said,

accounting for why her work has been called "optical ambush,"

and described as a "collusion between the surprised viewer and

the gently controlling artist." In her black and white pieces,

she created the impression of movement on a static canvas. Her effects

demand analysis while at the same time making that effort very


You probably don’t want to study Riley’s amazing paintings if you’re

seeing floaters or flashes, or having your eyes examined for any such

symptoms. Given the undulating waves, the bands of color, both real

and illusory, the dots in flowing, corner-turning gradations, it’s

hard enough on an optically good day to deduce how Riley’s effects

are wrought. As you try sorting it out, you find yourself wondering

how she ever conceived of the thing herself.

Unlikely as it sounds, Riley claims her black-and-white work "was

not an optical experiment, but an attempt to say something about


and instabilities, certainties and uncertainties." Her influences

include Pollock, Mondrian, Cezanne, and Matisse, as well as Paul


text, "The Thinking Eye." So, then, are Riley’s paintings

the optical illusions they seem to be, or the optical allusions

— to life experiences, to other artists — she suggests? Either

way, they are awesome, in the most literal sense.

A visit to Egypt, with its distinctive palette that grew over long

millennia, helped move Riley toward her exploration of colors and

tones that continues today. In works with either flowing waves or

precise stripes, marked differences result from proximities,


and juxtapositions of values and hues. Though all these are appealing,

I recommend making a direct path to the last gallery, where black

and white paintings from the 1960s are on view, and then move slowly,

mostly sequentially, into the present.

Because no reproduction can substitute for the physical reality of

Riley’s paintings — which, by the way, have for about 40 years

been executed only by her assistants — Dia’s fourth


is a must-visit. (And if those stairs sounded too daunting, there’s

also an elevator.) In just five rooms — all high-ceilinged,


and often brilliantly lit by sun through big windows — and only

19 paintings, Bridget Riley will knock your socks off. To pursue that

metaphor, you’ll be barefoot well before room number three.

— Pat Summers

Bridget Riley’s `Reconnaissance,’ Dia Center, 548 West

22 Street, New York, 212-989-5566. Wednesday to Sunday, noon to

6 p.m. To Sunday, June 17.

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In the Galleries

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Campus Arts

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


Drawings in the American Tradition," to June 17. "Great


II: The Art of the Print in the Western World" and "Spanish

Drawings," to June 10. "Le Corbusier at Princeton: 14 to 16

November 1935," an exhibition of sketches and works related to

the French architect’s Princeton lectures, to June 17. "Italian

Renaissance Drawings," to June 17. 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.

Also on exhibit: "A Tapestry by Karel van Mander" to August

12. "Seeing Double: Copies and Copying in the Arts of China,"

an exhibition of Chinese art, to November 4. On extended view in the

Bowen Gallery, Richard Serra’s "Weight and Measure" etchings.

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

"The Light of Ancient Athens: A Photographic Journey by Felix

Bonfils, 1868-1887," an historic series of 42 large-format


taken in Beirut by the 19th-century French photographer. More than

800 Bonfils photographs were donated to Princeton in 1921 by Rudolf

Ernst Brunnow, professor of Semitic philology. Coordinated by Don

Skemer, the show is guest curated by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak of Wesleyan

University. To October 7. Open to the public weekdays 9 a.m. to 5

p.m.; Wednesday evenings to 8 p.m.; and weekends, noon to 5 p.m.

Milberg Gallery, Firestone Library, Princeton


609-258-3197. "For the Love of Books and Prints: Elmer Adler and

the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University Library,"

celebrating the 1940 founding of a unique collection. Exhibit


the history and arts of the book through fine examples of printing,

typography, binding, papermaking, calligraphy, and illustration.


include prints by Toulouse-Lautrec and Mary Cassatt, photographs by

Julia Margaret Cameron, and the illustrated Chaucer printed by William

Morris at the Kelmscott Press.

Lawrenceville School, Gruss Center of Visual Arts,


609-620-6026. Annual alumni exhibition features works by M. Jay


’45, Cole Carothers ’67, and James Toia ’80. Gallery hours are Monday

to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; except Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m.

to noon. To June 2.

Middlesex County College, 2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison,

732-906-2566. "Sand and Surf," an exhibit of paintings


by nature by Rachelle Karger. A professor of modern languages,


work has been exhibited in New York and New Jersey. Presidential


hours are Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To July 2.

Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, 71 Hamilton Street,

New Brunswick, 732-932-7237. The newly expanded and renovated museum

features: "Confrontations: Selections from the Rutgers Archives

for Printmaking Studios," to June 17. "Traffic Patterns:


of Transportation in American Prints between the Wars," to June

3. "New Acquisitions from Central Asia: Selections from the Norton

and Nancy Dodge Collection of Soviet Nonconformist Art." To July

31. Also "Konenkov," to September 30.

Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;


and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. $3 adults; under 18 free; museum is open

free to the public on the first Sunday of every month. Spotlight Tours

every Sunday at 2 and 2:45 p.m.

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Art In Trenton

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park,


"Johnson Atelier Open," a group show featuring over 100 works

from the renowned Johnson Atelier sculpture foundry and stone studio

by 50 present and past artist apprentices and staff members. Museum

hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to

4 p.m. To June 3.

Extension Gallery, 60 Sculptors Way, Mercerville,


"A," an exhibition of recent sculpture by apprentices of the

Johnson Atelier, featuring Joseph W. Acquah, Gerard Bartlett, Michael

Costantini, Tonyeli Gadzekpo, LaRue Harding, Helena Lukasova, Rafia

Mahli, Joanna Platt, Matthew Ramieri, and Charlott Rosengren. Gallery

hours are Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To May 31.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Spring sculpture exhibition. In the museum: "`Tennis

Anyone?,’ Sculpture by William King." In the Domestic Arts


sculpture by Leonda Finke and a juried exhibition of photographs of

sculpture. New additions outdoors by James Dinerstein, Brower Hatch,

Larry Steele, John Van Alstine, Jay Wholley, and Yuyu Yang. Open


through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., year round; Sunday is Members Day.

Admission $4 to $10. To July 8.

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

609-292-6464. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to

4:45 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Website:

"The Art of Giving," to August 26; "Aspects of


to August 26; "The Garden State: A History of Farming in New


to August 31. On extended view: "New Jersey’s Native Americans:

The Archaeological Record"; "Delaware Indians of New


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

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


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

Crossing the Delaware." In the Cafe Gallery: Dorothy Wells


works in watercolor, oil, and pastel. To June 11.

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Art by the River

ABC Gallery, Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lilly Street,

609-397-0275. "Wanderings in the Light," an exhibition of

oils and watercolor landscapes by Lawrenceville artist Carole


She recently retired from a 20-year career as a measurement


for Educational Testing Service. 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

June 22.

Artists’ Gallery, 32 Coryell Street, Lambertville,


A shared show featuring mixed-media works on paper by Alan Klawans

and paintings by Taylor Oughton. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday,

and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To June 3.

Atelier Gallery, 108 Harrison Street, Frenchtown,


"Boyplay, Fragments, and a Lot of Blue," a show of recent

works by Stacie Speer Scott. Inspired by her son’s play and


she evokes multiple images in her expansive, multi-media collage-based

works. Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To June


Undercover Gallery, 10 Church Street, Lambertville,


Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.) third annual juried show.

The organization that creates new tools and techniques to enable


facing severe physical disabilities gain control of the art-making

process. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday, noon to 5 p.m.;


and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To June 3.

Directed by Tim Lefens, A.R.T. runs four studio programs that include

the Mercer County Special Services School District and the Woodbridge

Developmental Center. Its artists have exhibited at Rutgers, ABC World

Headquarters, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Gallery. Created with a

seed grant from the late artist Roy Lichtenstein, A.R.T. is the recent

winner of a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Award.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville,


The gallery celebrates its 21st annual summer exhibition featuring

the paintings and drawings of National Academy artist Harry Leith-Ross

(1886-1973), an artist raised in England who settled near New Hope

in 1935. Also included in the summer show are gallery artists Joanne

Augustine, Gabrielle Baumgartner, Albert Bross, and Marge Chavooshian.

Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To August 31.

Louisa Melrose Gallery, 41 Bridge Street, Frenchtown,

908-996-1470. Shared show by watercolorists W. Carl Burger, professor

emeritus of Kean College, and Nessa Grainger. Gallery is open


& Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.;

and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To May 31.

Phillips’ Mill, River Road, New Hope, 215-862-0582. Ninth

annual Phillips’ Mill Photography Exhibition juried by Bob Krist,

a National Geographic photographer. Show is open daily, from 1 to

5 p.m. $3 adults; $1.50 seniors & students. To June 3.

Area Galleries

Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road, 609-921-3272. "Visions," a two-person exhibit featuring

colored pencil drawings by Susan Antin and oil pastel drawings by

Helen Post. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.;

Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To May 31.

Morpeth Gallery, 43 West Broad Street, Hopewell,


"Small Worlds," an exhibit of recent paintings by Christine

Lafuente. Lafuente describes herself of a "painterly realist."

Her still-life and figurative works look for beauty and value in


common objects and moments in life that are easily overlooked.Gallery

hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To June 2.

Printmaking Council of New Jersey, 440 River Road, North

Branch, 908-725-2110. "Humanity," a juried exhibition about

diversity on our planet. Juror Wayne Miyamoto of University of Hawaii,

has selected 40 pieces that look at difference and similarity in such

areas as origin and culture, time and place, work and play, politics

and religion. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4

p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. To June 2.

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Art in the Workplace

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

609-252-6275. "Off the Wall," an exhibition of works by 27

sculptors affiliated with Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts,

curated by Kate Somers. Works installed on the grounds, on the rooftop

garden, and in the gallery. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9

a.m. to 5 p.m.; and weekends and holidays, 1 to 5 p.m. To September


Featured artists include Alice Aycock, Mel Edwards, Lauren


John Goodyear, Geoffrey Hendricks, George Segal, Keith Sonnier, Herk

Van Tongeren, and Jackie Winsor. Also Bright Bimpong, Chakaia Booker,

Carson Fox, Harry Gordon, Julia Kunin, Todd Lambrix, and Patrick


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Area Museums

American Hungarian Foundation, 300 Somerset Street, New

Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "The Art of Baron Laszlo Mednyansky in

Context: Works from the Salgo Trust for Education." An exhibition

of works by the turn-of-the-century aristocratic artist who disguised

himself as a pauper to paint grim images of the underbelly of society.

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

1 to 4 p.m. Donation $5. To September 16.

Hunterdon Museum of Art, Lower Center Street, Clinton,

908-735-8415. "Melvin Edwards: The Prints of a Sculptor,"

an exhibit of works on paper by the artist best known for his powerful

work in welded steel. Edwards makes metaphorical references, both

personal and historical, to the African-American experience


cultural references to his extensive travels in Africa. He has taught

at Rutgers Mason Gross School since 1972. Museum hours are Tuesday

to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To June 3.

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