The opening of the new year also provides the opening of several new exhibitions at area museums and galleries. And with the following venues offering high value art for no admission, there is no time like the present to get out of the house and take in an eyeful.
Princeton University Art Museum: “Revealing Pictures: Photographs from the Christopher E. Olofson Collection,” opens on Saturday, February 4. The exhibition highlights photography’s ability to explore “issues of identity, place, and nationhood” and features works by international artists including Zanele Muholi, who began making a series of portraits as a form of visual activism in response to crimes against gays and women in her native South Africa. It continues through Sunday, July 2.
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton campus, 609-258-3788 or artmuseum.princeton.edu.
The Trenton City Museum presents “Furniture as Art,” on view from January 21 through March 12.
The exhibition is designed to put a spotlight on the physical objects that bring comfort and beauty into daily life and has four components: antique and Trenton-made furniture from the museum’s permanent collection; a private collection of Windsor chairs; work by contemporary regional furniture designers Robert Whitley of New Hope, Geoffrey Noden of Ewing, and Ru Amagasu who carries on the Nakashima tradition outside New Hope; and contemporary paintings where furniture figures into the composition by area artists, including Robert Sakson, Mel Leipzig, Joe Gyurcsak, and Norman Simms.
Public events include an opening reception on Sunday, January 22, from 2 to 4 p.m., and a Sunday, February 26, talk by Robert Whitley (time to be determined).
Trenton City Museum, Ellasrlie Mansion, Cadwalader Park, Parkside and Stuyvesant avenues, Trenton. 609-989-1191 or www.ellarslie.org.
The Arts Council of Princeton: “Philip Pearlstein: A Legacy of Influence” celebrates one of America’s greatest living figurative artists. Artist, ACP instructor, and former Pearlstein student Charles David Viera curated and involved other active artists who had studied or were associated with Pearlstein to participate.
Born in 1923 and active for more than 70 years, Pearlstein has a reputation linked to his rigorous exploration of a traditional theme — mainly the female nude in hyper-objective paintings rendered from life and structured in a manner, he says, to “hold their own if they would be exhibited alongside the abstract and expressionistic works of my friends.”
The latter includes his onetime colleague — and later New York roommate — Andy Warhol. Yet the love from his former students comes from Pearlstein’s aesthetic discipline, clear vision, and encouragement for students to create “without resorting to any preconceived knowledge of anatomy or so-called correct academic measurements of proportions, color or rules of perspective.”
In addition to work by the Flemington-based Viera, the exhibition includes paintings by American artists Janet Fish (New York), Stephen Lorber (New York), Altoon Sultan (Vermont), Tony Phillips (Chicago), George Nick (Massachusetts), Lorraine Shemesh (New York), Thomas Corey (Rome), and Pearlstein (New York) — who will also provide a free gallery talk on Saturday, February 18, at 2 p.m. The exhibition continues through March 25.
Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. 609-924-8777 or artscouncilofprinceton.org.
Artworks Trenton opens its walls to two contemporary artists. One is Summit, New Jersey, raised and now New York-based fabric artist Juliet Martin, whose “My Eyes are down Here” features hand woven, headless female bodies. The other is Trenton-area artist Katelyn Liepin, who presents “The Shortest Distance Between Two Points,” an installation using nontraditional drawing materials to explore architecture and space. The shows open on with a formal reception on Saturday, January 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., and remains on view through February 28.
Artworks, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton. 609-394-9436 or www.artworkstrenton.org.
The Bernstein Gallery at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs opens its “Gods of War,” Maryland artist and professor Phyllis Plattner’s large altar-like panels of gold leaf and paint that explore war, political upheaval, and racial and ethnic violence. While the exhibition opens on Friday, January 27, a formal reception is set for Friday, February 10.
Following is “Salvadoran Remnants,” Oscar Rene Cornejo’s exhibition of paintings, prints, and assemblages to explore his native El Salvador’s civil war and its effects on a society struggling to reconcile its past. Friday, March 3, through Friday, April 7, with a reception set for March 3.
Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Washington Road and Prospect Avenue, Princeton. 609-497-2441 or wws.princeton.edu/about-wws/bernstein-gallery.
Rider University Art Gallery: “Allen Fitzpatrick: Recent Works” opens with a reception on Thursday, January 26. Fitzpatrick, a Lawrenceville School faculty member, talk about his new still life and landscape paintings during a gallery talk on Thursday, February 2. The show will be on view through February 26.
Rider University Art Gallery, Luedeke Center, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville. 609-921-2663 or www.rider.edu/artgallery.
The D&R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton has four exhibitions on view Thursday, January 19, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., as well as daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through February 3.
On view are “Beauty Takes Flight” by photographer Jim Amon; “Nature’s Potpourri” by students of Heather Barros; “Inspirational Landscapes: Around the World” with pastel artist Grace Previty Johnston; and “Farms, Barns and Bridges” selected works from D&R Greenway’s own juried exhibit celebrating the rural landscape of the Garden State, includes a special section of artwork by Joe Kazimierczyk.
A closing reception with light refreshments is planned for Thursday, February 2, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., RSVP and information at 609-924-4646. 1 Preservation Place, Princeton. www.drgreenway.org.
Lakefront Gallery at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Hamilton: The Princeton Photography Club hosts an opening reception for “A Grounds For Sculpture History: The Land in Pictures and Words,” on Thursday, January 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition uses photography and archival materials to show the transformation of the former New Jersey State Fair Grounds into the internationally known sculpture garden. It remains on view through April 6.
Lakefront Gallery, Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, 1 Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton. 732-422-3676 or www.princetonphotoclub.org/LakefrontGallery.html.
Mercer County Artists 2017 Exhibition, this year’s edition of the annual juried show coordinated by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, starts with an opening reception and awards ceremony on Wednesday, February 22, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Mercer County Community College Gallery and remains on view through Thursday, March 23.
MCCC Gallery, Communications Center, West Windsor. 609-570-3589 or www.mccc.edu/gallery.