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This article by Pat Summers was prepared for the November 20, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Magical Glow at Grounds For Sculpture
Glowing glass forms inside and outside the window-walls
light the gray day, reflecting vibrant colors in organic shapes. The
amazing glow is from one exhibit: "Dale Chihuly 2002" at Grounds
for Sculpture, Hamilton. On view through April 6, 2003, the exhibition
made a dramatic entrance on a dark and stormy October afternoon. Imagine
how it looks every night.
The sculpture park’s museum building is devoted to Chihuly’s groundbreaking
— such a heavy word for glass objects! — pieces, many in groupings,
that range from sheer glass "baskets" with glass objects inside,
and tall, red, reed-like structures to massive chandeliers with Medusa-like
curls of multi-colored blown glass.
Chihuly has conceived for his medium a rare elasticity; the exuberant,
wildly colorful, free form-seeming results of his vision give the
lie to the reputation of glass as rigid or brittle. It is as if these
pieces were molded in silly putty or some other pliant, brilliant-hued
material, and only then — shazam! — turned into glass.
A wooden rowboat overflows with organic squiggles and tendrils and
bubbles of glass — each a different color. They hang and dangle
and curl from the boat in a calculated chaos. Personification rules:
this is a life boat overflowing with survivors both lively and beautiful,
tumbling all over themselves and one another to reach safety.
From the ceiling, a Chihuly chandelier, its elements highlighted with
gold and silver leaf, makes a giant festive pendant. Each piece can
be removed from its stainless steel armature for travel; they arrived
at Grounds for Sculpture in hundreds of boxes. Another chandelier,
this one an asymmetrical mix of teal, citron, and amber hues, hangs
over the mezzanine, dangling a looping turquoise tail. All blown glass,
A "sculptural chandelier" rises about 12 feet from the floor,
in twists and curls of lime green, yellow, orange, opaque red. Standing
inside, it is echoed by related parts anchored in the fish pond outside
the window. From either side, one part complements the other.
"Gilded Poppy Red Ikebana with Green Stem and Eggplant Frogfoot."
It sounds almost like a chi-chi restaurant entre, though this is more
delicious: a five-foot tall blown glass sculpture of two flowers in
a vase, handily beating out the other ikebana arrangements on view.
Sorry about that, "Supreme Yellow Ikebana with Brilliant Blue
Chihuly’s work is said to be "really about light" and its
interaction with color. Fancy, then, the windowed-end of the museum
covered with huge exotic flowers, striated and jewel-toned — a
"Persian Window" custom-designed for Grounds for Sculpture.
A 17-foot high chandelier comprising spheres in all sizes and hues
is the show’s only sculpture not made of blown glass; it’s an experimental
plastic material that allowed Chihuly to capitalize on its properties.
The walls of the museum’s internal column are covered with the artist’s
"drawings": vivid acrylic paintings on paper. Separately produced,
they’re hung abutting one another in a dazzling mosaic of design and
color — all unmistakably springing from the same spirited source
as the glass pieces, and often serving as guidelines for them.
Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly studied at the universities
of Washington and Wisconsin and the Rhode Island School of Design,
where he also started the glass program and taught. A Fulbright Fellowship
allowed study in Venice, and in the early 70s, he co-founded Pilchuck
Glass School in Washington State.
He works in series, with pieces often grouped — in "Macchia
(spotted) Forest," for instance, a stand of furl-edged flowers,
or vessels, or flower-vessels flourishes along one side of the building.
Some are large enough for a child to sit in, and their interior and
exterior colors contrast wonderfully.
Study and projects abroad have added to Chihuly’s glass-blowing
repertoire, and some of the work on view at Grounds for Sculpture
comes from them — the "Jerusalem Cylinders," are described
as a technical feat because it took a half dozen people exerting "just
the right pressure, just long enough" to attach solid glass rocks
to them. "Red Reeds" reflects things Chihuly learned while
in Venice, and "The Boat" drew on experiences in Finland.
Starting with the website, www.Chihuly.com, it’s easy to learn
about the artist; there are videos and DVDs out there, too. Positive
stories about Chihuly as "consummate teacher and mentor" abound.
Phillip Bruno, of Marlborough Gallery New York, describes the artist’s
Seattle studio as "a Renaissance factory of creativity."
More compelling than either myth or reality is the work itself. See
the exhibition — and don’t worry if it’s dark or stormy when you
arrive: "Dale Chihuly 2002" generates its own light.
— Pat Summers
Road, Hamilton, 609-689-1089. Solo museum show continues to April
6. Videos about Chihuly and his work run continuously in the Domestic
Arts building. Also in the Domestic Arts Building, work by winners
of 2002 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture
Award, to January 10.
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., year round; Sunday
is Members Day. Adult admission is $4 Tuesday through Thursday; $7
Friday and Saturday; and $10 Sunday. Memberships start at $55.
Visions" group show by area and international artists features
Pedro Rodriguez. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and
by appointment. To November 30.
of decorative and functional weavings by Princeton artist Armando
Sosa. A native of Salcaja, Guatemala, Sosa weaves his dreams on handmade
looms creating scenes of soccer games, bullfights, and kite flying.
Open by appointment, show runs to December 20.
Nassau Street, 609-921-6748. "From Tow Path to Bike Path: Princeton
and the Delaware and Raritan Canal," an exhibition on the history
and creation of the canal, the life of death of its workers, and recent
environmental and preservation issues. Tuesday to Sunday, noon to
4 p.m. Show runs to March.
"One World, One Love," a vibrant show of art, crafts, and
jewelry featuring work by two area artists: ceramics by Erica Barton
Haba and glass art by Ed Steckley. Also on exhibit, hand-painted Haitian
silk, paintings, ceramics, and other arts from the Caribbean. Open
Fridays and Saturdays, 1 to 6 p.m., and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. To December
Jorge Armenteros, owner of Little Taste of Cuba, introduces "Artista
Cuba," an exhibition of contemporary Cuban folk art presented
on the walls of Triumph. Show is on view through December.
609-397-0275. "Prints, Paintings and Progression," group exhibit
by Bette Baer, Laura Blasenheim, Merle Citron, John Marcus, Lola Wykoff,
and others. 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 November 22.
609-773-0881. November group show by Robert Allen, Connie Campbell,
Sheila Coutin, Wendy Gordon, Daniele Newbold, Jeane Nielsen, Nancy
Shelly, and Sandra Young. Open Thursday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
To December 1.
Shared show of works by artists Peter Petraglia and Leonard Restiva
featuring an eclectic blend of realistic, impressionistic, and abstract
paintings. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m.
to 6 p.m. To December 1.
"Another Woman’s Dream," a group show of works by Stacie Speer
Scott, Kim Robertson, and Angela Del Vecchio. Open Thursday to Sunday,
noon to 5 p.m. To December 2.
908-996-1470. Holiday invitational show of gallery artists including
Ed Baumlin, Ed Bronstein, W. Carl Burger, Christian Corey, Nessa Grainger,
Carol Ross, Rhoda Yanow, and Frank Zuccarelli. Open Wednesday & Thursday,
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; and Sunday,
noon to 5 p.m. To January 30.
Recent paintings by Ellie Wyeth Fox and ceramic work by the gallery’s
resident artist Jim Webb. Gallery open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.
to 6 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. To December 22.
"A Celebration: Our Land and Its Bounty," a one-man show of
watercolors by Don Patterson. The artist has been elected to the American
Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, and is an honorary
life member of the Philadelphia Water Color Society. Open Tuesday
to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. To November
Trenton, 609-394-4023. In the main lobby gallery, watercolors, photographs,
and hand-painted prints by Deborah Paglione. Always open. To November
Bronze sculptures by LaRue Harding. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To December 12.
New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "From the Old World to the New World,"
recent additions to the collection featuring works by nine Hungarian
Americans who emigrated to the U.S. between 1920 and 1957. Museum
hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to
4 p.m. $5 donation. To April.
732-745-4177. "Uncommon Clay: New Jersey’s Architectural Terra
Cotta Industry," an exhibition of artifacts and written and oral
histories of New Jersey’s once booming architectural ceramics industry.
Open Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
On view to May 30.
732-745-3030. National touring exhibit, "Preserving Memory: America’s
Monumental Legacy," telling the stories behind America’s outdoor
"Robert Sakson: Alone at Last," a solo show by Trenton’s gifted
watercolor artist, part of the Trenton art scene for over 40 years. Museum
hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to
4 p.m. To January 5.
215-340-9800. "Earth, River, and Light: Masterworks of Pennsylvania
Impressionism," an exhibition of Pennsylvania Impressionists’
works. The touring show is accompanied by a new study of Pennsylvania
Impressionism by Brian Peterson; to December 29.
Also "The Berenstain Bears Celebrate: The Art of Stan and Jan
Berenstain," the storybook authors’ first museum retrospective
to January 12. Special admission $10 adult; $7 child.
Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday,
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings to 9 p.m. Regular admission:
$6 adult; $3 child.
Route 1, North Brunswick, 732-249-2077. "Barnscapes: The Changing
Face of Agriculture in New Jersey," photographs of New Jersey
barns and farmlands. On view to January 17. $4 adults, $2 children.
609-292-6464. "100 New Jersey Artists Make Prints," an exhibition
celebrating 15 years of the New Jersey Print and Paper fellows program
at the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper (RCIPP). Judith
Brodsky, Rutgers professor emerita, is founding director of RCIPP
which is currently directed by Lynne Allen. Museum hours are Tuesday
to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To January
West State Street, Trenton, 609-292-6464. "A Decade of Collecting:
Works from the Museum’s Archaeological, Ethnographic, and Natural
History Collections." Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.,
to January 5, 2003.
in Focus: Watercolors from the Henry and Rose Pearlman Collection,"
an exhibition of 16 rarely-seen works on paper by the precursor of
modern painting. To January 12.
Also "Beyond the Visible: A Conservator’s Perspective;" to
January 5. "Lewis Baltz: Nevada and Other Photographs," an
exhibition of recently acquired photographs and series by Lewis Baltz;
to January 19. "Earth’s Beauty Revealed: The 19th-Century European
Landscape;" to January 12. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Highlights tours every Saturday at 2
School, Robertson Hall, 609-258-1651. "After September 11,"
an exhibition of work by Robert Beck, Eleanor Burnette, Thom Cooney
Crawford, Alan Goldstein, Margaret Kennard Johnson, Amy Kosh, Ken
McIndoe, Barbara Osterman, Margaret Rosen, Ludvic Saleh, Sheba Sharrow,
and Madelaine Shellaby. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To
609-771-2198. "A Painting for Over the Sofa (that isn’t really
a painting)," an invitational exhibition curated by the Bernice
Steinbaum Gallery. Artists represented by paintings and inflatable
sofas include Louise Bourgeois, Rico Gatson, Hung Lui, Pepon Osorio,
Miriam Schapiro, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Deborah Willis. Monday
to Friday, noon to 3 p.m.; Thursdays 7 to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to
3 p.m. To December 11.
Library Place, 609-497-7990. "Mountain Tops," an exhibition
of miniature landscape sculptures of natural stones and sand by William
Brower, poet, sculptor, and seminary faculty member emeritus. Gallery
hours are Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 to
8 p.m. To November 30.
Faculty Group Show by 26 faculty members in painting, ceramics, photography,
sculpture, graphic design, drawing, and video. Open Monday 3 to 8
p.m.; Tuesday, noon to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, 1 to 8 p.m., and Thursday,
noon to 3 p.m. To November 21.
609-895-5589. "This and That: The Art of Michael Ramus," a
retrospective show featuring the paintings, drawings, and illustrations
of the Princeton-based artist. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to
7 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. To December 17.
Brunswick, 732-932-7237. Exhibitions include: "Paul Signac: A
Collection of Watercolors and Drawings"; to January 19. "Russian
Cover Design, 1920s to 1930s: The Graphic Face of the Post-Revolutionary
and Stalinist Periods"; to March 30. "Sonia Delaunay: La Moderne,"
celebrating the accomplishments of the key figure (1885 to 1979) in
the development of 20th-century abstraction; to December 28.
Also "Yurii Dyshlenko: Abstraction, Modernity, and Mass Media;"
to January 12. "The National Association of Women Artists Collection
at Rutgers," to December 8. "Ben Shahn: The Rilke Portfolio,"
to December 31. Museum hours are Tuesday through 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; and free
on the first Sunday of every month.
Watercolorists Unlimited group show through January. members include
Donna Senopoulos, Betty Donovan, Miriam Friend, Harriet Kaftanic,
Virginia Hopkins, and Joan Quackenbush.
Squibb , Route 206, Lawrenceville, 609-252-6275. "Up the River,
Now" an exhibition of works by contemporary painters in
the Delaware Valley area. Artists include Elizabeth Augenblick, Joseph
Barrett, Robert Beck, Malcolm Bray, Tom Chesar, Anne Cooper Dobbins,
Suzanne Douglass, Evelyn Faherty, and James Feehan. Open Monday to
Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends and holidays, 1 to 5 p.m. To December
Building 4 Suite J, Lawrenceville, 609-896-0732. The Abud Family
Foundation for the Arts, established to promote Ibero-American art
in various forms, inaugurates its gallery program with a solo show
featuring 24 paintings by Spanish artist Juan Manuel Fuentes. Show
runs to November 24. Gallery is open to the public by appointment,
Wednesday to Friday, 1 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 to 3
New works by Bill Giacalone. Open Wednesday through Sunday and evenings
by appointment. To December 1.
609-298-6970. Group show by new gallery artists Eugene Maziarz, Joe
Kassa, and Ed DeWitt. Open Thursday through Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m..
Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To December 15.
In the Broad Street Antiques Center, a gallery featuring the oil,
pastel, and watercolor paintings of Olga Holroyd. Open Wednesday to
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"Sky Flowers," paintings by Hartini Gibson. Open Tuesday to
Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To December
Road, 609-921-3272. Annual Juried show selected by Sam Hunter, professor
emeritus, Princeton University. Award winners are Gilda Aronovic,
Carol Hanson, Anita Benarde, and Connie Gray. In the Upstairs Gallery,
"Oil and Water," an exhibit of watercolors and oils by Diana
Wilkoc Patton and Larraine C. Williams. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10
a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.
"Recent Paintings" by Stephen Kennedy. Apprenticed to internationally-known
Nelson Shanks during the 1970s, the Fort Washington artist is best
known for his commissioned portraits. Gallery is open Wednesday to
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To November 30.
Branch Station, 908-725-2110. Annual juried members show featuring
award winners Erena Roe, Gary Briechle, and Liz Mitchell. Juror was
Barbara Madsen of Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts. Gallery
hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1
to 4 p.m. To January 18.
Lawrenceville, 609-296-0334. Garden State Watercolor Society sixth
annual Associate Member Juried Exhibition, judged by Betty Stroppel
and Ed Baumlin. To November 22.
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