Art in Town

Campus Arts

Art In Trenton

Art by the River

Area Museums

Art in the Workplace

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This article was prepared for the December 12, 2001 edition

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Portraits: Literal, Fanciful

For as long as there has been mortality, narcissism,

and love, there have been portraits.

In 20th century Philadelphia, a trip through art history reveals


of all kinds, for all motives, from the Greeks and Romans to Andy

Warhol and Alice Neel. It may be an idealized marble bust or an


rendering on board, a tempera betrothal picture or a now-traditional

"boardroom-style" image of a captain of industry. Moving from

the sometimes sublime to the often ridiculous, it may be the annual

grade school picture, the driver license mug shot, the treasured


image of a loved one: portraits, all.

As the definition of "portrait" can vary with time, culture,

and maker, so the means of producing a likeness also changes. The

artist may concentrate on the subject’s external appearance, or try

to reflect internal topography. Neel, for instance, was said to paint

"character," rather than physical reality. The end result

may be literal, fanciful, suggestive; it may idealize or caricature

the subject; and it may or may not succeed in conveying character.

For even if a portrait realizes the artist’s vision, it may displease

or even horrify the subject.

Marsha Child closes the gallery year with a comprehensive exhibition,

"Facing the Truth: The Art of the Portrait," at her gallery

of international art in Princeton. Through 16 artists’ works, that

range from paintings, sculptures, and photography, to prints and


as well as "anamorphosis" — when two-dimensional art takes

on a third dimension — the genre of portraiture can be explored

and enjoyed at Marsha Child Contemporary, from now through January


Child confesses that even though portraiture is an old and respected

genre, it has never been that exciting to her. "I wanted to do

this show to prove to myself that it could be exciting and


with not just well-done works, but interesting ones," she says.

"The work constantly reveals new things. There’s so much


and psychology; it’s all very much about humanity."

For Child, a truly powerful portrait is both individual and universal.

For this panoply of portraits she drew on her gallery artists seeking

works that "capture, in a compelling way, the features of a


person or personality, but at the same time reveal insights into that

person’s inner landscape."

Most of the participating artists are native Europeans or were born

and educated in the former Soviet Union, although some live elsewhere

now. Many of the portraits are drawn from memory, or they are the

artists’ embellishments of other images that got them started; some

are idealized visions of a personality or a concept. Models, per se,

are rarities in the creation of these works.

The four pieces by Piotr Woroniec, a Polish sculptor, are carved wood

with varying patinas, and may also involve found objects and charcoal.

His works are described as "types" — the painter (in


of course); a violinist (arching with the music he plays); the


(all our worst dreams in one figure). Woroniec’s subjects are basic,

even earthy; his technique, refined.

Igor Tishin’s conceptual painted portraits and lithographs are not

about specific individuals. Rather, they may have been inspired by

the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, Child says, and sometimes the text

and image are layered together. Born in Belarus, Tishin now lives

in Belgium. Sharing Tishin’s country of origin and conceptual bent,

Rusian Vashkevich redefines the portrait in his paintings and prints:

the features are there, but not in the usual order. His


definitely departs from the ordinary.

Tomek Sikora, a Pole who also lives in Australia, makes unusual


portraits. He starts by taking a portrait picture, then he photographs

his subject holding that original photo in front of her or his face,

making in effect a kind of mask, or anti-mask. Sikora has published

a collection of these double-photo portraits in book form, accompanied

with the first responses his subjects wrote on seeing the finished


Faces and masks: similar in their ability to reveal

or hide. Teresa Kowalska, of Poland, works in bronze, usually creating

masks. A mask may hide the face, she seems to suggest, but it may

not work unless the eyes are also hidden — they can reveal so


Ricardo Barros, a photographer based in Princeton who works out of

a studio in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, is represented in the show

by works from his continuing portrait series of sculptors and their

work. His finished image of Joseph Acquah, a Ghanian sculptor now

on staff at the Johnson Atelier, actually began with Acquah’s own

bronze self-portrait, which Barros says "has a remarkable degree

of likeness."

Barros first photographed the sculpture, making careful notes on the

details of the shoot, such as camera, lens, lighting. Then he


Acquah himself, duplicating those conditions. His technique for


the finished image required darkroom work to blend the two negatives

— which at first worked almost too well, he says. The first


was so seamless that even the tribal scars on both of Acquah’s cheeks

looked like mirror images; the only giveaway was the eye on the


side of the face.

Barros then introduced a third negative involving the lines of a


and some overlap, to prompt viewers to take a second look. This step

also suggested things about Acquah’s work and spirit that pleased

Barros. The photo portrait featured in the show, inspired, Barros

says, by Acquah’s own portrait achievement, merges an image of


bust with his photo-image.

Georges Mazilu, a Romanian who now lives in France, is said to be

seeking God in his search for perfection through idealized oil


of women. Working on panel or canvas, his surfaces are meticulously

smooth; his quest always implicit. Valeriy Skrypka’s small oil


are at once tranquil and mysterious. Using an earthy palette, this

Ukrainian painter creates otherworldly figures whose proportions are

elegantly elongated.

Istvan Orosz, of Hungary, brings to the art of the portrait his


process called "anamorphosis." Requiring mastery of


Orosz’s work starts with a finely detailed etching, for instance,

one showing Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. All by itself, the


image is notable. But place a shiny metal cylinder on the print and

look closely to see a portrait of the bard reflected back onto the

metal. With this step, the art work becomes three-dimensional, with

two images. In similar fashion, Orosz has also created portrait


to artist M.C. Escher and writer Jules Verne.

Her definition of "portrait" might be "a little


Child says. For her and this exhibition it includes full-body views

as well as faces only. Maybe so, but then again, not far from her

gallery on Alexander Street, Princeton University last month unveiled

a full-length, 10-foot, 2-inch tall sculpture of John Witherspoon,

designed in the "heroic realist" manner. There are portraits

and portraits.

Facing the Truth: The Art of the Portrait, Marsha Child

Contemporary , 220 Alexander Street, 609-497-7330. Group exhibition

continues to January 12. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30

a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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Art in Town

Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street,


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

Proceeds benefit the WPA Gallery. Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,

and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4:30 p.m.; and

Thursdays and Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. To December 22.

Chapin School, 4101 Princeton Pike, 609-924-7206.


to Abutilon Theophrasti et al," a show of ceramics by Connie


Gallery is open by appointment during school hours. To December 21.

Anne Reid Art Gallery, Princeton Day School, The Great

Road, 609-924-6700. Weavings, ceramics, paintings, watercolors, and

woodcarvings by the artists of Mexico’s Oaxaca region. Home to the

Zapotec Indians in the country’s southern state, Oaxaca is the site

of the ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla. Spanish teacher Marlene Kurtz

curated the show of works collected during her sabbatical research

trip. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Through

December 15.

Numina Gallery, Princeton High School, Moore Street,


Mel Leipzig, paintings and studies, a show curated by students. All

profits from sale of works go directly to PHS art programs. Monday

to Friday, 3 to 5 p.m.; and by appointment from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To

January 14.

Princeton Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street, 609-921-0100.

"Gilada Africana: An Exhibition of Lap Quilts and Wall


by Mo Fleming. Open Sunday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To January


Triumph Brewing Company, 138 Nassau Street, 609-924-7855.

"Artista Cuba," contemporary Cuban folk art from the


of Jorge Armenteros who has been studying and collecting Cuban art

since 1996.

Williams Gallery, 16-1/2 Witherspoon Street, 609-921-1142.

"A Far Eastern Perspective: Windows to a Vibrant Culture"

featuring printmakers Susumu Endo, Margaret K. Johnson, Yoshikatsu

Tamekane, and Hamanishi Katsunori. Gallery hours are Tuesday to


11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To December 22.

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Campus Arts

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


of Stone: Roman Sculpture in the Art Museum" and "Pliny’s

Cup: Roman Silver in the Age of Augustus;" to January 20. Open

Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free

tours of the collection every Saturday at 2 p.m.

Also "Camera Women," a selective survey of the history of

photography from the perspective of the woman photographer, organized

by Carol Armstrong. Also "Contemporary Photographs." Both

shows to January 6.

Firestone Library, Milberg Gallery, Princeton University,

609-258-3184. "Not for Myself Alone: A Celebration of


Writers," the debut show for the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Collection

of Jewish-American Writers. A two-volume catalog accompanies the


Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and

Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. On view to April 21.

The exhibit ranges from the early 19th century to the present day

and includes Yiddish-language writers as well as writers in English.

The earliest writer represented is Rebecca Gratz; other 19th-century

authors include Emma Lazarus, Isaac Leeser, Nathan Meyer, Penina


Mordecai M. Noah, and Isaac Meyer Wise.

Princeton University, Firestone Library,


In the lobby: "The Japanese Print," an exhibit curated by

Alfred Bush. To January 31.

Gallery at Mercer County College, Communications Center,

West Windsor, 609-586-4800, ext. 3589. "Object Values"


photography of MCCC alumnus Eric T. Kunsman and Princeton artist Susan

Hockaday. Gallery hours Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.;


evenings 6 to 8 p.m.; Thursday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. To December 20.

Area Galleries

Firehouse Gallery, 8 Walnut Street, Bordentown,


"Giant Exhibit of Miniature Art," annual show featuring more

than 200 works by 25 artists and featuring Florida artist Peggie


Gallery hours are Wednesday 4 to 9 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday mornings,

and by appointment. To February 1.

Gallery 14, 14 Mercer Street, Hopewell, 609-333-8511.

"Small Works, Perfect Gifts," a holiday show by gallery


Vivian Abbot, Jay Anderson, Marilyn Anderson, DF Connors, Heinz


M. Jay Goodkind, Ed Greenblat, Rhoda Kassof-Isaac, David H. Miller,

and Carol Yam. Hours are Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to

5 p.m. To December 23.

Hopewell Frame Shop, 24 West Broad Street, Hopewell,


Watercolors by Gail Bracegirdle. Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To December 23.

Montgomery Cultural Center, 1860 House, 124 Montgomery

Road, 609-921-3272. Holiday art sale of paintings, drawings, prints,

photographs, and note cards ranging from $3 to $300 by the Creative

Artists Guild, a benefit for the 1860 house. Open Tuesday to Friday,

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To December 23. Also


in Paint" featuring artists of the Raritan Valley Arts


to December 28.

Morpeth Gallery, 43 West Broad Street, Hopewell,


Betty Curtiss, plein air paintings in oil of the barns and bovines

of the Skillman Dairy Farm. Also still life paintings from the


Princeton neighborhood, especially the fish market. Gallery is open

Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To

December 23.

Printmaking Council of New Jersey, 440 River Road, North

Branch Station, 908-725-2110. The 27th annual juried members show,

juried by Lynne Allen, director of the Rutgers Center for Innovative

Print and Paper. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m.

to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. To December 21

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Art In Trenton

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


Hill: Art from the Hill," an exhibition celebrating Mill Hill

residents and their artwork. Works in all media by a group that


Ann and Jim Carlucci, Victoria Cattanea, Peter Crandall, Andre


Lisa Fullemann, Pierre Jaborska, Lisa and Peter Kasabach, and many

others. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.;

Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. To December 15.

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park,


"The Three M’s: Marge, Marguerite, and Molly," featuring works

by Trenton artists Marge Chavooshian, Marguerite Dorenbach, and Molly

Merlino. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.;

Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. To January 6.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Fall/Winter Exhibition. 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


Annual memberships start at $45. To February 24.

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

609-292-6464. "George Washington and the Battle of Trenton: The

Evolution of an American Image," an exhibition that documents

the historic context of the American Revolution, the "Ten Crucial

Days" of the Trenton campaign that was the turning point, and

the subsequent commemoration of George Washington’s heroic image by

American artists. To February 24.

Also "American Indians as Artists: The Beginnings of the State

Museum’s Ethnographic Collection," to December 15. "Natural

Selections: Sculpture by Elaine Lorenz," to December 30. "Art

by African-Americans in the Collection," to August 18, 2002.

"Images of Americans on the Silver Screen," to April 14, 2002.

Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday

noon to 5 p.m. Website:

On extended view: "New Jersey’s Native Americans: The


Record"; "Delaware Indians of New Jersey"; "The Sisler

Collection of North American Mammals"; "Of Rock and Fire";

"Neptune’s Architects"; "The Modernists"; "New

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

the Delaware."

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Art by the River

ABC Gallery, Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lilly Street,

609-397-0275. "Little Windows," an exhibition of acrylics

on paper and canvas by Sharon Nieburg. Both narrative and nostalgic,

the artist says her paintings open little windows through which she

hopes her viewer will step. Gallery hours are Monday and Thursday,

1 to 9 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday 1 to

5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To January 12.

Coryell Gallery, 8 Coryell Street, Lambertville,


Winter Exhibition features Albert Bross Jr. and Vincent Ceglia.


hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To January 6.

Gratz Gallery, 30 West Bridge Street, New Hope,


"Crilley 2002," an exhibition of new oils by Joseph Crilley.

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

noon to 6 p.m. To January 6.

Paintings of Italy, England, and Nova Scotia, as well as Bucks and

Hunterdon County, are included in the show. Many of the works depict

familiar country scenes, bustling local street scenes, and


landmarks such as the New Hope-Ivyland Train Station. Crilley’s new

non-objective paintings also bring a new element to his broad and

capable range of expression.

Hanga, 12 West Mechanic Street, New Hope, 215-862-7044.

James T. Lang, lithographs, colographs, and mixed-media works on


in the Artworks Building. Gallery is open noon to 9 p.m. daily.

Old English Pine, 202 North Union Street, Lambertville,

609-397-4978. "Apropos," Malcolm Bray’s seventh annual show

of innovative contemporary painting and sculpture. Artists include

Rachel Bliss, Malcolm Bray, Jacques Fabert, Michael Hale, Diane


Bonnie MacLean, Dolores Poacelli, Barry Snyder, Patricia Traub, and

Annelies van Dommelen. Hung upstairs above the antique showroom, show

is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., to December 31.

Riverrun Gallery, 287 South Main Street, Lambertville,

609-397-3349. Myles Cavanaugh, "The Cigar Box Theater," a

solo exhibit of wooden boxes depicting three-dimensional scenes with

mechanical, moving parts inspired by Calder’s Circus. Gallery is open

daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Tuesday. To December 30.

Cavanaugh says he enjoys the interactive quality of these dioramas.

"The viewer becomes part of the story," he says, " by

manipulating the figures and creating relationships between the


That psychological element causes people to continue to think about

the pieces." His gritty urban settings include a seedy motel room,

a walk-up apartment, and a barber shop.

Tin Man Alley, 12 West Mechanic Street, New Hope,


"Mars-Barr," a shared show featuring Chris Mars’s brooding

figures and Glenn Barr’s voluptuous lounge lizards. Website:

Gallery hours are Thursday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. To January


Travis Gallery, 6089 Route 202, New Hope, 215-794-3903.

Holiday show of 60 contemporary works by Rick Brown, Jerry Cable,

Robert Goetzl, Glenn Harrington, Suan Ketcham, Barbara Lewis, and

others. To December 22.

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Area Museums

Hunterdon Museum of Art, Lower Center Street, Clinton,

908-735-8415. "Degrees of Figuration," a diverse exploration

of the human figure by Bill Leech, Tom Nussbaum, Keary Rosen, Linda

Stojak, and Charles Yuen. Also "Frank Sabatino," abstract

wall sculptures created from rare woods and found objects. And


Stirner," welded iron abstract sculpture. Tuesday to Sunday, 11

a.m. to 5 p.m. To January 6.

Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown,

215-340-9800. "Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in


Painting, 1950 to 2000," an exhibition featuring the work of


recognized realist artists and educators who were born and trained

in Pennsylvania. Artists include Diane Burko, Sidney Goodman, Alice

Neel, Philip Pearlstein, Nelson Shanks, Andy Warhol, Neil Welliver,

and Andrew Wyeth. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;


& Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings to 9 p.m. $6.

To January 6.

Also: "Taking Liberties: Photographs of David Graham." The

Bucks County photographer, sometimes called a


to January 27. "Bucks County’s Children," paintings, prints,

collages, and sculpture by students of Council Rock School District.

To December 31.

Zimmerli Art Museum, George and Hamilton streets, New

Brunswick, 732-932-7237. "The Baltics: Nonconformist and Modernist

Art During the Soviet Era," the first major survey of modernist

art produced in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during the post-World

War II Soviet period. The show features 150 works from the Zimmerli’s

Dodge Collection produced in reaction to communist repression. Show

continues to March 17. Also opening, "St. Petersburg, 1921,"

to March 10. $3 adults; free to students and children.

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


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

is open free to the public on the first Sunday of every month.


tours every Sunday at 2 and 3 p.m.

Top Of Page
Art in the Workplace

Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters Gallery, One Johnson

& Johnson Plaza, New Brunswick, 732-524-6957. "Nature as


watercolor paintings by Princeton artist Nancy Lee Kern based on


motifs and classical Greek mythology. By appointment only. To December


Kern grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and trained at the Maryland


the Albright Museum, and the Art Students League, New York. From


and etchings to larger works based on vast terrain and dramatic skies,

Kern’s works have featured nature as a central theme. "Nature

has served me well as an inspiration and a passion," she says.

"This spirit continues to flow in the brilliance of


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