We crash a lot of parties and what we like is when we walk into a party with 250 guests and everyone looks either chic or interesting — or better yet, chic and interesting. The Brodsky Center Gala was like that. Perhaps because it took place at the Mason Gross Art Galleries, which are large and spacious and hung with contemporary art (all of it in the print medium including works made from handmade paper, silkscreens, paper sculpture, photographs, and pages from handmade books), and perhaps because so many of the guests were artists — and many of those were from New York — the party had the distinct energy of a New York art opening: cosmopolitan and edgy, with a few guests who looked, well, dangerous — in a good way.
The evening honored Audrey Gould, founder of the Gould Group, an investment counseling group under the umbrella of Wells Fargo Advisors. Her two daughters, Ellen Gould Baber and Georgeanne Gould Moss, are her partners. A board member of the Brodsky Center, Audrey also serves on the Board of Governors of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Child Health Institute of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and the Princeton Public Library Foundation. She and her husband, Kenneth Gould, a pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and clinical professor of child psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, have endowed the Dr. Kenneth S. & Audrey S. Gould Lecture Series in Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the Child Health Institute.
The evening also honored artist Kiki Smith and poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, both influential figures in the contemporary realm of limited edition, hand printed books. Judith Brodsky, Princeton resident and interim and founding director of the center, spoke at length about the work of both artists and concluded, “Kiki and Mei-mei, we honor you for your spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, your willingness to cross boundaries for the sake of art and poetry, and the gifts you have given the world as a result of your mutual artistic creations.”
The event also welcomed the six new museum directors in New Jersey, including James Steward, the new director of the Princeton University Art Museum, and Suzanne Delehanty, the new director of the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers.
An art sale and live auction to benefit the Brodsky Center’s artist-in-residence program featured such art works as a photogravure diptech by Fred Wilson, a MacArthur genius award winner and the American artist at the Venice Biennale a few years ago; a 20 page portfolio of humorous and moving combinations of etchings, lithography, and silkscreens by Trenton Doyle Hancock, the youngest artist ever to have been in the Whitney Biennial, whose images and style are derived from his childhood of loving fast food, comic books, and pop music; and “Black Waterfall” by Buzz Spector, a piece in which the paper moves away from being flat to being sculptural.
The Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions commissions artists-in-residence to create new work in collaboration with its master printers and papermakers. It is located in the Mason Gross Art Galleries, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. 732-932-2222, extension 838, www.brodskycenter.org.