Art in Town

Art in the Workplace

Art On Campus

Art In Trenton

Other Galleries

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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 22, 2000. All rights reserved.

Women Old and New

Rounded lines of shoulder, hip, and thigh; soft-edged

pastels behind graceful body shapes; intense vignettes — really

"painted snapshots" — seemingly caught in photographic

stop-action; a fine-line picture of a half-dressed, half-naked woman;

curving sculptures all around. Throughout the bi-level gallery space,

art works on paper and canvas convey varied images by and of women,

or "Old and New Expectations: Women through the Millennium."

Jointly curated by partners Mary Lou Bock of the Williams Gallery

and Debbie Pringle of Pringle International Art, the exhibition features

four artists whom they represent, with sculptures by four others.

Bock and Pringle affiliated about a year ago, retaining their individual

business names and artists. Now, expressing pleasure with the results,

they both operate out of 8 Chambers Street, sometimes collaborating

on joint exhibitions, like the current one, and taking turns the rest

of the time. Last summer, with a new millennium imminent and the ever-changing

role of women in mind, they decided on this show. In assembling a

wide spectrum of images and styles, they have also mixed mediums both

traditional and new: etchings to oils, and watercolor to computer.

Aptly self-referential, "Fluid Lines" looks like pen and ink

outlines on blocks of color, and could typify artist Barbara Nessim’s

"look" right now. Her "Call Waiting," a 1996 Giclee

limited edition print, is also characterized by color boxes that house

bandaged figures. In "Tea Leaves," a sad figure seems to hug

herself as she sits behind a small table on which a cup and saucer,

and three leaves, are placed.

Suggesting "migration, integration, population," both her

watercolors and her works involving the computer reflect Nessim’s

belief that "in 50 years, we’ll be more a global society."

Individual differences will blur, and people will be more similar

than different. Behind her drawings of people and shapes, a pale flag

for any one of many countries is often blurrily discernable. Making

them more timeless and universal, her human figures are wrapped in

strips or bandages; except for "The Book," there’s no distracting

hair or clothing style to date them. Even so, they are immediately

familiar.

Nessim’s evolving, changing work might be seen as a microcosm of the

show itself. In her opening-gallery talk, she traced her work from

its feminist beginnings to today’s global perspective. In the 1970s,

the underlying themes of her work were reproduction and reproductive

rights, as in "The Delivery." By the ’80s, seeing the computer

as the art tool of the future, and one that could break down boundaries,

she taught herself to use it — with such pronounced effect that

their professional relationship began in 1987, when Mary Lou Bock

saw Nessim’s work in "Digital Visions: Computers and Art."

In a series of sketch books that goes back to the ’60s,

Nessim has drawn and colored "bits and pieces of people’s lives,

one idea building on another." Some of these sketches make their

way into her computer, where she can layer them, change size and color,

and overall, "marry images" to create the completed piece

she wants.

Besides chairing the illustration department at Parsons School of

Design in New York, Nessim continues to work in both traditional and

electronic mediums. Her work can also be seen on the Williams Gallery

website, www.wmgallery.com.

The title of artist Jorg Schmeisser’s etching was appropriated for

the entire exhibition. On one side, she wears a formal black dress

and holds a posy in the conventional, modest way. Diagrams of corsets

float nearby. On the other side, she is naked, voluptuous. Sharply

drawn fragments of faces and mouths surround this side of the figure,

which represents "Old and New Expectations" — showing

graphically in one creature the dual nature that has been attributed

to, or desired of, women for much longer than one millennium.

A world-renowned printmaker whose work has been compared to Durer’s,

Schmeisser often portrays women in his finely-wrought, detailed, and

layered art. The subject of a solo exhibition opening April 29 at

the Williams Gallery, Schmeisser has produced etching series on subjects

that range from his myriad travel destinations, through architecture

to natural forms, such as seashells and rocks. Distinctively inked,

they achieve great variety through tones of ochre or red-orange accenting

his blue-blacks. Pomeranian by birth, Schmeisser studied in Germany

and Japan, and for many years headed the printmaking workshop of the

Australian National University, Canberra School of Art.

Beautifully contrasting with the liney effect of Schmeisser’s prints,

the expressionistic oils of Gabriel Schmitz provide an appealing counterpoint.

His attraction to the mediums of photography and cinematography shows

in his brushy-looking portraits, in which he seems to have captured

his subjects in movement, if not in flight. A haunting, or haunted,

woman’s face emerges "From the Dark," and a vibrant background

points up the intense face in "Small Blue Maria," with tones

of blue throughout, while "Not Her (Biljana)" with an orange

ground, compels attention. "Japanese Dancer" conveys the subject’s

explosive energy in just a few strokes.

Schmitz’s largest picture intended for this exhibition, "Amaranthe,"

was damaged in shipment, but the artist may be able to repair and

re-ship it before the show closes April 8. Now about 30 and youngest

of the four featured artists, Schmitz has alluded to a "kind of

female sensibility that pervades my painting, not just in what is

painted but in how it is painted." He was trained in Germany,

Scotland, and Spain, where he now lives.

Like Henry Moore, who was once her teacher, Mary Stork

reduces the human form to its basic elements, says Debbie Pringle,

of the English artist she met a few years ago while on vacation in

Cornwall. Stork’s pastels show rounded female shapes reminiscent of

Matisse, but uniquely her own, with some ravishing hues in unexpected

applications. As the others also do, "Heat" shows a woman

with her eyes closed or averted, and, in suitably warm tones, heavy,

curvaceous limbs. "Music" includes a fiddle form and a striking

purple shade. Stork uses color to define some shapes, sometimes using

sweeps of color that look like the flat side of a pastel. Her strong

colors contrast with the softer shades in Nissem’s art, across the

room.

Stork studied art in Bristol and at the Slade School of Fine Art,

London, before putting her art career on hold to raise a family. She

resumed full-time work in pastels, painting, and sculpture in the

late ’80s, exhibiting widely since then. She lives in Penzance.

Appealing sculptures from artists who are represented by either Bock

or Pringle supplement the gallery’s two-dimensional works. Mark Bava’s

dark-finished figurative bronzes, especially "Cellular Idol,"

with its gleaming cell phone and antenna, are amusing. Jerome Collins

shows turquoise-patinaed bronze figures enmeshed in nets, biking,

and arm in arm. Richard Erdman’s abstract bronzes are invariably smooth

and curving, with either a dark finish and surface markings, or shiny

or turquoise patinas. Judith Hoyt’s comparatively flat figurative

pieces in mixed media include one that hangs.

Although four, or even eight, artists’ views of women "through

the millennium" hardly seems comprehensive, how many artists would

suffice? Maybe, in justice, as many artists as there are women, in

their infinite variety. For now, Williams and Pringle have deepened

our acquaintance with the views of four notable contemporary artists.

— Pat Summers

Old and New Expectations, the Williams Gallery/Pringle

International Art, 8 Chambers Street, 609-921-1142. Open Tuesday to

Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. Show runs through

Saturday, April 8.

Top Of Page
Art in Town

Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, 609-924-8777.

"Small Works Show," the annual exhibition of diminutive art,

continues to March 31.

Firebird Gallery, 15 Witherspoon, 609-688-0775. An exhibition

of work by children’s book illustrator Charles Santore, celebrating

his latest book, "The Fox and the Rooster," with original

artwork from his "Snow White" and "Little Mermaid."

To May 15. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Born in Philadelphia in 1935, Santore graduated from the Museum School

of Art, studying illustration with Henry C. Pitz, Albert GOld, and

Ben Eisenstat. His first editorial assignment was for the Saturday

Evening Post. Since venturing into children’s book illustration in

1985, he has produced seven wooks. In 1992 he was honored with a major

exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum.

Historical Society of Princeton, Bainbridge House, 158

Nassau Street, 609-921-6748. "Here Today, Where Tomorrow? The

Curious Travels of Princeton’s Moved Buildings," an exhibition

of more than 180 images of Princeton buildings on their original sites,

in transit, and on new sites in Princeton. To April 1. Free. Museum

hours are Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Medical Center at Princeton, Witherspoon Street, 609-497-4192.

A dining room exhibition of watercolors by Beverly S. Nickel. Percentage

of sales benefits the Medical Center. To May 18. Open 8 a.m. to 7

p.m. daily.

Princeton Theological Seminary, Erdman Hall Gallery, 20

Library Place, 609-497-7994. "Expressions of Faith, Serious and

Whimsical," John Paterson’s collection of 22 works of art in all

media. Artists include John and Katherine Paterson, Nena Bryans, Joy

Saville, Susan Crawford, and Stephen Zorochin. To April 8. Gallery

hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday to 4:30

p.m.; Sunday 2 to 9:30 p.m.

Small World Coffee, 14 Witherspoon Street, 609-924-4377.

A show of black and white photography by Scott Hoerl whose primary

interest is architectural photography which he combines with a love

of travel. Making images of popular sites, he goes beyond the documentary

form to capture the timeless essence of the locations. To April 3.

Stuart Country Day School, Norbert Considine Gallery,

1200 Stuart Road, 609-921-2330. Princeton Artists Alliance members’

theme show, "Regeneration: An Exhibition in Celebration of Change"

exploring ideas of seasonal renewal, growth, evolutions, revolutions,

family and new life. Founded in 1989, PAA is an organization of professional

artists whose 22 exhibiting members include Clem Fiori, Shellie Jacobson,

Lore Lindenfeld, Nancy Lee Kern, Ruane Miller, Tina Salvesen, and

Harry Naar. To April 6.

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Art in the Workplace

Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Route 206 and Province

Line Road, 609-252-6275. "Making a Difference," a 10-year

retrospective exhibition of photographic portraits by Charlotte Raymond

that captures the spirit of people from around the world who have

been part of the company’s mission to extend and enhance human life.

Locations extend from London to Laguna Beach and from Australia to

Africa. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends

and holidays, 1 to 5 p.m. To April 9.

Educational Testing Service, Conant Hall Lounge Gallery,

Carter and Rosedale roads, 609-921-9000. "Angel Art," a mixed-media

theme show by Susanne Pitak Davis. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to

9 p.m. To March 26.

Merrill Lynch Financial Center, 800 Scudders Mill Road,

Plainsboro, 609-282-3401. A solo exhibition of sculpture and works

on paper by Eleanor Burnette. A graduate of Chicago State University,

and a former apprentice at the Johnson Atelier, her work has been

exhibited extensively, including a 20-year retrospective at Mercer

County College. To April 27.

Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building 2, Lawrenceville,

609-895-7307. "Optical Illusions: Nancy Laughlin and David Savage,"

works by two artists who explore the effects of heightened color and

unexpected formal relationships to surprise and engage the viewer.

To June 9. Exhibit is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Laughlin graduated from the California College of Arts and Crafts

in 1973 followed by studies at the Johnson Atelier. Savage, born in

Brooklyn in 1923, earned a degree in architecture before moving to

Paris where he studied with Leger until 1951. Returning to the U.S.

and architecture, his recent series of abstract paintings is the "Jyira

Series."

Summit Bancorp Gallery, 301 Carnegie Center at Route 1,

609-799-6706. The fourth annual group show curated by DeLann Gallery,

Plainsboro. More than 90 works by African-American artists as well

as black artists from origins as diverse as Haiti, Ghana, and Uganda,

are featured in media that include oil, acrylic, photography, sculpture,

and ceramics. Also, art and artifacts from the African continent.

To April 7. Exhibition is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Top Of Page
Art On Campus

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

by Barbara Bosworth, a survey exhibition of panoramic photographs

and the debut of the 24-print narrative sequence, "The Bitterroot

River," a meditation on loss, memory, and place, recently added to

the permanent collection. Exhibition continues to June 18. 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.

"Bosworth has created a body of work that speaks with a singular

passion and sentiment for the American landscape," says curator

Toby Jurovics. Her photographs, which consider themes as divers as

the culture of tourist landscapes to series on hunters and hunting,

are a personal exploration of the multilayered meanings and uses of

the landscape that reflect the artist’s own experience with nature.

Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University,

609-258-4790. "From Form to Whimsy," an exhibition of Cubist-inspired

paintings by Ruth Goodman, a former architectural draftsman in the

studio of Michael Graves, who began a new career as an artist in 1977.

To March 31. Daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays; weekends from 8:30

a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Art In Trenton

Capital Health System, Mercer Campus, 446 Bellevue Avenue,

Trenton, 609-394-4121. Garden State Watercolor Society exhibition

by members of the statewide organization, founded in 1970 by Dagmar

Tribble. To April 28 in the lobby gallery that is always open.

Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park, 609-989-3632.

Ellarslie Open XVIII, the annual juried showcase of work by regional,

state, and nationally known artists. This year’s jurors, Ruth Morpeth

of the Morpeth Gallery, C.J. Mugavero of Artful Deposit, and Grace

Croteau of Riverrun Galleries selected from among 300 entries by 90

artists. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday 2 to

4 p.m.

Extension Gallery, 60 Ward Avenue, Mercerville, 609-890-7777.

Zachary Orcutt, an exhibition of bronze sculptures and relief paintings

created over the past three years. A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University,

he entered the apprentice program at the Johnson Atelier in 1998.

He is now a staff member in the installations department. To March

30. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Fall-Winter Exhibition. In the Museum and Domestic Arts

Building, "Beverly Pepper," one-artist show. On the mezzanine,

a thematic photography show, "Focus on Sculpture." To April

16. Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment.

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

609-292-6464. "Unseen Treasures: Imperial Russia and the New World,"

an exhibit of historic treasures of the Russian empire. The dazzling

collection of 300 art objects and artifacts from Russian’s famed State

Historical Museum and State Archive is displayed in five historical

settings. Show remains on view through April 16. Admission $10; $6

children. Advance ticket purchase at 800-766-6048 or online at www.tickets.com.

Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The dazzling collection of over 300 art objects and artifacts from

Russia’s famed State Historical Museum and the State Archive are being

seen for the first time outside the Russian Museum. The exhibition

takes the visitor on a unique journey beginning with the formation

of the Russian American Company in 1799 and spanning a period of 200

years and 6,000 miles. From the Imperial Court of St. Petersburg through

the Russian winter in Siberia to the New World of Alaska and Northern

California and back to Moscow for the coronation of Alexander II,

the exhibit tells an adventurous story of heroism, romance, and spiritual

enlightenment.

Top Of Page
Other Galleries

ABC Gallery, Lambertville Public Library, 6 Lilly Street,

609-397-0275. "Life Lines," an exhibition of 20 works by Joy

Kreves that investigate the path of human consciousness through history

and across culture. To March 25.

Stony Brook Millstone Watershed, 31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington,

609-737-7592. "Small Works of Nature," a juried group show

on natural themes. To March 25.


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