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The Contemporary Eye
January 28, 2005 - May 8, 2005
The James A. Michener
Art Museum in New Hope, Pennsylvania announces The Contemporary Eye,
featuring the work of twelve Bucks County artists working in a variety of
styles and media. From abstract to realist, in paintings, sculpture, and
collage, these artists offer an exciting survey of the local arts scene
today. The Contemporary Eye opens January 28, 2005 and runs through
May 8, 2005 in the Museum's Carol and Louis Della Penna Gallery in New Hope.
"The continued vitality of the creative community
in our area is part of what makes it a unique and nourishing place to be,"
Museum Director Bruce Katsiff says. "This exhibition is part of Museum's
commitment to supporting and highlighting the important contributions of
the many artists working here today."
- Doylestown artist Judith Heep's work combines the abstract
with the seemingly real, such as animals or people with fields of color,
in a mixed-media format. She begins by casting her own paper from molds,
achieving a different texture and color each time, and creating unique
'prints' embellished with painting, drawing, stitching, and collage. (right:
Judith Heep, Eight Dogs, 2000, cyanotype and oil stick on handmade
paper, H. 15 x W. 14.5 inches)
- In his acrylic paintings, Robert Ranieri of Kintersville
suggests both the density of architecture and open areas, which are at
times flooded with warm or cool light. From his training as a classical
singer, he imparts to his canvases shapes and organization of color that
intentionally mimic sound, especially that of the human voice.
- Solebury artist Mavis Smith uses a painting process of
semi-transparent layers of egg tempera to gracefully hint at narratives
that are never fully explained. Her figures at first glance appear ordinary
- until, upon closer inspection, we see bizarre elements such as gills
on a human face, or a devotional frame surrounding a nude woman, that cause
us to reconsider.
- Mixed-media artist Marilyn Gordley of Pipersville works
in a semi-abstract style. Her paintings often tell the story of her life,
including her unusual portraits in which the faces sometimes protrude from
the canvas in a bas relief fashion. Viewers find a personal connection
to her subjects, and often impose their own stories onto the scenes. (left:
Marilyn Gordley, Portrait, acrylic, H. 29.5 x W. 29.5 inches)
- A powerful portrayal of our society's disenfranchised
infuses Trenton-based Susan Twardus' works both charcoal drawings and paper
sculptures with a noble sadness. Her figures, in their genteel shabbiness,
evoke empathy rather than judgment. Of special interest are the sculptures
in which figures rise from a stack of New York Times newspapers that form
- A Moscow native now living in Lambertville, NJ, Valeriy
Belenikin is an academy-trained draftsman. His humorous, sometimes biting observations
of the human condition peer behind the elaborate facades people construct
to hide their weaknesses. The hyper realistic oil paintings include elaborate
compositions of objects and people, as well as finely drawn portraits.
(left: Valeriy Belenikin, Mirror, 2003, oil on canvas, H.
50 x W. 49 inches, collection of the artist)
- After undergoing a series of medical tests, photographer
Ann Lovett became interested in the "luminous beauty" revealed
by x-rays and other imaging systems. A former Bucks County resident now
based in New Paltz, New York, her series The Book of the Body explores
the interior and exterior worlds of the human body. It consists of enlarged
x-ray images juxtaposed with dramatic close-ups of the body's surfaces.
- When painter Charlotte Schatz moved her studio to the
Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, she became fascinated with
the many abandoned buildings nearby. These deserted factories, with their
twisted pipes and powerful abstract forms, became the subject matter for
a series of paintings that investigates the geometry and architecture of
the urban landscape.
- New Hope painter Al Lachman is known in Bucks County
for his colorful, evocative images of houses and buildings. In the late
1980s he was moved by the homeless persons he met on the streets of New
York, and made a series of paintings and works on paper depicting some
of these desperate lives.
- Morrisville-based artist Ricardo Barros' photographs
are featured in the monograph Facing Sculpture, a collection of
of contemporary sculptors. His images for this project often include visual
references to the artists' works or their inspirational sources. His probing
photographs suggest how each artist uniquely transforms materials and reinvents
space. (right: Ricardo Barros, Vladimir Kanevsky, 1998, carbon
pigment digital output on paper, H. 14 x W. 14 inches)
- Valerie Von Betzen's twilight and evening scenes of river
towns along the Delaware River from Easton, Pennsylvania to Lambertville,
New Jersey explore the variety of light sources emanating from the shops,
taverns, automobiles, and bridge guardhouses unique to these towns. Von
Betzen is inspired by the haunting beauty and quiet, lonely qualities of
life in small river communities.
- Woodworker David Ellsworth of Quakertown developed a
process called hollow turning, which resulted in the creation of thin hollow
wooden vessels that are considered both craft objects and formal sculpture.
Inspired by his prior experience of working in clay, his love of wood,
and Native American ceramic and basketry forms, Ellsworth's creations express
the spirit and pulse of his raw materials.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum will present
an "Artists Studio Open House Tour" on Saturday, April 16 from
10 am to 4 pm. This special self-guided tour offers a rare opportunity to
go behind the scenes, meet the artists in their own studios and learn about
their techniques, what inspires their creativity and what new works they
have in progress. Participating artists include: Ricardo Barros (Morrisville,
Pennsylvania), Valeriy Belenikin (Lambertville, New Jersey), Marilyn Gordley
(Pipersville, Pennsylvania), Judith Heep (Doylestown, Pennsylvania), Alan
Lachman (New Hope, Pennsylvania), Robert Ranieri (Kintnersville, Pennsylvania),
and Mavis Smith (Solebury, Pennsylvania).
The exhibition is sponsored by Jane M. Yeuroukis, Inc.
and Kelchner's Horseradish Products, with additional support from N. T.
Callaway Real Estate Broker, LLC and Sally French - The Market of Fine Art.
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