– A Contemporary Viewing of Previously Shown Artists, Each Selected to Represent One of the Past 25 Seasons –
FLUSHING, NY, January 07, 2013 – As it continues celebrating Queens College’s 75th anniversary, the QC Art Center will itself hit the quarter-century mark. Fittingly, the gallery will honor both milestones with the group show, 25/75: The Silver & Diamond Jubilees/Then + Now, opening on February 7. The exhibition assembles recent work by 25 artists, one from each season since the Art Center’s 1988 inauguration in the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library. Reviewing the 476 participants who have been presented here over the years, curators Tara Mathison, Suzanna Simor and Alexandra de Luise focused on those they identified as the most accomplished, original, and revealing—and the most relevant to contemporary issues and the Art Center’s current concerns.
Chronologically, the show begins with a sculptural collage by Joan Giordano, who originally exhibited in 1989. Magical Thinking, Giordano says, evokes “both the fabric of a person’s life–remnants of experience that are always slipping from our grasp–and the fabrication of reality continually spun by the media.” At the other end of the timeline, Howard Lerner, a returnee from last season, contributes Psalm 139, verse 15, mixing mystical, spiritual, and temporal elements in a space where they “take on an iconic presence,” Lerner says. His drawing finds an interesting counterpart in Lisa DeLoria Weinblatt’s pastel and graphite sketch, Her Body/Her Text, while the very personal, diary-like drawings by Slovenian artist Metka Krašovec relate to both pieces in associating images with verses.
Comprising diverse media, 25/75 ranges from perennial subjects to topical issues. Excerpts from the cycle Universes, The Non Exploded Ones, by Genoese artist-scientist Luisella Carretta, offer mixed-media visions of the endless expanse of the universe and dream travels beyond time and space.
In painting, the exhibition features work by Janet Lage, whose disciplined, formal process combines with chance and intuition to emphasize the energetic physicality of the medium; Sue Collier, who looks at individuality within the multiplicity of groups; and Seongmin Ahn, who draws on her Korean heritage. Queens College Professor Emeritus (Art, 1965-1996) Harold Bruder describes his contemplative still life as analytical in a sense he traces to his teaching, but private, as his life is now. On the Plaza, by Robert (Bob) Kenny, a distinguished journalist and historian turned artist, eloquently relates to college experience. A Gyotaku (art of Japanese fish printing) by Esther Krichevsky (BA QC'79) fuses reality and abstraction, story telling and fantasy. Alice Zinnes (MFA QC’82), an environmental activist, delves “into a mythic space of abstract dreamscapes where … paint is transformed into the unknowable depths of our shared humanity.” 25/75 also includes a painting installation by Anne Sherwood Pundyk, and stained glass or rather, painting in light, by Ellen Mandelbaum.
Among the sculptures are pieces by John Crawford, whose Queens College Marker, possibly the tallest steel sculpture in the city, is installed on campus; wood carvings by multi-media artist Dennis Cady that abstractly represent human conditions; and a small nonfigurative marble, at once playful and provocative in its references to violence, by Claire Lieberman. Photography is represented by Eva Fuka’s surreal, painterly images, and Tommy Mintz’s automated digital photo collages of New York City street scenes, through which Mintz (MFA QC ’04; Adjunct Lecturer, Art Department) examines virtual and visual hoarding.
Betty Vera explains that her woven textiles express “the underlying solitude and fleeting nature of human existence by exploring aspects of reality that often are ignored or forgotten.” Combined-media artist and conservationist Barbara Roux has contributed the installation Tulip Tree Seeds, which, like all her work, focuses on natural history and habitat change. Three Women, Naomi Grossman’s mixed-media collage of wire, words, and paper, addresses issues of identity and aging, “revealing both their strength and vulnerability in an increasingly complex world,” Grossman says. Kathy Goodell, who is interested “in surprising phenomena—evidence of something magical, and the ‘state of becoming’ where everything is possible and nothing is in stasis,” reaches her goal in Mesmer Eyes, a work that “exudes energy past its material self, a kind of reverberation.”
In an installation specific to this site, Tara Mathison based The Fairfield Porter Reading Room on a syllabus Porter, an American painter, used when he taught at Queens College. The Art Center’s Spanish and Latin American Art program (1985—2002) is recalled in several works from its 52 exhibitions curated by its founder, the late Jerald R. Green, a QC professor of Spanish language and literature and an authority on Hispanic art.
The exhibition is sponsored by Queens College’s Kupferberg Center for the Arts, QC Alumni Relations Office, ARIA - Association to Reunite Italian Americans at Queens College, Art Department, Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Latin American and Latino Studies Program, the Libraries, President James L. Muyskens, and Provost James R. Stellar.
Queens College Art Center (part of the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Arts)
Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, Level Six
Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing
Opening Reception and Curators’ and Artists’ Talks:
Thursday, February 7, 5-8 pm
Monday through Thursday, 9 am–8 pm; Friday, 9 am–5 pm; closed February 12 and 18, weekends and holidays.
The Queens College Art Center, founded in 1987, succeeds the Queens College Art Library Gallery established in 1960. In more than 200 exhibitions to date, the Art Center has shown masters like Alice Neel, Joseph Cornell, and Elizabeth Catlett, and introduced scores of artists from around the globe. Focusing on modern and contemporary programming expressive of the best art of our time, this display space presents the works of emerging and established artists in diverse media. Art Center exhibitions support the educational and cultural objectives of Queens College. The shared goal of the Queens College Art Center and of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is to provide the means for participating in and upholding a democratic society through learning, adaptation, and critical thinking.