Exhibitions

Inviting Words into the Image: Contemporary Prints from the Rutgers Archives for Printmaking Studios

Barbara Kruger, Savoir c’est pouvoir, 1989
Sep 01, 2006 - Jan 28, 2007
Eisenberg Gallery

For centuries, printmaking has been a fundamental form of visual communication, but when today’s artists entwine the verbal and the visual, they create unexpected ways of interpreting the world, social issues, politics, identity, emotions or ideas, and dynamically compelling graphic art. For example, whether it is the print News or Pews or Stews, the artist Ed Ruscha likes to feature each word as the image, yet he also plays with traditional inks. Some artists superimpose a word or phrase on an image; other artists mimic commercial signage or advertising; yet still other artists overlay their images with handwriting and diary-like autobiographical musings. This exhibition of more than thirty prints explores what happens when such contemporary artists as Terry Allen, John Baldessari, David Diao, Roni Horn, Margo Humphrey, Barbara Kruger, Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, Joan Snyder, Nancy Spero, William T. Wiley, and others explore the visual interplay of words and images in various print media.

The prints in this exhibition are selected from the Rutgers Archives for Printmaking Studios, which is the Zimmerli Art Museum’s important repository documenting contemporary printmaking in America. The printers and printmaking studios represented in this exhibition include: Dieu Donné Papermill, Derrière l’Etoile Studios, Chip Elwell, Fox Graphics-Merrimac Editions, Hudson River Editions, Catherine Mosley Studios, Pelavin Editions, Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, Solo Impression, and Teaberry Press.   

 

Barbara Kruger

Savoir c’est pouvoir, 1989

Photo offset and screenprint on paper

Promised gift of Maurice Sánchez, Derrière L’Étoile Studios

 

In and Around Dvizhenie (The Movement Group)

Francisco Infante-Arana, Spiral of Infinity No. 3 (Fiery Circuits), 1964
Apr 01, 2006 - Oct 08, 2006
DuBrow Gallery

Dvizhenie, or the Movement Group, was formed in 1964 by a number of young Russian artists who shared an interest in working with geometric forms to express sensations of infinity that they believed form the essence of human experience. In the mid- to late-1960s, these individuals turned their collective attention to kinetic installations, or “artificial spaces,” which became Dvizhenie’s main focus for the duration of its history. This exhibition concentrates on work by founding members Lev Nusberg and Francisco Infante-Arana, as well as other artists who co-created or participated in kinetic installations.

Dvizhenie was never a purely artistic organization. The group first exhibited under the name Ornamentalists, and the venues of its shows—the Architects’ Club, the Kurchatov Institute for Atomic Physics, and industrial exhibitions like Electro 1970—reinforced its status as a design team. Although these individuals have long been considered “unofficial” artists (an identification that stemmed from the difficulties they endured after they first began receiving artistic recognition), their goals were actually shared by many official designers, and they enjoyed commissions from a number of Soviet institutions.

Francisco Infante-Arana

Spiral of Infinity No. 3 (Fiery Circuits), 1964

Tempera on paper

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union
 

Printmaking from Soviet Estonia

Leonhard Lapin: Man-Machine II, 1978
Apr 07, 2007 - Jul 29, 2007
Dodge Wing Lower Level

The Baltic republic of Estonia enjoys a long tradition of printmaking. Under Soviet rule, authorities mainly concentrated on censoring two art forms to ensure that creative work adhered to dictated norms: painting and the written novel. During the Cold War, graphic artists in the Estonia thus enjoyed a degree of creative freedom.   

The people of this republic struggled to retain their individual artistic heritages under the pressures of Soviet power and its officially sanctioned art of Socialist Realism. Expression of individual national identity, such as the depiction of Estonian flags, was forbidden by official policy. The graphic print, however, with its low visibility to censors, gave expression to a vast array of nonconformist subjects drawn from the distinctive cultures of the Baltics. 

The proximity of Europe, Finland in particular, provided Estonian artists with an access to the west that was less available to their counterparts in Moscow. Easily combined with the ideologically lax culture of printmaking, this relationship allowed artists an exchange with contemporary trends in art beyond the Iron Curtain – an exchange restricted by the regime in the rest of the USSR. Artists engaged Western Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art on an international level unique to the Baltics.

Leonhard Lapin
Man-Machine II, 1978
Screenprint on paper
Norton & Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union

Printmaking from Soviet Estonia, Part II

Sep 08, 2007 - Jan 27, 2008
Dodge Wing Lower Level

Estonia has a long tradition of printmaking that continues to this day. While Estonia was a republic of the Soviet Union, the ruling regime concentrated on censoring two forms of expression to ensure that creative work adhered to dictated norms: painting and the written novel. Thus, during the Cold War, graphic artists in Estonia enjoyed a degree of creative freedom.

The Estonian people struggled to retain their artistic heritage under the pressures of Soviet power and its officially sanctioned art of Socialist Realism. Expression of individual national identity, such as depiction of the Estonian republican flag, was forbidden by official policy. The graphic print however, with its low visibility to censors, gave expression to a vast array of nonconformist subjects drawn from Estonia’s distinctive culture and geography.

Estonia’s proximity to Europe (Finland in particular), provided artists with access to Western culture that was less available to their counterparts in Moscow. Combined with the ideologically lax culture of printmaking, this relationship allowed artists an exchange with contemporary trends in art beyond the Iron Curtain, an exchange more restricted by the regime in the rest of the USSR. These printmakers engaged Western Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art on an international level unique to Estonia. Maintaining forbidden modernist practices, artists proved expert in maneuvering vast swaths of art history—from photography’s past to abstraction and beyond—in their determination to be a part of that history. 

Leonhard Lapin

Man – Machine II, 1978

Screenprint on paper

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union

 

Piranesi: Architecture of the Eye and Mind

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Large sculpture gallery, ca. 1743
Feb 25, 2006 - Jul 27, 2006
Voorhees Gallery Corridor

By the age of twenty, Venetian-born Giovanni Battista Piranesi had mastered elaborate systems of perspectival composition as part of his architectural and theatrical design training. Unable to find work in Venice in either of these areas, Piranesi accepted a post as draughtsman to Marco Foscarini, the Venetian ambassador to the Vatican, and moved to Rome in 1740.

Luckily for Piranesi, eighteenth-century Rome had become one of the prime destination sites on the Grand Tour, and in the age before photography, visitors (especially the English) collected vedute (topographical views) and capricci (imaginative compositions) as souvenirs of their travels. Piranesi quickly learned the technique of engraving from Giuseppe Vasi and in 1743 Piranesi produced his first architectural fantasies, Prima parte di architetture e prospettive. He went on to create many more volumes on architectural themes in the course of his long career. His innovative archeological approach earned him an international reputation and his powerful images of the decomposition of antiquity, which had fascinated his Renaissance predecessors in earlier centuries, had a profound impact on his contemporaries in the early days of Romanticism.

This exhibition is drawn entirely from the collection of the Zimmerli Art Museum and includes prints representative of the range of the artist’s imagery: from topographical views of Rome, documenting significant and lesser-known sites, to his grotteschi (grotesques), imaginary re-creations of ancient temples and other monuments both inside and outside of the city.

Giovanni-Battista Piranesi 

Large sculpture gallery from Prima Parte di Architetture e Prospettive (Part One of Architecture and Perspective), ca.1743

Etching

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers 

 

 

Eduard Gorokhovsky

Eduard Gorokhovsky: Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1970-79
Nov 12, 2005 - Mar 05, 2006
DuBrow Gallery

Eduard Gorokhovsky (1929-2004) was one of the first Soviet Nonconformist artists to use photographs as the main source for his prints and paintings, creating intentionally unresolved serial images symbolizing the diametrically opposing forces that shaped the Soviet Union.

Gorokhovsky’s works usually consist of two elements: photographic imagery, acting as a basis for his paintings and photo-silkscreens, and a second element that intrudes upon the photographic space: a geometric figure, a silhouette, a text, or another photograph. The photograph, Gorokhovsky pointed out, provides a framework that keeps a painting in balance, and the rest of what he brings into a painting stands in dissonance to the photo image, adding a certain intrigue to the whole. Many of Gorokhovsky’s works convey a sense of history or the process of change, often alluding to the disappearance of individuality in a totalitarian society. For example, in Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge (1970-79)—its title borrowed from a famous 1919-20 poster by El Lissitzky—a portrait of a young woman in the full military uniform of the Russian Army’s first women’s battalion during World War I is gradually displaced by an area of red, the color of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. 

Gorokhovsky’s artistic concepts are informed by the traditional Russian family portrait. He has used this genre to represent complex themes such as the destruction of the family unit wrought by the Bolshevik Revolution, a succession of devastating wars, and the forced relocations resulting from the Stalinist policy of collectivization. Gorokhovsky’s interest in political subjects became especially keen in the 1980s and he began producing works on historical and political themes, including images of Lenin and Stalin appearing alongside those of their anonymous victims.

Eduard Gorokhovsky

Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1970-79

Screenprints on paper

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union

Breaking the Mold: Sculpture in Paris from Daumier to Rodin

Auguste Rodin: Fugit Amor (Fleeting Love), from the Gates of Hell, 18
Oct 23, 2005 - Mar 12, 2006
Voorhees Gallery

Featuring nearly 350 three-dimensional works in a variety of media, Breaking the Mold: Sculpture in Paris from Daumier to Rodin documents the dynamic aesthetic, thematic, and technical concerns of sculptors in Paris from 1832 to the early years of the twentieth century. The exhibition presents many unpublished works by known and lesser known artists and puts these into context with works by major figures of the era. It also offers fresh insights into the aesthetics and purposes of sculpture and indicates the variety of sources from which artists found inspiration to break from academic conventions including non-Western art (Japanese), pre-Classical ancient art, and popular and folk art forms. Works display the full range of media explored by these artists: plaster, terracotta, bronze, wax, wood, and mixed media.

Breaking the Mold takes liberties with the generally accepted categories of sculpture by emphasizing three-dimensional caricatures and includes popular art forms such as puppets and zinc cutouts for shadow theaters. It also considers works related to, or studies for, major public monuments. Finally, it explores sculpture’s relationship to the subject matter, aesthetics, and commerce of its sister multiple art form—printmaking—featuring graphic works from the period by such artists as Honoré Daumier, Eugène Delacroix, Edouard Manet, Jean-François Millet, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Auguste Rodin 

Fugit Amor (Fleeting Love) from the Gates of Hell, 1881-87

Bronze

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Gift of Hans Arnhold

Creating a Paper Paradise: Illustrations for Dear World by Takayo Noda

Takayo Noda: Illustration for Dear World
Sep 01, 2005 - Feb 05, 2006
Duvoisin Gallery

Takayo Noda’s simple, direct poems call on memories of her childhood and voice her feelings about aspects of the world in which we live. Her illustrations express these joyful and tender feelings in brilliantly colored, lyrical works on paper. The exhibition includes preparatory materials used by the artist to develop complex compositions in shallow relief created from painted cut paper and handmade paper.

Hands-on activities are available for visitors to the gallery.

Takayo Noda
Illustration for Dear World
Watercolor and paper construction on board
Gift of the artist, ©Takayo Noda, 2003
Used with permission of Dial Books for Young

Ways and Means: How Illustrators Plan a Picture Book

Illustration for Three Billy Goats Gruff by Robert Bender
Feb 16, 2008 - Jul 20, 2008
Duvoisin Gallery

Selected original illustrations with preparatory materials such as thumbnail sketches, storyboards, dummy books, trial layouts, character studies, research materials, preliminary sketches, and media trials explore illustrators’ ways and means of planning a picture book. Artists include Robert Bender, Roger Duvoisin, Kimberly Bulcken Root, Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng, and Erika Weihs.

 

Robert Bender

Illustration for Three Billy Goats Gruff

Vinyl animator’s paint on acetate

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers 

Gift of the artist

New Narratives: Contemporary Art from India

Untitled by Shilpa Gupta
Apr 12, 2008 - Jul 31, 2008
Voorhees Gallery

This exhibition is the first in the United States to include only very recent works of art that come directly from the studios of contemporary artists in India, as well as from private collections and galleries in the United States and India. Approximately 50 works by fifteen artists have been selected to represent art-making in India today. In addition to paintings and sculptures, a section is devoted to new media art, including installations and video. The title “New Narratives” refers to the continuation of narration as a connective thread that binds contemporary artists to the rich Indian tradition of storytelling.

The exhibition is presented jointly at the Zimmerli Art Museum and the galleries at the Mason Gross School of the Arts.

 

Shilpa Gupta
Untitled (detail), 2004
Interactive single wide angle projection installation, sound
Collection of Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and Daimler Chrylser, Stuttgart
Photography: Courtesy of Hyung Min Moon, Seoul