Zimmerli Announces Exhibitions for 2016-2017

August 17, 2016

The Zimmerli is closed to the public for the month of August. The museum re-opens September 1.



Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers Announces 2016-2017 Schedule of Exhibitions




“Thinking Pictures”: Moscow Conceptual Art in the Dodge Collection

September 6 to December 31, 2016 / Voorhees Special Exhibition Gallery

“Thinking Pictures” draws on one of the great strengths of the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union. It presents the visually provocative objects that distinguish Moscow Conceptualism from the forms associated with its namesake, the canonical oeuvres of American and British conceptual artists, in particular. This exhibition focuses on more than 40 individual artists and several collectives who lived and worked in Soviet Moscow from the 1960s to the 1990s. They were concerned with the essential task of creating an audience in an environment that lacked galleries, critics, and a viable art market but had its own institutional framework—one that privileged painting (Socialist Realism).

The exhibition presents a diverse range of artworks by several generations of artists who responded to the experience of ideological conformity (and its dissolution) as it had been enforced within official art academies. Oriented toward irony and parody, but also toward serious speculation about the place of the individual in Soviet society and Western art history, artists engaged in a dialogue with the priorities of official culture on the one hand, and those of modernist, including conceptual, art in the West, on the other. They challenged the hierarchical ordering of media that characterized late Soviet modernity by redefining the role of visual thinking in the creation of installations and albums, as well as a process of self-archiving, to create a richly allusive visual and performative culture. The term “thinking pictures” (umozritel’naia zhivopis’) was coined by artists in the late 1970s to capture the new role played by painting in the post-conceptual era.

“Thinking Pictures” introduces contemporary audiences to these artists’ historical gambit and sheds light on the complex role visual art plays in the viewer’s own lives. Although a number of exhibitions devoted to the art of the Moscow Conceptualist circle have been organized in Europe and Russia over the past decade, “Thinking Pictures” is the first in the United States since Perspectives of Conceptualism in 1991, which traveled extensively and ultimately found a home at Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art. The Zimmerli exhibition features important works by major artists recognized widely in the art world (Eric Bulatov Ilya Kabakov, Komar and Melamid, Viktor Pivovarov), as well as such others at the center of this movement as Yuri Albert, Yuri Leiderman, Igor Makarevich, and Irina Nakhova. An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Organized by Jane A. Sharp, Research Curator for Soviet Nonconformist Art


Reflections: Photographs of Iconic African Americans by Terrence A. Reese

January 17 to July 31, 2017 / Voorhees Special Exhibition Gallery

In his series Reflections, photographer Terrence A. Reese depicts some of the most important figures of 20th-century American history. Featuring a wide range of African American civil rights activists, politicians, artists, educators, and musicians—many with overlapping roles as activists who have fought against racial, social, and economic inequality—Reflections depicts a more personal view of these public figures. Reese carefully frames and composes each portrait, depicting his subjects as reflections in mirrors within their homes, offices, and studios. His resulting photographs are layered and complex, revealing the photographic process as a collaborative, focused encounter between the artist and subject. Accompanying each photograph is a text by Reese that describes both the contributions of his sitters, including Reverend Jesse Jackson, Lois Mailou Jones, B.B. King, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Gordon Parks, as well as Reese’s anecdotal reflections about making each photograph. Intimate and expansive, Reese’s 70 black and white photographs, made throughout the past two decades, serve to memorialize and document his iconic sitters.

Organized by Kaitlin Booher, Graduate Fellow Art History, with the assistance of Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs

The exhibition is made possible by the donors to the Zimmerli’s Major Exhibition Fund: James and Kathrin Bergin, Alvin and Joyce Glasgold, Charles and Caryl Sills, Voorhees Family Endowment, and the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc –Stephen Cypen, President.


Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17

January 17 to May 28, 2017 / Voorhees Special Exhibition Gallery

In 1940, Stanley William Hayter transferred Atelier 17, his innovative printmaking workshop, from Paris to New York. For the next 15 years, the workshop led a revival of fine-art graphics, encouraging unorthodox techniques and experimentation. Many of the foremost modern artists, from European refugees during World War II to Americans like de Kooning, Kline, Motherwell, and Pollock made prints there. Among them were more than 90 women, including Louise Bourgeois, Alice Trumbull Mason, Louise Nevelson, and Anne Ryan. This exhibition features experimental graphics by those artists, as well as Minna Citron, Worden Day, Dorothy Dehner, and Sue Fuller, together with examples of their better-known work in other media.

Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17 is organized by guest curator Christina Weyl, Ph.D., for the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. The presentation at the Zimmerli is coordinated by Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art, and Nicole Simpson, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings.

The exhibition is made possible by the donors to the Zimmerli’s Major Exhibition Fund: James and Kathrin Bergin, Alvin and Joyce Glasgold, Charles and Caryl Sills, Voorhees Family Endowment, and the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc –Stephen Cypen, President.




Circa 1866: European Prints from the Collection

September 3, 2016 to January 15, 2017 / Volpe Gallery

To commemorate the museum’s 50th anniversary as well as Rutgers University’s 250th anniversary, this exhibition presents British and French prints made in and around 1866 by artists including Edouard Manet, Jean-François Millet, and James McNeil Whistler. The 1860s were a particularly fertile time for artistic innovation, as scenes from contemporary urban life and naturalistic landscapes emerged as significant subjects, while printmakers reinvigorated the venerable media of woodcut and etching.

Organized by Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art


Circa 1966: American Prints from the Collection

September 3 to January 29, 2017 / Eisenberg Gallery

To commemorate the museum’s 50th anniversary, this exhibition presents a selection of prints created during the mid- to late 1960s and early 1970s. The Zimmerli’s print collection is rich in work from this vibrant period and the exhibition features work by now seminal artists of the 20th century, including Helen Frankenthaler, Red Grooms, Robert Motherwell, and Cy Twombly. In addition to presenting remarkable abstract compositions, the exhibition also features figural and realistic works that comment upon the political and social upheavals of the period.

Organized by Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art


Circa 1966: Paintings and Sculpture from the Collection

September 3, 2016 to January 8, 2017 / Littman Gallery

Founded in 1966, the Rutgers University Art Gallery evolved into one of the largest university art museums in the United States. This exhibition, a companion to the exhibition Circa 1966: Prints from the Collection, also celebrates the museum’s fifty-year anniversary. The selection contains examples of color field painting, geometric abstraction, assemblage, and pop—all styles current in the international art world, circa 1966. Artists in the exhibition include lesser known figures and those whose work has become synonymous with the 1960s and 1970s. Josef Beuys, Friedel Dzubas, Marion Greenstone, Shingo Kusada, Raymond Parker, Jesus Raphael Soto, and Ruth Vollmer are among the artists represented in the exhibition.

Organized by Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs, with the assistance of Kaitlin Booher and Todd Caissie, Mellon 2016 Summer Interns


Looking Back at the 1980s: Gifts to the Collection

September 3, 2016 to January 8, 2017 / Machever Gallery

The Zimmerli Art Museum’s collections, like those of many university art museums, have grown in large part through the generosity of alumni who have donated works of art and funds to purchase works of art. Ranging in date from 1982 to 1990, the group includes abstract photography, conceptual-geometric abstraction, painterly abstraction, and assemblage. While widely divergent in style, medium, and scale, these works share in the decade’s interests in painting as an expressionistic medium and image making as a layered, experiential endeavor. Using photographic emulsions, heat sensitive paper, gold and silver leaf, and fur, each of the artists in this gallery extends the possibilities of painting in the 1980s.

Organized by Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs, with the assistance of Kaitlin Booher and Todd Caissie, Mellon 2016 Summer Interns


Three American Painters: David Diao, Sam Gilliam, and Sal Sirugo

September 3, 2016 to July 31, 2017 / Lillien Gallery

The three artists in this exhibition each used abstract expressionism – the prevailing American style in the postwar period – as a point of departure. Their paintings represent important continuities with the previous generation and highly distinct personal innovations. Sam Gilliam, who gained critical attention as one of the Washington color school painters, developed a variant of the staining process key to that group’s imagery. In later years, he took the canvas off the stretcher to create three-dimensional paintings that were sculptural and often site-specific. David Diao worked with large expanses of color and slick, smoothly layered surfaces related to the color field paintings of the 1950s. Sal Sirugo developed a style of painterly abstraction that embraced the white writing and heavy impastos of West Coast abstract expressionist painters like Mark Tobey. Unlike Tobey, who invested his imagery with mystical content, Sirugo’s titles and discussions of his paintings point to a deeply held belief in non-referential abstraction. All three are celebrated for their large-scale and abstract paintings with heavily worked or highly colored surfaces.

Organized by Betty Jarvis, M.A. in Art History, Rutgers 2016, and Graduate Assistant 2015–16, and Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs


News Fit to Print

January 21 to July 31, 2017 / Volpe Gallery

Improvements and innovations in printing technology enabled the wide dissemination of images of recent events during the 19th century. This exhibition features European prints created primarily to communicate or commemorate recent newsworthy events selected from the Zimmerli’s collection of French 19th-century prints. Works by Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Hermann-Paul, Felix Valloton, and other artists who frequently contributed illustrations to journals and newspapers are featured.

Organized by Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art


Guerrilla Girls: Attitude and Activism

February 4 to July 31, 2017 / Eisenberg Gallery

Through their use of bold graphics, statistics, and irreverent humor, the Guerrilla Girls have been exposing inequalities within the art world (and the world) with witty posters, performances, and guerrilla tactics since they became active in 1985. This exhibition includes a selection of posters donated in 2010 to the Rutgers Libraries Special Collections’ Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists Collection by a former Guerilla Girl, as well as a selection of work by the coalition of women who were aligned with the group. Artists to be included in the exhibition are: Pat Adams, Emma Amos, Ida Applebroog, Jackie Ferrara, Bonnie Lucas, Howardina Pindell, Joan Snyder, and Joan Semmel. This exhibition coincides with an event featuring the Guerrilla Girls at the Zimmerli Art Museum in 2017.

Organized by Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs, Betty Jarvis, M.A. in Art History, Rutgers 2016, and Austin Losada, Curatorial Intern


The Ecology of Being: Approaches to Landscape
March to July 2017 / Lower Dodge Gallery

The Ecology of Being considers engagements with nature in Soviet nonconformist art, particularly in the museum’s Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection. Focusing on the period between the thaw and perestroika, the exhibition seeks to examine how artists responded to and revised existing frameworks for understanding and representing the natural world as sustained in Soviet Realist aesthetics.

Organized by Anna Rogulina, Dodge Fellow at the Zimmerli and Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History at Rutgers

This exhibition is made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund.




Fletcher and the Knobby Boys:  Illustrations by Harry Devlin

Through June 25, 2017 / Duvoisin Gallery

Harry Devlin (1918-2001) enjoyed a prolific and successful career as an artist, illustrator, and cartoonist. Beginning in the 1960s and in collaboration with his wife Dorothy Wende, Devlin produced more than 20 children’s books. Devlin played a critical role in the establishment of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature and the subsequent collection of original illustrations for children’s literature at the Zimmerli Art Museum. This exhibition features original artwork for the books The Knobby Boys to the Rescue (1965) and How Fletcher Was Hatched (1969), both stories of animals forming unusual friendships to help a fellow creature in need.

Organized by Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art



The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.



Admission is free to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. The museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street (at George Street) on the College Avenue Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and select first Tuesdays of the month, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays, as well as the month of August.


PaparazZi Café is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and snack items. The café is closed weekends and major holidays, as well as the months of July and August.


For more information, visit the museum’s website www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu or call 848.932.7237.



The Zimmerli’s operations, exhibitions, and programs are funded in part by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and income from the Avenir Foundation Endowment and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment, among others. Additional support comes from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts and the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono; and donors, members, and friends of the museum.



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