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Summer Exhibitions Open June 1

Friday, June 1, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will open its two summer exhibitions with a reception from 6:30–8:30 PM. The two shows, “Oh, what a world! What a world!” and Containment, will be on view throughout the summer and will close on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Mary Jean Canziani
Basic Anxiety—A New Psychobiological Concept, 2017
Acrylic on repurposed book, 9 1/2 x 13 in. Courtesy of the artist.

“Oh, what a world! What a world!” are the dying words spoken by the Wicked Witch of the West as she melts away in the film, The Wizard of Oz. Despite her status as a villain, there is pathos and longing in those final words. The melting witch is an apt metaphor for the loss of control many people felt in the wake of the contentious 2016 United States presidential election. Since then, American society has become increasingly polarized, with a heightened state of anxiety about the future of the country and the world. This anxiety manifests itself in countless ways and pervades our increasingly globalized society. The group exhibition, “Oh, what a world! What a world!” examines how artists from the US and abroad are responding to these recent changes. With new urgency, their work addresses issues such as climate change, immigration, gender equality, race relations, policing, protest, and the very state of our Democracy. Participating artists are Olive Ayhens, Zoë Buckman, Mary Jean Canziani, David Antonio Cruz, Dahlia Elsayed, Goldschmied & Chiari, Enrico Gomez, Johannah Herr, Morgan O’Hara, Felekşan Onar, Fernando Orellana, Kern Samuel, Renée Stout, and Julie Wolfe. This exhibition will be on view in the Main Gallery.

 

Linda Ganjian
Detail of Uncontained Consumption, 2017
Mixed media, 72 x 42 x 9 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Running concurrently in Eisenberg Gallery, Containment features artwork from a group of artists who examine the shipping containers and ships that move goods, people, and power across the oceans. The containerized shipping industry is central to international commerce and largely responsible for our increasingly globalized economy. The artists featured include David Packer, who has created a ceramic version of a shipping container, and Linda Ganjian whose sculptural installation reimagines a container-ship accident. Also included are Erin Diebboll and Gabby Miller, who have both been artists-in-residence on container ships and have created art in response to their firsthand experiences—Diebboll’s meticulous drawings illustrate the contents of shipping containers, and Miller used the ship’s engine oil as her medium for a series of paintings. Additionally, a site-specific installation by Leslie Kerby in Marité & Joe Robinson Strolling Gallery I, explores the movement of shipping containers and incorporates sculpture, mixed media works on paper, and video animation.

Spring Exhibitions

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibitions.

Opening February 2, 2018

Opening reception, February 2, from 6:30-8:30 PM.

Radiant Energy
Main and Robinson Strolling Galleries

Richard Garrison: All-consuming
Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Gallery

Stair-gazing: Paul Corio
Main Staircase

Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play

Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play
Main and Robinson Strolling Galleries
September 22, 2017 – January 14, 2018

Opening reception: Friday, September 22, 2017, 6-8pm

Exposing our insatiable longing for the ideal, the work of Julia Jaquette, who is based in New York and Amsterdam, focuses on commercialized objects of desire: liquor and food, ornate interiors of the wealthy, shimmering swimming pools, and deceptively flawless women. Utilizing images from glossy lifestyle magazines, luxury brand catalogs, and 1950s and 1960s cookbooks, Jacquette renders these objects with photorealist precision, often in views so close that the subject becomes abstracted. Her crisply detailed paintings question the seductive attraction of consumer goods, the unattainable perfection of feminine beauty, and the ways that advertising influences our feelings of identity and self-worth.

Original gouache drawings from Jacquette’s graphic memoir, Playground of My Mind, will be on view concurrently in the Joe and Marité Robinson Strolling Gallery. Providing a distinctive account of the artist’s childhood, the book is inspired by the “adventure playgrounds” of the 1970s that encouraged constructive, imaginative play. In this memoir, Jacquette acknowledges the influence of these and other design principles that she absorbed growing up in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s.

Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play is an abridged version of an exhibition organized by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, where it was on view February 18 – July 2, 2017. It was curated by Tracy L. Adler, Johnson-Pote Director of the Wellin Museum.

Julia Jacquette, Swimming Pool Water (Hand), 2015, Gouache on paper, 9½ x 12½ in. Courtesy of the artist, New York. © Julia Jacquette, Image courtesy of the artist.