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Jacob Landau: Exploring the Colors

An exhibition of works exploring the world of colors created by the American artist, humanist, and teacher Jacob Landau. Born in Philadelphia in 1917, Jacob Landau launched his career as an illustrator, winning national prizes at age 16 and a scholarship to the Philadelphia College of Art. He had over sixty one-person shows and was the recipient of many awards, including Guggenheim and National Arts Council grants. Many of his works are featured in permanent collections, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A master teacher, he retired as professor emeritus at New York’s Pratt Institute. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts by Monmouth University.

For Jacob Landau “art enables us to see the world whole and undivided.” As a humanist his art was devoted to the unity of the imagination. And at its center lies Landau’s desire for justice in the world. In the current exhibit his celebration of our love of color, shared across so many cultures, is inseparable from his humanist conviction. Color and drawing, Landau once declared, are the “twin fundaments of my style.” And he has been praised by fellow artists and critics as a colorist. His dazzling palette and expressive line exhilarate us. We find ourselves transported by their exuberant life, colors that rise up and sing for us in a work titled Flight. And yet his love affair with color does not blind him to the world of injustice.

On the one hand, his red and orange and yellow, and green and blue watercolors of gorgeous promise, so exquisitely handled in a radically imagined portrait of Isaiah dazzle us with life. But by the same token, Landau by these colors insists on the social justice that Isaiah declaimed. Justice, the artist makes clear in his beautiful and unsettling riot of forms, that he expects of us.

Uniquely, his canvass of many colors dazzles and disturbs. His understated colors in Apocalypsis fill us with foreboding, and he asks, “Whose apocalypse is it anyway ours or God’s?” Just like Landau to leave us with an uncomfortable question in the language of subtle colors. At the same time, we see a bold backdrop of brilliant yellow across the way in his Oracle 1, dramatizing the hope that resides in the human heart. A yellow we can’t shake as we walk away.

The exhibition features a selection of some twenty-one works. All are from Monmouth University’s extensive collection of Jacob Landau’s work, comprising over 300 prints, drawings and paintings. The collection was gifted to Monmouth University in 2008 by the Jacob Landau Institute of Roosevelt, NJ. This exhibit is co-sponsored by the Jewish Culture Studies Program and the Honors School of Monmouth University.

Docent tours are available (for times, contact Professor Noel Belinski 732-263-5425; email:  nbelinsk@monmouth.edu).

Water Lilies of Monet: The Magic of Water and Light

Voyage through the masterpieces and obsessions of the genius and founder of Impressionism, Claude Monet. An art-world disruptor at the turn of the 20th century whose obsession with capturing light and water broke all convention, Monet revolutionized Modern Art with his timeless masterpieces.

An in-depth, exclusive tour led by Monet scholars of the museums that house the largest collections of the prolific artist’s lilies paintings including the Musée Marmottan Monet, the Orsay Museum, the world-famous panels at L’Orangerie and concluding with Monet’s own house and gardens at Giverny, the site where his fascination for water lilies was born.

Klimt & Schiele: Eros and Psyche

Klimt & Schiele: Eros and Psyche, recounts the start of the Vienna Secession, a magical art movement formed in the late 1890’s for art, literature and music, in which new ideas are circulated, Freud discovers the drives of the psyche, and women begin to claim their independence. It was a movement that marked a new era outside the confines of academic tradition.

At the heart of Secession were artists Gustav Klimt and his protégé and dear friend Egon Schiele. This exhibition proves an in-depth examination fo images of extraordinary visual power: from the eroticism of Klimt’s mosaic-like works, to the anguished and raw work of the young Schiele in his magnetic nudes and contorted figures against the backdrop of nocturnal Vienna, full of masked balls and dreams imbued with sexuality.

Caravaggio: The Soul and the Blood

Take an immersive journey through the life, works and struggles of the Italian master Michelangelo Merisi di Caravaggio. Roberto Longhi, a Caravaggio expert, explores in the artist’s masterpieces the echo of personal experiences and the expression of the human state, both physical and emotional. These evocative moments — thanks to the use of light and cinematic techniques — allow viewers to go deep inside the mind and soul of Caravaggio, empathizing with his impulses and fears.

Produced by Sky Italia and Nexo Digital.
Image Credit: Caravaggio, “Rotella con testa di Medusa”, Uffizi Gallery. Courtesy of Ministery for Culture, Heritage and Tourism.

Mike Quon

Born into the world of art and design, Mike Quon learned the ropes early on from his father who was an art director and an animator and promotional artist at Disney working on classics like Dumbo and Fantasia. After graduating from UCLA School of the Arts, Mike launched his own career as an art director at J. Walter Thompson and Young and Rubicam before establishing his award-winning design office in New York City 30 years ago. Since then, Mike’s bold and bright promotional illustrations for advertising and editorial campaigns, his graphic design collateral and packaging, and his hand-crafted logos have been seen around the world, helping to promote events like the Summer Olympics and build lasting brand identities for consumer products, businesses and nonprofits.

“The Other Vincent” Documentary Film Premiere and Closing Reception

Please join us for the closing reception of  Vincent DiMattio/50 a retrospective of work by Vincent DiMattio celebrating his 50 years as a professor in Monmouth University’s Department of Art & Design at 6:30 PM in the Pollak, DiMattio & Ice House Galleries. After the reception, there will be the premiere of a documentary film The Other Vincent at 7:30 PM in Pollak Theatre about Vincent DiMattio’s 50 year journey at Monmouth University as an artist and educator.

Sheba Sharrow

Through a vigorous and poetic hand, her work reflects on brutality and simultaneously pays homage to the animating power of solidarity, warning us: Remember, history’s tragedies repeat.

Born in Brooklyn in 1926 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, Sheba Sharrow grew up in Chicago and earned her BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago, studying with Boris Anisfeld and Joseph Hirsch. She continued her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and earned an MFA at the Tyler School of the Arts at Temple University. She has been considered part of the “Chicago School” of imagist painters, fitting generationally into the “Monster Roster” group of artists from that city, including the most well-known of her classmates to lead the charge of image and ideas over pure abstraction, Leon Golub and Nancy Spero. A resident of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Sharrow died in 2006.

In the dominant milieu of Abstract Expressionism beginning in the 1950s, which actively rebelled against identifiable “meaning,” Sharrow remained grounded in a humanist tradition and a social context. Curator and writer Alejandro Anreus placed her “in the company of Kollwitz, Beckman and Orozco,” and writer Amy Fine Collins linked “her sensibility to German Expressionism.”

Sharrow’s unique style of storytelling and her occasional use of poetic text stand her apart. Her artistic intentions were deeply intellectual. “As long as the world is going the way it is going, I cannot stop doing what I have been doing,” Sharrow told The New York Times in 2002. She lamented, “We cannot seem to get it right.”

The works will be on loan from both James Yarosh Associates Fine Art Gallery and the Estate of Sheba Sharrow as well as from institutions such as the Jersey City Museum of Art and private collections.

Transition: Vietnam – Photography by Mark Ludak and Andrew Cohen

Vietnam is a country in transition.  Intrigued by the rapid transformation of Vietnam, one of the fastest growing economies of the world Monmouth University professors, Mark Ludak and Andrew Cohen have returned multiple times to photograph this region.  A dynamic, youthful country, especially seen in mega-cities like Ho Chi Minh City (Sai Gon), it is a country where the traditional and contemporary are reconstituted into distinctively Vietnamese manifestations.

NATURE AND NURTURE – Mother/Daughter Artists: The Paintings of Cheryl Griesbach and Claudia Griesbach-Martucci

After working almost 20 years as an illustrator with her husband Stanley Martucci, in 2000 Cheryl Griesbach began creating a body of paintings based on her interests in European 18th and 19th century still-life, botanical, and landscape art. Cheryl’s painting technique was derived from Flemish painting that she had explored as a student at The School of Visual Arts where she is now on the faculty since 1985. Her method includes the manipulation of segments of Northern European paintings and incorporating that imagery in building a new landscape, like a stage. Cheryl has received many awards, including last year’s best in show at the Monmouth Museum’s 38th international juried awards show.

Cheryl’s daughter Claudia, having grown up with both parents as artists, gave her an innate inclination to explore her imagination and develop knowledge of oil painting.  Admitted into The School of Visual Arts, her parents alumni, Claudia in her third year first began to primarily use oil paint as her medium to illustrate the 18th century fairy tale Donkey Skin by Charles Perrault.  Claudia graduated with honors and was then accepted into the Masters Program, Illustration as Visual Essay, with a limited class of 20 students. With her background in Illustration and skills in using oils learned from he mother, all of Claudia’s paintings tell a story. Her end of the year show paintings began to carve out some of the subject matter she wanted to explore, “that behind every exquisite thing that exists there is something tragic” a quote from Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray. Claudia is currently working as a painting assistant to the artist Jeff Koons, while pursuing her own personal work.

Maunderings by Tonya D. Lee

In this exhibition, artist and Monmouth University Art and Design faculty member, Tonya D. Lee presents a collection of multi-discipline work that explores the abstraction of nature and environment through the combination shapes, patterns, moments and pauses that are derived from passive spaces, fleeting thoughts and changing winds. Location and process are in a conversation about ephemeral moments of beauty. Using a multi-disciplinary process of combining painting, drawing, collage, construction, and digital media, the obsessions with materiality explore form and color as an echo of the present overlapping past presents — form and color negotiating to exist as object and subject.

Website: www.tonyadlee.com