Updated Nov. 5, 2009
By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Three exhibitions curated by Dan Mills, director of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University, will be on view in the Samek Art Gallery in the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell through Dec. 8.
"Epic Painting" features a significant, large painting each by six highly accomplished painters — Ali Banisadr, Charles Browning, Robert Colescott, Julie Heffernan, Laurie Hogin and Nicky Nodjoumi.
"This exhibition includes the work of some of today's exceptional painters: Browning (Pennsylvania), Heffernan (New York), Hogin (Illinois), Banisadr and Nodjoumi (both were born in Iran and live in New York), and Colescott (1925-2009), often called the greatest painter of his generation, and the first African-American to represent the United States in the Venice Bienalle," said Mills.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Laurie Hogin will present a lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. in the Forum in the Elaine Langone Center followed by a reception in the galleries.
"Each of these talented painters creates sumptuous paintings grounded in representation. In various ways, the artists combine an acute knowledge of painting, freely referencing painting genres including portraiture, history painting, landscape and allegory.
"Quoting historic painting passages and incorporating art historic subjects or style into their work, the artists in 'Epic Painting' make powerful, beautiful, smart and challenging paintings that address many of the important issues confronting humanity in the 21st century.
"Audience members interested in painting, art history and issues in contemporary art will not want to miss this exhibition," Mills said.
"Jiang Lu and Chen Pu: Journey" focuses on works on paper by two Tianjin-based contemporary artists. Both Jiang and Chen make work that embodies ideas of journey — Chen makes silkscreen prints and Jiang creates ink and wash paintings.
Jiang's "On the Journey" series combines images of well-traveled suitcases and the motion-filled and gestural marks, washes and splatters of traditional Chinese ink and brush painting.
Chen Pu's silkscreens represent a different notion of travel, one that carries the viewer to another time by combining photographic images from the Maoist era and the Cultural Revolution with images of consumer era furniture and personal accessories.
"We are delighted to be exhibiting Chen and Jiang's two substantial series of works in the Samek," said Mills. "We are also pleased they (the artists) will travel to Bucknell and, in addition to the public lecture, will be meeting with students and faculty in several disciplines."
"University and regional community members interested in contemporary Chinese art and culture will enjoy traveling to the Samek to see 'Journey,'" said Mills.
West African art
"Splendor: West African Art from the Collection of Alfred Prince, Part 1" features West African art including life-size carved wooden figures, masks made with a wide variety of materials, cast and worked metal objects, and wooden furniture.
"This is the first in a series of exhibitions planned over the next several years that will focus on different areas of Dr. Prince's collection," Mills said. During each exhibition, students will research various objects in conjunction with their courses. A post-series publication will illustrate the exhibitions and include student writing.
"Splendor Part I" focuses on the human figure, with sculptures that represent fertility, maternity, sacred subjects and death. Some figures are worn while dancing, while others serve more utilitarian purposes, or as fetishes.
"Dr. Prince has given objects from his collection to the permanent collection, and has promised many more," said Mills. "Due to his extraordinary generosity, the museum will have the beginnings of an African art collection that will make it possible for Bucknell students and the regional community to study African art and cultures through direct access to West African art."
The Samek Art Gallery is located on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center. Admission is free. Gallery hours during the academic year are weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., weekends 1 to 5 p.m., and by appointment.
The Gallery is accessible by elevator. For more information about the gallery, call 570-577-3792 or visit Samek Art Gallery.
Contact: Division of Communications