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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 12, 2006

(Mahwah) – Fine Print will open in the Kresge Gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey on Wednesday, February 8 and continue through March 15.  An opening reception will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. on February 8 and Meredith Davis, an assistant professor of art history at the College, will give a talk at 6 p.m.  Artists whose work is featured in the exhibit will also give presentations.

Fine Print presents the work of William Cordova, Jean Ulrick Désert, Deborah Grant, Katherine Jackson, Hank Willis Thomas and Kambui Olujimi, six emerging contemporary artists who draw on the inter-play between image and text to explore a range of aesthetic, theoretical and cultural ideas.

Isolde Brielmaier, the exhibition’s curator, notes that at least since the 1960s, artists have employed language in their work to highlight relationships or disjunctions between words and their visual images.  Today’s diverse range of media and presentation formats–from digital media to performance–offer tremendous creative and innovative potential and blur the traditionally accepted boundaries between language and information.  This exhibition is among the more recent chapters in a long exploration of the relationship between art and language.”  Brielmaier is a visiting assistant professor of art at Vassar College and an independent curator and writer.

The contemporary artists featured in Fine Print use language in the form of printed text and video in powerful and significant ways.  William Cordova presents an installation of small works on paper that explores changing ideas of memory in private
and public settings.  Jean Ulrick Désert’s L’ABCdaire de ma vie privée (The ABCs of my private life)” is an imaginary ABC book that uses the guise of pedagogical text to document Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Brooklyn, NY; Paris, France; and Berlin, Germany in the chronological order of his personal experience.  Deborah Grant presents a group of untitled paper pieces from her Random Select” series that present text and image inter-play through a series of puzzles, quizzes and symbols.  She challenges the viewer to consider the ways in which her combinations form a language. Katherine Jackson uses the medium of glass to challenge the viewer’s reading of visual expression, alternating between lines” of writing and lines” of drawing and underscoring the ways language vibrates between opacity and transparency.  Winter in America is a video collaboration between Hank Willis Thomas and Kambui Olujimi that is based on the events leading up to the murder of Songha Thomas Willis on February 2, 2000 outside Club Evolutions in Philadelphia, PA. The stop-motion film technique is employed to animate the G.I. Joe action figures the artists once used to create similar narratives during childhood.

The exhibition is presented in recognition of African Ancestry Month.  This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Kresge Gallery is located in the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts at Ramapo College.  Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, 1 to 7 p.m.  For more information, call 201.684.7147.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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