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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)August 26, 2003

(Mahwah) – A group exhibition by artists working with form, color and content opens in the Kresge Gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey Wednesday, September 10 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Curated by Seth Ely, an artist and adjunct professor in Ramapo’s School of Contemporary Arts, the exhibit, entitled The Object: Color and Carrier, will include work by Chris Burnside, Matt Harle, Betsey Alwin, Merrill Wagner, Seth Ely and Tom McGlynn. This is the first time this style of work has been shown in a major exhibition in the Berrie Center.

According to the curator, the title of this exhibition, Object: Color and Carrier, attempts to underscore the active role of the object within the imaginative forms that artists make.

Chris Burnside’s installation of curvilinear arcs is developed for and responds to the space in which it is installed. Using the walls and ceiling as a ground, his installations make solid and physically imposing architecture appear immaterial and illusory. As the large meandering arcs move across the wall and ceiling, their color and curvilinear geometry breaks up and re-orders perceptions of the space that holds them.

Matt Harle’s sculptural paintings are comprised of a large plaster center that is attached to the wall. Surrounding the plaster is high-density foam, on which Harle develops a soft atmosphere of color. Viewed as a whole, Harle’s work places the physical and imaginative forms in contrast. Allowing them to rest, side by side, one experiences an extremely strong sense of physical form contrasted with an equally strong illusory sensation within the painted form.

Tom McGlynn’s series of paintings, called test patterns, are bounded by a grey boarder and divided by one continuous horizontal division and many not-continuous vertical divisions. These paintings are experiments with the movements and associations of color. The color of these images is taken from the artist’s memories of products and brands. Thus, he uses the color’s physical experience and movement to consider his memories and cultural context.

Betsey Alwin uses graphite lines applied directly to the wall and painted monofilaments suspended between the wall and the viewer. Like lines extracted from the wall and placed into real space, the monofilament lines connect with the graphite lines drawn on the wall. The extension of lines into real space increases the strength of the picture’s illusion and engages the viewer’s movement with the continuously distorting perspectives of the architectural fantasies depicted.

The paintings of Merrill Wagner present a subtle interweaving of the strong physical presence of her supports, strips of sheet steel, and an imaginative space that slowly emerges from the selection of color and placement of painted area. Almost overlaid upon the horizontal steel sheets, the rectangle painted over the separate pieces of metal provides a location and means for the units to relate to one another.

Seth Ely’s paintings of giant floating bananas are made from lines of many colors. Individually these lines have a strong sense of gesture and give the group a cumulative sense of movement. Painted on very thin PVC board and mounted directly upon the wall, the bananas become part of the wall and the wall part of the painting. The integration suggests that the bananas are moving within, not hanging on, the wall.

Art galleries encourage faculty research exhibitions like this one,” says Sydney Jenkins, director of galleries at Ramapo. This allows Seth Ely to work in an area of interest he explores in his own visual art and expand those intuitive notions into an experimental exhibition filling the galleries with color and form.”

The exhibit continues through October 24. The Kresge Gallery is located in the Berrie Center on the Ramapo College campus. Exhibit hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 to 7 p.m. For more information, call (201) 684-7147.


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, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, 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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