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Plots And Intentions Exhibit At Ramapo College Explores Cryptic Plot Narratives

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 17, 2000

(Mahwah) — Plots and Intentions, an international exhibition of works by leading contemporary and renowned self-taught artists, will open Wednesday, November 1 in the Kresge and Pascal galleries in the Berrie Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey. An opening reception will begin at 5 p.m.

Included are two major works by Henry Darger, whose work recently was acquired by the Museum of American Folk Art and who was the subject of a lengthy article in the New York Times; photo narratives by Cindy Sherman; projections by Kathy Rose; L.C. Spooner’s collages; aeronautical notebooks by Charles A. A. Dellschau; Duane Michaels’ classic sequential photographs; realistic paintings of domestic scenes by Mark Greenwold; Ayae Takahashi’s large crayon drawings; large paintings of skinhead youth by Vancouver artist Attila Richard Lukacs; watercolors of young males by Tim Gardner; and paintings by New Jersey artist Tim Heinz. Also featured will be a number of works from the Selden Rodman Collection of Popular Arts of the Americas and the Caribbean and from the Maurice and Otis Thompson Collection of Mexican Art.

According to curator Sydney Jenkins, this exhibition is an “attempt to look at other ways to frame narrative works and at the same time to re-contextualize our renowned collection of popular arts and works by self-taught artists.” He goes on to say, “A redundant form of narrative featuring photo-based scenarios has dominated the art market for some time; Plots and Intentions provides a different window onto other, more eccentric styles.”

In the Times article on Darger, which ran September 16, 2000, writer Sarah Boxer noted that the artist inspired a book of poetry, fashion designs, a British rock band, a Hawaiian dance, a video game, an opera, a play and a movie prospect. Darger’s cluttered landscapes, discovered when he died in 1973, are crammed with cut and pasted images of baby-faced girls taken from comics, children’s books and magazines. The pictures illustrated a lifetime of writing; two trunks contained fantastical stories that went on for thousands of pages and a series of diaries. Exhibits at the Phyllis Kind Gallery, among others, have linked Darger to outsider art or Art Brut. In late September it was announced that the Museum of American Folk Art just acquired a large number of Darger’s paintings and all of his manuscripts. To house the combination gift/purchase, the museum will create the Henry Darger Study Center in its new building on West 53rd St.

Charles Dellschau (1830-1923) was a Prussian-born Texas butcher who spent his retirement years painting large-scale books of flying machines. “During Dellschau’s lifetime, his Aeros were at once potentially feasible projects and utterly absurd fantasies, as were the ideas of so many who hoped their winged contraption would be the one to lift man into the air,” writes Lauren Redniss in The Aeronautical Notebooks of Charles Dellschau. He has been called “America’s earliest known visionary artist.” “The works of Kathy Rose suspend the viewer in a place where time seems absent,” according to the catalogue accompanying an exhibit at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. “Her videos combine imagery reminiscent of ancient Egypt, Japanese Noh theater, and early animation. Projections of ink animation drawings often interact with the performing figure, blending fiction and reality. Rose invites viewers to travel through layers of reality and illusion.”

“My paintings are small, highly detailed, labor intensive pictures depicting the way men and women live their lives,” writes Mark Greenwold of his works which are reminiscent of Giotto and the Sienese painters of the 14th and 15th centuries. His focused attention has resulted in a lifetime output that is few in number but rich in concentrated nuance and narrative detail.

Plots and Intentions is open through December 6. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (201) 684-7147.


About Ramapo College

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 comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per 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, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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