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‘Bulletproof Ambition’ continues on view at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 9, 2022

Jerry Gant, The Offering, 2006, powder coated steel. Courtesy of the Jerry Gant Estate. Photo by Art Paxton.

MAHWAH, N.J. – “Bulletproof Ambition: The Art of Jerry Gant”, a career survey of works by the legendary Newark artist, continues on view through April 6 in the Kresge Gallery, Berrie Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey. The exhibition was originally presented in a slightly different form at the Paul Robeson Galleries, Express Newark, Rutgers University and is curated by Linda Street. A closing reception will be held on Wednesday, April 6 from 5-7 p.m.

Jerry Gant (b. 1961- d. 2018) was a Black American artist, whose work is associated with Abstract Expressionism, Neo Dada, and Street Art practices. He is best known for his depictions of urban Black expression in the forms of fashion, poetry, street art, painting, sculpture and performance. Gant’s artistic practice traversed and bridged all forms of visual and performance art disciplines; in this sense, the hallmark of his creative impulse has been an enduring genre-defiance, one that shattered all categories while resisting the limits of classification.

An interdisciplinary visual artist, writer, educator, activist, cultural historian and theorist, Jerry Gant was a native of Newark, N.J., and, along with his divergent body of creative practices was a major component of the vibrant Newark arts and culture scene for over 35 years. Gant’s extensive list of achievements span and connect the literary, performing and visual arts, and feature numerous solo projects, group exhibitions as well as significant and varied critical reviews, including the New York Times.

An early creator and proponent of eco-friendly and sustainable fashion, Gant first emerged on the streets of Newark and New York City in the 1980’s with repurposed, hand-painted streetwear. Over the years, his upcycling methods evolved to include bold images and an intricate system of visual symbols, similar to hieroglyphics, which ultimately became recognizable as distinctive features of his art wear practice, aptly branded as “Gantalism.”

His early street art and graffiti pursuits led to serendipitous encounters with notable contemporaries such as Alexander Calder, Keith Haring, David Hammons, Jeff Koons, El Anutsui and Yinka Shonibare.

Gant created murals in Newark, Miami, Florida, and London. Additionally, Gant was commissioned to create permanent public works by the City of Newark, New Jersey Transit, and the Trust for Public Land in New Jersey. The latter project featured thirteen sculptures installed at Nat Turner Park, the largest city-owned part in Newark, and culminated in a five sculpture installation flanking the entrances of Newark’s historic Pennsylvania Station. In 2018, Gant was one of a select group of international artists whose work is featured on the Art Wall façade surrounding the PSE&G Fairmount Heights Switching Station in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

His work has been featured in numerous key exhibitions such as On and Off the Streets: Urban Art New Jersey at the Morris Museum, and is owned by important institutions such as the Newark Museum of Art and WBGO Radio.

This project is supported in part by 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 on the campus of Ramapo College. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 1-5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1-7 p.m. Galleries are closed for Spring Break the week of March 14.

For further information, please contact Sydney Jenkins at 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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