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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 18, 2018

Robert Forman, Otilia, 1998, yarn painting

MAHWAH, N.J. – Collection Dialogue: Robert Forman, an exhibition which mixes works from various college collections with “yarn paintings” by a contemporary artist, opens on Wednesday, January 31, in the Pascal Gallery of the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. There will be an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. with an artist’s talk at 6:30 p.m. The exhibition continues through March 2.

According to director of the art galleries Sydney Jenkins, “With the Collection Dialogue series, we intermittently present collection works with loaned pieces by contemporary artists or from other sources to set up a kind of conversation or dialogue between art objects. In this case, I was excited to discover wonderful affinities between so many Mexican works in our collections, and the unusual contemporary yarn paintings by New Jersey artist Robert Forman.”

The artist provides the following statement about developing his unusual technique:

“I began making yarn paintings in 1969 while still in high school. I had been fooling around with paint in my parents’ basement when, one day, I incorporated my mother’s embroidery thread into a collage. In college at The Cooper Union at first I kept yarn painting to myself. My professors preferred my drawings to my paintings. My painting professor, Jack Whitten, asked what we did during vacation. I volunteered that I’d spent the vacation working on a project but it wasn’t exactly painting. After visiting my studio, Jack told me to stick to string and he would consider them paintings. Later I discovered that the Huichol, an indigenous people in Mexico, were working with yarn in a similar technique, and in 1992 I traveled to Mexico as a Fulbright Fellow to meet and talk shop with those artists.”

Robert Forman received his B.F.A. from Cooper Union and has exhibited widely in noted galleries and museums. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and various awards from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Fiberarts, and many other publications, and is in the collections of numerous institutions including the American Consulate in Monterrey Mexico, the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; The International Collage Center, The White House in Washington, D.C., and the Noyes Museum of Art.

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 Pascal Gallery is located in the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts on the Ramapo College campus.  Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 to 7 p.m.

For more information, please contact Sydney Jenkins at 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, 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, 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, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.


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