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Sustained Investigations Exhibition Opens at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)August 26, 2019

Kaare Rafoss, Infidel Series 2, #4, 1993-2012, various paints on wood, 31 x 31 inches

MAHWAH, N.J. – Sustained Investigations, a group exhibition of four established artists, opens on Tuesday, September 10 in the Kresge and Pascal Galleries of the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. There will be an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. with artists’ talks at 6 p.m. The exhibition has been curated by Lena Hyun and Sydney O. Jenkins, and continues through October 11.

Over several decades, these artists have continued to explore distinctive individual processes in various media.

Co-curator Lena Hyun states:

Sustained Investigations presents the work of four distinct artists sharing an investigative spirit founded in complex ideas and rigorous formal Investigation. Using diverse materials from the poetic to prosaic, these artists explore narrative, abstraction and the landscape in a variety of media with visually stunning and dramatic effects. Together, they offer provocative and enlightening possibilities for artistic practice in the 21st century.”

Exhibiting artists are: Frances Barth, paintings and animation; Cicely Cottingham, paintings; Joanne Howard, various media and installation; Kaare Rafoss, neo-conceptual painting.

Artist Biographies


Born in the Bronx, having received her advanced degrees from Hunter College, CUNY, Frances Barth has been working and showing her painting in New York and internationally since the 1960s. Her painting is represented in numerous public, corporate and private collections. While an art student, Barth also studied modern dance and began performing with Yvonne Rainer at Lincoln Center and the Billy Rose Theater in 1968-69, and with Joan Jonas in dance and video in 1970. Video: During the last 15 years, she has created two animations, two documentaries, a graphic novel and is now filming her short video Dreaming Tango. Her awards include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Individual Support Grant, two American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase awards, the Anonymous Was a Woman grant and a Pollock-Krasner grant. She is Director Emeritus of the Mt. Royal School of Art, The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.


Cicely Cottingham has received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, a Pollock/Krasner Grant, three New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship Awards, a Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper Fellowship, and a Hereward Lester Cooke grant. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Newark Museum, the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey State Museum and the State University of New York at Geneseo. She has had solo exhibitions at Lockhart Gallery, SUNY Geneseo, N.Y.; Gallery Aferro, N.J.; Stewart Leshe Collections, N.J.; Jersey City Museum, N.J.; Hunterdon Museum of Art, N.J.; and Aljira, a Space for Contemporary Art, N.J. Her work has been written about in the New York Times, New Art Examiner, Review, and Artnet Magazine. Cottingham was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and currently lives and works in West Orange, N.J. She holds a BFA degree from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.


Joanne Howard received her BFA from Syracuse University and MFA from Hunter College, and also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Howard is known from working in a variety of art media including the site specific, and for set design. She has exhibited her art widely in New York and elsewhere, including Hopper House, New York University, the Islip Art Museum, Field Projects, Henry Street Settlement, White Columns, Lombard/Fried Fine Arts, and most recently at Wave Hill in the Bronx. Her extensive set design history includes various engagements with Big Dance Theater at the Kitchen, BAM, the Chocolate Factory, the Dance Theater Workshop, the Performing Garage, and the Chaillot Theater in Paris. Howard received a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Architecture/Environmental Structures, and a Bessie Award for Set Design, for Comme Tous Jours/Here I Stand, Big Dance Theater.


Born in Flekkefjord, Norway, Kaare Rafoss emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 15. He holds degrees in painting from Pratt Institute and Yale School of Art. He has received grants from the State University of New York, the New York State Council on the Arts (C.A.P.S.), the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. In the early 1970s, Rafoss was represented by Reese Paley Gallery, NYC. He has had solo exhibitions at the Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway, and the Trans Hudson Gallery, NYC. His participation in group exhibitions includes: Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y.; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Texas; Kunst Markt, Cologne, Germany, and the 1975 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC.  In 2004-2005 Rafoss was a participant in two site-specific installations by Tony Oursler that originated at the Musee d’Orsay, Paris, and was reconceptualized at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

This project at Ramapo College is funded 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 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, contact Gallery Director 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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