The New Jersey School of Architecture Gallery at NJIT and the Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University will host "Neo-Constructivism: Art, Architecture and Activism," a rare dual-venue exhibition of works by 20 contemporary artists from New Jersey, New York, Miami, Canada and Australia. Work by Matthew Gosser, adjunct professor of architecture at NJIT, and director of the NJIT Art Gallery, will be on view.
The exhibition runs through April 10, 2008. Times and hours are detailed below. The exhibit is free and open to the public. A full-color constructivist catalog is available.
Notions about how art today engages the social world will be explored in the show in three ways: as source for geometric abstraction, melding art and function, as imaginative urban planning or excavation, and as critical expression of the civic imagination. These veins of constructive energy are part of the legacy of early 20th-century Russian constructivism.
The time and places of “Neo-Constructivism” differ radically from the historical movement. Not content simply to decorate society, some artists use their work to contribute to the social imagination, to propose, for example, public projects for urban development, or to test political norms.
The artists mix up the distinction between purely aesthetic and utilitarian objects, creating artwork that actually works and is useful—works from craft and industrial design. Still others reduce art and architecture to two-dimensional geometric abstraction, relying on shape, color, and line as elemental building blocks. Works range from small-scale drawings to installation-based environments. All, however, share the legacy of constructivist innovations, from transitional Russia to the U.S. in mid-century.
Nine New Jersey artists whose work is on view include Gosser (from NJIT), Karen Guancione (Belleville); Narciso Montero (Budd Lake); Cyrilla Mozenter (Newark born); Boris Petropavlovsky (Montclair); Charlee Swanson (Montclair); Katalin Vilim (Newark); Anker West (Newark); Troy West (formerly of Newark and now in Rhode Island); and Emma Wilcox (Newark).
Other artists include: Clare Firth-Smith (Australia); Richard Greaves (Quebec) & Mario Del Curto (Switzerland); Heather Hart (Brooklyn, NY); Noah Loesberg (Brooklyn); Maria Adelaida Lopez (Miami); Caitlin Masley (Brooklyn, NY); Jenny Polak (Brooklyn, NY); Nebojsa Seric-Shoba (NYC); and Robin Sherin (NYC).
NJ School of Architecture Gallery, NJIT, 367 Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102; 973-596-3080: Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.–4.30 p.m., weekends by appointment. The NJIT gallery will be closed Feb. 18 – 29, 2008; Both galleries will close for Spring Break, March 17–21, 2008. Parking is available on streets or at NJIT Parking Garage, Warren and Summit streets.
Paul Robeson Galleries, 350 Martin Luther King Blvd., First Floor, Newark, NJ 07102; 973-353-1610. Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Wednesday, noon–7 p.m. For directions see: http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu/artgallery/directions.html.
Metered parking is available on University Avenue and at Rutgers-Newark's public parking garage, 200 University Ave.