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Michael Paul Britto: Something in the Way of Things


Organized by Visiting Curator: Dexter Wimberly

September 24–December 19, 2015
Opening Reception Thursday, September 24, 6–9pm

Aljira is pleased to present Something In The Way Of Things, a provocative and timely solo exhibition of work by artist Michael Paul Britto.

Consisting of collage, sculpture, and video, as well as a site-specific installation, the exhibition addresses political and cultural awareness, as well as the misconceptions and assumptions communicated by mass media in The United States. Britto’s practice challenges and encourages the viewer to think about socially nurtured assumptions of Blackness, poverty, youth, as well as the characteristics of acceptable behavior to create a perspective that is more responsive than reactionary. By reclaiming that which has been appropriated, Britto presents messages that reflect the global influence of American culture.

“The significant experiences of my life, both past and present, have served as material for these creative explorations, while enhancing my role as a youth educator, which I consider an important part of my artistic practice. I understand intimately how an environment of instability and confusion can devastate, but also how these personal histories can be inspirational and serve as a touchstone for thoughtful exchange,” Britto says.

“There is a perennial need for artists who create work that generates dialogue and inspires meaningful action around issues of equality and human rights. Britto has mined his personal experiences and channeled them into a body of work that is artistically sincere and socially powerful,” states visiting curator, Dexter Wimberly.

The exhibition’s title is an ode to African-American poet, activist and scholar, Amiri Baraka’s (1934 – 2014), “Something in the way of Things (In Town)”, a poem that underscores the quest for social justice and explores interrelated issues of race, national oppression, self-determination and national liberation for Black people.

About Michael Paul Britto
Michael Paul Britto graduated with a BA from the City College of New York. Michael’s works range from videos to digital photography, sculpture, collage, and performance. Britto has had residencies at the New Museum in New York as well as Smack Mellon, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation and LMCC. Michael has been featured in shows at El Museo del Barrio, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Kitchen in New York, The Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in England. Britto’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America and the Brooklyn Rail. www.brittofied.com

Photo captions:
Michael Paul Britto Control © 2015, Arches, cut magazine paper, 12×16 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Michael Paul Britto Pressure© 2015, Arches, cut magazine paper, 12×16 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Michael-Paul-Britto---Control-web
Michael-Paul-Britto---Pressure-web

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Tom Nussbaum: New Constructions


Organized by Visiting Curator: Dexter Wimberly

September 24–December 19, 2015
Opening Reception Thursday, September 24, 6–9pm

Tom Nussbaum’s work originates from a life-long interest in making art that expresses his view of the world using form and color. Nussbaum’s standing and wall-mounted constructions reflect his exploration of architecture and the structural frameworks of buildings and towers, mixed with references to the human figure. These works emerge from the artist’s deep interest in the formal concerns of painting and sculpture, as well as the interactions of color and form and the associations they carry.Nussbaum explains, “My sculpture grew from non-traditional vessel making into sculptural basket-like forms. This work continued for a number of years in a series of painted wood structures referencing vessel forms, architecture, and the figure. Over time, I continued working with the figure in a series of painted metal sculptures, followed by a series of figures in painted ceramic and plaster/resin. After working with the figure for many years, in 2012 I returned to exploring more abstract structural forms, working in welded steel, wire, and paper.”

Many of Nussbaum’s new works investigate vessel forms or containers, and as such also connect to the history of ceramics and basket making. In his practice, Nussbaum explores the visual connections found in the fabrics and patterns of quilts and textiles from around the world. His new work also references forms found in nature, such as atomic models and cell structure, and man-made patterns such as interconnecting circuits and the worldwide web.

About Tom Nussbaum
Tom Nussbaum is known for a variety of work including sculpture, drawings, paper cuts, prints, children’s books, animations, functional design objects, and site-specific commissions. His sculpture and works on paper have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States, and internationally. Since 1987 he has completed over thirty site-specific commissions located in a variety of public settings including public plazas, train stations, schools, hospitals, and environmental centers.

Nussbaum has been a visiting artist and lecturer at colleges and universities, and has served on many peer review panels and juries. He has been awarded two New Jersey State Individual Artist Fellowships and has been a three time MacDowell Colony Fellow. He currently works from his studios in East Orange, NJ, and Burlington Flats, NY. www.tomnussbaum.com

Photo caption:
East Orange Boogie Woogie from New Constructions by Tom Nussbaum. Courtesy of the Artist.

Tom-Nussbaum_East-Orange_Boogie_Woogie_web

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As They Are: Portraits by Mel Leipzig

July 16–September 5, 2015
Opening Reception Thursday, July 16, 6–9pm
Mel Leipzig has been concerned with the figure, painted directly from life, for over 40 years. As They Are: Portraits by Mel Leipzig focuses on the characteristic informality of his subject against a backdrop of architectural detail and highly skewed perspective. The paintings are at once disconcertingly familiar and unfamiliar.Mel Leipzig was born in Brooklyn in 1935 and lives and works in Trenton, NJ. He is a retired professor of painting and art history at Mercer County Community College and has had over 40 solo exhibitions at museums and art centers throughout the country, including a retrospective at the New Jersey State Museum in 1998. In 2009, he was the subject of two exhibitions at the New Jersey State Museum. One, Mel Leipzig, Selected Paintings, was a selection of his paintings completed in the first decade of the 21st Century and curated by Margaret O’Reilly, Curator of Fine Arts. The second, Mel Leipzig, The Artist as Curator, was an exhibition of figurative paintings from the museum’s collection curated by the artist.

His works are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City. In New Jersey his paintings are in the collection of the New Jersey State Museum, the Montclair Art Museum, the Morris Museum and the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University. In Pennsylvania, his paintings are in the collections of the Woodmere Art Museum and the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania which purchased his painting Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. In Massachusetts, his paintings are in the collections of the Cape Cod Museum of Art and the Provincetown Art Association Museum. In 2003 the American Academy of Arts and Letters purchased his painting Bernarda Shahn and donated it to the Springville Museum of Art in Utah.

Leipzig received a Fulbright Grant to Paris (1958–59), a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (1959–60), and four grants for painting from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (1982, 1986, 1992, 2002). In 1980 he was the first recipient of the Mercer County Community College Distinguished Teacher Award Gold Medal and in 1996 was one of the last individual artists to receive a grant in painting from then National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000 and 2002 he received awards for his paintings from the National Academy, NYC.

He studied at The Cooper Union under Nicholas Marsicano, Morris Kantor, Will Barnet and Neil Welliver (1953–56); Yale University, School of Art & Architecture (BFA) under Josef Albers and James Brooks (1956–58); and Pratt Institute (MFA) under Nan Benedict, Ralph Wickiser and George McNeill (1970–72).

In 2006 Mel Leipzig was elected to the National Academy. In 2014 he was one of the artists included in Deborah Forman’s book Contemporary Cape Cod Artists, People & Places. He is one of the seven painters included in the book Selected Contemporary Figurative Painters, published in 2010 by the Tianjin People’s Fine Arts Publishing House and edited by Qimin Liu, which introduces contemporary American realist painting to the Chinese audience. In October 2015, he will be going as part of an artist exchange to Shandong Province in China.

Mel Leipzig is represented by Gallery Henoch., NYC.

Photo caption:
Mel Leipzig
Gregory at Gallery Henoch, 2015
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 36 in.

Mel-Leipzig-Image

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Studio Montclair Presents Viewpoints 2015

June 4 – July 1, 2015

Juror: Jeffrey Wechsler.

Studio Montclair’s 18th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, ViewPoints 2015, features the work of 100 artists from New Jersey and other states.

An opening reception and award ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 6, from 6-9pm.

The following artists were selected for inclusion in this exhibition:

Cary Africk, Linda Aldrich, Laura Alexander, Sono Arima, Danielle Austen, Zeren Badar, Lisa Bagwell, Susanna Baker, Stephen Barnwell, Alex Bigatti, Clifford Blanchard, Janet Boltax, Michael Calabro, Sarah Canfield, Kathy Cantwell, Valen Choi, John Cleary, Sara Conklin, Robert Conway, Ronnie Cramer, Nancy Crasco, galina dargery, Larry Dell, Dawn DiCicco, Susan Dreifuss, Kurt Dyrhaug, Thomas Francisco, Debra Friedkin, Alexa Garbarino, Ruth Geneslaw, janice gewirtz, Randy Globus, Allan Gorman, Tom Herbert, Linda Brooks Hirschman, Linda Jacobs, Paul Jervis, Gina Kingsley, Kerry Kolenut, Seunghwui Koo, Susanna Kopchains, Sassoon Kosian, Ming-Jer Kuo, Wendy Letven, Alicia Eaton Lewis, Marlene Lipinski, Susan Lisbin, Yvette Lucas, Dave Magyar, Frank Manzo, Natalya Tali Margolin, john marron, Ryota Matsumoto, Claire McConaughy, Betty McGeehan, Bud McNichol, Betsy Meyer-Donadio, James Mullen, MOLLIE MURPHY, Howard Nathenson, Nedra Newby, Yari Ostovany, James Parlin, Gary Paul, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Jean-Paul Picard, chris plaisted, Harriet Power, Wen Redmond, William Dean Reynolds, Bob Ricciotti, Erin Rice, Markus Riebe, Matt Roberts, Harvey Rogosin, Jack Rosenberg, Marian Rubin, Håkon Røisland, Tina Salvesen, Claudia Samper, Edwin Santiago, Kim Schmitt Thomas, Sylvia Schwartz, david sheskin, Pamela Shipley, Perdita Sinclair, Marilyn Stevenson, ceaphas stubbs, Jamie Studebaker, Brian Stymest, Tanya Synar, Kenneth Szmagaj, Sandy Taylor, Karen Terry, Michael Teters, Amy Thompson-Hill, Peter Tilgner, Katie Truk, andrew verhoeckx, Phil Welsher, Diane Whitebay, jenny wiener, Eric Williams, xiong xuan, and qionghui zou.

Studio Montclair is a nonprofit member organization of exhibiting professional artists and others interested in the visual arts that promotes culture and education in the visual arts and encourages emerging artists.

Image at right:
Zeren Badar
Lady Gaga
Dimensions: 21 1/2in x 15 1/2in x 3/4in with frame
Material: Photography, archival print on Kodak metallic paper, 1/15 edition
Year: 2013

Zeren Badar, "Lady Gaga"

Exhibitions

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Derrick Adams: THE HOLDOUT

A Social Sculpture with Curated Radio Station
Organized by Curator Dexter Wimberly
February 12 – April 25, 2015

THE HOLDOUT is funded by a generous grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Aljira presents THE HOLDOUT, a provocative solo project by artist Derrick Adams. Consisting of a large-scale pyramid-like sculpture, along with photography and text-based work, the project features a functioning radio station with music, special guests and programming selected by Derrick Adams and the exhibition’s curator, Dexter Wimberly. Around the gallery, Adams will exhibit works from his Welcome to Monument City series, 2009-present, including new photographs and sculpture. Live interviews will also be broadcast from within the sculpture during the exhibition, through April 25th.

“Aljira is extremely proud to present THE HOLDOUT. It’s an exciting opportunity for engaging many aspects of our community—music, culture, resistance and activism,” says Aljira Executive Director Victor L. Davson.

Using the format of a pirate radio station, Adams will video stream his DJ sets, the conversations, and guest DJ playlists online, in the gallery and onto the street. The artist will present 12 public events at Aljira. Adams will also hand the radio station over to guest hosts, on occasion, as well as to playlist contributors who will be uploading their content remotely. He will be facilitating all events and performances in and around THE HOLDOUT installation.

Positioned in the middle of Aljira’s main gallery, THE HOLDOUT represents an outpost, bunker, fortress or temple.

“Holdout” is a real estate term for an owner of property in a row of acquired buildings who refuses to sell. Adams’ pyramid-like sculpture poetically references individuals within communities united as a wall of resistance and support. The installation and performative work acknowledges what is priceless and important to preserve in one’s own culture. It highlights a value system that appreciates these ideals.

“By allowing viewers to enter his sculpture, Adams is challenging the usual relationship between art and its audience. The various elements of the exhibition, particularly the pyramid-inspired sculpture with its functioning Holdout Radio station inside, is a send-up to real estate developers who ignore the negative impact that unchecked gentrification can have on historic and cultural preservation in less-affluent, urban communities,” states exhibition curator Dexter Wimberly.

All 12 events scheduled by the artist at Aljira are open to the public. Visit www.holdoutradio.com or www.aljira.org/exhibitions to view the full event list and live broadcast schedule or access live streaming video and archived content. The closing reception on April 25, 2015 will feature a dance party open to the public with a live-broadcast DJ. Follow THE HOLDOUT on Instagram at www.instagram.com/theholdout #theholdout.

Special thanks to Artist and Cultural Producer, Jaret Vadera, for his project development of this exhibition.

THE HOLDOUT will be on view February 12, 2015 through April 25, 2015.

THE HOLDOUT Event Dates

Tuesday, March 17 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, March 19 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, March 21 | Guest Host: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, March 24 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, March 26 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, March 28 | Derrick Adams: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, March 31 | Playlist music: 12–2pm

Thursday, April 2 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, April 4 | Guest Host: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, April 7 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, April 9 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, April 11 | Derrick Adams: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, April 14 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, April 16 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, April 18 | Guest Host: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, April 21 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, April 23 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, April 25 | Closing Reception of The Holdout and Dance Party with live broadcast DJ set: 6–10pm

About the Artist
Derrick Adams, born in 1970, is a multidisciplinary artist working in performance, painting, sculpture and music. He received his BA from Pratt Institute and his MFA from Columbia University and is an alumnus of The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. He has exhibited widely in New York, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Aspen, London and Paris. He has participated in Performa 05, and his work has been included in museum exhibitions at PS1/MoMA, New York (Greater New York, 2005); the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Grey Art Gallery, New York University; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, 2012–14 and on numerous occasions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. He is a recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, 2009, and an Honored Finalist for the 2011 William H. Johnson Prize.

About the Curator
Independent curator Dexter Wimberly was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. A passionate collector and supporter of the arts, he has exhibited the work of hundreds of artists in the U.S. and abroad. Wimberly maintains a critical dialogue with emerging artists throughout the world by way of his exhibitions, public programs, and lectures at galleries and public arts institutions. He has organized exhibitions and programs for Mixed Greens Gallery; Driscoll Babcock Galleries; 101 Exhibit; Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art; bitforms gallery; Koki Arts, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA); and The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; among others. Wimberly is the Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International in New York.

THE HOLDOUT
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