Artist-Curator and Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts Associate Director for Education, Noreen Scott Garrity, brings together work from 8 women painters with whom she attended painting programs in the 1980s at the University of Delaware, where she received her BFA, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA. Artists included in the exhibition are Lisa A. Bartolozzi, Elisabeth Condon, Peg Curtin, Diane Crossan Lawler, Helen O’Leary, Helen O’Toole, Noreen Scott Garrity, and Bibiana Suarez. The exhibit opens Tuesday, February 1 in the Stedman Gallery, and will be on view until Friday, March 25. 

Lisa Bartolozzis large-scale figurative works embody archetypal myths on the nature of human existence such as the ‘wise old man’ and the ‘first female’. The works are Realist,  the classical language of light on form, and utilize the traditional painter’s craft for the sake of sensuality, empathy, and engagement for the viewer. Bartolozzi’s  drawings in wax are self-portraits from an ongoing series.

Elisabeth Condon’s paintings translate landscape two dimensionally. They overlap scroll painting, vintage wallpaper, and textile patterns, using abstract and calligraphic applications that include brushing, pouring, smearing, and literally digging beneath the surface of paint. The imagery is based on wallpapers and textiles from her childhood homes. Nature and décor come together in synthetic landscapes that are felt as much as seen. 

Peg Curtin’s works on paper are meditations on the fragility of the beauty that surrounds us. Her recent work is inspired by walks along the Middle Atlantic watersheds of the Schuylkill River and the Chesapeake Bay. Due to the effects of pollution, the waters of the Schuylkill are frequently not suitable for activities involving direct contact with the water, according to the daily water quality chart.

Diane Crossan Lawler’s narrative paintings are largely figurative and often female, portraying figures honestly, exposing raw emotion and physical irregularities, the subjects are strong, real and vulnerable. There are multiple layers of meaning in each painting, including written language that is often covered over with subsequent layers of paint. representing, symbolically, the various stages and struggles of a woman’s life. 

Helen O’Leary delves into her own history as a painter by disassembling the wooden structures of previous paintings—the stretchers, panels, and frames, then cuts them back to rudimentary hand-built slabs of wood, glued and patched together. The works’ history of being stapled, splashed with bits of paint, and stapled again to linen is clearly evident. 

Helen O’Toole paints the landscape of her birth and its history. The landscape surrounding the area she grew up in the west of Ireland is extraordinarily suggestive in subject matter, yet its sublime beauty is deceptive. Economic and social progress is omnipresent today, but an invisible and persistent connection to a darker past lingers. It is evident in the stone walls that were constructed often with the rubble of abandoned limestone famine dwellings, as well as the marks and erasures that cover and demarcate the land, concealing its history.

Noreen Scott Garrity’s paintings from the series, Salem County Romantic, feature the Delaware River landscape in southern New Jersey, and summon the strangeness and the wonder, as well as the beauty and the unloveliness of local sites. The repetition, continual reinterpretation, daily discovery and infatuation with Helms Cove’s combinations of coastline, mudflats, sky, river, and light infuses the work with a contemporary Romantic sensibility. 

Bibiana Suarez’ work Una cuestión the honor (A Matter of Honor) is from the series, DePico a Pico (Beak to Beak/Face to Face).  In the print, cockfighting is a metaphor for Suarez’ resistance to cultural assimilation. The rooster’s skeleton that repeats throughout the composition, is a symbolic metaphor for the core and foundation of the Puerto Rican culture in the artist. Like the discussion of cultural identity, the fighting cock occupies a limitless and timeless space, a kind of cultural limbo with alternating states of victory and defeat. 

Passages8 Women Painters is concurrent with other exhibitions in the Northeast exploring and celebrating women artists’ work and careers, such as On the Basis of Art:  150 Years of Women at Yale, Yale University Art Gallery; Labyrinth of Forms: Women and Abstraction at the Whitney Museum of Art, and at the Barnes Foundation, Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter.

Exhibitions are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Date & Time
February 1, 2022-March 25, 2022

Event posted in Exhibits, Painting, Stedman Gallery, Visual Art, VMPA, Women.