– A Contemporary Viewing of Artists Previously Shown, Each Selected by an
Art Center Curator to Represent Themes of the Center’s History –
FLUSHING, NY, August 29, 2012 – Celebrating the Queens College Art Center’s silver anniversary in the Benjamin Rosenthal Library gallery, each of its three curators has selected an artist presented since the 1988—1989 inaugural season, revisiting previously shown pieces in the context of the artist’s current work. Displaying photographs by Sid Kerner and mixed media by his wife Anna Bisso (Suzanna Simor’s choice), multimedia pieces by Mikhail Gubin (Alexandra de Luise’s selection), and sculpture by Howard Lerner (Tara Mathison’s pick), the curators address various themes from the AC’s 25-year history through the prism of their own interest and research.
Kerner began observing New York through the eye of the camera in 1937, when at age 17 he joined the Photo League. His first show at the AC, Sidney Kerner: New York City Photographs, 1937–1990, reflected his intense involvement with his hometown and its people. “[My] basic impulse was to create images – what came later was a desire to combine my love of photography with a need to say something about life around me,” he explained at the time. Captured by his lens, stray bits of everyday surroundings eventually took on a life of their own. The very personal, abstract and surreal photographs of the faces he discerned in the city’s fabric, shown in Kerner’s second exhibition at the AC, Face To Face: From See To Shining See (2007), gave the viewer an opportunity to experience the human side of familiar objects, and in effect invited all to participate in the creative process. Kerner’s newest work develops this process of animated abstraction in photographs that, charged by his lifelong populism, summarize his oeuvre in a fresh, unexpected way.
Kerner’s photographs are represented in numerous collections around the world; locally, they are held by the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Archives of the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to the books Family of Woman (Ridge Press) and Lisbon Pictures, 1967 (Lisbon, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa), Kerner has received coverage in Camera (“Portfolio: New York City, 1937-1939”), Modern Photography, and Time-Life’s Photography Year 1979. His work was recently shown at the Jewish Museum of Art in New York City and the Columbus Museum of Art in The Radical Camera, a critically acclaimed survey of the Photo League’s history.
Trifecta also presents Kerner’s wife Anna Bisso, a 93-year-old Brooklyn-born painter and printmaker. Bisso showed at the Phoenix Gallery in New York, and in 1993 at the AC.
Mikhail Gubin was first presented by the AC in Re: Connections by Nütró (2003), a group show of Russian-American artists who fled their country’s lack of artistic freedom, only to discover that the American art market imposes tyrannies of its own. Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, Gubin rebelled against the requirements of Soviet Socialist Realism and created art in various nonconformist styles. Unable to exhibit publicly, he went underground, suffering intimidation, persecution, and loneliness. A Queens resident since he came to the United States in 1989, he works in painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and photography. Change characterizes his art, whatever its medium. “Fortunately or unfortunately, sands of time are running and everything flows, everything changes,” Gubin says. “My figurative art has given way to abstract, expressive art. Currently I am fascinated by collage, as its technical possibilities offer me new ways of self-expression, make me freer, my work more real, more true. Understanding of the world comes through associations, through signs and symbols.”
A well-published winner of major juried competitions, Gubin has exhibited widely, most recently at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY; Dalet Gallery, Philadelphia; the 2nd International Film Festival, Riverhead, NY; Queens Library; and International Gallery of Contemporary Arts, Baltimore, MD. He is a member of Audubon Artists, the Silvermine Guild of Artists, the Sculptors Guild, and the National Collage Society.
Howard Lerner, a recent AC discovery, has already participated in two group projects, Express+Local: NYC Aesthetics in 2011 and Amulets, Nazars & Evil Eyes: Artists Looking Forward in May—June 2012. In both his painting and sculpture, he utilizes mundane, locally found objects. “With painting, I create a space for these objects to take on an iconic presence,” he says. “With sculpture, I use these common remnants of our civilization to create human-size constructions using a Biblical narrative. My earlier work took on influences from amusement parks and sideshows.” In the work exhibited here, he continues, “the idea of transcendence reverberates through the various pieces. The winged figure, the flying planes, and the most recent paintings of patriarchs who seem to transcend death in their earthly tombs are all variations on this theme.”
Lerner has exhibited in New York galleries and museums, among them Joan Whalen Fine Art, AES/Repetti Gallery, and the Jewish Museum; his work has also been seen at the B’nai Brith Klutznick Museum, Washington, D.C.; George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA; the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art; Trinity Art Group, Atlanta, GA; and the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Painting and a Connecticut Commission on the Arts Individual Artists Grant. His pieces are included in corporate and private collections, such as the Boeing Corporation and the Wellington Investment Group.
Trifecta is free and open to the public. Images, as well as biographical and sales information, are available upon request. For additional information, please visit http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/Art_Library/exhibitions.html.
Queens College Art Center (part of the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Arts)
Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, Level Six
Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing
Opening Reception and Curators’ and Artists’ Talks:
Thursday, September 20, 5-8 pm
Monday through Thursday, 9 am–8 pm; Friday and September 17-18, 25-26, 9 am–5 pm;
closed September 3, October 8, weekends and holidays.
For more info: (718) 997-3770
For directions to Queens College, please visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/ABOUT/DIRECTIONS/Pages/default.aspx.
For a campus map, go to http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions/2d/Pages/default.aspx (Rosenthal Library/Art Center).
The Queens College Art Center, founded in 1987, succeeds the Queens College Art Library Gallery established in 1960. In more than 200 exhibitions to date, the Art Center has shown masters like Alice Neel, Joseph Cornell, and Elizabeth Catlett, and introduced scores of artists from around the globe. Focusing on modern and contemporary programming expressive of the best art of our time, this display space presents the works of emerging and established artists in diverse media. Art Center exhibitions support the educational and cultural objectives of Queens College. The shared goal of the Queens College Art Center and of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is to provide the means for participating in and upholding a democratic society through learning, adaptation, and critical thinking.
Assistant Director of News Services