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Face to Face:
From See to Shining See;
Photographs by Sid Kerner
Brush with Nature:
Installation Art
by Barbara Roux
White Landscape :
Drawings by Jin Lee
Anna Matoušková:
Places: Abstract Paintings,
Drawings and Glass Sculpture

Homage to Leo Kraft
August 27 - October 31
November 5 - December 21
February 7 - March 28
April 9 - July 10
Art Center Gallery exhibitions are open during Art Library Hours         
Art Center exhibits in the Rotunda Gallery are open during scheduled Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library Hours
For more information, call 718.997.3770

Face to Face: From See to Shining See; Photographs by Sid Kerner
Monday August 27 - Wednesday October 31, 2007

Gallery talk: Tuesday, September 11, 5-6 pm
Reception 6-8 pm

Online Exhibition
Opening / Talk Documentation
Mayor Bloomberg's Citiation (pdf)

In the Face to Face series, New York City photographer Sid Kerner gives the viewer an opportunity to experience the human side of familiar, everyday objects.
Kerner began observing New York City through the eye of the camera in 1937, when he joined the Photo League at age 17. “[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,” explains the Brooklyn native.

Through the Photo League, Kerner became part of a group of photographers who believed that their work should reflect the times they live in, recording what was disturbing as well as what was hopeful about their world. “My camera became my ‘raison d’être,’” he said. “It allowed me to photograph many facets of life around me. To paraphrase Lewis Hine: to document what was wrong in society so that it may be corrected – and the beautiful, so that it may be appreciated.”

During World War II, Kerner served with the 28th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, seeing duty in Okinawa. When the war ended, he freelanced as a film cameraman before becoming a television lighting director, first with NBC and then for three decades with ABC.

In his spare time, he continued taking photographs. His first show at the Queens College Art Center, Sidney Kerner: New York City Photographs, 1937–1990, a retrospective presented 17 years ago, reflected his long-term involvement with the city and its people.

As he walks the streets of his city, open to chance encounters, Kerner finds ephemeral moments and collects unexpected fragments of common things that evoke portrait-like appearances, and with the aid of his camera, he preserves their visual surprise, beauty, poetry and wit. “I’ve been photographing faces that don’t reflect the times in which they exist, but are part of the present physical environment,” he notes. “Walker Evans once remarked that the street is ‘his museum.’ It’s not only my museum, but also the place I visit to discover and create my faces. They exist in the streets, but only come to life when I put a ‘frame’ around them. For me, the excitement always starts in the street – and sometimes, underfoot.”

The images in Face to Face fuse Kerner’s lifelong love of photography and concern for people. Captured by his camera, stray bits of our everyday surroundings take on a life of their own, drawing our attention to what we look at every day but do not always see. In effect, these very personal pictures invite us to participate in the creative process of a unique artist who is currently working on a series of abstract and surreal photos. “As I live, I photograph, and as I photograph, I live,” he says.

Kerner’s photographs are represented in the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, the Archives of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville De Paris, Arquivo Fotografico, Camara Municipal de Lisboa, Portugal, and in many private collections. His published works include Family of Woman (Ridge Press, 1979), Lisbon Pictures, 1967 (Lisbon, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa), and coverage in Camera (“Portfolio: New York City, 1937-1939”), Modern Photography,and Time-Life’s Photography Year 1979.

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Transit of the Moon, 2007, carved sassafras wood
9 x 8 x 38 inches

Brush with Nature: Installation Art by Barbara Roux 
Monday November 5 – Friday December 21, 2007

Gallery talk: November 8, 5–6 pm
Reception 6-8 pm

Online Exhibition
Artist Website

The exhibition is part of Queens College’s participation in Focus the Nation, a national educational initiative aimed at raising awareness about climate change and global warming.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Biology and by the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Barbara Roux is an ecology-based artist and conservationist whose work is influenced by her efforts to protect habitats and record incidents in natural history. She is inspired by her father (a pharmacologist who did research in the Amazon), her own stays in wilderness areas around the world, and her interactions with scientists on plant-related research, natural history and contemporary art . Her installations/pieces employ symbolism and anthropomorphism to evoke a sense of mystery, freshness and recognition, drawing the viewer in by metaphor.

Living and working in an area of Long Island that borders vulnerable New York State parkland,Roux creates narrative reactions to issues of habitat survival. Her installations combine photographic images of ephemeral sites and events, symbolic assemblages of elements from the native habitat, and text s written on natural site fragments. The results are contemporary, highly personal pieces that show viewers the delicate beauty of our dwindling habitats. “The environment of the forest, meadow, seashore and wetland is a powerful and little- appreciated resource to understanding our human world ,” says Roux. “Like all structured communities, the wilderness is in a search for survival. It is my hope that through my work people may become interested in the mysteries that are inherent in wild places. From interest, a desire to protect may follow.”

Astute, judicious and deftly compelling, Roux turns cautionary tales into poetic visual statements . With her diverse background, interests and training, she exemplifies the environmental activist-artist. She received a BA in Communications and Creative Art in 1979 from the State University of New York at Old Westbury, where she studied with Latin American artist Luis Camnitzer, who helped her refine her narrative and conceptual styles. Later, she studied with the minimalist artist Robert Morris at Hunter College, CUNY, earning an MFA in Combined Media Art in 1985. 

Roux has shown her work at museums, universities and non-profit spaces. In New York City , her installations have been displayed at the Alternative Museum, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Wave Hill, The Front Room Gallery, A.I.R. Gallery and Just Above Midtown/Downtown . Other venues include the Hillwood Art Museum, Greenvale, NY; Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT; Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, CT; Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY; Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Arkville, NY; Natural World Museum, San Francisco, CA; Heckscher Museum, Huntington, NY ; and the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, CT . She has also had shows in Germany, Korea and England.

Roux’s projects have been reported in The New York Times, New York magazine, Art New England, Arts magazine, Sculpture magazine, Annals of Earth, Fifth Season magazine, and elsewhere. Roux is co- author of the book Opaque Glass (with Coco Gordon, Water Mark Press, 1985) and frequently presents to environmental groups such as the Audubon Society and the North Fork Environmental Council on Long Island. In addition to Brush With Nature, her work can be seen at Brenda Taylor Gallery through November 10th, 2007, and at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT through February 25, 2008.

Sycamore Entrance, 2006, sycamore wood
20 x 12 x 6 inches
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Stages of life 200403, acrylic and ink on canvas, 2004

White Landscape : Drawings by Jin Lee
Thursday February 7- Friday March 28, 2008

Gallery talk: Tuesday, February 7, 5-6 pm.
Reception: 6-8 pm

Online Exhibition
Exhibtion Documentation

The exhibition is part of Queens College’s participation in Focus the Nation, a national educational initiative aimed at raising awareness about climate change and global warming, and Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America , a collaborative project of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.

In White Landscape, Jin Lee plays with the idea that life forms develop in unexpected ways. Her intricate, semi-abstract paintings and drawings—often composed from thousands of tiny, dot-like marks—appear to be growing and changing as one observes them. Simultaneously microscopic and cosmically huge, these imaginary biomorphic structures suggest undiscovered plants and animals.

“I abstract images from life forms,” says Lee. “I draw and magnify them in order to maximize the fullness of life. My work is an act of see(d)ing. Every piece starts with one dot, which sprouts and becomes various kinds of line and form, and gives birth to another dot, which is full of energy—becoming, growing, moving, mutating and multiplying.”

Repetitive as it is, this work holds tremendous meaning for the artist. “Drawing is my way of recording the passage of time,” Lee comments. “The process and the accumulation of the time and labor are important to me. In every stage, I try to play with freedom and tension, order and chaos, contraction and explosion, in turns or at the same time. The contradictory qualities make exciting rhythms in my work, as they do in life.”

Born and raised in Korea, Lee lived in Philadelphia before settling in the New York area. She earned a BFA at Seoul National University and an MFA at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Like her education, her career has spanned Asia and North America. Lee has had one-person exhibitions in Seoul and at Steuben West Gallery and A Taste of Art Gallery in New York, and has been included in numerous group shows in Korea and the United States. She won the Jurors’ Award from Fox Gallery in Philadelphia in 2004, was Artist-in-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center in 2005, and held a residency at the New York-based arts group Chashama in 2006; next year, she will have an exhibition at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Lee’s work has been discussed in NY Arts magazine, The New York Times, The Montclair Times, Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer, and the Korean publications Misul Segae, Hangukilbo, Joongang Daily News, and Hangyore Sinmoon. She is represented in public, corporate, and private collections.



Untitled (detail), ink on canvas, 2004

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B, mould-melted glass, 2002

Anna Matoušková: Places: Abstract Paintings, Drawings and Glass Sculpture - Homage to Leo Kraft
Wednesday April 9 – Thursday July 10, 2008

Gallery talk: Wednesday, April 9, 5 - 6 pm
Reception: 6 - 8 pm
Artist's talk Two Places: New York and Prague and concert for Leo Kraft:
Monday, April 14, 12:15 - 1:30 pm, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, Choral Room 264

Online Exhibition

Exhibition Catalogue (pdf)
Copies of the catalogue are available for sale from Queens College Art Center
Exhibition Program (pdf)
Installation / Opening / Talk Documentation
Exhibtion Documentation
Artist Website

Prague // May 23, 2008 Program (pdf)

The exhibition is cosponsored by the Aaron Copland School of Music; Queens College; Czech Center New York; Chappell Gallery, New York City; and Amálie Maurer, Prague, and is part of the Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, a collaborative project of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College.

In Places, the Czech artist Anna Matoušková uses painting, drawing and sculpture to give an objective form to her inner reflections on music by the American composer Leo Kraft. The project began to take shape five years ago, after Matoušková, a Czech artist, and Kraft, an American composer, musical theorist, author and educator, now Professor Emeritus at Queens College, met in Prague. The two spent hours talking about art and music. Through a continuing dialogue, they discovered that while their media and backgrounds differ, their artistic concerns and creative processes are aligned. In discussing and sharing their work, Kraft and Matoušková developed an artistic friendship that bridges age, gender, nationality and artistic discipline. Their mutual appreciation has enriched and inspired each of them.

Reflecting on Kraft’s compositions, Matoušková created most of the pieces in this show, which she dedicates to his 85th birthday. For context, she included older paintings with musical themes and similar motifs. Earlier versions of this project were presented in two 2007 exhibitions in the Czech Republic: Surface Tonalities (Gallery Havelka, Prague) and Etudes and Compositions (Salon of the Club of Concretists KK2, Olomouc). The exhibition’s title, Places, pays homage to places of personal significance to the two artists, using parallels and links between these locations to emphasize art’s ability to connect.

Paintings from Matoušková’s “Surface Tonalities” cycle relate especially closely to Kraft’s music. While they aren’t abstract in the proper sense—i.e. abstracted from concrete realities—and aren’t objectifications of abstract thoughts, in them the artist expresses her inner experience of music, that most abstract of all arts. Invoking Swiss artist Max Bill’s (1908-1994) belief that “in such cases, one should speak of concrete art, an art that seeks to create ‘a new reality shaped by new objects—items of spiritual need,’” Czech art critic and curator Jaromír Zemina notes an instance of such concretization: “The means by which Anna Matoušková objectifies her inner reflection of Kraft’s music are represented by expanses of color, the equivalent of musical pitch—hence the term Surface Tonalities.”        

The artists’ mutual attraction may stem from the characteristics of their work. Kraft’s music has “directness, exquisite craftsmanship, structural clarity, rhythmic interest, harmonic and contrapuntal inventiveness” (Edward Smaldone). Matoušková’s pieces manifest careful, thought-out expression of what is important to her, such as shape, light, formal relationship of color and detail; her glass sculpture has luminosity and volume, even rhythm. 

Matoušková approaches a work of art as a spiritual reality. In her painting and glass sculpture, she resolves configurations of simple shapes. Proceeding from an essentially architectonic conceptualization, she explores spatial relationships and the possibilities of ordering, sequencing, multiplying, varying and transforming phenomena that originate in rational consideration and are governed by proportional logic.

The abstract conceptual work on display comprises drawings, paintings in acrylics and combined techniques, and sculpture built of colored glass. Together, they offer insight into the oeuvre of the fascinating young Czech artist (born 1963). A daughter of artists, Matoušková is a member of the so-called Angry Generation of students who emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during their country’s transformation from communist Czechoslovakia to the democratic Czech Republic. Grounded in a fertile historic culture, she has been involved in the process of freeing art from the constraints imposed by the former totalitarian regime, and has embraced the openness of the new order. Her experience includes work in diverse media, exhibitions, projects, symposia, teaching, and public presentations. Interested in contacts between visual arts, other art disciplines, and science, she draws on her country’s art traditions while she introduces the ideas and experimentation of the present. In the process, she develops her nation’s artistic heritage and renews its connections with world culture.

Matoušková lives and works in Prague, where she studied at the Academy of Applied Arts (1984–1990, now the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design) with Stanislav Libenský, Jaroslav Svoboda, and her father Vladimír Kopecký. Since 1998, she has been a member of Klub konkrétistů (Club of Concretists). Her work has been shown in one-person exhibitions in the Czech Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, and in the United States by Chappell Gallery in New York. She has been included in important group shows overseas and regularly in the United States since 2002. She has participated in numerous international symposia, led a glass sculpture workshop for the Fundación Centro Nacional del Vidrio–Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja in Segovia, Spain (1998), and lectured in London and elsewhere in the United Kindgom (1999, 2005).

Matoušková’s work has been discussed in exhibition catalogues Sensitive Touch (London, 2001), Global Art Glass Triennial (Borgholm, 2002), art & fenomen: Philosophy in Art (Prague, 2004), binding-building (New York, 2005), New Glass and Studio Glass (Coburg, 2005), in Glassrevue (, Glasswork, and Atelier. Her own essays have been published in Speculum (Prague, 1989) and The Studio Glass Gallery catalog (London, 1999). Matoušková is represented around the world in museums and public, corporate and private collections, including sites in the Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, Spain, Japan, the United States, and Japan (with an architectural glass realization in Tokyo, 2000).

Homage á Leo Kraft,
acyrlic on canvas, 2006

IIIb, mold-melted glass, 2001
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QCAC Exhibition Archive