“Stair-Gazing” a must-see at Visual Arts Center

art center

Stair-Gazing: Rhia Hurt  •  through March 17.

Opening on Thursday, January 19 and running through March 17, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is debuting Stair-Gazing: Rhia Hurt, a site-specific art installation responding to the space in the Art Center’s main stairwell.  This unique and stunning installation is a must-see!

1459867999624Defying the conventional rectangular canvas, Hurt’s colorful organic shapes can be considered both painting and sculpture. The artist takes her inspiration from nature, materials in her studio and color field paintings that originated in the 1950’s. She creates multiple elements by stretching canvas over three-dimensional wire forms. Hurt uses improvisational techniques to construct and apply color to her work, often soaking the canvas in kiddie pools to blend the pigments. Curator Katerina Lanfranco, Curator explains, “Bathing her paintings in a kiddie pool can be seen as a symbolic and feminist” rejection of “the latent, patriarchal narratives of contemporary art.”

Visual-Jan18“There is an element of surprise and discovery that is captivating,” said the artist. These organically shaped canvases seem familiar—suggesting images of sea anemones, flowers or starbursts—but they are abstract forms. Hurt has a personal connection to nature that centers her. She comments, “You can have a connection to nature no matter what is going on–no matter how challenging–no one can take that away from you. There is a lot of strength in that.”

Currently based in Brooklyn, Hurt received her MFA in Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009. She has shown her art in California, New York, Berlin, and Toronto. Her work is in private collections throughout the United States. In addition to her studio art practice, Hurt is the Executive Director of Brooklyn Art Space & Trestle Gallery, an arts organization in Brooklyn, NY.

Stair-Gazing: Rhia Hurt
Exhibit runs through March 17.
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, free event open to all.

Suggested admission $5, students/seniors $3, members, children under 12 free
Hours: Monday – Wednesday & Friday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM; Thursday 10:00AM – 8:00PM; and Saturday & Sunday 1:00AM – 4:00PM.
For more information, call 908-273-9121 or visit artcenternj.org.


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Author: Patricia Cassin


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