Visual Arts

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The dark side of Lego art

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The bright colors of most Lego bricks gives most Lego art a cheerful quality. But there’s a dark side of Lego art, too, which Mike Doyle explores in his book, “Beautiful Lego 2: Dark,” featuring creepy bugs, gloomy buildings, menacing robots and more, all made with those versatile bricks. The book is a sequel to Doyle’s “Beautiful Lego,” which came out last year. “I chose this theme because it seemed to represent a great number of works already coming out of the LEGO community,” Doyle writes in the new book’s preface. “You’ll see destructive objects, like warships and mecha, and dangerous and creepy animals; there is no shortage of material.” Continue Reading →

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Montclair State sets activities for George Segal Day

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Nov. 26 was the 90th anniversary of the birth of sculptor and painter George Segal, who died in 2000. And to celebrate, Montclair State University — whose main art gallery is called the George Segal Gallery — will host a series of Segal-related events on Dec. 18, which is it calling George Segal Day. Segal lived in South Brunswick for much of his life, and his daughter, Rena, will be on campus for the celebration. Continue Reading →

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‘Apokaluptein: 16389067,’ Jesse Krimes, at Zimmerli Art Museum

Introducing a new feature on NJArts.net: A series of posts, each focusing on one work of art on display at a museum, gallery or other exhibition space in New Jersey. These will appear daily, though not on weekends. Today’s art is “Apokaluptein: 16389067,” by Jesse Krimes, which is at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Brunswick through Dec. 14. It’s a huge, 30-feet-by-15-feet installation, made of relatively small pieces of artwork Krimes made during 70 months in prison (on a non-violent drug charge), using bed sheets, newspaper clippings and commissary supplies. Continue Reading →

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Zimmerli Museum explores art of sports

I know it would probably be hard to convince Rutgers football fans of this at the moment, given how the team is doing, but sports are really there for us to escape from our problems, not to create more of them. A kinder, gentler era in the history of sports is documented in the Zimmerli Art Museum exhibition, “Sports and Recreation in France, 1840-1900,” and a good time to check it out would be Tuesday night, as a curator-led tour of it will kick off the free “Art After Hours: First Tuesday” event, at 6 p.m.

Right after the tour, the “Big Ten: Art” series will spotlight one work from the Zimmerli’s collection, and at 6:30, the Rutgers Afro-Caribbean Ensemble will perform Latin, Salsa and Afro-Cuban music. At 7 p.m., the artist David Ambrose and members of the collective BroLab will discuss new project as part of the Slide Jam program. Also coming up at the Zimmerli this month:

• Nov. 9 at 2 p.m., the Music at the Museum series features a family-friendly program, “From Mozart to Prokofiev — Flute and Piano Magic,” with Amy Tu (flute) and Yevgeny Morozov (piano) performing selections by Mozart, Prokofiev, Chopin, Liszt and Bizet. Continue Reading →

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Rutgers to host conference on prison art

About 1.35 million people are incarcerated in state prisons, 217,800 in federal prisons and 744,500 in local jails, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. How can these populations reclaim their sense of humanity? How can they connect with the outside world and express themselves, especially to those they love? Such are the issues that will be addressed and illustrated through the use of multimedia during “Marking Time: Prison Arts and Activism Conference,” a three-day event organized by Rutgers’ Institute for Research on Women, Oct. 8-10. Continue Reading →

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Memorable portraits in Deborah Feingold’s book, ‘Music’

The first thing you think of when you look at many of the images in Deborah Feingold’s new book, “Music,” is how young the musicians are. Madonna in 1982, looking matter-of-factly into the camera as she sucks a lollipop. Elvis Costello, in the same year, scrunching up his face as if he’s just eaten something incredibly sour. Sinead O’Connor in 1990, resting her boot-clad feet on a hotel-room table but seeming to search for something as she looks upward. Even B.B. King, not a young man in 1985, but still looking somewhat impish as he hugs his guitar. Continue Reading →

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Hoboken Fall Arts and Music Festival announces set times

Darlene Love is enjoying a long-overdue and much-deserved career renaissance. Love — whose ’60s hits include “He’s a Rebel” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” (both with the Crystals), “A Fine, Fine Boy,” “Not Too Young to Get Married” (with Bob B. Sox & the Blue Jeans), “Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” — was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. And the Oscar-winning 2013 documentary “20 Feet From Stardom” shed light on the difficulty she had getting proper credit for her work. She is currently working on an album with Steven Van Zandt, and Toni Braxton will play her in an upcoming Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) biopic. She will headline this year’s free Hoboken Fall Arts and Music Festival, taking place on Washington Street in downtown Hoboken from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. Continue Reading →

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Montclair Art Museum quilt exhibition has Civil Rights theme

A tribute to Rosa Parks in cotton, polyester and plastic buttons hangs on a wall at the Montclair Art Museum. It’s a quilt — made, indeed, to be looked at, not to keep you warm — and it tells a story. Everything revolves around a bus wheel, superimposed over the red X of Alabama’s state flag. There’s a halo over Parks’ head, protesters,  a blindingly bright, hopeful sun — a favorite image of the artist, Yvonne Wells of Tuscaloosa — and many other symbols, most pretty easy to figure out, but some inscrutable. Only some of the 29 quilts in the museum’s new exhibition, “From Heart to Hand: African-American Quilts From the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts,” have a narrative aspect. Continue Reading →

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Dog art has its day at Morris Museum

Is there anything more human than a dog’s facial expression? Walking through the Morris Museum’s exhibit, “The Dog Show: The Art of Our Canine Companions,” you are tempted to think not. In Pamela Hall’s “Ready to Play,” for instance, a bulldog stands over a soccer ball, glaring. Is he standing guard against those who might want to steal it from him. Or hoping — intently, seriously — for someone to come along and join him in some fun? Continue Reading →

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