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FALL 2013/vol VII What’s Inside: Notes from the Director Print Making Revolution: Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular Fall 2013 Calendar On the Road with TRAVEX P.A.L. Project/Henninger Art Class: Voices Heard and Celebrated Recent Acquisitions: Robert Birmelin

Exhibition/Education/Collection Syracuse University Art Galleries/Shaffer Art Building /Syracuse, Ne w York 13244

NOTES FROM THE DIRECTOR The SUArt Galleries is presenting a series of exhibitions for the 2013-2014 academic year that is truly international in scope. Beginning with Nyumba ya Sanaa: Works from the Maryknoll Collection and A World Apart: Art from the Samuel T. Pees Collection, the Galleries will also be presenting programming that is international in scope. Our SUArt Film Series selections and the speakers we are bringing to campus during the academic year will also fit into our international theme.

Domenic Iacono, Director

September 5 – October 20, 2013



George Lilanga, I Can Remember, 1977

In 2012, the Syracuse University Art Galleries was chosen as a

Nyumba ya Sanaa: Works from the Maryknoll Collection will

repository for the Maryknoll Collection, a gift of the Maryknoll

introduce the Central New York community to Tanzanian

Sisters that included more than 170 original works of art by

artwork created in the last quarter of the 20th century.

twenty-two Tanzanian artists. The collection contains artwork

The exhibition will present 90 pieces of original artwork

created at Nyumba ya Sanaa (Swahili for “House of Art”), a

featuring a breadth of media including painting, sculpture

community cultural center and art workshop located in Dar es

and printmaking, and highlight over a dozen artists. Also on

Salaam, Tanzania. Founded in 1972 by Sister Jean Pruitt and

display in the Galleries will be artwork created by Henninger

the Maryknoll Order, Nyumba ya Sanaa’s (NYS) mission was to

High School students who have been inspired by the Tanzanian

support local artists, and to help them display and sell their

exhibition. This student display, Henninger Art Class: Voices

works, among other cultural activities. NYS also participated in

Heard and Celebrated is the result of community collaboration

vocational training in the arts, including arts and crafts, fine art

between the SUArt Galleries, Henninger High School Art

paintings, sculpture and wood carving, modeling plaster and

Teacher Lori Lizzio, and Stephen Mahan of the Photography

cutting metal. Among alumni from the NYS school are world

and Literacy (P.A.L.) Project.

famous artists George Lilanga, Robino Ntila, and Francis Patrick Imanjama, each of whom were invited by numerous European

Along with Nyumba ya Sanaa we will feature an exhibition of

galleries to exhibit their works. Through the years, Nyumba

international art that highlights work gifted to the University by

ya Sanaa emerged not only as a school for artists, but also a

collector Samuel T. Pees. A World Apart: Art from the Samuel

cultural attraction for Tanzania that attracted dignitaries and

T. Pees Collection presents original artwork featuring a breadth

royalty, including Prince Charles of Wales. continued on 4

cover: Phidelis Hassan Kamwona, untitled [Makonde, Hunger figure], c1990


THE PALITZ GALLERY/NYC Rembrandt: Strange Victories: The Consummate Grove Press Etcher and other 1951-1985 17th century november 18, 2013 – febRUARY 6, 2014 The Palitz Gallery Printmakers September 16 – NOvember 14, 2013 The Palitz Gallery The Syracuse University Art Galleries is proud to present Rembrandt: The Consummate Etcher and Other 17th Century Printmakers. This exhibition is a celebration of Louise and Bernard Palitz and their association with the Syracuse University Art Galleries. In the mid-1980s Louise and Bernard Palitz made their first gift to the Syracuse University Art Collection and over the next 25 years they became ardent supporters of Syracuse University and our arts programs. About ten years ago they gave us funds to renovate the gallery space at Lubin House and established an endowment to help it operate as an exciting venue for the University in New York City. During its short existence the Palitz Gallery has presented exhibitions that displayed the work of William Blake, James Whistler, Albert Maysles, Winslow Homer, and of course, our 2008 landmark exhibition: Michelangelo: the Man and the Myth. This display primarily utilizes the holdings of the Syracuse University Art Collection and explores the impact of one of Europe’s most important artists on the printmakers of his day. This project, which grew out of a series of lectures for the Museum Studies Graduate class Curatorship and Connoisseurship of Prints, demonstrates the value of a study collection as a teaching tool that can extend outside the classroom. Taking its title from the film Strange Victory, which was collaboratively produced by Barney Rosset (who would become the dominant force behind Grove Press) and the leftwing documentary filmmaker Leo Hurwitz after World War II, this exhibition traces the history of America’s most notorious publishing house. From its role at the center of national censorship trials over Lady Chatterley’s Lover to its publication of politically engaged works such as The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as well as its avantgarde and sometimes scandalous Film Division, each of Grove’s projects, the exhibition reveals, was in its own way a “strange victory.” For while Grove altered the American literary landscape and challenged existing notions of social mores, equality, and freedom of expression, Grove also deployed savvy marketing strategies seemingly at odds with its avant-garde values, became embroiled in union battles, and floundered in its own successes. Strange Victories: Grove Press 1951–1985 offers a glimpse into the complicated story of Grove’s many literary and political achievements, some of which continue to exert a profound influence on American culture today.

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Self Portrait Drawing at a Window, 1648


Roechiyat, Before the Bharata Yudha War, 1973

of media from oil and acrylic painting to relief printmaking

Also on view in our second display period will be Paul Strand’s

and dye batiks. The exhibition highlights over 20 artists, with

famous Mexican Portfolio, which includes photogravure

nationalities as diverse as Haitian, Paraguayan, Indonesian,

impressions of people, landscapes, architecture, and religious

Thai, Grand Cayman, and Malaysian. This is the first exhibition

objects that he encountered in Mexico during his travels there

to examine artwork in the Pees Collection since 1989.

in 1932. Strand, like many of the artists who were making art at the Taller de Gráfica Popular print studio, worked on these

In 1988, Samuel Pees made a substantial gift of over 250

photographs during the period when the post-revolution

original pieces of artwork to the Syracuse University Art

government was trying to establish a modern national culture

Collection, followed by another gift of additional artwork in

that would capture Mexico’s unique character.

the mid-1990s. An alumnus of Syracuse University, Samuel Pees earned his master’s degree in Geology in 1959. As a

In 1967 Albert Delong printed these photogravures from the

professional consultant, Pees was able to travel frequently to

original plates under the supervision of the artist Paul Strand

South America, Latin America, Indonesia and the Southeast. It

who was a passionate advocate for the medium. For this

was during these travels that he actively acquired his collection

portfolio of images Strand asked the famous Mexican artist

of artwork, which includes work by well-known artists Tohny

David Siquieros to write a preface for the project. In it Siquieros

Joesoef and Jacinto Rivero.

called Strand’s images “the most objective art of our time.”

These exhibitions will run September 5- October 20, 2013.

These exhibitions will open November 7, 2013 and run through January 12, 2014.

The permanent exhibition galleries will host exhibitions that acknowledge our international theme. The Gallery of American

The international year continues in the spring semester with

Art will present America’s Calling, a yearlong display of work

an exhibition from January 30- March 16, 2014 titled Mithila

made by artists who relocated to the United States. These

Painting: The Evolution of an Art Form featuring a selection of

immigrant artists have had a profound effect on how we view

images made by women in the Mithila region of northern India.

the world and ourselves. The Print and Photography Study

Rich in color and infused with vibrant forms these paintings

Rooms will each display works from the collection that explore

describe gods from the Hindu Pantheon and illustrate

the artwork, landscape and people of Japan.

indigenous stories both old and new.

In November our main exhibition will be Print Making

We will also turn our attention to South Africa and the

Revolution: Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular,

contemporary art scene there. Recent work by several

focusing on the work produced at that influential workshop

Johannesburg artists including William Kentridge, Diane Victor

in Mexico City during the political and social unrest of the

and others will be on view.

post-Mexican Revolution. These prints advanced a variety of More to come about these exhibitions in our next newsletter.

revolutionary ideals and causes, including the formation of organized labor, the fight for civil rights, and an active campaign against fascism.


November 7, 2013 – January 12, 2014

Print Making Revolution: Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular

Angel Bracho, Victoria! Los Artistas de Taller de Grafica... ,1945. Courtesy of the University of New Mexico Art Museum

In Mexico City, during the political and social unrest of the post-Mexican Revolution, the art of the print had an undeniable impact on the everyday lives of the struggling people’s history and culture. This exhibition will introduce the Central New York community to the important artists and artwork produced at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (The People’s Graphic Workshop), or TGP. Founded by Leopoldo Méndez, Luis Arenal and American born Pablo O’Higgins, this influential workshop advanced a variety of revolutionary ideals and causes, including the formation of organized labor, the fight for civil rights, and an active campaign against fascism.

Leopoldo Méndez, Homage to José Guadalupe Posada. Courtesy of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art


Calendar/Exhibitions September 5 – October 20, 2013 Main Gallery

September 16 – NOvember 14, 2013 The Palitz Gallery




The Consummate Etcher


17th Century Dutch Printmaking

The Study Gallery

OCTOBER 15, 2013 7:00 pm

A lecture by Nadine Orenstein Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art

A World Apart:

Syracuse University Lubin House

Art from the Samuel T. Pees Collection

november 18, 2013 – febRUARY 6, 2014 The Palitz Gallery

Strange Victories: Grove Press 1951-1985 November 7, 2013 – January 14, 2014 Main Gallery OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2013 5:00–7:00 P.M.

Print Making Revolution:

unkown artist, [An actor in the dress of the feudal court], c1890

Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular

September 5, 2013 – May 11, 2014 The Photography Study Room

Visions for Sale:

Paul Strand: The Mexican Portfolio

Photographs of Nineteenth Century Japan The Gallery of American Art

America’s Calling The Print Study Room

Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga: Japanese Woodcuts in the Syracuse University Art Collection 6

Paul Strand, Boy - Uruapan, 1933

Calendar/EDucation LUNCHTIME LECTURES Wednesdays at 12:15


Second Sundays beginning in October 2:00 P.M., Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building

September 11 Gallery Tour: Nyumba Ya Sanaa with Domenic Iacono

September 18 Gallery Tour: Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga with Andrew Saluti

September 25 Gallery Tour: Visions For Sale with David Prince

October 2 Gallery Tour: A World Apart with Domenic Iacono

October 9 Gallery Tour: America’s Calling with David Prince

October 16 Gallery Tour: Voices Heard and Celebrated with Domenic Iacono

November 13 Gallery Tour: Print Making Revolution with Andrew Saluti

November 20 Gallery Tour: The Mexican Portfolio with Emily Dittman

october 13

December 4

Midnight in Paris

From the Collection: Robert Birmelin with David Prince

2011, Directed by Woody Allen November 10

Orozco: Man of Fire 2007, Directed by Laurie Coyle Saturday, October 12 Sunday, October 13 2:00 P.M.


Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Nyumba ya Sanaa and A World Apart

Saturday, November 16 Sunday, November 17 2:00 P.M. Print Making Revolution 7

2012, Directed by Alison Klayman

On the road/TRAVEX The Syracuse University Art Galleries Traveling Exhibition Program [TRAVEX] has been offering affordable exhibitions to museums and university art galleries for over twenty years, generated from Syracuse University’s encyclopedic art collection and collaborating institutions.

Karl Schrag: Memories and Premonitions

An American in Venice: James McNeill Whistler and His Legacy

The Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Gallery St. John’s College 60 College Ave, Annapolis, MD 21404

The Arkell Museum

August 28 – October 13, 2013

2 Erie Boulevard, Canajoharie, New York 13317 July 28 – October 20, 2013

The art in Karl Schrag: Memories and Premonitions conveys the artist’s ability to see the landscape as if for the first time, the

This exhibit places eleven of James McNeill Whistler’s Venetian

surprise of that special view, the recognition of his ability to

etchings alongside the work of followers who were practicing in

feel wonder when looking at nature or figure, and the reward

Italy in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The

associated with seeing the world through his eyes.

juxtaposition allows the viewer to appreciate both Whistler’s innovations and the different ways in which his work affected the

Pure Photography: Pictorial and Modern Photographs from the Syracuse University Art Collection

artists who followed him.

Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 66506 August 27 – November 24, 2013 As more individuals began using cameras, the idea grew that photography could be a form of art in addition to a form of documentation. This captured the attention of many artists, most notably Alfred Stieglitz, who formed the Photo Secession and helped establish Pictorialism.

learn more / 8

Pressing Print: Universal Limited Art Editions 2000-2010 Thorne - Sagendorph Art Gallery Keene State College 229 Main Street, Keene, New Hampshire 03435 September 20 – December 8, 2013

Art in the Detail: 20th Century Masters of Photography

Pressing Print chronicles the recent decade of artwork published by the renowned American printmaking workshops, Universal Limited Art Editions. The exhibition brings together new print works made by the vanguards of 20th century American Art with the emerging artists recently selected to collaborate at Universal.

The Artist Revealed: Artist Portraits and Self-Portraits

Widener University Art Gallery One University Place Chester, PA 19013 November 9 – December 14, 2013 This exhibition of 30 photographs explores texture, light, and the interplay of these qualities in the work of established and emerging masters of photography.

Hearst Art Gallery Saint Mary’s College of California 1928 Saint Mary’s Road, Moraga, CA 94575 October 12 – December 15, 2013 An exhibition of fifty works in a variety of media that examine self-portraits and portraits of other artists. Included in the show are works by Milton Avery, Chuck Close, Leonard Baskin, Edward Steichen, Norman Rockwell, and Anders Zorn.


P.A.L. PROJECT/EDUCATION Henninger Art Class: Voices Heard and Celebrated COLLABORATION THROUGH THE MARYKNOLL COLLECTION This project enthralled my students from the beginning. They

The students were able to see that all artists tell stories, in

connected to it through the story, the history, the artwork as

many different ways. They felt that every voice is heard and

well as the project itself. The idea was to have my students

important. That was my favorite part of this project. My

develop a personal connection to the exhibit’s artwork, and

students were so proud. So proud of the pictures that they

create a piece of artwork reflecting that connection. We felt

created and the process they went through to create them.

inspiration could be found in documenting everyday life. They

The excitement of participating in this exhibit and taking the

used cameras to tell their stories and from those pictures, used

pictures, learning to edit them and using the technology to

editing software to create artwork.

create art really drove this project. They spent a lot of time working on it, and had fun in the process. They were in great

Students were inspired by the exhibit’s artwork. They found

dialogues about it beyond class time, as well as during class.

similarities and familiar relationships. Giving my students a

The artwork is an honest look at the voices of my students. The

project that asked them to visually “speak” freely about their

collection tells their stories, in more layers than I think they

life, friends, boyfriends, etc., was a very cathartic and rewarding

realize. I am a proud teacher of what they had to say.

process. I enjoyed watching their artistic styles emerge and their confidence grow with this opportunity. My students could

It was such a cool project; one that my students felt

also appreciate the opportunity to participate, as it related to

represented who they are, and what they want to say. Their

the Maryknoll Sisters giving people a place to create art when

voices were heard and celebrated. I am forever grateful for that

there was no other opportunity to do so. This class is the only

opportunity provided to them.

opportunity that many of these students have to create as well. Using other people’s artwork and finding personal connections

Lori Lizzio

brings the common language of art into the classroom.

Henninger High School

Henninger High School Student Sierra Vespi



Robert Birmelin, Remembrance of Europe, 1959

In 1979 the University Art Collection acquired Robert Birmelin’s

standing on the left side of a shallow balcony look out over the

painting, Night Driving, 1964. The easel sized acrylic on canvas

square just as a figure tumbles past from an upper story. Below

was only occasionally seen by students until the Art Collection

them another figure’s arms emerge from the left foreground and

began participating in First Year Forum, a university program

rests on a café table complete with a cup and saucer. The hands

designed to introduce incoming College of Arts and Sciences

are placed carefully to either side of a plate behind a group of

students to different parts of campus. Visiting Forum classes

nondescript folded papers. In sharp contrast to the heavily

were encouraged to decipher the painting’s ambiguous, non-

etched building façade, the foreground’s figurative elements,

linear narrative and talk about how visual communications

table and place setting are lightly delineated, thereby balancing

differed from other forms of communication. After brief periods

the composition’s visual weight.

of clear discomfort (because few had ever spent any time looking closely at works of art) students warmed to the assignment.

Later prints often incorporate urban or domestic settings

Groups spent an average of ninety minutes analyzing and

as backdrops for visually bizarre figurative combinations.

discussing the image, its content and possible meanings.

Translucent figurative elements are superimposed over other bodies in fantastical arrangements. Runner’s World, from Harsh

A recent conversation with the artist prompted his interest in

Truths, portrays a monumental mustachioed face materializing

adding another work to the permanent collection. A series of

over an urban street scene. The face crops the upper half of a

studio visits revealed his long term involvement with intaglio

pedestrian and the back of an adjacent figure’s head but the

printmaking that began in his student days at Yale working with

background (sidewalk stores and their signage) remains visible.

Gabor Peterdi. An offer was extended, and accepted, to develop

In other prints, Birmelin divides the picture plane into segments

a more comprehensive gift that would better illustrate Birmelin’s

to create separate, yet integrated compositions depending on the

involvement with the medium. Bob developed a group of

paper’s orientation.

twenty-five prints describing his work from 1955 through 2007. Additionally, the artist’s son agreed to donate in 2014 Harsh

Further examination of the gift reveals the artist’s curiosity in

Truths, 1988, a suite of five etchings and aquatints.

intaglio and his exploration of the medium’s techniques. What predominates is Birmelin’s interest in line and tone as opposed

An early etching, Remembrance of Europe, 1959, describes the

to color. His deft manipulation of the etcher’s needle creates rich

artist’s experimentation with ambiguous designs. A dark, multi-

black marks that are characteristic of the medium. In this respect

storied stone building obliquely fills the background of an Italian

Birmelin’s etchings refer back to his drawings and his lifelong

piazza in front of which is parked an automobile. Two men

interest in line as a mode of expression.


Exhibition. Education.


Collection. THE


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SUArt Galleries-Fall 2013  
SUArt Galleries-Fall 2013  

The Syracuse University Art Galleries semi annual newsletter for the summer and fall of 2013.