January 28 - March 12, 2010

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In the early 1970s,a bright young student at Kean College, Robert Yoskowitz, majored in fine arts and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in painting. He immediately went on to pursue his interests in studio, history, and philosophy of art, and over the next twenty years would earn three advanced degrees and become a college professor. All during that time, he collected works of art, sharpened his eye, and honed his passion for art. Equipped with only modest means but an extraordinary wit,Yoskowitz has collected at every stage of life. As a young boy, he accumulated coins, stamps, and military patches, and as he got older, his interests and opportunities broadened and he collected photography, American folk art, ceramics, and drawings.

The current exhibition, Making Marks: Drawings from the Yoskowitz Family Collection, features fifty-one original drawings in the show were made using traditional techniques and materials, such as graphite, pen andink, brush and ink, chalk and Conté crayon, on a variety of paper surfaces. The artists come from Western Europe and theUnited States, and all can be loosely associated with Modernism, the term used to describe the style and theory of art that came into its own from the late nineteenth century into the mid-twentieth century.

Modernist artists such as those in this exhibition are characterized by freely expressedcreativity and a departure from literal representation. As photography became increasingly popular in the 1850s, the realistic approach to painting and sculpture was considered by many to be unnecessary and irrelevant to modern life. Progressive philosophers and artists began searching for new ways of responding to and thinking about nature and the function of art in society. They embraced the freedom of expression in the belief that art should stem from color, form, mood, and gesture rather than from an accurate rendering of the natural world. The artists in this exhibition represent this new way of depicting life ushering inthe modern age.

Images: Alfred Grevin, Study for Costume 1880s, graphite, ink and watercolor on paper, 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches.
Otto Gutfreund, Soldier on Crutches, 1916, ink and graphite, 8 x 5 inches.

Neil Tetkowski
Director of University Galleries