Meditations and Permutations:

An Exhibition Exploring the Continuum of Symbols Past and Present

Presenting intaglio prints by Margaret Kennard Johnson, etchings from the "Greek" series by Jörg Schemisser, mixed medium paintings by Sally Spofford and marble sculpture from the "Shell" series by Gar Waterman.


At The Williams Gallery

8 Chambers Street, Princeton, NJ

April 12 - May 17, 1997

Opening reception Saturday April 12, 4:00 - 6:00 PM

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 - 5:00 & by appointment


About the Exhibit

It has been said that ours is a culture cut off from its past, without myths or heroes. The works in this exhibit are by artists in search of beginnings, essences, links - the stock of symbols we have nevertheless preserved within ourselves throughout time.

About the Artists

Margaret Kennard Johnson: "In Karnak, Egypt, an afternoon of wandering among the ancient walls and columns left an indelible impression on my concept of time and history. That the inscriptions on theses lofty structures - symbols and markings made by people living thousands of years ago - have lasted over time to tell their story to us today seems truly remarkable. The mysteries of such symbols and markings have fueled my imagination and influenced my work. The intaglio printmaking process allows me to express the awe I feel for such ancient and unknown human stories. In other work derived from living in today’s world, I have attempted to symbolize philosophies of ideas and thoughts, born and lofted, using arrows and other imagery where appropriate as a metaphor."

Margaret K. Johnson has a BFA from Pratt Institute, an MA in Design from the Univ. of Michigan and studied with Joseph Albers at Black Mountain College. She spent over 8 years in Japan and co-authored the book "Japanese Prints Today". She has taught at the Museum of Modern Art and Pratt Institute and is represented in museum collections including the British Museum.

Jörg Schmeisser: In Schmeisser’s art the consummate skill of the master craftsman is exemplified, and this command of technique ensures him absolute freedom of creative expression. The intricacy and minute detailing of his work shows an obvious influence from his work as a draughtsman on archaeological expeditions. The etchings in the current exhibit are reflections on his extensive travels throughout Greece from 1965 - 1973.

Born in Stolp, Pomerania in 1942, the artist has pursued fine art studies in Hamburg and Kyoto; participated in archaeological excavations in Israel and Greece, and taught in Kyoto, Hamburg and the Canberera School of Art . Most recently he has received a Whitney T. Oates Distinguished Visitorship to Princeton University where he will be working in the library and the print workshop.

Sally Spofford: "Ten years ago my work was beginning to look like a dead man’s EKG. I turned to imagery whose shapes and proportions had always struck me as about right: things Maya. Their power and exuberance pushed me into experimentation with mediums, both painterly and sculptural. Questions posed by the origins of their culture and history have taken me sweeping through other cultures looking for the common denominators".

Spofford graduated from Swarthmore College with High Honors and studied at The Art Students League and The China Institute, both in New York City. Her work is in the collections of The Newark Museum and The New Jersey State Museum and in many corporate collections. She lives and work in New Jersey. Her solo exhibit "Vessels" runs from March 25 - April 25 at the Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ.

Gar Waterman: "Images of life begin and end in the sea to which man has always been drawn and into which he has always returned. My sculpture is based on the exploration of organic forms as diverse as in bones, seeds, and life under the sea. In the ‘Shell Series’, my newest body of work, the shell emulates geometric mathematical perfection - a model which cultures have long sought to replicate"

Waterman attended Dartmouth College, Phillips Andover Academy and laterstudied studio carving in Pietrasanta, Italy 1982-1990. He has been visiting artist and taught at Dartmouth College and University of Pennsylvania. He has been commissioned for many public installations and his marble and wood sculpture graces numerous private collections.

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