October 31, 2020

‘STAY’ explores societal problems behind art

By Melissa Natividade
Staff Writer

“STAY: A Survey of Horses Think Press,” the College’s latest art exhibition that opened on Wednesday, Sept. 7, not only offers students a glimpse of the publishing project’s work philosophy, but also a new panoramic view of the entire social project for the first time since it last concluded.

In 2009, Ofer Wolberger launched the Brooklyn-based publishing project Horses Think Press (HTP) with one simple idea: to produce one book per month for a year in an effort to study the lifespan of images and publications, which ended up turning into nothing short of a reference library of pop-art and appropriation archives.

Exploring issues such as feminism, materiality, imagemaking and authorship, “STAY” teeters on the fine line separating art as pure entertainment and a social cycle. The complete catalog has been made up entirely of testing the limits of image relevancy and deciphering the point at which these images must be retired and archived, as well as the possibility of repurposing these images from archives.

A wall of art displays repurposed photographs of people. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)
A wall of art displays repurposed photographs of people. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

“I’m very impressed that the TCNJ Art Gallery incorporated these independent artists as opposed to a large museum exhibition,” said Max Nazario, a junior chemistry major. “It just feels like these are the kind of artists that have the most willingness to confront social issues and incorporate everyday life into their art, something that I’m super interested in.”

Wolberger explained that Horses Think Press was inspired to bring the project’s first culminated exhibition to the College by Chris Gianunzio, the exhibition curator of “STAY,” whom Wolberger has known for several years.

“So, Ofer started this publishing project that officially ended this year,” Gianunzio said. “And since (the gallery) wanted to incorporate a show in the fall revolving around printmaking, it seemed like a really great opportunity to not only exhibit this type of work, but to actually be able to examine everything that HTP created throughout their seven years.”

With a feeling of nostalgia all around, Wolberger recounted how great the exhibition turned out with the inclusion of installation pieces, especially since it will remain on display for the rest of the fall semester.

Two students view pop-art next to a collage of eclectic imagery. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)
Two students view pop-art next to a collage of eclectic imagery. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

“I’m very happy with how it pulled together, with not just reference materials, but as reimagined installations with the help of Justin James Reed and Carmen Winant,” Wolberger said. “This is the end of a very interesting project, and it’s great to be able to share it in its entirety for the first time.”

The gallery curates six exhibitions per year, including both national and international work, as well as student and faculty exhibitions — all of which are always free and open to the public.

According to Gianunzio, there will be four more visiting artists that will visit campus this semester, beginning with Dutch artist Anouk Kruithof on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The TCNJ Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building and open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 7 p.m., as well as Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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