A Half Century Of One Man’s Art At Kean University’s Gallery

UNION–A comprehensive exhibition of drawings by W. Carl Burger, created over more than five decades will be featured at Kean University’s Carl and Helen Burger Gallery. The show entitled “W. Carl Burger, Drawing for Fifty Years” runs from April 24 through July 19. A reception with the artist will be held on Tuesday, April 24from 4 to 6 p.m.

The exhibition examines Burger’s prolific career, beginning with his early renderings of French landscapes and European architecture seen through the eyes of a young artist-soldier in the 1940s. It then advances through each subsequent stage of development to the present.

With an artistic career spanning more than five decades, the esteemed W. Carl Burger has received much recognition. His work has been shown at Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, the National Academy of Design and Lincoln Center in New York City. Burger’s work is held in the corporate collections of including British Airways, Warner Communications, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Nabisco World Headquarters, Schering-Plough, and Ortho Pharmaceutical. The Butler Institute of Art, the Noyes Museum, and the Morris Museum, have all done comprehensive solo exhibitions of W. Carl Burger’s artwork.

“Carl Burger moves with deliberate energy and creativity,” said Neil Tetkowski, Kean University Gallery Director said. “At 86 years of age, the artist radiates with inspired affection and enthusiasm. Burger lives with a youthful urgency to make art, and remarkably, his next artwork always promises to be his best.”

Unlike much of his well-known oeuvre, the drawings use color sparingly, sometimes not at all. The exhibition shows that Burger has been thinking monochromatically for many years. “As Carl progressively uses inks and mixed media layered on top of graphite, it is hard to determine when his drawing becomes a painting,” Tetkowski added.

Always exquisitely rendered, Burger’s drawings lead the viewer into a world of surprise and complex surrealistic composition. He is a virtuoso draftsman, an expert of collage and an expressionist master of extravagant color.

“While he is probably best known for large-scale water colors representing the imagined and real landscapes of New Jersey, this exhibition spotlights his drawings, the source and essence of his more spontaneous work,” noted Steven H. Miller, former Executive Director of The Morris Museum. “The fact that he also excels in graphite and other fine and delicate mediums should probably come as no surprise”.

“W. Carl Burger, Drawing for Fifty Years” showcases Burger’s lesser-known—but just as spectacular—monochromatic works. What pervades through Burger’s work is exuberance and spontaneity, infused with a sense of youthful wonderment and joy. W. Carl Burger always speaks in a distinct artistic voice about his subject matter.

“W. Carl Burger, Drawing for Fifty Years” shows Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Carl and Helen Burger Gallery is located at 1000 Morris Avenue on the campus of Kean University in Union, New Jersey. Admission to all galleries is free to the Kean University community and the general public. For further information, updates and announcements about Kean University Galeries, visit www.kean.edu/~gallery.

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