By The Numbers Art Exhibit Opens Oct. 13

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This Too Shall Pass by Diane Savona (Photo courtesy of Arts Guild NJ)

This Too Shall Pass by Diane Savona (Photo courtesy of Arts Guild NJ)

RAHWAY — Arts Guild New Jersey presents By The Numbers: (More Or Less), curated by Donna Gustafson featuring the work of 11 contemporary artists. The exhibition opens on Oct. 13 and runs through Nov. 7. A free, public reception will be held on Sunday, Oct. 13, 1-4 p.m.

This Fall, Arts Guild New Jersey is presenting three exhibits curated by three independent curators. The set of the three exhibitions is titled the Triad Series. These shows will all feature the same eleven pre-selected artists, who were chosen for their large range of work and/or, the fact that they have many distinct bodies of work. The artists featured are Adel Gorgy, Eileen M. Foti, Neal Korn, Peter Jacobs, RoCa, Diane Savona, Rocco Scary, Tom Nussbaum, Frances Heinrich, Grigory Gurevich and Bill Westheimer. The aim is to investigate how the artwork of the same artists might be viewed by several curators each with a distinct point of view.

“This exhibition explores the presence of numbers as signs, symbols and found objects– ocular proof of the systems of time and place that we construct around ourselves and the values we assign to things,” said Gustafson. “The presence of numbers in these works of art also provides proof of the strange beauty of random encounters. Numbers define space, mark time, and measure value, quantity, and the presence of absence. In everyday life, numbers are ubiquitous — we have identification numbers, social security numbers, passport numbers, lucky numbers, cell phone numbers, pin numbers, addresses, and zip codes. We live by adding and subtracting money to our bank accounts; some of us count calories as we eat; others play games with numbers; many of us purchase lottery tickets and explore probability and statistics. Numbers + numbers = more numbers.

“The idea of connecting this group of 11 artists who will be curated into 3 exhibitions by 3 curators is itself a mathematical proposition with a built in element of chance and probability. What were the chances that 1 in 3 or 2 in 3 or 3 in 3 would find similar themes, or pick the same works of art to include in what were meant to be different exhibitions? In the spirit of play –of the critique and wit that I found in each of these artists– I decided to take a chance on a throw of the dice and explore the sometimes random appearance of numbers in the visual field. I’ve included work that contains numbers within their compositions and work with numerical titles. On occasion, I’ve stretched the unifying concept to include works that explore hand gestures with outstretched fingers as a sign of keeping count, numerical concepts like extinction (zero), more, and less without explicit reference to a calculation or tally, or the physical presence of a numerical sign. These are here because numbers can sometimes remain unnamed.

“While numbers and the systems that lie beneath them structure our lives, the deliberate, but eccentric appearance of numbers in works of art should remind us that our systems are both abstract and material, constricting, but also invisible. How we read or play these numbers is up to us. “

Arts Guild New Jersey is located at 1670 Irving Street, Rahway. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 p.m., and during regular office hours on Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Fridays, 10 a.m.– 2 p.m. The exhibition is wheelchair accessible.

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