What better place for an art exhibition about water than at a Museum on the banks of a river?
The exhibition will focus specifically on rivers Richard Wengenroth painted in Sussex County, New Jersey.
Wengenroth holds a special connection with this section of New Jersey. Before joining the military, he enjoyed idyllic summer days in a simple wooden cottage built by his German immigrant grandfather on Culver’s Lake in Frankford Township. Years later, work brought him to Manhattan, but he never forgot that rural oasis in northwestern New Jersey. He returned to Culver’s Lake and found a rare century-old farmhouse which he purchased as a vacation home. A long-neglected barn was converted to an attractive light-filled studio.
“Weather permitting, it was my practice to work en plein air at one of a group of familiar sites in the area,” Wengenroth noted. “During winter months, ink wash drawings and color studies were developed into large-scale paintings. I have described these painting, not as transcriptions of nature, but interpretive responses which incorporate both abstract and metaphorical concerns.”
Wengenroth is an accomplished artist who has been painting and exhibiting for more than 50 years. He has won numerous awards, and his work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, France and Germany. His art is represented in more than 100 public and private collections.
“There is a special connection because of the Museum’s location on the banks of the South Branch of the Raritan, but certainly anyone who enjoys nature and who appreciates painting will want to see his work,” said Marjorie Frankel-Nathanson, executive director of the Museum, who is curating the show along with Ellen Siegel.
“Richard makes beautiful paintings that combine realism and abstraction,” Nathanson added. “We are very excited to be introducing our audience to his work.”
Wengenroth has had a storied academic career. He has taught drawing, painting and art history, did organizational work and program development at Ohio Wesleyan University, University of Kentucky and City University of New York.
Image credit: Richard Wengenroth, Autumn Slip, 2014, Acrylic on paper, 44 in. X 59 in., courtesy of the artist.