Longtime friends share the spotlight

A piece by Barbara Goodstein titled Trees and Two Buildings is featured at the Art Gallery in the BLC. The exhibition will run through Sunday, March 1.By Jessica Scanlon

Their artwork has been featured in many galleries and praised by critics from prominent art publications such as The New York Times, Art in America and Harper’s. They have taught at many prestigious art schools and universities. So what is next for two artists with brilliant careers and critically acclaimed art to their credit? How about a gallery exhibit at Rider University?

Artists Barbara Goodstein and Deborah Rosenthal have done precisely that. Titled “Idol Idyll: Figure & Landscape,” the current exhibit at the Rider University Gallery features sculptures by Goodstein and paintings by Rosenthal.

“I am very pleased to have both my work and the work of another artist I respect greatly — Barbara Goodstein — hanging in the Rider Gallery,” Rosenthal said.

Goodstein is a sculptor and professor with local roots. She was born in nearby Philadelphia and attended Penn State University along with the Plymouth College of Art and Design in England, the University of Guadalajara in Mexico, the New York Studio School and Queens College (CUNY) from which she received a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture. She is well known for using plaster in her sculptures but her pieces on display also feature metal, wood, tape, acrylic paint and even bronze as mediums. Her pieces have been shown at numerous galleries throughout New York City. An academic as well as a sculptor, she has taught at various art schools and colleges including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of the Arts and Tyler School of Art as well as written about contemporary art in Art and Antiques. She was also a resident artist at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, at Yaddo and at the Albers Foundation.

Rosenthal also has connections to the area. She is the curator of the show and a professor at Rider. She is an alumna of Barnard College and received her Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Pratt Institute. Her writings on art have been published in the The New Criterion, Modern Painters and Art in America. She has also designed the stained glass windows of the Ansche Chesed Synagogue in New York, which were featured in a PBS segment and received the NEA Critic’s Grant.

Beyond similarities in educational background and career, the two have known each other for many years and their art displays common interests and cross-influences. The use of color in their works reveals a similar taste for and use of bold, bright colors that create contrast in the pieces. There is a unity to be found in the exploration of classical themes such as landscapes and the human form.

This exhibit is more than twenty years in the making, beginning with the creation of The Three Graces by Goodstein in 1984. There are 19 pieces on display. Rosenthal’s paintings are mostly oil paint on linen and are distinguishable by her use of warm colors such as red and orange in her work. Goodstein’s sculptures of Goodstein are mostly in relief and display “The Three Graces” and vivid images of landscapes.

“I am delighted to have my students and my colleagues and the general community with an interest in art come see this work,” said Rosenthal.

This mixed-media exhibit is an opportunity not to be missed.

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