BLACK WHITE COLOR LIFE: Recent Works on Paper by Laurie Fendrich and Peter Plagens

The University Art Gallery at Sonoma State University is pleased to announce the exhibition BLACK WHITE COLOR LIFE: Recent Works on Paper by Laurie Fendrich and Peter Plagens, which opens with a reception on Wednesday, February 15th from 4:00-6:00, and remains on view through Sunday, March 12, 2017.

BLACK WHITE COLOR LIFE is an important opportunity for the SSU Art Gallery to present new work by two nationally recognized and highly regarded New York-based artists. The exhibition includes 52 works on paper—26 by each artist. Fendrich’s conté crayon drawings are inspired, in the artist’s words, by the “clarity and seeming simplicity of American abstraction during the 1930s—the decade before Abstract Expressionism took over.” She also finds inspiration in the conté crayon drawings of the 19th century French artist Georges Seurat and says her work is based on improvisation rather than carefully planned compositions. For Plagen’s, “What counts first is how my art looks. That’s supposed to draw you into the content, rather than the reverse.” His work combines painted abstract passages with elements of collage, including words and photo fragments. Plagen’s describes his art as the “orchestration of paint, paper, color, and surface.”

Both Fendrich and Plagens, who are married to one another, have spent a significant portion of their careers as professors of art in a variety of colleges and universities across the country. They have dedicated themselves to teaching, writing, and speaking about art while continuing their work as active and successful artists. Fendrich is currently professor emerita of fine arts at Hofstra University in New York. She is also a 2016 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Fine Arts as well as a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Plagens is perhaps equally known for his art criticism as he is for his art. He is the author of Sunshine Muse: Art on the West Coast, 1945-70 and was also art critic for Newsweek from 1989 to 2003. For the Fall semester, 2015, Plagens was a visiting artist at the San Francisco Art Institute. Currently, he writes about museum exhibitions for The Wall Street Journal.

The artists will give a free lecture on Wednesday, February 15, at noon in Art 136; this lecture is free and open to the public. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog.

Art from the Heart 2017

33rd annual benefit auction

Saturday, February 4, 2017, marks the date for the 33rd annual Art from the Heart silent art auction and party at the University Art Gallery, Sonoma State University, from 6 to 9 p.m. Proceeds from the auction directly benefit the Art Gallery's exhibition, publication, and lecture programs. There will be a free preview of the artwork on Wednesday, February 1, Thursday, February 2, and Friday, February 3, 11:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m.

As always, the Art from the Heart auction will be an exciting evening of art, food, fine wine, and music that has become one of the oldest continually-held fundraising events in the area and a “must” for novice and seasoned collectors alike (Dave Getz Jazz Trio will perform this year). This year more than 150 artists from Sonoma County and across the United States have been invited to create original works of art especially for Art from the Heart, which features modestly priced works of art that are sold during a silent auction. It’s a wonderful way to have a good time, support the Gallery (and in turn, the careers of worthy artists), and go home with an original work of art.

Delicious food and wine will be served, and tickets are $25 suggested donation. For more information, please call the University Art Gallery at (707) 664-2295.