"A Conversation About the Art of Basil Alkazzi: From Secularism to the Mystical in Contemporary Art" on Feb. 20

Ascension in Beatitude II, gouache and watercolor on handmade paper, 40” x 30", 2011 (Detail)

The Rider University Art Gallery presents artist Basil Alkazzi’s exhibit “An Odyssey of Dreams – A Decade of Paintings 2003 - 2012” from Thursday, Feb. 6, through Sunday, March 2.

Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. art historians and critics Donald Kuspit and Matthew Baigell will participate in a discussion titled "A Conversation About the Art of Basil Alkazzi: From Secularism to the Mystical in Contemporary Art."  They will explore Alkazzi's work within the broader context of a shift among artists away from the secular concerns of the 20th century toward a renewed interest in communicating their spiritual feelings and a sense of the mystical.  Michael Royce, executive director of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) will give introductory remarks.

The exhibit features a collection of large-scale colored gouache and watercolor paintings on handmade paper, characterized by spiritual and metaphysical elements, reflecting beautiful mysteries.

The British artist Basil Alkazzi is a prolific and, in his own words, a "compulsive" painter. His distinguished career spans 50 years, and his work is held in the public collections of museums worldwide. These include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Hirshhorn Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum, the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, The National Council in Kuwait, and Centrum Sztuki in Warsaw, Poland. Six monographs of his work have been published, the most recent being Resonant Echoes – The Art of Basil Alkazzi by Dennis Wepman.

The Rider University Art Gallery is located in the Bart Luedeke Center on Rider University’s campus, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, in Lawrenceville. It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.  Admission to all events is free.