Rarely exhibited landscapes and still lifes
Anne Sears
Michael Graves in his studio

Michael Graves in his studio

The Rider University Art Gallery will present an exhibit of rarely seen paintings by architect and designer Michael Graves January 27 through February 27, 2011.  The artist will discuss his work in the Rider Art Gallery on Thursday, February 3 at 7 p.m.  

Michael Graves has been in the forefront of architecture and design since founding his practice in Princeton, N.J. in 1964. As the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, Emeritus, at Princeton University, where he taught for 39 years, Graves is an influential theorist, as well as a diversified and prolific designer. Since the early 1980s, his work has directly influenced the transformation of urban architecture from the abstraction of commercial modernism toward an interest in context. Hailed by The New York Times critic Paul Goldberger as “the most truly original voice American architecture has produced in some time,” Graves has received several of the most prestigious awards ever conferred upon architects in the United States. These include the 1999 National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton, the 2001 Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects and the 2010 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education.  This year Graves became the first architect inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Many people think that architects only create images that directly relate to architectural design.  However, from an early age Michael Graves has been drawing and painting architectural forms and structures, still lifes and landscapes. The exhibition will focus on Graves’ landscape paintings, and this will also be the first time in Central New Jersey that the general public will see a gallery exhibition dedicated to this work.

“It has been said by others that my architecture is very painterly. I doubt that people could say conversely that my paintings are very architectural,” says Graves about his work.  “Architecture and painting share many values, amongst them are; proportion, space, composition, and in painting these are the issues I most like to explore…There are so many wonderful things to explore in painting.  I wonder what is going on in that world today.  We have similar problems in architecture today, where the value of spectacle becomes more and more and more.  I hope these present characteristics that constitute a blip on the larger scale of history.”

Admission to this exhibit is free. The Rider University Art Gallery is located in the Bart Luedeke Center on Rider’s campus at 2083 Lawrenceville Rd in Lawrenceville. The gallery is open Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. 

This exhibition is funded in part by a grant from the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State and PNC Bank.