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From the Slide Registry: Valeri Larko, Merle Lau, Henry Sanchez

July 14 through October 2, 1999


The summer exhibition, From the Slide Registry, highlights the works of three New Jersey artists: Valeri Larko (Summit), Maria Lau (Jersey City), and Henry Sanchez (Jersey City).

Ms. Larko is a landscape painter who finds delight and inspiration in decaying and wasted industrial sites in New Jersey. Her subjects include abandoned power plants, empty storage tanks, old factory buildings, etc. She is fascinated by how much our landscape and environment have been altered. By depicting objects in the environment that are in decline, her work ultimately transforms the very concept of "Landscape Painting." Ms. Larko paints on location and listens to stories about the sites. Jersey City was the very place where she started painting industrial scenes. Ms. Larko's work has been represented in numerous solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as the New Jersey State Museum, The Montclair Art Museum, and Alijira.

Ms. Lau is a conceptual photographer of Cuban descent, and the series of photographs in the exhibition were taken during a recent trip to Cuba. Although documentary in essence, her incorporation of experimental technical processes and mixed-media and special effects has brought a fresh approach to this traditional genre. Ms. Lau's work was previously shown in two Jersey City Artists Studio Tours.

Mr. Sanchez is a painter of Mexican-American background. The creation of a series of large (usually 7 x 5 feet) images of Mexican wrestlers reflects a playful fusion of ethnic and popular cultures. According to Mr. Sanchez, these paintings were inspired by the approach of the next millennium. The gestures of the wrestlers suggest uncertainty and ambivalence in face of this turning point in human history. While anxiety is implied, the multiple gestures also suggest a variety of options and alternatives. Mr. Sanchez's work has been represented in various exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York; the Trans Hudson Gallery, New York; and the Marie Elias Center, Santa Ana, California.

From the Slide Registry is a series of exhibitions that was started in the mid-1980s, when the curatorial staff began to select distinguished works from its active Slide Registry. The Jersey City Museum is probably one of a few institutions that actively and seriously pays attention to its slide registry. It is the staff's belief that distinguished artistic talents and inspirations can be found in the works of emerging and lesser-known artists. The Museum encourages artists to submit to the Slide Registry and guarantees that their works will be considered seriously. The Museum staff takes pride that the series of exhibitions has continued to provide a unique opportunity to showcase the works of emerging and mid-career artists.

Images from top to bottom: Valeri Larko, Catholic Cemetery, Newark, 1999, oil on canvas, 26 x 46 inches; Maria Lau, Flower Girl, 1998, c-print, 14 x 11 inches; Henry Sanchez, Nominal Candidate, 1996, oil on canvas, 84 x 54 inches


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