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Art exhibit brings WMU emeriti into focus

April 24, 2008

KALAMAZOO--An exhibit showcasing the artwork of two retired Western Michigan University faculty members opened this week in the University's Richmond Center for Visual Arts.

"Focus: Three One-Person Exhibitions" features the work of Joseph DeLuca and Paul Robbert, who both retired from WMU's Frostic School of Art with emeritus status. The show's third featured artist is Richard Koenig, who is currently on faculty at Kalamazoo College. "Focus" will be on display in the Richmond Center's Monroe-Brown Gallery through Aug. 1. "John Link: Recent Paintings," which opened last month, will continue through June 13 in the Kerr Gallery. Both shows are open to the public free of charge.

The Richmond Center's summer gallery hours, which are effective May 1 through Aug. 1, are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, contact the Frostic School of Art Exhibitions Office at (269) 387-2455.

"Focus" on the artists

Joseph DeLuca's paintings have been motivated by extended travels in Europe. His large-scale canvases include materials such as tar, cardboard, metal and wood. The surfaces often reveal a rich and multi-layered textural patinas through the combined utilization of paint, collage, inlay and found materials. The works attempt to mark a passage of time as well as describe the metaphysical nature of things.

Paul Robbert regards painting as a slow, difficult journey of discovery. For more than 30 years, his journey has been dominated by the use of handmade paper as a medium. He says, "Working with paper requires a dramatic shift in image making, because both the surface support and pigmented imagery are integrated into a single element."

Richard Koenig works with images that he re-photographs in one way or another. He uses this duplicative tactic as a way of exploring the inherent tension that exists within photography--its ability to concurrently depict and deceive. In his most recent work, which he labels "Photographic Prevarications," space, planes and other objects are presented in ways that underscore photography's ability to tell untruths. Koenig seeks to make viewers aware that what they're looking at is a photo--a perception--and not the subject of the photo. His works coax viewers into questioning the very nature of photography.

Media contact: Don Desmett, (269) 387-2455, donald.desmett@wmich.edu

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