PHOTO: Work by American Artist, Humanist, and Teacher Jacob Landau
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ — Monmouth University Galleries opens an exhibition of works exploring the theme of justice by American artist, humanist, and teacher Jacob Landau in the Monmouth University Library, Seminar Room #102, on April 11, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.
Born in Philadelphia in 1917, Jacob Landau launched his career as an illustrator, winning national prizes at age 16 and a scholarship to the Philadelphia College of Art. He had over sixty one-person shows and was the recipient of many awards, including Tiffany, Guggenheim and National Arts Council grants. Many of his works are featured in permanent collections in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. A master teacher, he retired as professor emeritus at New York’s Pratt Institute. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts by Monmouth University.
Jacob Landau viewed art as a defense against chaos. That all is subject to entropy haunted the artist his whole life. So art becomes a weapon to combat this descent into disorder. And it is a powerful weapon. For “each time we create something,” Landau has said, “we win a victory over decay.”
Monmouth University’s exhibit “Order & Chaos” demonstrates this triumph. Against the chaos reigning in “The Ninth Circle,” the last print in a series of illustrations to Dante’s Inferno, the artist pits the order envisioned by the prophet Isaiah and embodied in his watercolor “Isaiah.”
This struggle is dramatized in Landau’s portrait of Einstein. It powerfully juxtaposes the calm physicist who assumes order at the deepest level of the universe, and his chilling observation on the inevitable chaos that is our fate.
Yet we can’t help but believe order will triumph when we see Landau’s rollicking parade of fabulous figures in his print “Be of Good Cheer.” This creation of the human imagination, we are convinced by his exuberant drawing, is a small but important “victory over decay.”
The exhibition features a selection of fifteen pieces. All works are from Monmouth University’s extensive collection of Jacob Landau’s work, comprising over 300 prints, drawings and paintings. The collection was gifted to Monmouth University in 2008 by the Jacob Landau Institute of Roosevelt, NJ. This exhibit is co-sponsored by the Jewish Culture Studies Program and the Honors School of Monmouth University.
Event: Order & Chaos: An Exhibit of Selected Works by Jacob Landau
Dates: April 11-17, 2016
Reception: Monday, April 11, 2016 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Where: Library Seminar Room (102), Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Avenue,
West Long Branch, NJ
Contact: Scott Knauer, Director of Galleries and Collections, 732-923-4786