Jan Aronson: A Reverence for Nature

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

February 14 - June 30, 2005 

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum One West 4th Street (between Broadway and Mercer Street) Manhattan, New York 

As a keen observer of nature, Jan Aronson captures the critical moment in which nature reveals itself. Her color-drenched landscapes, nature studies, and portraits offer a mid-career retrospective of her spiritual journey to convey the ineffability of the familiar and the mystery of the unknown. 

"My paintings reflect my belief that while the forces of the universe are chaotic, they are also balanced," states Jan Aronson. "And while this balance is accomplished through powers I cannot explain, I am comfortable with the unknown. I would rather be involved in living and making paintings that comment on this mystery, rather than trying to define it. Capturing the movement of clouds, the organic shapes of decaying leaves; seeing moving water as a veil of gauze, or representing a landscape as a living breathing organic whole is my way of embracing the divine." 

Aronson's landscapes and nature studies begin with a direct, unfiltered relationship with her subjects, intimately experienced through her treks to isolated sites of natural beauty around the world. Photographic documentation captures these visceral moments of discovery. These views of the earth, water, sky, and plant life are transformed in the studio through vigorous brushstroke, palette, and monumental scale into manifestations of emotional, psychological, and transcendent states of being. At the same time, Aronson's portraits reveal the vivid interior lives of her subjects and of herself, externalized through high-key color and pattern that capture the essence of the individual human condition. 

These works invite the viewer toward a deeper understanding of the universal human experience and a vitalized perception of the natural beauty in the world around us. Aronson takes us on a journey into her world of wonder and discovery, and through her eyes, we are able to immerse ourselves in an unexpected encounter with creation. 

Jan Aronson's work has been featured in more than thirty solo exhibitions, including the Jan Van der Togt Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland; Bayly Art Museum, University of Virginia; Makor Center, New York; Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut; Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho; Mckissick Museum, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina; University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana; Southern Vermont Art Center, Manchester, Vermont; Hahn 

Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chrstine Price Gallery, Castleton State College, Castleton, Vermont; Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vermont; Henri Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Stuart Kingston Galleries, Wilmington, Delaware; and Sinton Wachter Mayer Fine Arts, New York. 

She has participated in over forty group shows, including The Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, Connecticut; National Association of Women Artists, Gallery 54, New York; Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho; Eiteljorg Museum of Western and Indian Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; Brattleboro Museum, Brattleboro, Vermont; and Louisiana Bicentennial Art Exhibition, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

Aronson's numerous grants and awards include Stratton Arts Festival, Stratton, Vermont; Vermont Council on the Arts; and Regional Art Exhibition, Ferrisburg, Vermont. 

Her work is in the permanent collections of the Ronald Lauder/Estee Lauder Collection; New Orleans Museum of Art; Eiteljorg Museum of Western and Indian Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; Glen Janss Collection of American Realist Works on Paper; William and Glenn Janss Collection of American Realist Paintings; United States Mission, Geneva, Switzerland; Residence of the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Washington D.C; United Nations Watch of the World Jewish Congress, Geneva, Switzerland; Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut; Vermont Council of the Arts, Montpelier, Vermont; Michael Steinhardt; Jerry Speyer; William and Karen Lauder; and Kelly Chapman and Ron Meyer. 

Exhibition catalog available upon request. Catalog includes essay by Miranda McClintic and 26 illustrations. 

School/Group Tours: 212-824-2205 

Admission Free; Photo ID required 

Hours: Mondays- Thursdays, 9 am - 5 pm; Fridays, 9 am - 3 pm; Selected Sun., 10 am - 2 pm, Oct. 3, 17; Nov. 7, 21; Dec. 5, 19; Jan. 9. Admission: Free. Photo ID required, www.huc.edu/museum/ny Curated Tours for reporters/editors, group tours, and additional information: (212) 824-2205


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu