Information for:

  • Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery

Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery

  • The Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery runs shows independently and in cooperation with the Visual Arts Gallery.

    Current Exhibition


    Allegory of Leaves: Nancy Azara, Naoto Nakagawa, and Janet Pihlblad
    Curated by Midori Yoshimoto
    October 22 – December 2, 2015

    Closing Reception Celebrating the Launch of BIGGER DIG 2020
    Wednesday, December 2, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
    TICKETS: $60 ($70 at the door). Visit to purchase tickets
    Partnership among Jersey City Parks Coalition, the City of Jersey City, and NJCU Initiative to Plant 2,020 Trees in Jersey City Over Next Five Years.
    All funds raised will be matched dollar for dollar by the City of Jersey City.

    Allegory of Leaves: Writers and Artists on Looking Closely
    November 17, 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the gallery
    (co-hosted by the Art Department and the English Department)

    The Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery at New Jersey City University is delighted to present an exhibition related to autumn, Allegory of Leaves: Nancy Azara, Naoto Nakagawa, and Janet Pihlblad, curated by the NJCU Gallery Director, Midori Yoshimoto. With over a dozen paintings, sculptures, and an installation, this exhibition highlights three artists’ long-term engagement with nature as subject and inspiration, with a particular focus on “leaves” as a motif.

    Nakagawa has often portrayed nature in juxtaposition to artifice over a span of five decades. The title of the exhibition, Allegory of Leaves derives from Nakagawa’s 2003 painting of the same name. Measuring 108 inches high, this monumental landscape brings various kinds of grass and weeds out of the picture plane and overwhelms the viewer with its density and saturated colors. The evocative hues of his subject alert us to potential environmental harm that is underway behind the seemingly beautiful foliage. Are these scenes an allegory for human or environmental destruction? His paintings leave us with many unsettling questions.

    Azara’s relief sculptures, on the other hand, are abound in rich, rough textures and directly carved from wooden logs found in the Catskill region in northern New York. They convey the undying spirit of those trees viscerally. The various shapes of leaves, such as, maple and fatsia, appear prominently in these reliefs. Their resemblance to human hands conjures connections with the spiritual practice of prehistoric cave painting, but also bespeaks man’s intimate relationship to nature. The combination of red, gold, and silver colors adds a sacred aura similar to that of Christian icons or devotional art and suggests Azara’s efforts to give form to the invisible and intangible.

    Compared to Nakagawa and Azara, Pihlblad’s approach to nature is mediated through the use of texts written by historical naturalists and philosophers, most notably, Henry David Thoreau and Novalis. For example, her Landscape for Novalis is a collection of dried leaves, each of which contains a word cut-out referring to a human emotion. All emotions presented here, including “angst” and “doubt,” however, were used by Novalis and other Romantic writers to describe various kinds of landscape, thus anthropomorphizing nature. Through her conceptual and simultaneously labor intensive approach, Pihlblad makes us aware of our transitioning ideas about nature and man’s projections regarding it.

    The exhibition interweaves varied works by these artists to create a contemplative environment wherein viewers can take refuge from their busy daily lives to reflect on the great outdoors.

    Naoto Nakagawa was born in Kobe, and in 1962 immigrated to New York City. His paintings have been widely exhibited, starting in 1968 in Judson Gallery in New York, followed by other New York galleries. His painting is concurrently shown in the group exhibition, “The Value of Food” at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York. For further information on the artist, see

    Nancy Azara was born in Brooklyn, New York, and studied at Finch College and the Art Student League of New York, and worked as a costume designer for theater in early years. Having actively participated in the feminist art movement from the early 1970s, she co-founded the New York Feminist Art Institute (1979-1990). Her sculpture and other works have been internationally exhibited. Most recent exhibitions include: “Handmade: The Digital Age and the Industrial Revolution” at Byrdcliffe Kleinart/James Center for the Arts in Woodstock, New York. For more, see

    Janet Pihlblad has received her MFA from Rutgers University, her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and has taught art and design at various institutions, including The Maryland Institute College of Art. She is currently assistant professor at New Jersey City University. Her work has been exhibited at P.P.O.W. Gallery, the New Museum, White Columns in New York, among others. For more, see

    For further information, please contact Midori Yoshimoto, Gallery Director ( or (201)200-2197).

    image above: Naoto Nakagawa, Allegory of Leaves, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 108 x 76 inches. The Collection of Richard Reiss. Photo by D. James Dee, 2012.  

    upcoming eXHIBit

    The ManChild Series
    An MFA Exhibition by Tara Lamourt
    December 7 - 18
    Opening Reception: December 7, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

    The reality of damaging racial/cultural stereotypes attributed to urban young adolescents of color is a primary element in this painting series. Urban young boys of color have rarely been a subject of painting in our culture. From an intimate perspective of school teacher, Lamourt seeks to recast their negative image in a hopeful and promising context. 

    Images above: Three portraits from the ManChild Series.

    Ongoing Exhibition

     Transformation: Art Faculty Exhibition
    Gilligan Student Union, Faculty Dining Hall, 2nd floor

    “Transformation: Art Faculty Exhibition” will feature works by NJCU art faculty Mauro Altamura, Hugo Bastidas, Dennis Dittrich, Brian Gustafson, Deborah Jack, Martin Kruck, Ken MacBain, Winifred McNeill, Janet Pihlblad, Ellen Quinn, Jose Rodeiro, and Herb Rosenberg. The exhibit will be shown throughout the full 2013-2014 academic year. The Dining Hall is accessible Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

    Brian Gustafson
    Bleeding the love out of roses
    Metal, glass, flora, 20" x 20" x 2"


    Martin Kruck
    Habitorium: Blaze

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