SELECTED REVIEW AND QUOTES

NEW YORK TIMES ART VIEW BY HOLLAND COTTER

THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN’S ANNUAL JURIED EXHIBITION

“WHAT’S SURPRISING THOUGH, IS HOW SPIRITED THIS ACADEMY SHOW IS OVERALL.  WHETHER COMING FROM VETERANS LIKE JOHN HELIKER, PHILIP PEARLSTEIN, PAUL RESIKA, AND LEATRICE ROSE (ACADEMY MEMBERS ALL) OR FROM A HOST OF UNAFFILIATED ARTISTS (LUCY BARBER, LEO GAREL AND MARLENE BARON SUMMERS, AMONG THEM), THE BEST WORK ON VIEW IS BEAUTIFULLY WROUGHT AND BY DEFAULT, REALLY- HEEDLESS OF FASHION AND ON A TRACK OF IT’S OWN.”


F.A.N. GALLERY SOLO EXHIBITION

“AS HER EXHIBITION AT THE F.A.N. GALLERY INDICATES, MARLENE BARON SUMMERS CAN PAINT LANDSCAPES, STILL LIFES AND FIGURE PIECES WITH EQUAL FACILITY.  WHAT SHE DOES MOST EFFECTIVELY, THOUGH, IS PAINT MEMORIES.


IN A HALF-DOZEN LARGE CANVASES THAT DOMINATE THE SHOW, SUMMERS DIPS INTO HER CHILDHOOD FOR TABLEAUX THAT SHOULD RESONATE WITH VIEWERS OF HER GENERATION.  EACH SCENE CONTAINS DETAILS THAT A CHILD WOULD REMEMBER YEARS AFTER THE EVENT- DETAILS THAT, LIKE PROUST’S MADELEINE, HAVE THE POWER TO REVIVIFY THE PAST.


IN THE PICTURE OF A YOUNG GIRL READING IN BED, THE MADELEINE IS CERTAINLY THE BRILLIANT RED QUILTED BEDCOVER; SUMMERS HAS LAVISHED CONSIDERABLE ATTENTION ON IT.  IN THE SHADOW KNOWS, THE GIRL IS LISTENING TO A CONSOLE RADIO.  EVEN WITHOUT THE DARK SILHOUETTE HOVERING OVER HER, WE KNOW FROM THE TITLE WHAT SHE IS LISTENING TO .


LIKEWISE, A BUTTERCUP HELD UNDER THE CHIN IS THE KEY CLUE IN THE PAINTING NAIVETY, IN WHICH THE GIRL IS FRAMED IN A WINDOW THAT LOOKS OUT ON A SYLVAN LANDSCAPE.


THE FIGURE IN EACH PAINTING IS DEFINED WITH ICONIC INTENSITY, PARTICULARLY IN THE PAINTING IN WHICH THE GIRL CROUCHES IN A DARK VESTIBULE WITH PAPER AND CRAYONS AS IF ABOUT TO PERFORM A SCARED ACT.


THE MOST POWERFUL MADELEINE OF ALL ISN’T A FIGURE, THOUGH, BUT A ROLLING CHAIR ON THE ATLANTIC CITY BOARDWALK.  SEEN IN THREE-QUARTER PROFILE, THE CHAIR, WITH IT’S LUMINOUSLY PATTERNED CUSHION, NEARLY FILLS THE FRAME.  IT COULD EVOKE AN ENTIRE SUMMER OR EVEN A CHILDHOOD.”




 

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER BY EDWARD J. SUZANSKI

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER BY VICTORIA DONOHOE

ROSEMONT COLLEGE, LAWRENCE GALLERY.  SOLO EXHIBIT


“NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, MARLENE BARON SUMMERS OF CHERRY HILL HAS THE ABILITY TO INJECT THE MUNDANE WITH AN AURA OF STRANGENESS, EVEN A THREATENING PRESENCE.  HER OIL PAINTINGS OF AN ADULT OR CHILD IN A DOMESTIC SETTING CAN AMBIGUOUSLY DISTURB US.  SUMMERS IS NO PERFORMANCE ARTIST, YET THE IDEA OF PERFORMING UNDERLIES ALL HER WORK.  WHAT PEOPLE DO, PREFER DOING OR WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THEM IS HER FOCUS.  AND SHE STARTS US THINKING ABOUT WHAT IT IS THAT INDIVIDUALS DO IN ORDER TO BE SINGLED OUT.  I ALMOST FEEL A DISPROPORTIONATELY HEIGHTENED PRESENCE SEEMINGLY AIMED AT DRAWING US IN CLOSE.’’