Rowan University Art Gallery

A Random Walk

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 21, 2013


The accident of intentional mark making in abstract art


Curated by Robert Solomon, "A Random Walk" invites viewers to gain insight into how accident and intention, control and experimentation help bring about what is viewed as the final work. The exhibition is on display in Rowan University Art Gallery from November 21 - December 21, with an opening reception on Thursday, November 21, from 5:30 – 7 pm. The signature marks included in this exhibition are by Tish Ingersoll, Emily Brett Lukens, Tim McFarlane, Rebecca Rutstein, Tremain Smith, Robert Solomon and Douglas Witmer.

The exhibit is an investigation into seven artists producing abstract work whose "story" is told through personal and habitual mark making. According to Solomon, the seed for this show was planted several years ago after reading James Elkins' What Painting Is, which was followed by a group discussion on the author's eccentric study of the work of artists and the occupation of medieval alchemists. Elkins contends that the ritualized behavior of an artist's work has parallels in alchemical practice.

"Careful observation reveals how artists develop a signature by repeating and morphing their ‘mark.' It follows the history of modern and post-modern abstract painting which has a strong dialogue with geometry," notes Solomon, a Philadelphia-based artist and designer.

Artists accumulate a body of knowledge through a lifetime of trial and error, accident and intention that defines their particular signature. Initially, a study of geometry and mark making, the theme evolved into an opportunity for the viewer to gain an appreciation of the opposing but necessary processes that help shape contemporary abstract work.

Admission to the gallery and the reception is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10 am to 5 pm (with extended hours on Wednesdays to 7 pm); and Saturday, 12 to 5 pm. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit

Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall on the university campus, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.