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Tuesday, March 18, 2008  
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When its latest annual exhibition opens on April 17, the Saint Peter's Art Gallery on the College's Jersey City campus will offer visitors an opportunity to view a spectacular array of artwork. Entitled “La Forme Humaine,” the exhibition celebrates the nude form, featuring nearly one hundred works in mixed media, including oils, drawings, marble, bronze, terra cotta and photography. Ranging from the first century A.D. through the twentieth century, the works will be displayed through May 5. Noted artists featured in “La Forme Humaine” include Raffaele Carelli, Pierre Lehoux, Ernst Deger, Felix Fossey, Felician Rops, Emile Levy, Wayland Gregory, Cy Fried, John Lear and Paul Cadmus.

This important exhibition was curated by Oscar Magnan, S.J., who, as the Gallery's director, presents at least one important show each year. It was in 1976, shortly after Father Magnan arrived at Saint Peter's, that he founded the Gallery.

“I wanted to expose the college community, their friends, and the people in the local area to the trends in the arts – contemporary and ancient art,” explains Father Magnan. Since the Gallery's first show, the Jesuit has presented a variety of themes, including abstract art, Oriental art, Orthodox religious art and portraits from the second century onwards. An artist himself, whose works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian, the Guggenheim, the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Wadsworth Atheneum, among others, is a Professor in the Fine Art Department at Saint Peter's. He has participated in hundreds of solo and group shows throughout the world. Twenty years ago, Father Magnan worked on the restoration of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel and currently he is part of a team restoring the Italian city of Velletri. He earned his doctorate at the Sorbonne in Paris, a master's at Oxford in England, a master's of fine arts at San Alejandro in Havana and another master's at Saint Mary's College in Halifax.

Father Magnan credits many people for contributing to the success of his exhibitions. “Without the collectors who generously loan us their precious artworks, we could never have these extraordinary exhibitions here at Saint Peter's,” he said. “The Jesuits, students, and friends have collaborated in so many ways, to bring the art for everyone to see.”

The Gallery, which is located in the O'Toole Library, will be open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 11:00am to 4:00pm. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, the hours are from 11:00am to 6:00pm. There is no admission fee.

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