Artist Nancy Staub Laughlin displayed a new form of artwork
By Monica Sudfield | Published May 8, 2017
Nancy Staub Laughlin, established pastel and photography artist, has reunited with Kean by arranging some of her latest pieces in the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery.
Seven years prior, Laughlin’s work was featured in Kean’s “New Jersey Masters 2010” exhibition, according to Kean Galleries website.
Impressed by the 2010 exhibition, Laughlin was eager to work with Kean again and reached out to Neil Tetowski, director of university galleries, asking him if he would consider giving her a solo exhibit.
“I’ve had a lot of exhibitions but [Kean] just was a class act. They did everything so beautifully and [Tetowski] gave the nicest speech,” said Laughlin.
Laughlin’s statement featured on her website, nancystaublaughlin.com, explains her newest technique, assemblages, which is the combination of her two preferred forms of art – pastel and photography.
“I’m focusing in on a detail of the photograph because I don’t want it to be so recognizable,” said Laughlin. “To have them work with the drawing, it’s almost like a mathematical equation.”
The combination of the different forms reveal Laughlin’s distinctive creative process, while also allowing viewers to experience artwork through a perspective never practiced, said Laughlin’s site.
According to artrepreneur coach Renee Phillips, art critic and historian of modern and contemporary art Sam Hunter referred to Laughlin’s new concept of the “still life” as “refreshingly unique”.
One assemblage in particular stuck out to Ashley Battista, senior at Kean University, who wrote a midterm paper on Laughlin’s “The Light and Sparkle of Winter” piece.
“Her technique to create such three-dimensional beads was amazing. She used different values of a color along with shading to give the circular bead a more spherical appearance,” said Battista. “The Light and Sparkle of Winter” features two photographs of what look like the horizon line where the sky meets the ocean blue water. Behind the two photographs is pastel work.
“Actual clear mini micro beads were used to either look like rain or snow crystals. Th e use of these beads created the illusion of form,” said Battista. Laughlin’s newest piece, “Twinkle, Flurry and Glow” incorporates pastel work to extend the visual aspect of the photograph within the complete piece, which is a concept she plans to continue building on within future creations.
“There is a little piece of drawing underneath that photograph that looks like it is part of the photograph, until you get up to it and realize that it is actually drawn with pastel,” said Laughlin. Laughlin’s assemblage’s have left critics using words such as “unique,” “distinctive” and “new,” which can be viewed on her website under “critic quotes.”.
According to Laughlin, what she is creating welcomes viewers into her unique world.