Fredonia’s Marion Art Gallery to host Andrea Dezso exhibition

Creating her own worlds

Submitted Photo: Andrea Dezso’s “Garden Beings 2,” a stone lithograph, will be among her works on display in an exhibition at the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at the State University of New York at Fredonia starting Sept. 5.

Visitors will have an opportunity to experience enchanted forests, bat caves and utopian cities in the first exhibition of the 2017-18 season at the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

“Andrea Dezso: Enchanted Fictions” opens on Tuesday, Sept. 5. The Marion Art Gallery is located on the main level of Rockefeller Arts Center, with best access from the Symphony Circle side of the building.

The exhibition features Dezso’s illustrations for the latest translation of Grimm’s fairytales, embroidery from her series “Lessons from My Mother,” tunnel books, autobiographical ceramic plates such as “After We Emigrated,” and a large vinyl installation titled “Six-Hearted She-Wolf Protectress Poses with Human Being.”

While growing up in the harsh communist regime of Romania, Dezso began creating her own worlds filled with “wishful flights to charmed lands of dark beauty and haunting iconography.” Her multi-layered tunnel books, lithographs, and silhouette illustrations blend folklore with a personal vision and contemporary sensibility.

Dezso will talk about her artwork on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 8:30 p.m. in McEwen Hall, Room 209 as part of the Department of Visual Arts and New Media’s Visiting Artist Program. She will also focus on the business side of her career at the Fredonia Technology Incubator’s Art and Business Luncheon Series on Friday, Sept. 15 at noon. The incubator is located at 214 Central Ave. in Dunkirk.

The artist will also be present for a reception in the Marion Art Gallery on Friday, Sept. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.

All programs are free and open to the public. The exhibition runs through Sunday, Oct. 8.

Fredonia Visual Arts and New Media faculty members Jill Johnston and Dr. Leesa Rittelmann curated the exhibition in the Marion Gallery.

“Parallel to the original Grimm Brothers’ tales, Andrea Dezso’s work is not all saccharine and bright but enchanted contrasts of beauty and the monstrous, revealing tales that interpret her personal mythos,” Johnston wrote in an essay on Dezso’s work.

Rittelmann noted that, “Dezso’s investment in historical traditions and techniques, unique experiences as a child in communist Romania, and career as a contemporary artist working in the United States have resulted in a body of work that is as mysterious and timeless as it is timely and relevant. In a world governed by sound bites and social media, her devotion to careful observation, slow labor, and unfettered imagination is quietly critical and strangely restorative.”

Dezso works across a broad range of mediums including: drawing, painting, artist’s books, embroidery, cut paper, animation, sculpture, site-specific installation, and public art.

“Community Garden,” Dezso’s mosaic in the New York City subway, was recognized as Best American Public Art in 2007 by Americans for the Arts. Her editorial illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Harper’s Magazine. Dezso exhibits in museums and galleries around the world.

An associate professor of Art at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., Dezso maintains studios in New York City and western Massachusetts. She received a master of fine arts degree in Visual Communication from the Hungarian University of Design in Budapest and a bachelor of fine arts degree in Graphic Design and Typography from the Hungarian University of Design in Budapest.

To schedule a group tour or to request an exhibition catalog, contact Marion Art Gallery Director Barbara Racker at 673-4897 or

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday noon to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 6 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

Funding for this exhibition is provided by the Fredonia College Foundation’s Cathy and Jesse Marion Endowment Fund and the Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center.