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Do not go gentle to QC exhibit, but go!

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The paintings and poems of the late Bruce Rosen will be the focus of an art exhibit on aging, "Do Not Go Gentle: Poetry and the Paintings of Bruce Rosen," at the Queens College Art Center, Thursday, March 22 through Saturday, May 5.

Rosen, an author of studies of Melville with a doctorate in American literature, had taught poetry, fiction, and drama courses, including "Do Not Go Gentle: the Poetry and Fiction of Growing Older," at the New School in Manhattan. His artwork challenges the stereotypes of aging; he introduced his course in the New School catalog by quoting Dylan Thomas: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

"I am interested in a meditative art that can lead the viewer toward a deeper perception of the life of the spirit," wrote Rosen, who died in 1996. "Art should enhance life."

Rosen wrestled with hopes of transcendence, the universal quest for identity, the conflict of generations, and the inevitability of death, said his wife, Maxine.

"His paintings reflected those concerns," she said in an interview with the Times-Ledger, comparing the "poetic nature of his paintings to the poetry that he knew and loved and taught."

"Rosen was devoted to literature," said critic and essayist Carter Ratcliff. "Literature and its medium, language, haunt his art. Rosen's pictures have their meanings somewhere in a realm beyond poetry. {His] art is so rich with metaphor...yet, he is no realist, either."

Ratcliff, a contributing editor for Art in America, will be the guest poet at a reading of Rosen's poems on Thursday, April 26, at 4 p.m. Brynn Edyn Rosen, daughter of the late artist, and friend Edward Warshow, with poet Elizabeth Pallitto as the moderator, will read Rosen's poems, followed by a reception.

"These small, generally somber, paintings...seem to imply some vague prior activity," said art critic Phyllis Braff of The New York Times. "Even the most minute gestural scratch can seem metaphorical."

"Because he is a gifted artist of many levels," said Rose C. S. Slivka, an art critic for the East Hampton Star, "his works reflect both intellect and intuition."

Christina Mossaides Strassfield, curator of East Hampton's Guild Hall Museum from 1990 to 1996, will share first-hand knowledge of Rosen at a gallery talk on Wednesday, March 28, at 4 p.m. An opening reception will be held at 5 p.m.

Vernita Nemec is the guest curator of the exhibit.

Hours for the gallery, at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing, are Mondays to Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on weekends and holidays, except Saturday, May 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. From April 9 to 13, the gallery hours will be from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call (718) 997-ARTS.

Reach Qguide writer Sherry Sung by email at timesledgr@aol.com, or call 229-0300, Ext. 139.

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