Visual Artist Tom Nussbaum Reflects the World Through Form and Color in New Exhibition at Aljira

September 10, 2015 (Newark, New Jersey)Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce New Constructions, an exhibition of works by Tom Nussbaum, organized by Visiting Curator, Dexter Wimberly. An opening reception will be held at Aljira on September 24, 2015 from 6–9pm. The exhibition will be on view through December 19, 2015.

Tom Nussbaum’s work originates from a life-long interest in making art that expresses his view of the world using form and color. Nussbaum’s standing and wall-mounted constructions reflect his exploration of architecture and the structural frameworks of buildings and towers, mixed with references to the human figure. These works emerge from the artist’s deep interest in the formal concerns of painting and sculpture, as well as the interactions of color and form and the associations they carry.


Nussbaum explains, “My sculpture grew from non-traditional vessel making into sculptural basket-like forms. This work continued for a number of years in a series of painted wood structures referencing vessel forms, architecture, and the figure. Over time, I continued working with the figure in a series of painted metal sculptures, followed by a series of figures in painted ceramic and plaster/resin. After working with the figure for many years, in 2012 I returned to exploring more abstract structural forms, working in welded steel, wire, and paper.”

Many of Nussbaum’s new works investigate vessel forms or containers, and as such also connect to the history of ceramics and basket making. In his practice, Nussbaum explores the visual connections found in the fabrics and patterns of quilts and textiles from around the world. His new work also references forms found in nature, such as atomic models and cell structure, and man-made patterns such as interconnecting circuits and the worldwide web.


About Tom Nussbaum

Tom Nussbaum is known for a variety of work including sculpture, drawings, paper cuts, prints, children’s books, animations, functional design objects, and site-specific commissions. His sculpture and works on paper have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States, and internationally. Since 1987 he has completed over thirty site-specific commissions located in a variety of public settings including public plazas, train stations, schools, hospitals, and environmental centers.


Nussbaum has been a visiting artist and lecturer at colleges and universities, and has served on many peer review panels and juries. He has been awarded two New Jersey State Individual Artist Fellowships and has been a three time MacDowell Colony Fellow. He currently works from his studios in East Orange, NJ, and Burlington Flats, NY.

About the Curator  

Dexter Wimberly is an independent curator born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is the Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International (ICI). A passionate collector and supporter of the arts, he has exhibited the work of hundreds of artists in the U.S. and abroad. Wimberly maintains a critical dialogue with emerging artists throughout the world by way of his exhibitions, public programs, and lectures at galleries and public arts institutions. He has organized exhibitions and programs for Mixed Greens Gallery; Driscoll Babcock Galleries; 101 Exhibit; Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art; bitforms gallery; Koki Arts, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA); and The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; among others.


Also on view

Michael Paul Britto

Something in the Way of Things

September 24–December 19, 2015

Consisting of collage, sculpture, and video, as well as a site-specific installation, the exhibition addresses political and cultural awareness as well as the misconceptions and assumptions communicated by mass media in The United States. Britto’s practice challenges and encourages the viewer to think about socially nurtured assumptions of Blackness, poverty, youth, as well as the characteristics of acceptable behavior to create a perspective that is more responsive than reactionary.  By reclaiming that which has been appropriated, Britto presents messages that reflect the global influence of American culture. The exhibition’s title is an ode to African-American poet, activist and scholar, Amiri Baraka's (1934 – 2014), Something In The Way of Things (In Town), a poem that underscores the quest for social justice and explores interrelated issues of race, national oppression, self-determination and national liberation for Black people.

Both exhibitions are organized by Visiting Curator, Dexter Wimberly.


About Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art

Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art fosters excellence in the visual arts through exhibitions and educational programs that serve as catalysts for inclusiveness and diversity, promote cross-cultural dialog, and enable us to better understand the time in which we live. Public understanding and support of the visual arts are strengthened through collaboration and community-based educational programming. Aljira seeks out the work of emerging and underrepresented artists and brings the work of more established artists to our community. Through the visual arts Aljira bridges racial, cultural and ethnic divides and enriches the lives of individuals.

Aljira’s operations and programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Cultural Trust, Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation, Bank of America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Edison Properties Newark Foundation, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Lambent Foundation, MCJ Amelior Foundation, Merrill Lynch, Newark Downtown District, The New York Community Trust, Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc, PNC Bank, Prudential Financial, The Prudential Foundation, PSE&G Foundation, The Turrell Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and many generous individual contributors.

Aljira is located at 591 Broad Street in downtown Newark. For directions visit our website at The Center is open Wednesday through Friday, 12–6 pm and Saturday, 11 am–4pm. Phone 973 622-1600, fax 973 622-6526, Follow Aljira on Facebook:; on Instagram: www.instagram/aljiraart; on Tumblr: and Twitter: