December 16, 2003 – January 3, 2004


New York, NY – On December 16, 2003, Forum Gallery will present A Holiday Celebration, an exhibition of colorful and celebratory works by Forum Gallery artists both directly related to the coming Holiday Season and appropriate for gift-giving.

In our Fourth Floor gallery, we will exhibit, for the first time in New York, Nelson Shanks’ Portrait of Pope John Paul II. The portrait was part of a yearlong exhibition entitled "St. Peter's and the Legacy of the Pope" that traveled throughout the United States. Shanks’ likeness of the pope confidently extends a five-hundred-year tradition of papal portraits, informed by the artist’s intense reading of the Old Masters. The painter has rendered with intense insight a towering historical personality near the end of his life, yet a figure who seems altogether contemporary and familiar, a universal father.

Shanks portrays the pope standing, offering benediction in the Great Crossing of Saint Peter’s Basilica, at the center of the church reaching out to the faithful. The idea that the pope follows Christ as the "light of the world" prompted the artist to reconcile multiple sources of light from Michelangelo’s cupola to Bernini’s Holy Spirit window seen through the baldachino. Perhaps most conspicuously, Shanks has captured the translucence of his rosy-white flesh, which seems to be the result of yet another source of light altogether.

Pope John Paul II

©Nelson Shanks, courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York.


Commission portraits by Nelson Shanks include those of the late Her Royal Highness, Princess Diana, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Luciano Pavarotti, and J. Carter Brown. The Portrait of Pope John Paul II will be on view until January 31, 2004.

In the Fifth Floor galleries, artists Mark Podwal and Chaim Gross (1904 - 1991) will be represented by thematic watercolor paintings, while Brian Rutenberg, Robert Cottingham, Martha Mayer Erlebacher and Frederick Brosen will exhibit delightful and reasonably priced works that will brighten the season. A new painting, Creche, 2002-3, oil on canvas, 39.5 x 39.5 inches by Linden Frederick is a special feature of the exhibition, which also includes a 1938 drawing of Scrooge by American artist Everett Shinn. Past and present, modern to contemporary, Forum Gallery's Holiday Celebration is in the spirit of all the holidays to come.

A Holiday Celebration: Works by Forum Gallery Artists opens December 16, 2003, with a reception from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, and will be on view through January 3, 2004. Nelson Shanks’ Portrait of Pope John Paul II remains on view until January 31, 2004.

HOURS: 10 am to 5:30 PM TELEPHONE: 212-355-4545

Tuesday - Saturday FAX: 212-355-4547

LOCATION: 745 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street


Contact: Bonnie Meyers