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Easton artist William J. Zehngut will give a lecture at noon today in Williams Center room 108 in conjunction with his exhibit at the Williams Center gallery, entitled “William J. Zehngut: A Moment’s View.”

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, call 610-330-5603.

Running through Sunday, Jan. 27, the exhibit is curated by Deborah Rabinsky, one-time owner of the former De Arte Magick Galleria in Easton.

“The exhibition conveys the presence and immediacy of his paintings as well as examines his growing confidence and deepening passions over a period of 20-plus years,” says Rabinsky. “A self-taught painter of highly disciplined development, Zehngut communicates his unique vision in portraits, cityscapes, and landscapes. His compositional sophistication and structural strength are uninterrupted and consistent from the earliest works in the show to the most recent.”

“Here is a body of work that resonates with that fever-pitch quality of an important memory or dream — not the dream of Freud or the Surrealists, but the kind of mental impressions of a place existentially encountered and deeply felt,” writes Isadore LaDuca, art history and drawing instructor at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem. Zehngut’s work has often been compared to the German expressionists and to early Matisse, he notes. “Even so, there is an aesthetic signature all his own.”

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1939, Zehngut attended High School of Art and Design in New York. Having drawn all his life, the artist did not start painting until the age of 27. He primarily developed his talents while driving taxicabs and buses for a living. During the 1980s, Zehngut belonged to a group of artists in New York City called the Street Painters, who primarily were interested in depicting the city environment of the time and shared ideas at gatherings.

It was during this exciting period that Zehngut’s Manhattan images reached a level of personal maturity, according to LaDuca. “Of course, recent events have added an iconological significance to any scene of the New York skyline, one no artist could ever have imagined. But even if that attaches a kind of nostalgia to these works, the initial expressive power is never reduced to mere sentimentality.”

Zehngut moved to the Lehigh Valley with his family in 1997. His new surroundings are evident in several exhibited works, including Near Jacobsburg, Asbury, New Jersey, and View Near Pen Argyl, # 2 — all created within the past two years.

Zehngut’s art has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Banana Factory, Bethlehem (2001); CentreSpace, Easton (1998); Eastern Monroe County Library, Stroudsburg (1997); Marble and Granite Gallery, New York (1991); Second Story Spring Street, New York (1974); and Panoras Gallery, New York (1969). His works have been included in nearly 30 group exhibitions, including shows within the last two years at several Easton venues: Cinema Paradiso, MCS Gallery, Gallery at St. John’s, and CentreSpace. In 1989, Zehngut participated in a mural commissioned by the New York City Transit Authority. His work also is represented in the corporate collections of Amerada Hess, Chemical Bank, and Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, as well as numerous private collections.

Gallery hours in January are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, email or call 610-330-5361.

The exhibition series is presented under provisions of the Detwiller Endowment. The gallery is funded in part through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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