Plainsboro Public Library Gallery – September 2018  —  Photographer Lionel Goodman returns to the Gallery at Plainsboro Library with “Uncommon Faces”. It is a collection of portraits, but according to Goodman, it is really an exhibit about “the emotions as revealed by images of people’s faces (e.g., contemplation, satisfaction, anxiousness)”. The idea was inspired by a 2002 trip to Arles, France, the artist took with his wife Ruth, while attending an International Photography Conference as part of his 75th birthday celebration. Says Goodman, “Two memories remain especially etched.  First: the hotel’s toilets flushed with steaming hot water! Second: lots of conversation about the two schools of thought regarding photographing people — the photographer remaining “invisible” to the subject as in Clemens Kalisher’s 1930s refugee faces; or quite the opposite — establishing a connection with the subject as in much of Diane Arbus’ photography (e.g. “Revelations” 1959, 2001).

Most of the images in the exhibit were taken during a conversation between the subject and photographer (see “Puppeteer,” and “The Framer”). Others were shot with the photographer “invisible” (see “Home In Paris”, and “Wall Street Occupier”). The subjects were selected for their emotional clarity, and a few were carefully posed (“Wine Connoisseur”).

The exhibit runs September 1 – 26, and an art reception will be held Sunday, September 16, 2 – 4 pm, with Goodman available to chat about his work.

Lionel Goodman, a Princeton resident, is emeritus professor of physical chemistry at Rutgers University. He was a Guggenheim Fellow for his work on why molecules have the shape that they have, using laser spectroscopy. His interest in photography began after his retirement fifteen years ago, and since then he has had several one-man shows, most recently People, Places, Poetry, And Prose, at Pennington School (2012) Some People at Princeton University (2013) and The Way We Live Now, at Plainsboro Library (2015). He has received awards for his people- oriented photographs from prestigious institutions such as Phillips Mill, the Salmagundi Club in New York City, Perkins Art Center, Princeton Photography Club and Mercer County Arts Council. His photograph “About to Depart” hangs in the Johnson and Johnson Art Museum. He was awarded First in Show at the Grounds For Sculpture Photography Exposition in 2009 and 2010, and has served as Program Chairman of the Princeton Photography Club for 4 years.

The Plainsboro Library is located at 9 Van Doren Street, Plainsboro, NJ. Hours are 10-8:30 Monday – Thursday, and 10-5 Friday – Sunday.  For more information, call 609-275-2897.


Donna Senopoulos
Plainsboro Public Library

Lionel Goodman