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Art Exhibit Displays Images of WTC

By Abner Bruno

Painter Bart Elsbach brought the sensations of the World Trade Center to the University with drawings of the 91st floor of the North Tower.

"Final Drawings From the 91st floor of the World Trade Center" will run until Dec. 4. With these pen-on-paper drawings, Elsbach depicts different views of the City and New Jersey. He created these series of oil paintings and drawings for three months in 2001, shortly before 9/11, in a space leased to him by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

The exhibit includes views from the building 1,000 feet above the city, rooftops and streets below and the interior of the building around Elsbach's studio.

Elsbach's, "Facade-237" shows a haunting image of the windows from the North Tower. This hand-drawn photograph depicts an aerial side view of the building amplifying the view looking downwards from Elsbach's studio while capturing the complexity of the building.

"The pictures are very detailed and realistic," Marielle Maffetone, junior public relations major said. "The fine lines make it very real."

Elsbach lived in the New York City for 25 years, studied at the Arts Students League and earned his Masters of Fine Arts from New York University. Elsbach is a recipient of the Lower Manhattan Council "World View" Fellowship and in 1990 spent seven months painting in England, France and Holland.

Elsbach's work has been exhibited throughout the United States since 1988 including the OK Harris Gallery in Soho. He is represented by the UTE Gallery in Massachusetts, the David Klein Gallery in Birmingham, Mich. and the M.A Doran Gallery in Tulsa, Okla.

According to his Web site, Elsbach said, "These subjects and the space in which they were created, were a departure from my usual artistic experience and now the whole experience that produced them has become a departure from my normal frame of reference. In the aftermath of overwhelming events, I find myself again drawn to the solace of details and careful attention. I feel a strong reminder that the immense structures that overwhelm with their immutable permanence can vanish, leaving us alone with only the impermanence of our vision and memory."

Maffetone said the exhibit allowed her to appreciate the World Trade Center even more. Being a native New Yorker she felt very drawn to the artwork and would recommend this exhibit to anyone.

"It gives me a sense of appreciation," she said. "In retrospect you have these pictures to look at because the buildings are no longer there."

The drawings of the World Trade Center by painter Bart Elsbach, will be on display until Dec. 4. (Harry Tanielyan/The Chronicle)

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