Three New York-based painters present recent landscape and still life paintings in an exhibition curated by Professor of Visual Arts Su Friedrich.

About the Exhibition

The title of the show, Amor Mundi, references a quotation by the great philosopher Hannah Arendt, “What is difficult is to love the world as it is.” How do we come to accept the world as it is in our current public context, where information is incoherent, natural resources are depleted, and the noise of war is near? Painters Cathy Nan Quinlan, Cecilia Whittaker-Doe, and Rachel Youens respond to these conflictual circumstances by finding “nature” close to home: around a corner, near a doorstep, or on a tabletop. Nature in this case means squared geographies of disorder, both designed and wild, of seemingly impossible profusions of growth and sedimentation, a compilation of highly designed radiating and branching modules. Each artist moves through their environment sensing and observing its world in unexpected encounters, engaging in a three-way relationship between self, subject, and canvas. Through sensuous form, gesture, and color, each painter imaginatively transforms and re-presents their findings, transfiguring the way they that are seen from external features into internal radiances. In a rubble strewn lot near her home, Cathy Nan Quinlan cultivates what she calls a weed garden. Reworking that world in her nearby studio, she explores her memories, expressed in her characteristically analytic brush stroke, that often springs into painterly handwriting. Cecilia Whittaker-Doe reconstructs sites she knows in her backyard and the Catskill mountains. She reorders their elements with gestural marks and, in some paintings, employs screen-printing, to visualize her experience of shifting terrains, spaces, and views. Rachel Youens transports natural elements into her studio to paint still life tableaus strewn across a table. Her objects coalesce into characteristic groupings, locational situations with varying horizons, wherein she finds passages of rhythm through overlapping forms and color harmonies.

How do we reckon with inhumanity in the world, and with what is happening in nature every day? Arendt says that in order to find understanding of the world we must stand apart from it, turning inward through solitude to see the world as it is, without sentiment. Quinlan, Whittaker-Doe, and Youens find a place of solitude, where they plant their feet firmly on the ground to make their paintings, and where, as Arendt wrote: “It is through the love of the world, that we make ourselves at home in the world.”

View the Exhibition

The exhibition is free; no tickets required. Princeton students, faculty and staff can access the Hurley Gallery on Monday-Thursday from 12-6 PM.

The general public can view the exhibition and meet the artists in the Hurley Gallery on the following dates:

  • June 9 from 4-7 PM
  • June 16 + 23 from 12-6 PM
  • June 29 from 4-7 PM

Get directions to the Hurley Gallery and find other venue information for the arts complex.

COVID-19 Guidance + Updates

Per Princeton University policy, all guests are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to the maximum extent, which now includes a COVID booster shot for all eligible to receive it, and to wear a mask when indoors. Before attending the exhibit, please register by using the TigerPass form to attest to your vaccination status.


symbol for wheelchair accessibilityThe event space is wheelchair accessible. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email at least one week in advance of the event date.


Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts