L’heure entre chien et loup

Filed in Exhibitions, Past Exhibitions by on July 1, 2017
Konrad Cramer (1888-1963) Landscape with Figures, 1935 Lithograph Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Fortess

July 1 – Oct. 1, 2017

Reception: Saturday, July 1, 4-6 PM

Phoebe and Belmont Towbin Wing

Curated by Gregory Amenoff

Gallery Talk: Sunday, July 23, 2 PM

The title of this exhibition harkens back to notions popularized by the Symbolist poets and painters in the late 19th century. The full expression is l’heure entre chien et loup as it refers to that time of day (we often call it the witching hour) between daylight and darkness. The hour between the dog and the wolf… a time of uncertainty when the visible world drifts into a confusing lack of clear legibility. It is an hour of transition and to my thinking has a parallel in the shift from the conscious mind to the unconscious mind. It is an hour of mystery and can also carry with it a feeling of expectation and even fear. The murky light of film noir utilizes this condition of light to great effect. The French poets, Baudelaire, Malarme and Rimbaud and the painters, Redon (his pastels and prints in particular), Moreau, and the Belgian painter Fernand Khnopff were all engaged with dreams, visions and the vivid powers of imagination.

Using the vast collections of the Hudson Valley Visual Art Collections Consortium I made a selection of prints, paintings and photography and a few objects that spoke to this condition of light hopefully evoking this magic hour. I should say that not all the art works overlap precisely with the ideas popular in the late 19th Century but all, to my eye, have a resonance beyond their various representations. Locating content in art works is an elusive undertaking…it can take a narrative form, a formal form based around composition or color to name a few but in my choices I favored work that relied on conditions of light and atmosphere to carry the ‘message’. I hope the viewer will find places to dream, float and drift freely through these many works of art.

Gregory Amenoff
July 2017

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