Radius 50

Filed in Exhibitions, Past Exhibitions by on September 1, 2018

View the Radius 50 Catalog

September 1 – October 7, 2018

Panel Discussion: Saturday, September 8, 2:30 PM
Juror, Vittorio Calabrese, Director, Magazzino Italian Art
will be joined by Radius 50 artists Adelaine Muth, Elin Menzies, Tony Moore, Ken Dreyfack and Norman Magnusson.

Reception to follow: Saturday, September 8, 4 – 6 PM

MAIN, SOLO and FOUNDERS GALLERIES

Exhibiting Artists:
James Adelman
J.H. Aronson
Arlene Becker
Gabe Brown
Fred Di Vito
Ken Dreyfack
Lisbeth Firmin
Dan Goldman
Scott Goldwyn
Michael Hunt
Len Jenkin
Norman Magnusson

Elin Menzies
Tony Moore
James Murray
Adelaine Muth
Kenneth Nelson
Franc Palaia
Rob Penner
Linnea Pergola
Bill Rybak
Richard Scherr
Marcia Slatkin
Gregory Slick
Natalie Wargin
Anna West

With a lengthy history of attracting artists, the Hudson Valley region has become the home of creative minds migrating from large, urban locations for any sort of reasons: from personal to political. Radius 50, inaugurated in August 2017, was created in order to highlight the work of artists living within 50 miles of Woodstock, NY in the Mid-Hudson/Catskills region and their diverse backgrounds. In the second installment of Radius 50, I decided to investigate the ideas of urbanity, rurality, and dreamscapes through the work of 26 artists living in the area.

A common theme that these artists share is living in the surrounding Hudson area. Working at Magazzino Italian Art, located in the Hudson Valley in Cold Spring, led me to getting to know how diverse and layered the local community is. One of the things I was familiar with about the Hudson Valley prior to working here was the long outstanding art history associated with the Hudson River School of Painting, a movement centered around using landscape as one of its core themes. It’s incredible to note that it is this same landscape that is still part of the narrative in many of the artist submissions. As I further examined the artworks submitted to the open call, I began to question what a landscape really was. As a child, it was one of the simplest things one could depict, drawing the environment you saw around you. However, a landscape can also be used to define a community, politics, among other things that may not be tangible in that region. The landscape can then be further manipulated to make it personal and experiential, which is seen in a large number of the works selected.

The selection of works on view at WAAM features different landscapes: cityscapes, works which depict a rural view of the local surroundings; and dreamscapes – surrealist, intimate and sometimes even political inner landscapes featuring the artists’ encounters. These three themes and how the artists manipulate them show us how a landscape can be reformatted, whether via medium or representation.

Looking at the statements and biographies of the artists who submitted their work, I noticed that many are not from the area but rather moved from an urban area, often New York City, for different reasons. There is a sense of nostalgia for the urban conflicting with a desire to escape from it, making the Hudson Valley appear almost as a sort of promised land, a territory that is facing dramatic changes and challenges in order to harmonize the ecosystem of old and new communities that defines its own history and identity.

Has it become filled with “émigrés” from the New York City area, dreamers heading to a promised land of a much more sustainable art world, or native residents? We should also consider why these artists left the city in the first place. Considering the widespread gentrification happening across the boroughs in New York City, will we eventually see the same thing happen in the Hudson Valley? Or will life here remain relatively steadfast?

I am honored to be working with Woodstock Artists Association & Museum. I would like to thank everyone for this opportunity who allowed me to learn more about artists in the Hudson Valley and to reflect on the changing art scene here. I also want to thank Carl Van Brunt for inviting me to be the juror for the Radius 50 exhibition at WAAM and all of the talented artists that submitted their work.

Vittorio Calabrese
Director, Magazzino Italian Art

 

Editing: Karolina Chojnowska
Acknowledgments: Tiffany Miller, Gabriella Perez

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