(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Works by six female Hudson Valley artists working in a variety of media are featured in a new winter exhibition featuring a large-scale fabric installation and finely detailed drawings, painting, and collage at Carrie Haddad Gallery, opening Wednesday, December 7, with an artists’ reception on Saturday, December 10, from 5 to 7pm. Artists featured include Kate Hamilton, Andrea Moreau, Louise Laplante, Elizabeth Coyne, Laura Von Rosk and Eileen Murphy. Their work offers unique commentary on the political, personal, and environmental observations of what it means to live in a global community today. The work remains on view through January 22.
New Paltz-based Kate Hamilton will exhibit larger-than-life garments made of sewn sailcloth in the front gallery. Suspended from the ceiling, a giant “Baby Bonnet” and “Pussy-Bow Shirt” dance above the floor; familiar shapes presented in unprecedented scale, breaking our usual associations with clothing. The large-scale garments culturally labeled as feminine create a metaphor for the female experience and confront the viewer with the strict gender roles still prevalent in society. The enormous pussy-bow shirt pays tribute to professional women feeling compelled to dress like men in order to compete in the workplace. Most notably, the design came into the spotlight when Yves Saint Laurent made it part of his signature Le Smoking ‘power suit’ look. The only difference between this design and Hamilton’s male counterparts is the encumbering, feverishly constructed bow, a clear signifier of the frustration felt in the fight to equity. Human size shoes, crafted from paper, climb the gallery walls. Made in an assortment of styles, each shoe is suggestive of a specific woman making choices that show who she is as she walks in the world. Hamilton learned to sew at a young age and went on to study at F.I.T. in New York and Brown University in Providence, RI. Her kinetic sculpture has been installed in many museums, galleries, and alternative spaces throughout the country. The artist also creates costumes and sets for international art performances and festivals.
Andrea Moreau’s drawings begin with imagery found on postage stamps. From places domestic or foreign, visited or only imagined, she sees these stamps as cultural and geographical artifacts. Not just any stamp can serve as a point of departure; the stamps that are ultimately used in her drawings all share an energy that inspire a world beyond what is initially depicted. Oftentimes, the chosen stamps originate from countries engaged in conflict. Unsettling updates heard on the news or read in the paper challenge her to imagine these places; the visual landscape and the concerns of the people who live there. The drawings have an almost clumsy quality to them as she draws the connection between the evidence of what is real and what can be pieced together from the information streamed from the rest of the world. Originally from Chicago, Moreau has an MFA in painting and drawing from Ohio State University and currently lives with her family in Beacon, N.Y.
Mixed media artist Louise Laplante will exhibit new drawings on collaged pages of vintage paper. Interested in blending the old world with the new, Laplante combines her original images with ephemera of the past, inspiring questioning about its “relevancy to the present.” Her compositions begin with vintage book pages, personal handwritten letters, sheet music, or instruction from old guides on etiquette or science. While the text itself is weighted with reference to a particular subject, the visual of the typed or handwritten words and printed illustrations establish a unique pattern. These layered backgrounds are superimposed with opaque charcoal drawings that are inspired by the themes read between the lines. Most recently, the artist has opted for larger-scale work, combining multiple sheets of vintage paper to expand her unique motifs. In the six and a half foot tall work, “Chorus”, a flock of multi-colored birds are stenciled on collaged sheets of handwritten music. They gravitate in a gloriously dynamic upward movement, illustrating their song resonating in harmonious unison. Other work is decorated with groupings of blue whales, billowy clouds, or gentlemen’s hats, while some selections are riddled with personal references that are blurred with whitewash. Laplante exhibits across the Northeast and has shown with Carrie Haddad for more than ten years.
In her second exhibit with the gallery, Elizabeth Coyne will exhibit recent abstract paintings which the artist describes as “a synthesis of the mind.” The large-scale canvases are composed with gestural brush strokes and dark hued oil paint. The imagery emerges as a collection of abstracted symbols, blending the artist’s perception of the surrounding world with a personal visual language. Coyne says her canvas has become a space for mediation, where the intimate connection to the world around her is communicated visually. Evidence of this meditative state is noticeable in Coyne’s recent work completed in 2016, which has become increasingly ethereal. Compositions are broader and more gestural, where the artist’s personal narrative, yet still visible, has taken a back seat to grand displays of painterly brushstrokes. Coyne earned her M.F.A. at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY and has since been featured in exhibitions internationally. Her work is featured in private and public collections and has been included in publications such as Architectural Digest & The Chicago Tribune, among others.
After moving to the rural town of Stone Ridge, N.Y., seventeen years ago and starting a four-acre botanical garden with her husband, mixed media artist Allyson Levy has found endless inspiration in the plant kingdom that surrounds her. The garden itself, named “Hortus Conclusus”, consisting of thousands of rare plants and edibles, remains at the epicenter of Levy’s art making. A fascination with earth’s bounty is expressed with her works in encaustic. Assorted organic material such as leaves, seeds, branches, insect wings, and flowers are decoratively arranged in a layer of beeswax, encaustic and pigment. Some panels have richly pigmented backgrounds; specks of gold found in poppy pods reflect off a mat black base and plum purple contrasts the natural coloration of birch bark. Following her original inspiration based on a 15th century practice of preserving seeds in wax during extended sea voyages, Levy’s intentions are to capture and reflect on a specific moment in the material’s life span. Adding, “from sprout to decay, the viewer is visually confronted with the profoundly beautiful, devastating and inevitable cycle.” Allyson Levy has exhibited with the gallery and regionally since 2000.
Laura Von Rosk will exhibit new paintings that blend subconscious memory of natural forms and real world influences into ‘constructed’ landscapes. Visions of observed landscapes are filtered through the artist’s mind, where the natural forms are repeated, emphasized, and manipulated into wondrous environments filled with lush green valleys, winding turquoise rivers, or dreamlike tree formations. Painted on 12” wood panels, Von Rosk has become a master at envisioning fantastical worlds on an intimate scale. Layer upon layer of oil paint are built up on flawlessly smooth wood panel surfaces, glossed with a thick coat of varnish. The artist received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and her BFA from SUNY Purchase. She has received a NYFA painting fellowship and a grant from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation among other awards for her work. Von Rosk currently lives and works in the Adirondacks.
Eileen Murphy’s oil paintings are built like stage sets, charged with the energy of something about to happen. She invites us to fall in love with light in a series of detailed landscapes focused on three small ponds near her parents’ in Hillsdale, N.Y. Shadowed fields, glistening water, and wooded paths are completed in passages of fluid brushwork and precise detail. Patches of expansive sky and grassy fields are separated by contrasting horizons where Murphy displays her skill in hyper realistic brushwork. Her subjects are simple, yet tensions build from the contrast of the clear blue sky and the stillness of the leaf-covered ground. Murphy is based in Brooklyn and received her M.F.A. at Pratt Institute and has since shown nationally, while exhibiting with Carrie Haddad Gallery since 2009.
Located at 622 Warren Street in Hudson, NY, Carrie Haddad Gallery is open daily 11-5pm.