Frohawk Two Feathers

February 7 - May 10, 2015

Frohawk Two Feathers
All of Your Tomorrows are Forfeit, 2013  
Frohawk Two Feathers
In My Younger Days I Used to Sport a Stag, 2013

Frohawk Video

Frohawk, artist and storyteller, paints and writes stories about battles, conquests, and the cast of characters that make it all happen for his imaginary Republic of Frengland. In ink, acrylic and tea, on paper and on canvas, Frohawk, born Umar Rashid in 1976, creates a fictional world that looks quite a bit like our real one.

Frohawk Two Feathers opens at the Hudson River Museum on February 7, 2015. The exhibition is the fifth and last in Frohawk’s series The American Proteus: An Invocation and the Wars Between the Rivers.  Proteus, mythic Greek god of rivers and seas, is an apt name for the contemporary myth Frohawk fashions as he chronicles the struggles of European adventurers and colonists, North American Indians, and black slaves and soldiers who quarrel on the banks of the Hudson all the way up to Lake Oneida, north and east of the New York city of Syracuse.

The action begins in 1791 and continues through 1793, at about the same time as the real city of New York on the southern tip of the island of Manhattan was thriving under English rule, the Dutch having unwillingly departing the boundaries this city that they called New Amsterdam. The subsequent real skirmishes in the Hudson Valley are echoed in the conflicts, peppered with victories, in Kill Your Best Ideas. Real and not real, fact and fiction, Frengland (a combo of France, England, and Ireland) and Batavia (the Netherlands) fight the climactic Battle of Yonkers, recorded and viewed for the first time in the Hudson River Museum’s exhibition. The Battle of Yonkers and the Death of Iroquois Chief Joseph are two new large works on canvas especially made for this exhibition.

Frohawk Two Feathers, an Illinois native who now lives and works in Los Angeles, California, first studied photography, film, and writing at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has had recent solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Wellin Museum of Art, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, the Nevada Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and he has participated in many  group shows.

The exhibition is organized by Bartholomew F. Bland, Deputy Director, Hudson River Museum, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.

Images courtesy of the artist and Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York

  Promoting the President
In celebration of Washington’s Birthday

February 7 – May 10, 2015

Gilbert Stuart. George Washington (Thorndike-Forbes Portrait), 1820. Collection of Alexandra Farbman Shapiro Gen. George Washington, The Father of his Country
Hand colored lithograph, published by James Baillie, mid-19th century Courtesy of The Old Print Shop, New York

We look for our president in paintings, photographs, and sculpture, where we may see him as a warrior, family man, or a man of faith. Washington, the nation’s first soldier and president, is the prototype for political promotion, too. For this exhibition, Gilbert Stuart’s famous  painting, George Washington, on loan to the Museum, as well as the Museum’s collection of artifacts and engravings show this leader in images beautiful, respectful, and, sometimes, flamboyant, that were made to frame our vision of him and charge our patriotism and memories.

George Washington was painted three times by American painter Gilbert Stuart between 1775 and 1776.  Everyone wanted a portrait of the hero of the American Revolution and Gilbert, himself, made rare copies of his second — “The Atheneum portrait.” All are treasured.  One, at the Museum for this exhibition, shows the president looking to the right out at the viewer, his left hand framed by a gilded arm rest.

Most images of Washington show him an elder statesman, bringing peace and stability to the new nation of the United States after the turmoil of its Revolutionary War. The Museum complements the Stuart portrait with popular prints of Washington and early books that illustrate his life, many donated to its collection in the 1930s, following the 200th-year celebration of Washington’s birth.

The successful visual promotion of Washington to his public was adopted by the presidents who followed. By Lincoln’s time as president from 1861 to 1865, photographs like the paintings less than a century before were becoming the vehicle for showing the president at work in the many roles assigned to him.  An effort was made to link both leaders in the public’s perception as seen in this exhibition in a pair of 1860s’ engravings based on paintings by Walter Schell, The Washington Family and The Lincoln Family. In each, the president is seated, his wife and children surrounding him, a grouping that reflects the 19th-century’s idealization of domestic life and that society’s desire to see its leaders as moral men.

The combination of the magnificent Gilbert Stuart loan with the art and popular culture collections from the Museum’s holdings has much to tell us about how we view and remember historical figures.
      The exhibition is organized by the Hudson River Museum.

  Leah Harper: Complimentary
February 1 - 28, 2015


Not a rose, not a candy, but even better, it’s a Compliment for you in time for Valentine’s Day. Artist Leah Harper turns the everyday vending machine (with a long tradition of spewing out gumballs and tiny toys) into a Compliment dispensing marvel. Harper’s interactive art piece, “Complimentary,” will be installed in the Hudson River Museum Lobby.

Turn the knob on the dispenser and out comes your compliment in a plastic toy capsule, and for free! A container next to the dispenser lets you dispose of the plastic capsule for recycling. If you want to give a compliment, too, there is a box close by in which to place it.  Your submitted compliment will be incorporated into a spreadsheet of good words Harper gathers from submissions and online surveys. Her favorite compliment to date, “If you were a potato, you would be a sweet potato.”

The Compliment dispenser first made its appearance this fall at New York City’s Art in Odd Places festival and its cheerful mission is the direct output from Harper’s study of design for social causes at the Maryland Institute College of Art.  Her work also featured in Site95’s “Transforming New York Street Objects” and FIGMENT Festival NYC make environments eventful and interesting, inviting you to join the fun.

Looking ahead, she says, “I want to do more work that makes people happy!”

Compliments Do Just That. Samples from the Compliment Dispenser:

You Are the Mercedes-Benz of Caviar!

You’ve Certainly Gotten Enough Beauty Sleep!

That Smile Looks Beautiful on You!

  The Seven Deadly Sins: Envy
An Installation by Adrien Broom

June 6 – September 26, 2015

Adrien Broom. The White Bride, The Black Bride (based on The White Bride and the Black One by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 135 2014), 2014. Photograph. (Mary and Lucy Firestone, models).

The smoldering “green-eyed monster,” envy, the most corrosive of the seven sins, makes its appearance at the Hudson River Museum. Part of the Westchester/Fairfield Museum Alliance (FWMA),a cultural collaboration begun in 2009, the Hudson River Museum joins seven of the region’s art institutions to present Envy, in The Seven Deadly Sins, the Alliance’s inaugural exhibition that launches in Spring 2015, and continues into summer and fall.  Sin, a favorite subject of painters and poets over centuries, provides grist for provocative art exhibitions and programs for the public, and is offered free to Museum Alliance members. FWMA Members participating in The Seven Deadly Sins are: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, CT): Sloth; Bruce Museum (Greenwich, CT): Pride; Hudson River Museum (Yonkers, NY): Envy; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (Peekskill, NY): Lust; Katonah Museum of Art (Katonah, NY): Gluttony; Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase, NY): Greed; Wave Hill (Bronx, NY): Wrath

Multimedia artist Adrien Broom interprets “envy” at the Hudson River Museum from June 6
to September 26, 2015. Envy is the sin we are most likely to conceal, successfully or unsuccessfully. Unlike lust and gluttony, there is seems little pleasure to be taken in envy, instead, this covetous emotion implies not just resentment of others but dissatisfaction with oneself.  

For her installation, Broom creates Web of Envy, and in its entangling filaments we catch glimpses of objects that have always stimulated envious desire – a beautiful face, a youthful body, a pile of gold. Broom turns to social media, too, to discover contemporary causes of envy, then expands our look at this sin in a Gallery of Fairy Tales, peopled by characters whose envy for what others enjoy enlivens age-old stories, just as it warns us to beware of its fruits. Snow White’s stepmother longs for her stepdaughter’s youth and beauty; Cinderella’s stepsisters scheme to take her place. Kings, queens, knights, and fairy godmothers, who covet what others have, plot to get it, and are ruined by their evil envy. We may not recognize all the names of the Gallery’s kings and queens that harken back of the days of the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm but some of the faces in these portraits are straight from today’s media — such as the Firestone Sisters, Mary and Lucy, travelers and lifestyle enablers, who here the Black and White Brides from the Grimm fairy tale, competing for a king. Broom says, “Fairy tales are very dark, but very fascinating. I'm going to be living in those old, old texts for a while.” Colors, barometers to our feelings, make up the Colors of Life, Broom’s photography series, and the third part of her installation. Most definitely the wheel will show us the green of envy as well as colors that signal light, curiosity, and transformation. 

Adrien Broom lives and works in Brooklyn and is an artist with a penchant for the bizarre and beautiful. She took a degree in computer animation from Northeastern University and studied fine art in Florence and art history in London. Broom's photographs have been featured in numerous exhibitions in Connecticut and New York City, as well as in the American Dreamers exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence in 2012. The exhibition is organized by the Hudson River Museum and curated by Bartholomew Bland, the Museum’s Deputy Director.


  Dancers Among Us: Jordan Matter
October 17, 2015 – January 17, 2016

Jordan Matter. Dancers Among Us (Meghan G. Meehan at the Hudson River Museum, October 2014). Courtesy of the artist

Jordan Matter’s stunning photographs appear at the Hudson River Museum in Fall 2015 in the exhibition Dancers Among Us, the photographer’s first major museum exhibition in the United States. Matter’s photographs, the subject of the New York Times-acclaimed best-selling book of the same name, Dancers Among Us, is “A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday,” just as it highlights the exuberance of the dancers who interpret a day’s moments, big and small, in beautiful movement.  Over thirty of Matter’s images, which include photographs from his book, new work, and new images of Westchester scenes, will be presented.

Matter’s photographs dancers off the stage in unexpected places, no computer manipulation allowed. The world is his studio — its streets, libraries, playing fields, coffee shops, and highways. First a portrait photographer, Matter soon focused on the entire human figure and in the spontaneous movement of the dancer for a purpose — to use the dancer’s leaps and movement in everyday settings to capture life’s moments that we all live — joy, love, silence, grief, curiosity. He titles his photographs with his wit, poetry, and sometimes, quotations from  performers to philosophers, from Sammy Davis Jr. to Goethe.  We see A Good Catch  in a bikinied swimmer playfully tossed in New Rochelle’s waters, A young woman seems to hover in air above a Columbus Circle park bench in Rise Above it All, and illustrates Emily Dickinson’s phrase, “I Dwell in Possibility.” In another New York scene, Opening Night, a dancer points her toes at a starry sky, giving truth to Dante’s verse, “If thou follow thy star, thou canst not fail of a glorious heaven.”  Another dancer in Skinny Dip, her muscles gleaming in Chicago’s night lights, bounds close to Lake Michigan’s shoreline, reminding us of the Zen saying, “Leap and the Net Will Appear.”

Matter makes his point with light, color, and a supreme ability to capture a moment in time. Of the dancers so integral to his message, he writes, “Dancers are. . . trained to capture passion with their bodies. They often create a fantasy world or offer us a deeper look into familiar settings.

Weekend programs will feature a wide variety of live dance performances on a stage in the Museum galleries.     Dancers Among Us: Jordan Matter is organized by the Hudson River Museum.