The Seven Deadly Sins: Envy
An Installation by Adrien Broom
June 6 – September 26, 2015
Web of Envy, 2015
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.
Video - Dancers Among Us: Jordan Matter - Making the Shot
Matter 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.
Oh Panama! Jonas Lie Paints the Panama Canal February 7 – May 8 2016
Central Wall, Pedro Miguel, 1913
Oil on canvas, 36 x 34 in.
Courtesy of the West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy
One hundred years ago the Panama Canal linked east to west, opening for the first time in history a water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Now the Panama Canal Expansion Project, slated for completion in 2016, will open a new water lane to more and larger ships. Celebrating today’s Panama project, Oh Panama! looks back to the determined and spirited efforts of the architects and crews who accomplished the 1914 canal that was captured in paintings by Jonas Lie from the West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy. Lie’s paintings continue today to impress viewers as a sublime and beautiful document of man’s relentless quest to conquer nature and harness its riches.
Heavenly Host, 1913 Oil on canvas,
50 x 60 inches
Courtesy of the West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy
Norwegian-born painter Jonas Lie (1880-1940) inspired by a motion picture documentary of the construction of the canal visited the Panama Canal Zone for three months in 1913. He was enthralled by the feats of engineering required to dig the Culebra Cut, as well as the sublime visual qualities of the massive trench being carved across the Isthmus of Panama. Working tirelessly in the intense tropical heat, he produced oil sketches and drawings and took careful notes on the technical aspects of the canal construction.
Recognized by his peers as a scientist and a poet for his depictions of New York City,
Lie’s canvasses were both historical documents of technological progress and dramatic interpretations of the urban environment. The thirty known pictures he made of Panama are lively and colorful, capturing the spirit of that endeavor as well as its heroic quality and monumental scale. Lie recalled the Panama experience as a pivotal moment in his career,
one from which he received national recognition for his work and also developed the aesthetic and technical strategies that influenced his landscape compositions from that point forward.
Panama by Air (Reel 4) (1914)
When Lie returned to New York, he exhibited twenty-eight paintings from the Panama cycle at the Knoedler Gallery; two —The Conquerors and Culebra Cut— were purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts before the exhibition embarked on a national tour in 1914. “… the exhibition embarked on a national tour in 1914. The exhibition was very popular with broad interest in Lie’s paintings fueled by publicity photographs, news reports, and the release of documentary films following the canal’s progress, such as the Edison Company’s The Joining of the Two Oceans, The Panama Canal.