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

Jordan Matter.  Hudson River Museum at Night, 2015.


Dancers leap and move in everyday settings to show us moments that we all live in joy, love, silence, grief, curiosity.

Video - Dancers Among Us: Jordan Matter - Making the Shot
Jordan Matter’s stunning photographs appear at Hudson River Museum Fall 2015 in the exhibition Dancers Among Us.

The first solo museum exhibition for Matter in the United States, it contains over 30 images — photographs from his acclaimed book Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday; new images from his upcoming book Tiny Dancers Among Us, and new photographs of dancers in our region. The exhibition, which fills three galleries, contains videos shot during Matter’s photo shoots First is a video montage of the dancers’ leaping; in another gallery,  a video shows his dynamic working process; and, in the gallery titled Serendipity, the 12-minute video Finding Serendipity chronicles the searach by Matter and dancers for the perfect place for the perfect pose.

Jordan Matter. Hudson River Museum at Night | Annamaria Mazzini. Yonkers, NY, 2015
Matter photographs dancers off stage and in unexpected places — no computer manipulation allowed. The world is his studio — its streets, libraries, playing fields, coffee shops, and highways. For Matter, the heart of dance is best captured outside performance in bustling city streets or juxtaposed with rural nature.

Starting his career a portrait photographer, Matter soon turned his interest to dance as he watched his children’s joy at play — an exuberance he wanted to carry over in photographs of adults. As he wrote in his book, Dancers Among Us: "Dancers are.... trained to capture passion with their bodies. They often create a fantasy world or offer us a deeper look into familiar stetting." Some of his most mind-boggling images, which Diane Sawyer  (ABC World News)called “breathtaking photos to free your imagination
Matter’s photographs grouped into three themes in the exhibition: Soaring, Stretching and Serendipity. In Soaring, from the Hudson River to city park fountains, Matter uses the visual and close proximate link of the leaping dancer  and moving water. In Stretching, the dancers’ dramatic poses of strength and stillness evoke a more contemplative mood. It occurred to Matter early on that the heart of dance might best be captured outside of performance. The last section highlights his locations—from bustling city streets to more serene riverbanks and park fountains, where the dancers revel in the beauties of nature and which enable Matter to take advantage of the special qualities of light and motion.                                

Dancers Among Us: Photographs by 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.

Organized by the Hudson River Museum and James A. Michener Art Museum, Oh Panama! Jonas Lie Paints the Panama Canal is curated by Kirsten M. Jensen, Senior Curator of Exhibitions at the Michener Art Museum and Bartholomew F. Bland, Deputy Director of the Hudson River Museum. A fully-illustrated catalog with essays Jensen and Bland accompanies the exhibition, on view at the Hudson River Museum February 7 - May 8, 2016 and travels to the Michener Museum on view from July 23 to October 30, 2016.


Thomas Doyle: if the creek don’t rise
February 7 – May 8, 2016


Thomas Doyle’s small-scale sculpture of a house in if the creek don’t rise tells the story that takes place in a gray zone between everyday events and the fantastical calamities that can, at any time, strike a home and those who live within. Doyle’s “people,” an assortment of figures, carry on, promenading or sitting, oblivious to encroaching danger. Viewers, though, are visually plunged into a world that is strange and yet unsettlingly familiar.

In his first solo Museum exhibition, Doyle creates a swollen riverbed that crosses the Museum’s galleries. The river is flooding and must be dammed. Paraphernalia piled high from Doyle’s suburban house becomes the force that holds back the river, forming two dams. Between them sits a single house and its yard. “The dams, made of man-made materials which threaten the natural world, achieve their purpose,” Doyle said, “while acknowledging the absurdity of changing the natural world.”

After a decade working with model houses in 1:87 scale — the scale favored by most American model railroaders — Doyle now incorporates actual home building materials, such as drywall and studs into his work. For this exhibition, he has built three full-scale rooms with interiors awry, the result of flooding.  As viewers look at the rooms through holes carved in the drywall, they may find their expectations of safety and comfort upended in times of crisis. These rooms, like the small sculptures which Doyle sets in other homes under duress also positioned in the galleries, conjure memories — peaceful and painful — that haunt a house and it occupants over the years. The impact of destruction on people, most immediately felt the loss of their homes, is Doyle’s interest. “They carry on and muddle through,” he observes.

Doyle, who lives and works in Katonah, in New York’s Westchester County, has shown his sculptures at galleries and museums across the United States and in London, Florence, Seoul, and Beijing, among other locations. Organized by the Hudson River Museum, the exhibitionis curated by Bartholomew F. Bland, the Museum’s Deputy Director.