Hudson Valley Farms in Image and Rhythm
June 24- September 10, 2006
Yonkers, NY - The Hudson River Museum showcases the farms of the Hudson River Valley through the art of the Welling brothers — a first-time collaboration by the renowned photographer James Welling, whose images depict the working farms of the Hudson River Valley, and his brother Will Welling, a composer of original music who sought to capture in sound the live feel of the farms and wrote “The Insect Chorus.” for this exhibition Agricultural Works was commissioned by Minetta Brook as part of Watershed: The Hudson Valley Art Project. Watershed is a pilot project, the first in a long-term programs of commissioned artworks and educational initiatives designed to raise awareness of the imaginative and physical landscapes of the Hudson River Valley .
James and Will Welling were born in Connecticut . James now lives in Los Angeles where he teaches photography at the University of California , Los Angeles in the Department of Art. Will Welling lives near Albany where he is both a musician and geologist at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The color photographs of James Welling emphasize forms of the rural environment like repeated window casements in a milking barn or the double helix of a large tractor-powered auger. The approximately 85 photographs featured in the show were taken from 2001 through 2003. James Welling’s work is often identified with the postmodern photography movement tht came to critical attention in the early 1980s. For over a decade he has worked a series of documentary photography projects in the United States and Europe. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Mueum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
As boys, their father, a printer, showed them posters of Charles Burchfield’s paintings that expressed the changing seasons and the sounds of the forest that he depicted with quivering brushstrokes. Burchfield’s paintings were inspiration for Will Welling, who seeks to combine the real sounds of nature with his music. Will likes the hypnotic sounds of crickets and other insects because he senses it makes listeners feel weightless. From insects, Will turned to his collection of gasoline engines and began to fiddle to the sound of a turning engine. Will visited most of the sites his brother James photographed — Troy and Red Hook, New York, among others, and his sounds of the farm and wildlife environments are punctuated with the manmade sounds of cars and fire engines.
In surveying and recording the multifaceted landscape of agriculture in the Hudson Valley , Agricultural Works captures both its biological rhythms and its unique constructed forms. A programming highlight on Sunday, June 25 will be “The Please and Thank You String Band,” led by Will Welling, which will play “The Insect Chorus.”
The Hudson River Museum is located at 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers NY. minutes from the Saw Mill River Parkway, exit 9, north or southbound.
Information and directions: 914.963.4550 and www.hrm.org.
Museum admission: Adults $5; Seniors 62 & older and children 5-16 $3. Fridays 5 to 8 pm to galleries and the planetarium free