Drawn from the private collection of Priscila and Alvin Hudgins III, Kindred Worlds reveals the couple’s deep and enduring devotion to the arts—not solely as a mode of creative expression but also as an intimate form of world-making.
Every art collection functions as its own universe, shaped by the vision and personal commitments of its collector. Drawn from the private collection of Priscila and Alvin Hudgins III, Kindred Worlds reveals the couple’s deep and enduring devotion to the arts—not solely as a mode of creative expression but also as an intimate form of world-making. Before coming to the Hudson River Museum, most of these paintings adorned the dining, living, and bedroom walls of the Hudgins family home in Yonkers. Meals were shared under richly painted canvases, bedtime stories told beside vibrant watercolors. For the Hudgins, building their collection was a way of building home and community—a practice that Priscila and Alvin take up in more ways than one, as they have become great friends with many of the artists featured in this exhibition. In turn, many of these artists have included images of Hudgins family members in their works. Together, the artworks demonstrate a dynamic amalgamation of relationships between collector and artist, artist and subject, subject and kin.
That’s not to say that these artworks do not have stories of their own to tell. Themes of myth and memory pervade the collection, as artists take up different visual strategies to convey personal histories. Here, artists such as Bony Ramirez, Laurena Finéus, and Naudline Pierre reinterpret classical techniques in order to create otherworldly renditions of femininity, Blackness, and migration. Others experiment with the materiality of art itself. Artists including Chase Hall and David Hammons use coffee beans, cotton, and grease as mediums, invoking specific histories of oppression and resilience—often in relation to the enduring and forceful presence of colonial structures.
Intimate vignettes provide another throughline across the collection. Drawing inspiration from childhood memories, ethnographies, and family photographs, many of the artists explore how ideas of “home” and “kinship” take on new and unexpected meanings when represented on the canvas. Jordan Casteel, for example, created her MTA series after observing the restful weariness of subway travelers, who find a moment for themselves in the comforting curve of plastic seats. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Raelis Vasquez turned to his family albums for solace, translating his photographs into painted scenes of quiet connection.
And, of course, there’s the ever-present presence of the Hudgins family themselves. We invite you to walk through the exhibition and locate images of Hudgins family members—captured, for example, in Henry Taylor’s gestural brushstrokes and Derrick Adams’s punchy, joyous color palette. Presented to the public as a collection for the first time, these selected works document the Hudgins family’s abiding support of the arts and their vital legacy of Black American collectorship, one that continues to prioritize the success of Black and Brown artists and ensure a more equitable and expansive vision of American art.
Kindred Worlds is co-curated by Alyssa Alexander, Independent Curator and Arts Administrator, and Karintha Lowe, HRM’s Mellon Public Humanities Fellow.
Exhibitions are made possible by assistance provided by the County of Westchester.
Additional support provided by Sarah Lawrence College through a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation.
Derrick Adams • Susan Aparicio • Jordan Casteel • Michael Chuapoco • Kevin Darmanie • Esiri Erheriene-Essi • Laurena Finéus • Chase Hall • David Hammons • Devin N. Morris • Toyin Ojih Odutola • Zéh Palito • Naudline Pierre • Bony Ramirez • Jose Guadalupe Sanchez III • Henry Taylor • Raelis Vasquez • Carlos Vega • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye