Jim Holl’s ongoing exploration of indeterminate landscapes – a great and growing body of work in which the artist’s evocation of natural light, coloration and object placement is abstracted in a stunning painterly way – has been augmented with a video presentation and the artist’s recent Charta book, The Landscape Painter, which follows the artist’s path from New York City’s late-1970s art scene to the present day. Holl also recently held a well-attended showing of his works in a new private gallery space designed and built by his brother, the architect Steven Holl, at his home outside Rhinebeck. He “abstracts” the landscape that he paints (my term) by looking down instead of out, capturing the land underfoot in the same terms that we apply to that all around – a radical new idea, as it were, that shifts our attention in the sorts of ways in which all 13 artists in this show attempt and, more often than not, accomplish.
The artists all submitted proposals, for new works primarily, showing ways in which the local landscape had inspired their art and lives. Holl’s work is augmented by Peter Grass’s inscribed artist mushrooms; Wendy Doney’s installation of branches, bark and drawings, with historical information woven throughout; Joseph Tripi’s photographs of parking lots, porta-potties and picnic tables; Susan Sammis’ antique-camera glimpses of an anachronistic Romantic aura still surviving; Stuart Friedman’s paintings of a drive-in and ski slopes; gridlike combinations of satellite imagery and mapping from David Hebb; a painted postcard set from Patti Ferrara; Heather Blossom Brown’s ink drawings that interpret woodgrains from local trees; Elizabeth Vermilyea’s montage of rocks, twigs, moss and photographs examining a Catskill Park creekbed; and Art Murphy’s photo-book project connecting the historic relationship of the Hudson River School of painters to 19th-century geologists’ explorations.
Kim Jaye Truitt’s sculptural work, Tin Thought, uses the letters “THX” (text message for “thank you”) to evoke her own sense of nature in an increasingly digital world. And best of all are Tasha Depp’s exquisite paintings of Catskill Park visitors on pieces of Catskill Park trash, including an old map and various food containers, that she has uses as canvases for her work that mixes the timeless elements of painting with a more Modernist thoughtfulness about how we all use materials in our current times.
“Wish You Were Here” will be on view through November 20 at the GCCA gallery at 398 Main Street in Catskill. Call (518) 943-3400 or visit www.greenearts.org for further information.