Anne Lindberg - Unto the East again, 2018 graphite and colored pencil on mat board, 20 by 50 inches; title is from Emily Dickinson’s poem It sifts the Leadon Sieves – (291)
THOMAS COLE SITE PRESENTS SPECTRUM, A SITE-SPECIFIC CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION THAT EXPLORES RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THOMAS COLE’S USE OF COLOR AND THAT OF 11 CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS
SPECTRUM is an exhibition of contemporary artworks installed throughout the historic home, studios, and grounds at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and is part of the ongoing series OPEN HOUSE: Contemporary Art in Conversation with Cole. The exhibition is on view August 14 through November 18, 2018 and grew out of conversations between the Cole Site curator Kate Menconeri, the artist Kiki Smith, and exhibiting artists who include Polly Apfelbaum, Valerie Hammond, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anne Lindberg, Laura Moriarty, Portia Munson, Jackie Saccoccio, Lisa Sanditz, Julianne Swartz, Mildred Thompson, and Linda Weintraub.
ON VIEW AT THOMAS COLE SITE August 14 - November 18, 2018
+ Opening Reception with Artists: Saturday, August 25, 2018, 4-6 pm
Catskill, NY – August 1, 2018 – The Thomas Cole National Historic Site announced today a new contemporary art exhibition SPECTRUM, opening August 14, that brings together the work of 11 contemporary artists that will be installed throughout the 19th-century historic home, studios, and grounds of the artist Thomas Cole (1801-1848).
The project is inspired by and in dialogue with Thomas Cole's own work, spanning the interior colors he carefully chose for the house, his own color wheel painting titled Diagram of Contrasts, and his extensive writing on the topic of color,which details his desire to invent an instrument that could play the sound of color. The historic site’s 1815 Main House also contains the earliest-known interior decorative painting by an American artist, and its bold features reveal an addeddimension to Cole’s use of and thinking about color.
SPECTRUM will feature more than 30 new and existing artworks and installations, alongside Cole's work, that are made by 11 contemporary artists: Polly Apfelbaum (Elizaville, NY and New York City); Ann Veronica Janssens (Brussels, Belgium); Valerie Hammond (New York City); Anne Lindberg (Ancramdale, NY); Laura Moriarty (Rosendale, NY); Portia Munson (Catskill, NY); Jackie Saccoccio (West Cornwall, CT); Lisa Sanditz (Tivoli, NY); Julianne Swartz (Stone Ridge, NY and New York City); Mildred Thompson (deceased; Atlanta), and Linda Weintraub (Rhinebeck, NY). Many of the exhibiting artists have international careers but maintain deep local ties to the Hudson River Valley, as did Cole.
All works will be presented in a new site-specific context, in which they have never-before been shown, and carefully placed to be in conversation with Cole and the unique historic rooms and grounds of the 19th-century artist's home and studios. The diverse projects on view examine color in relation to smell, sight, and taste, as well as music, emotion, science, abstraction, and the natural world.
The contemporary artworks will include an immersive site-specific light installation by Ann Veronica Janssens, a garden designed by Portia Munson, woodblock prints by Polly Apfelbaum, Camera-Less-Videos by Julianne Swartz, an outdoor rainbow by Valerie Hammond, vibrant Radiation Explorations by Mildred Thompson, and monumental scaled works on linen by Jackie Saccoccio. The artist Lisa Sanditz is creating for the occasion an installation of sculpture and painting, combined with works from the Cole Site’s collection by Emily Cole (Thomas Cole’s daughter), and Anne Lindberg is presenting a new site-specific thread installation and works on paper that respond to Thomas Cole's periwinkle wall-color choice. Laura Moriarty created a "Tableau for Thomas Cole " with pigmented beeswax, and Linda Weintraub will present an installation of home-preserved food in the order of the color spectrum.
“Thomas Cole was fascinated by how color connects to music, to emotion and the natural world,” said Kate Menconeri,curator. “This exhibition explores that fascination through contemporary eyes – those of artists who are expanding our experience and understanding of color two centuries later. Simultaneously they, like Cole, explore color at the intersection of art and science, and as both light and pigment.”
The genesis of the exhibition grew out of ongoing conversations between Cole site curator Kate Menconeri and artist Kiki Smith while working on Smith's 2017 solo exhibition From the Creek at the Thomas Cole Site.
Cole once wrote in his journal that “colours are as capable of affecting thee by combination, degree, and arrangement assound.” Drawing on such ideas, the exhibition also explores Cole’s use of and thinking about color through his own texts, publications of his time, and new writing by artist and NYU Art Department Chair Jesse Bransford, that offers an overview of the historic context and color theories that Cole was exploring in the 19th century. An exhibition catalogue will feature this new text as well as artists’ pages and en-situ views of the contemporary installations. The exhibition is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and Empire State Development’s I LOVE NEW YORK program under the Market NY Initiative.
ABOUT OPEN HOUSE: Contemporary Art in Conversation with Cole: SPECTRUM is the third annual exhibition in this series, which is an annual presentation of curated contemporary art installations that are sited within and around the historic home of the artist Thomas Cole. Operating from the concept that all art is contemporary, the program activates
conversations between artists across the centuries and is collaborative by nature. Each year the Thomas Cole Site invites one or more contemporary artists to create a site-specific project that engages with the art, writings, home, and story of Thomas Cole. Projects may take the shape of an installation, a performance, a guided walk, or other format reflectingthe artist’s practice and ideas. This program seeks art and ideas of the highest artistic merit, drawn from newly created or relevant pre-existing works, that shed light on the connections between 19th-century American art and contemporary times, and that specifically speak to the historic environments in which they are presented.
THE THOMAS COLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE is an international destination presenting the original home and studios ofThomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, the nation’s first major art movement. Located on 6acres in the Hudson Valley, the site includes the 1815 Main House; Cole’s 1839 Old Studio; the recently reconstructedNew Studio building; and panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains. It is a National Historic Landmark and an affiliated area of the National Park System. The Cole Site’s activities include guided tours, special exhibitions of both 19th-century and contemporary art, printed publications, extensive online programs, activities for school groups, free community events, lectures, and innovative public programs such as the Hudson River School Art Trail—a map and website that enables visitors to visit the places that Cole painted. The goal of all programs at the Cole Site is to enable visitors to findmeaning and inspiration in Thomas Cole’s life and work. The themes that Cole explored in his art and writings—such as landscape preservation and our conception of nature as a restorative power—are both historic and timely, providing the opportunity to connect to audiences with insights that are highly relevant to their own lives. The program grew out of the 2015 exhibition River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home, curated by Stephen Hannock and Jason Rosenfeld.