Indepth Arts News: |
1999-10-08 until 2000-01-09
Hudson River Museum
USA United States of America
Animal Artifice features paintings, photographs, sculpture and dioramas of animals in varying poses and situations by contemporary artists Gregory Crewsdon, Karl Grimes, Alexis Rockman, Kiki Smith, Fred Tomaselli, Tom Uttech and William Wegman. These artists reproduce animal imagery for its metaphoric value, playing upon the viewer’s sentimentality, memory and experience.
None of the images — even the photographs — were created outdoors in nature. They all were carefully orchestrated by the artists in their studios, and many of the creatures portrayed are not even alive.
This exhibition forces the viewer to consider what happens when things that look real aren’t real at all, said Hudson River Museum Curator of Exhibitions, Ellen Keiter. Animal Artifice engages viewers with startling new encounters of the ‘natural’ world by portraying animals, which already awaken certain memories and sentiments.
In these works, reality has been manipulated, forcing the viewer to do a ‘double take’ of the artwork presented, Keiter added.
One example of such manipulation is Stuffed Histories, in which Karl Grimes uses unusual angles to photograph animals in dioramas from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The animals appear alive and stare accusingly at us, as if our presence has disrupted their private world. Yet the scenes are completely fake, Keiter said.
Located at 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, The Hudson River Museum is a nonprofit, multidisciplinary cultural institution dedicated to fine art, science and history. The Museum houses five modern galleries, the Andrus Planetarium ć Westchester County’s only public planetarium and Glenview Mansion, a magnificent 1876 Victorian residence and National Register Site. For more information, call (914)963-4550 or visit the Museum’s web site at www.hrm.org.