Wyeth Wonderland
Photographer Joséphine Douet Envisions Andrew Wyeth’s World
February 25 – May 14, 2017

Joséphine Douet. Rubber Ivy, 2015. Giclée print on Hahnemulle Photogragh paper 320 gr,
18 ½ x 28 inches. Courtesy of the artist
Andrew Wyeth. Grindstone, 1981. Watercolor on paper, 20 ½ x 29 ¼ inches Courtesy of Frank E. Fowler. © 2017 Andrew Wyeth / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

French photographer Joséphine Douet is inspired by the same Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania landscapes and people that inspired American painter Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009).

   Joséphine Douet. Frozen Hill, 2015. Courtesy of the artist
  Andrew Wyeth. Untitled (Helga Looking from Afar), 1979.
Courtesy Adelson Galleries  and Frank E. Fowler, ©2017 Pacific Sun Trading Company

Wyeth Wonderland, an exhibition of Douet’s photographs of the rural region that Wyeth made his oeuvre, is augmented with his watercolors, on loan from Adelson Galleries. For this exhibition, Douet has selected twelve of the painter's drawings and watercolors to pair with photographs in the Wyeth Wonderland series. Some of these comparisons are direct, as in a portrait of the same sitter, years later. With others, she was drawn to an aesthetic synergy she felt when looking at Wyeth’s and her images together. Douet first undertook the Wyeth Wonderland project as a commission from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which was organizing a retrospective of the work of Andrew Wyeth and his son Jamie in 2016. Douet’s admiration for Wyeth dated back to her childhood, so she was eager to travel across an ocean to immerse herself in Wyeth’s hometown, which she found in harmony with her own place of origin, Normandy, and where she would source much of his material.

Taking a journey through Chadds Ford, a photographer in a painter’s footsteps, Douet felt the place unchanged since Wyeth worked there. She spoke to some of the people who had known Wyeth, as she sought the secret of his sensibility: “I have constructed close and profound relations with the people of Chadds Ford and also with Andrew Wyeth’s former models, sharing amazing moments with Helga, his secret muse for fifteen years.” Viewing Wyeth’s scenes through her camera’s lens gave Douet insight into Wyeth and helped her find a new touch for her own photograpy.


Robert Zakanitch: Garden of Ornament
June 3 - September 17, 2017

Robert Zakanitch. Fireglow, 2011-2012. Robert Zakanitch. In Quest of the Holy Snail, 2010.

Garden of Ornament, a solo exhibition of the works of Robert Zakanitch, a driving force in the Pattern and Decoration (P&D) movement of the mid-20th century, explores this artist’s depictions of floral beauty.  In the past several years Zakanitch has expanded his art from pattern making to paintings that channel his decorative impulse into art that combines elements of ornamentation, representation, and even decorative whimsey.      

The exhibition features selections from Zakanitch's 2007 oil painting series Tureens, including Ms. Austen Regrets and White Rabbit as well as some of his recent monumental gouache paintings, and Fireglow, 2011-12 from the series Hanging Gardens.

Zakanitch, one of a number artists who have recently moved their studios to Yonkers, grew up in New Jersey, and he recalls the embroidery and floral-patterned linoleum in his Czechoslovakian grandparents’ house. In Yonkers his studio, facing a garden, is infused with the nature he has painted since the 1970s, when he moved from Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism towards pattern and ornamentation, the new aesthetics espoused by feminists and multiculturalism. Zakanitch has written, Beauty is. It is as natural as breathing. Its allure is transforming and I never thought art was about anything else.        

The Hudson River Museum has long been committed to Pattern and Decoration artists. In the 1980s, several P&D artists, such as Cynthia Carlson, worked on projects that drew their inspiration from the Museum’s Victorian home Glenview, where patterned tiles and wall coverings decorate the house. In 2007 the Museum included Robert Zakanitch in its exhibition Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in American Art, 1975-1985 (October 27, 2007 – January 20, 2008), the first full-scale survey of this historical movement. The catalog of the exhibition, published by the Museum, is a standard in the field.  Arthur Danto, American art critic and philosopher who introduced the publication said, Pattern and decoration is something to live with; it is art that is part of our lives.