The Neo-Victorians: Contemporary Artists Revive Gilded-Age Glamour
February 10 - May 13, 2018
 

Decadence is often alluring in its exuberance, but it can also be sinister and subversive in its indulgence. The Neo-Victorians explores a resurgence of interest over the last decade in ornamental lushness that conceals pointed social commentary beneath a seductive surface technique.

There is no coherent “Neo-Victorian” movement—no manifesto or single guiding principle subscribed to by each of these artists. Rather, the exhibition highlights a wide range of artists’ engagement with the aesthetics of the 19th century, which they have shaped, molded, and transformed to reflect today’s concerns, commenting on gender roles and societal tensions under the guise of the overt beauty.

The exhibition looks at these works through three broad thematic groupings: the artist as naturalist, the artist as purveyor of the fantastical, and the artist as explorer of domesticity. Some of the artists featured in the exhibition focus on just one of these themes, while others intersect with recurring motifs layered within these broad ideas.

Numeric Pictures. Behind the Scenes with Jennifer Angus: Installation of Dying of Curiosity, 2018. Director: Dave Steck. Commissioned by the Hudson River Museum

Artists in the exhibition include: Troy Abbott, Jennifer Angus, Joan Bankemper, Nancy Blum, Ebony Bolt, Laurent Chehere, Alison Collins, Camille Eskell, Lisa A. Frank, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Dan Hillier, Marilyn Holsing, Patrick Jacobs, Pat Lasch, Catherine Latson, Zachari Logan, Davy and Kristin McGuire, Chet Morrison, Donna Sharrett, Deborah Simon, Nick Simpson, and Darren Waterston.

Each of the artists in The Neo-Victorians rejects the notion of industrial mass production, instead visibly emphasizing and reveling in elaborate construction, a surfeit of detailed design, and a visceral appeal to the senses. The artists on view conjure a staggering array of possible approaches to the subject matter, using a wide variety of materials designed to engage the eye.

The Neo-Victorians will encourage audiences both familiar and unfamiliar with the Gilded Age—on view in the Hudson River Museum’s historic home Glenview—to look at the growing group of contemporary artists imbued with a “Victorian aesthetic” and recognize how visual influences of the past continue to shape art in the present day.


This exhibition is curated by Bartholomew F. Bland, Executive Director of the Lehman College Art Gallery, City University of New York.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Myra Camille Holland Foundation and Courtyard Yonkers Westchester County.

The Neo-Victorians programs are supported in part by a generous grant from Wells Fargo.


PRESS COVERAGE

The Journal News
"7 Great Things To Do" (January 23, 2018)

WAG Magazine
"Hidden Meanings" (January 26, 2018)

Women's Wear Daily
"The Gilded Age’s Glamour Spotlighted at Hudson River Museum" (January 29, 2018)

Art Daily
"Exhibition of Contemporary Art Employs Victorian Aesthetics as a Lens to Explore Modern Concerns" (February 18, 2018)

The National
"Through the Looking Glass: Peering into the Hyper-real Dreamscapes of Diorama Master Patrick Jacobs" (Feb/March 2018)


Selected Objects in the Exhibition
 
Troy Abbott
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
2017
ABS video, mixed media
Courtesy of Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Coconut Grove, FL
Troy Abbott
BLUE CLOVER
2017
ABS video, mixed media
Courtesy of Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Coconut Grove, FL
Troy Abbott
GOTHIC
2014
Brass, steel, acrylic, ABS video, LCD screen, CF memory, mixed media
Courtesy of Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Coconut Grove, FL
 
Ebony Bolt
BOTANICAL DREAMS IN THE CONCRETE JUNGLE
2017
Mixed media
Courtesy of the artist
Alison Collins
SUNSET IN A CUP
2017
Cloth, hair, steel
Courtesy of the artist
Camille Eskell
ARTISTS’ HAND: GRASP
ARTISTS’ HAND: FIGHT
ARTISTS’ HAND: REACH

From the For Keep’s Sake series
2001
Resin, wood, drawing, and print on mylar, pressed flowers
Courtesy of the artist
 
Camille Eskell
PROMISES MADE
From the Truncated series
2001
Resin, graphite, colored pencil, faux flowers, wood
Courtesy of the artist
Camille Eskell
TATTOOED LADY: COMIN’ UP ROSES
2003
Resin, graphite, colored pencil, false teeth, watercolor, mixed media
Courtesy of the artist
Camille Eskell
RED FEZ: BOY, WOMAN, BYCULLA, BOMBAY
2012–15
Felt, silk, mixed media
Courtesy of the artist
 
Camille Eskell
MAGIC CARPET RIDE: LITTLE MAHARAJAH BAREFOOT
2017
Digital imagery, paper, textile trim, mixed media
Courtesy of the artist
Kirsten Hassenfeld
CHARMS
2003
Paper with mixed media
Collection of Ronald Rosenzweig
Pat Lasch
A LIFE BLESSED: COMMUNION DRESS
2015
Acrylic paint, baroque pearls
Collection of the artist, courtesy of Meredith Ward Fine Art, New York, NY
 
Pat Lasch
A LIFE BLESSED: WEDDING DRESS
2016
Acrylic paint, baroque pearls, glass beads, crystals
Collection of the artist, courtesy of Meredith Ward Fine Art, New York, NY
Pat Lasch
A LIFE BLESSED: ANNA REILLY II
2012
Acrylic paint, baroque pearls, beads
Collection of the artist, courtesy of Meredith Ward Fine Art, New York, NY
Catherine Latson
SEA URCHIN TUTU
2014
Sea urchin shells (collected in coastal Maine), deconstructed Victorian bodice, tulle, wood veneer, whale bone, antique tatting thread, cotton batting
Courtesy of the artist
 
Catherine Latson
BIRCH CORSET
2016
Birch veneer, tapioca wood, vintage remnants
Courtesy of the artist
Catherine Latson
TAPIOCA BRIDE
2015
Tapioca wood, goose nagoire feathers, coque tail feathers, peacock swordtail feathers, vintage fabric, lace remnants
Courtesy of the artist
Donna Sharrett
DANCING BAREFOOT
2014
Men’s shirts, women’s dresses, wedding dress hem, jewelry, blue jeans, neckties, guitar strings, needlework, damask tablecloth, negligee edging, interfacing, buttons, pins, synthetic hair, thread
Courtesy of Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY
 
Donna Sharrett
LOVE AND AFFECTION
2013
Necktie fabric and interfacing, upholstery fabric, jewelry, trimming, guitar strings and ball-ends, dirt, bone beads, buttons, synthetic hair, thread
Courtesy of Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY
Donna Sharrett
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS
2012
Bridesmaid dress, jewelry, rosary beads, rose petals, needlework, guitar string ball-ends, damask tablecloth, quilt, fur hat, buttons, bone beads, pins, beads, synthetic hair, thread
Courtesy of Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY
Patrick Jacobs
SPIRAL
2017
Styrene, acrylic, cast neoprene, paper, polyurethane foam, ash, talc, starch, acrylic, vinyl film, wood, steel, lighting, BK7 glass
Courtesy of the artist and Pierogi, New York, NY
 
Joan Bankemper
SPLITTING ORANGE BEE MANDALA
2017
Ceramic
Courtesy of the artist and Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY
Joan Bankemper
SUZANNA’S GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS
2009–2010
Ceramic
Courtesy of the artist and Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY
Nancy Blum
TRUMPET AND PASSION
2012
Ink, colored pencil, gouache, and graphite on paper
Courtesy of the artist
 
Nancy Blum
5 DOGWOODS
2005
Ink, gouache, and colored pencil on paper
Courtesy of the artist
Nancy Blum
MAGNOLIA
2017
Quiver, ink, colored pencil, gouache, and graphite on paper
Courtesy of the artist
Lisa A. Frank
L. COLUMBINUS, DOVELIKE
2017
Video
Courtesy of the artist and Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY
 
Marilyn Holsing
THE PURSUIT OF LOVE
2013–15
Multimedia installation
Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, PA
Zachari Logan
POOL 1, AFTER MARY DELANY
2015
Pastel on black paper
Courtesy of the artist and Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY
Zachari Logan
POOL 3, AFTER MARY DELANY
2017
Pastel on black paper
Collection of Randy Pi, San Jose, CA
 
Zachari Logan
COMPOSITION 3
From the Monument series
2015
Pastel on black paper
Courtesy of the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada
Laurent Chehere
PINK
2017
Archival pigment print, floating gallery plexi mount
Courtesy of Muriel Guépin Gallery, New York, NY
Laurent Chehere
LOST STREET
2015
Archival pigment print, floating gallery plexi mount
Courtesy of Muriel Guépin Gallery, New York, NY
 
Nick Simpson
DR. CRIGHTON’S APPARATUS
2012
C-type archival print
Courtesy of Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
Nick Simpson
THE FETTERED SQUIRE
2014
C-type archival print
Courtesy of Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
Nick Simpson
THE ASTONISHING STEAM RHINOMOTIVE
2017
C-type archival print
Courtesy of Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
 
Nick Simpson
THE GENTLEMAN CALLER
2013
Digital C-type print
Courtesy of Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
Nick Simpson
THE PERAMBULATOR
2012
Digital C-type print
Courtesy of Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
Chet Morrison
THE CAPITALIST
2007
Epson enhanced matte paper
Courtesy of the artist
 
Chet Morrison
MAN AND HIS BIRD
2005
Epson enhanced matte paper
Courtesy of the artist
Chet Morrison
THE EVIL REVEREND MOSLEY
2006
Epson enhanced matte paper
Courtesy of the artist
Chet Morrison
STUCK IN A BAD SITUATION
2010
Epson enhanced matte paper
Courtesy of the artist
 
Chet Morrison
THE VENTRILOQUIST
2007
Epson enhanced matte paper
Courtesy of the artist
Dan Hillier
AKASHA
2016
Hand-pulled screenprint on cotton rag paper
Courtesy of the artist
Dan Hillier
GHOST
2016
Hand-pulled screenprint on cotton rag paper
Courtesy of the artist
 
Dan Hillier
ELLIPSIS
2016
Hand-pulled screenprint on cotton rag paper
Courtesy of the artist
Darren Waterston
DOUBLE-SIDED SCREEN (CHASM)
2014
Oil on wood panel
Courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY
Davy and Kristin McGuire
BLACK FAIRY
2013
Holographic video sculpture
Courtesy of Muriel Guépin Gallery, New York, NY
 
Deborah Simon
FLAYED RABBIT, ALBINO WITH NERVES
2017
Polymer clay, faux fur, linen, embroidery floss, acrylic paint, glass, wire, foam
Courtesy of Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Coconut Grove, FL
Deborah Simon
URSUS AMERICANUS
2013
Polymer clay, faux fur, linen, embroidery floss, acrylic paint, glass, wire, foam
Courtesy of Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Coconut Grove, FL
Jennifer Angus
DYING OF CURIOSITY
2018
Mixed media
Courtesy of the artist