World of Art: The Hyde Collection: Modern Nature

The elegant, Italianate villa that holds the Hyde Collection. What a gift to the region!

The elegant, Italianate villa that holds the Hyde Collection. What a gift to the region!

Yesterday we took a drive to Glens Falls, NY to visit the Hyde Collection. It was a perfect New England summer day.

Our mission was to mail a small original painting to Utah, and to send a giclée print on canvas of Raven Nest to Maine, then see to the show.

The Hyde Collection is a jewel, tucked away at the foot of the Adirondacks. There’s a virtual tour available on line, with excellent information about the collection.

The Hyde has a small, but absolutely astounding world class collection of art, elegantly housed in the former home of the founders, Louis and Charlotte Hyde. The permanent collection consists of approximately 3,000 paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts, including furniture and textiles. From classic Greek statues to Rembrandt, Degas, Picasso, Keith Haring and David Smith etc., each of the rooms has treasures to see. The gardens are  lovely too.

Dancing with the Dancers.

Dancing with the Dancers.

The specific exhibit we were  going to see was Modern Nature, Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George. A delightful surprise was that MANY of the paintings were new to me, despite my decades of fascination with Ms. O’Keeffe’s work. Unfortunately no photos were allowed.

A misty morning on Lake George painted by Ms. O'Keeffe

A misty morning on Lake George painted by Ms. O’Keeffe. I got this photo from a review on the Huffington Post by John Seed where you’ll find great images from the show.

We share many of the same interests. Rocks, ravens, bones and interesting forms…  trees, desert vistas; the cool, green mountains of New England; the sculptural forms of plants and flowers.

A friend asked me if she was an important influence in my art. No artist in the 21st century can deny any influence. My world has been steeped and saturated with art since I discovered a coffee table book on art history when I was  three or four years old. Somewhere along the way I encountered O’Keeffe.

It was interesting to closely examine her technique. Her layers of color were surprisingly thin- the texture of canvas was visible, without affecting the paint.  How does she get that smooth blend with such a thin coat? Did she use a lot of turpentine? A magical mix of medieval mediums? Maroger? A secret blend of linseed oil and frankincence? Somewhere I read that she had a very special humongous brush that she kept hidden.

Have I always been drawn to her work because she is speaking a visual language that I understand? A deep craving and connection with the mystery of Natural World? Perhaps it is the serenity she expresses in her simplified interpretation of form.

 

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