While wandering around the Modern Art Wing one day, I promised myself I'd return to these two paintings tucked away in the back corner near the staircase that leads to the mezzanine and the second floor. I'm sure my photographs don't do them enough justice, but you might be able to tell that they are remarkable. At first glance, both are beautifully rendered landscapes, with a natural palette that evoke a sense of calm and serenity. But then you notice the handwritten words etched over the surface, most beautifully in the foreground of The Oxbow, which look like rows in the fields of the farm to me. These are paintings by American artist, Stephen Hannock.
The first is Kaaterskill Falls for Frank Moore and Dan Hodermarsky, a realistic depiction of a beautiful waterfall but with a twist: the rock in the background is covered with writing and collage. In "Kaaterskill Falls," Hannock pays tribute to his old prep-school teacher, Dan Hodermarsky; to the late Frank Moore, an artist who died of AIDS; and to a cycling friend (hence Lance Armstrong). (Fortune Magazine)
The Oxbow: After Church, after Cole, Flooded, Green Light references Thomas Cole's famous Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm-The Oxbow, also at the Met. The Oxbow was recently replaced by Kehinde Wiley's "Veiled Christ," but I am sure it will reappear on the walls of the museum sometime.
For more in-depth information, Hannock's web site has this catalogue essay that describes the artist's style and inspiration. Also, CNN Money/Fortune Magazine featured Hannock in Portrait of an A-List Artist.