Thursday, July 23, 2009
Hannock Gallery Talk
Ok, so I'm back. Sorry for the long hiatus — between planning a trip and traveling in Switzerland and Paris, I was overwhelmed for a while.
Today, I returned home to the Met to hear a Gallery Talk by Jason Rosenfeld, Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College and friend of Stephen Hannock, about the artist's landscapes in the Modern Art Wing. I'll attempt to summarize the hour-plus talk here, starting with an explanation of the Oxbow's full title — The Oxbow: After Church, After Cole, Flooded, (Flooded River for the Matriarchs E. and A. Mongan) Greenlight.
After Church and Cole refers to landscape painters, Fredrick Edwin Church and Thomas Cole, who influenced Hannock (though Church never painted the Oxbow). Greenlight refers to a 1903 painting by Rockwell Kent, which is in the Smith College Museum of Art.
E. and A. Mongan are sisters that Hannock knew; Agnes, director of Fog Museum at Harvard, who gave him his first show in Boston, Elizabeth (or Betty), director of Smith College Museum of Art. "These people were central to his formation as an artist and also as a professional artist," Rosenfeld said. "His paintings are always dedicated to people, which may seem quaint, but it's part of this sort of buildup and the ideas behind of these kinds of pictures."
Stephen Hannock has made 21 versions of the Oxbow, differing in size and detail and not literally referring to the scene but, rather, inventing a composition that is meaningful and personal for the artist. This concept of seriality is present in the history of art and even more consistent in modern art — think Monet's cathedrals and grainstacks; and Pollock's drip and pour paintings.
at 11:19 AM