HUDSON–Curator Richard Roth met many distinguished people in the art world during his years as an arts editor and feature writer, and he puts those contacts to use in the service of his exhibition “Local Self Portraits,” which opened at the Hudson Opera House Saturday, June 12.
Most artists, at some point, whether their work is abstract or realist, have done work that qualifies as a self portrait. After all, what model is always dependably available, for free, no matter what the hour?
Under the rubric of self portrait, Mr. Roth has gathered an eclectic compendium of artworks. Paintings photographs, sculptures and constructions, most depicting a face, some employing a symbol or abstraction. Some of the works in the show are imbued with whimsy, like the photo by an 18-year-old Sadat Pakay of himself wearing sunglasses and holding a bunch of grapes with his teeth; others are serious, like the intense portrait submitted by Tim Slowinski.
All the artists all have some connection with Hudson and Columbia County. Many left New York City temporarily or permanently to come here to work and live in the Hudson Valley, some probably for the same reasons that the painters of the Hudson River School came here in the 19th century. Some just needed to get away from it all.
Names like Marina Abramovic, Richard Artschwager, Donald Baechler R.O. Blechman, Rodney Allen Greenblat, Elsworth Kelly, Annie Liebowitz and Lucio Pozzi are internationally known. Some are homegrown and have not exhibited much farther away than New York City or have exhibited for years at Warren Street galleries.
In addition to the Hudson Opera house providing the venue for the exhibition, Colin Stair, owner of Stair Galleries in Hudson, funded the catalogue, the Columbia County Historical Society helped secure the publication’s copyright, and Mike Gladstone of the Furthermore Foundation lent his expertise to the project.