The large-format photographs by Gardiner-based photographer Hardie Truesdale currently on exhibit at the Mark Gruber Gallery in New Paltz show vistas of the Hudson Valley – a Spring Farm sunset, the Ashokan Reservoir, a waterfall on the Esopus – and of Cape Cod: a dune fence at the ocean, dusk at Marconi Beach and colorful lobster boats battered by the elements. It’s a bit of the past and the future for Truesdale, as it turns out, who after 34 years of living in the Hudson Valley is in the process of moving his home base to Cape Cod.
Not that it’s an easy move. “The Hudson Valley is deep in my heart,” Truesdale says. “But it’s time to change it up.” He and his wife both enjoy rock climbing and windsurfing, but with the latter taking precedence lately; so Cape Cod offers the opportunity to explore that passion and new artistic horizons, too.
The Seattle-born photographer says that when he was growing up, his family moved about every five years, so he has lived in a lot of places. Truesdale started taking photography seriously in 1969 while still in high school, and then studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the International Center of Photography (ICP) in Manhattan. At that time, in the search for subject matter, he did a series of photographs of people’s hands, even stopping people in the street to photograph theirs. He became intrigued with the idea that a person’s hands portrayed their character after shooting photographs of a friend in Central Park doing a kind of rock climbing called bouldering.
Truesdale’s own passion for rock climbing brought him up to the Hudson Valley regularly to visit, until he moved here in 1979. And while he’s enthusiastic about the fresh start in Cape Cod, he says that he won’t cut his ties to the region permanently, but will come back on visits, and he’ll still be represented here by the Mark Gruber Gallery.
Known for his evocative photographs of nature under dramatic atmospheric conditions, Truesdale says that those really arose out of the fact that, because one can’t climb in bad weather, he would take his camera out on rainy days and photograph nature instead. Over time, he became interested in capturing those “dramatic yet subtle circumstances,” as he words it, when “the mood and quality of light is intensified.” He was influenced by the photography of Ansel Adams, appreciating the way that photographer captured the spirit of the places that he photographed.
Truesdale has published two books of his photography, Hudson River Journey and Adirondack High, both available from Countryman Press. The exhibit “New Beginnings” at the Mark Gruber Gallery will be on view through Saturday, November 30. Gallery hours are Mondays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays by appointment. For more information, contact Mark Gruber at (845) 255-1241. For the most current examples of Truesdale’s work, visit Hardie Truesdale Photography on Facebook and on Flicker.
Hardie Truesdale’s “New Beginnings,” through November 30, Mark Gruber Gallery, New Paltz Plaza, New Paltz; (845) 255-1241.