Described as “an exhibit that stages concrete and abstract symbols of American values,” the Carrie Haddad Gallery’s new exhibit titled “Americana” opens on January 25 and runs through March 12, with an artists’ reception from 5 to 7 p.m. this Saturday, January 28. The word “Americana” used to refer mostly to artworks, utilitarian objects and collectibles exemplifying various periods and locales in American history; but the Haddad show takes the term to a meta-level, spotlighting more contemporary works that seek to mine the collective cultural memory of Americans, often by replicating familiar images in different media.
For example, Linda Newman Boughton turns the iconic Civil War photography of Mathew Brady into life-sized drawings of soldiers using ballpoint pen and a touch of whimsy. Frank Litto’s The Great American Wheelworks series of three-dimensional wall sculptures depicts photorealistic configurations of wooden wagon wheels using wood veneer and faux metal finishes. John Cross revives the Outsider Art tradition of hand-whittled wooden figurines and brings it up to the present with images ranging from Abe Lincoln to Willie Nelson. Harry Orlyk’s Impressionist oil paintings of rural landscapes evoke a city-dweller’s Arcadian fantasies of idyllic country life. Arthur Hammer transforms nostalgic images from family photo albums and slideshows from the 1940s and ’50s into paintings. And so on, with photographer Andrew Buck, photographer/sculptor Russell DeYoung, painter Carl Grauer and mixed-media artist David Halliday also contributing works to the exhibition.
Located at 622 Warren Street in Hudson, the Carrie Haddad Gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, call (518) 828-1915 or visit the website at www.carriehaddadgallery.com.