Big Works in The Big Room
A Display of Large Scale Sculptures by
Matt Bua, Rita Dee, Jimmy Tim Fry, Chris Hawkins, Harry Matthews,
Bob Schuler, Marc Swanson, Carol Swierzowski, and Richard Talcott
For an Appointment call 518-943-3818
Participating Artists and Works
Down-Hill Racer II (2015)
Great Road Movies in 3 Easy Pieces
Ink on Vellum
The Great Catskill Village Box Car Derby of 1840
Catskill Village – Birthplace of the Tiny House Movement
Matt Bua makes small scale improvised buildings, hand-built people’s museums and roadside attractions. His recent work takes form in fantastical spaces that redefine and re-imagine found objects and sustainable resources as functional elements in architecture. Bua’s present project is the collaborative construction of small scale examples of vernacular, experimental, and visionary architecture on a piece of land in Catskill, NY which also contains remnants from an ancient lithic culture. Bua has shown work internationally at exhibitions and public spaces including Mass MoCA, PS1/MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, Lake Coniston in the UK, and on Roosevelt and Governor’s Island. The book “Architectural Inventions:Visionary Drawings” which grew out of the on-line active archive was edited in collaboration with Maximillian Goldfarb and published by Laurence King in 2012. He is currently working on a book on the Stone Walls of the Northeast entitled ‘Talking Walls’ to be published by Print Studio Hudson in 2015.
My name is Rita Dee and all of my material comes from the waters of the mighty Hudson River where wood washes down from the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains. I will of course welcome any piece of wood with an unusual shape no matter how small or large or where it comes from. I began making these horses professionally about 14 years ago but owe a huge debt of gratitude to my girlhood friend and horse crazy cohort Christine Hanson who showed me when I was in the sixth grade how to make horses out of wire. We had shoe boxes full of them and would set up mock horse races. Each sculpture takes about 8 weeks to construct including pre-staining and searching for wood. Sometimes even longer depending on wether I have included hand painted pieces. Some have taken 9-12 months to complete if they contain painted scenes on the wood. The wood is joined together with powder coated decking screws and can last in the out-door elements if treated twice a year. I work strictly from life or memory… I like the energy and movement that comes from seeing life. I do not sketch anything out ahead of time. I like to look at horses grazing in pasture or performing under saddle. I do also like to study the great masters like Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo, Rosa Bonheur, Degas etc.etc. I am often asked if I do any other animals besides horses – and yes I do, but so far only Bison. They also have a form that works well with driftwood and their historical connection to the native people of this great continent inspires me to pursue studying them as a subject. But horses are for me my main inspiration. Where else can one find such grace, beauty, strength and yes sometimes unpredictability as well as nobility and gentleness as with the horse. No other animal has been able to capture the imagination and love of mankind throughout the ages as the horse.They have a mystical quality that draws me in now as much as it did when I first saw them as a small child. As Winston Churchill once said “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” How true!
Jimmy Tim Fry
Ear and Cotton Swab
Horse and Flower
I am a self-taught artist. When I was in 9th grade, I made my first sculpture from a soda can. I made 20 fishermen out of 20 cans and tried to sell them at a Christmas Bazaar. I sold nothing. However, a younger boy kept coming back to my stall to play with the can fisherman. He asked his mother if he could buy one for $5. She told him, without lowering her voice, “You could make that yourself.”, and walked off. The boy stayed there and kept playing with the toy/sculpture. I gave him the sculpture. My first real job was at a publishing company in NYC. I hated the cubicle and applied to an opportunity to work for a “renown” artist on Long Island. At the time, I was making found object art from things I found when walking. I got a call back after sending in my application and boarded on a train a few days later to head out for my interview. I brought my sculptures (three in a box) with me to the interview. I got off of the train and noticed 5 other strange people who got off at the exact same station. They were obviously there for the interview too. They did not bring boxes. We were taken on a tour of the artist’s property before our interview. Our tour guide was named Savannah, she was wearing horse riding pants, and the only other thing I remember from the tour was seeing a stallion with a fully erect penis. I had never seen a woman in riding pants; I had seen horse penises before. During the interview, the artist talked a lot about himself and his vision. He went from interviewee to interviewee asking them a series of questions and showing their portfolios through a slide projector for all to see. Right before me, he went off on his hatred of found object art. I showed my found-object sculptures and decided to leave the interview and head back to the train. One of the interviewees liked what I made. It was pouring rain and there were 5 ducks swimming in a very tiny puddle outside the artist’s house. I felt like there was something the horse penis and ducklings were trying to tell me, but I did not have an accurate translator at the time for these kinds of things. I did not get the job. I still make sculptures today. The two stories above are a part of the “how” and “why” I make art. There are other reasons as well. I generally make sculptures involving movement or implied movement. I feel that neither beauty nor art are esoteric. I also think the appreciation of beauty and art is relative and like to play with this relativity. I enjoy simple relationships and duality as well. I am thankful for having the opportunity to talk to you about my feelings while showing you some things I made.
Judy’s Tanning Salon (2015)
Originally from Montana, Chris Hawkins has lived and worked in upstate New York since 1988. His work has recently been shown at The Drawing Room Gallery in Stoneridge, NY and the Bag Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently finishing a full length animated film on the anthropological aspects of morality.
The Greene Man (2015)
Harry Matthews is an artist/musician/writer who lives on the Kaaterskill creek outside of Palenville, NY. Lately his work has been significantly changed by the devastation that Hurricane Irene dealt to the waterfront of his property. Using the washed-up materials left by the storm he has been making large-scale figurative creatures, mythological and dream-like, out of the dense tangle of roots and stones he finds along the banks.
Tethys Project Castings
Robert Schuler was born in 1925 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds degrees in engineering, philosophy and art. He is a “revered” former art professor who taught for many years at SUNY New Paltz.
Robert’s work is included in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Library of Congress, United States Information Service, Seattle Museum and private collections.
He is the recipient of grants from the New York State Council on the Arts for his video work and received numerous awards for his early work in printmaking.
Bob lives in High Falls, NY in a series of Hobbit-style foam domes of his own creation.
THE TETHYS PROJECT…Around the World Art Burial… is the culmination of Schuler’s years as a printmaker, painter, sculptor and pioneer in both video and performance art. He has created a graphic novel of his times inscribed in granite blocks that are dropped (buried) in the oceans of the world.
Burying is not a new concept for Schuler. As a young child there were few neighbors in his suburban Milwaukee neighborhood so he always had to play alone. He buried his toys in the surrounding fields and took great comfort in knowing that they were out there and that only he knew where they were. Years later he made epoxy bricks with inscribed messages and gave them to wandering hippies to drop somewhere in their travels.
Marc Swanson received his MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, in 2004, and also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, in Skowhegan, Maine, in 2000. He is a contemporary American artist whose notably hand-made work is brings together formal preoccupations and references to personal history and identity conflict. He works in a variety of media, including sculpture, drawing, video, photography, and complex installations. As art critic David Velasco notes, “Swanson is an automythologist, one who excels in crafting sparkling, enigmatic totems from the messiness of his own history; there kitsch and confession dovetail to reveal, not obscure, visceral thirsts.” His work was the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, at Cornell University, in 2008, and the accompanying catalogue was published in 2009, with an essay by Bill Arning. His work has been included in group exhibitions at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Miami Art Museum; and the Saatchi Gallery, London.
Carol Swierzowski – a visual artist. Education: Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC; Hunter College, NYC; School of Visual Arts, NYC; & The Art Students League, NYC. I am engaged in producing art that includes painting, pastels, assemblage, collage, encaustic, and sculptural pieces. I have exhibited work in NYC, Woodstock, Catskill, Hudson, Kingston and Saugerties, NY.
Richard Talcott is a visual artist. Education: University of South Florida, Tampa FL, Brooklyn Museum Art School, NYC & The Art Students League, NYC. Mr. Talcott makes paintings, collage, assemblage, boxes, and larger sculptural works. He has exhibited in New York City and the Hudson Valley area.