A blog about Hudson, New York

Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Irish Princess and Danish Meatball

Jennifer and Kim Arenskjold
“Many days I would stand in the middle of the road and look to see if anyone was in town,” says Jennifer Arenskjold about the Hudson of 1985. That was the year she first opened The Irish Princess,  joining  Byrne Fone and Alain Pioton’s Hudson Antiques Center,  the only other antiques store on what was then a nearly abandoned Warren Street. In time a few other pioneers arrived, among them Kim Arenskjold, who came by way of  Rhinebeck, Texas and Copenhagen;  five years after that the two married and opened Arenskjold Antiques, which today is bigger and better than ever at 605 Warren Street. This month marks the 25th anniversary of Jennifer’s intrepidly glamorous arrival, and we all want to say both congrats and thank you.

                                                   —Elizabeth Goldfarb Richardson

Photos on the Block

Although it’s the dead of summer, two current exhibitions feature work created in a luminously autumnal black and white. David Seiler at Carrie Haddad Photographs (318 Warren Street), contrasted alongside the brilliantly tropical images by the Cuban-born Adrian Hernandez,  does large-scaled sepia-toned and dusty- gray prints that are suggestive of film frames by Lumiere or even earlier Daguerreotypes. The partially hazy, vintage quality of his palette, particularly in his equine work (pictured above), has the enigmatic feeling of a forgotten archive from the distant past.

Across and down the street just a hair, at the J. Damiani Gallery ( 237 Warren Street ) is the decidedly contemporary work of local photographer Roy Volkman, whose black and white images have a fluidly sculptural look. As a result his best work is of dancers, but he also imbues portraits (notably of famous individuals such as John Turturro and Judith Jamison) with a sultry animation.

Both shows are up until the middle of August.      — Elizabeth Goldfarb Richardson


Locals Expose Themselves

Being self-centered can be a healthy thing for an artist, if not a downright necessity. It’s brought out the best in a remarkable array of talent at the Hudson Opera House, where “Local Self Portraits” is currently on display through August 14. Curated by Richard Roth and inspired by a similar event held at the same venue in 1864 (that featured the work of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church among others), the exhibition is a first-rate sampling of the area’s bounty of contemporary artists. Slyly revealing works by Annie Liebovitz,  Marina Abramovic,  Donald Baechler (pictured top left), Lynn Davis (top center), and Richard Artschwager comfortably cohabitate with lesser known but equally adept practitioners of self-expression (above, works by Reggie Madison, Sedat Pakay, Musho Rodney Alan Greenblat, and Phyllis Hjorth). What is most revealing about the show perhaps is the way it seems to have cajoled the personal out of some of the most seemingly nonpersonal of artists, from cool abstractionists such as Ellsworth Kelly to the wonderfully neuraesthenic New Yorker cartoonist R.O. Blechman to Liebovitz herself.

“This show is about Hudson,” Roth says in his foreword to the handsome catalogue for the show, produced by Stair Auctions. “Nearly all of the artists signed on through casual meetings in the streets and galleries here. Some live and work in the area full time, other have weekend homes. ..

“Each artist has a unique way of looking at the world. Their gathering in the Opera House is … an enjoyable if sometimes rocky stroll through a succession of small universes.”

Has anyone ever explained the Hudson experience better? — Elizabeth Goldfarb Richardson

The Hudson Opera House, a multi arts center, is located at 327 Warren Street and is open from noon to five daily.

Another form of communal self expression—a city wide yard sale-will also be taking place in Hudson on July 17th, 9 am to 5 am. Out of the Closet invites merchants and residents of the town to sell their goods by setting up booths in front of participating storefronts on Warren Street and also at a site set aside at the city park at 7th and Warren Street. It should be a great opportunity to see what ‘s lurking in the basements and attics of some of the finest retailers in the country. –EGR

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