A blog about Hudson, New York

2012, A Space Odyssey

Artist Laetitia Hussain’s installation at Basilica Hudson was the kind of event that could only have taken place in Hudson at this time in its gestation, filled as the town still is with massive and rough-hewed spaces that have yet to find any single permanent use. With its jagged, white geometric forms (glass panels suspended from the ceilings, ten light and film projections, and multiple polygon boxes arranged on the floor, each of which were for sale at the opening this Saturday for $20), it was an impromptu celebration of the grandly inconclusive voids still available here, makeshift yet reminiscent of far more costly creations by Maya Lin or the magnificent cominglings of space and sculpture on permanent display at Dia Beacon. An eye- gratifying juxtaposition to the middle brow and yet somehow far more pretentious offerings at other galleries in town, it was the kind of large -scale artistic vision that made even the freezing cold enjoyably conceptual. (The Basilica space is unheated at the present time; the breath one could see in the air added to the mystique of the moment.)

Basilica is thinking major these days.  Following Hussain’s exhibition, the space will turn into a sound stage for a major Hollywood film production. Elsewhere in town, on a far smaller, more humbling scale, are the photographs of Peter Spear, whose milieu is the emptiness of so many of Hudson’s less-celebrated areas, the poorer lots and byways only a block or so away from its more glamorous ones. His book The Friendly City is available at various shops and cafes in town, and an especially evocative print of his (below) is available at Small Batch Editions, a nifty site put together by Melissa Stafford, formerly of Carrie Haddad Photographs. –-Scott Baldinger

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