Billowing smoke, booming industry, noble bridges, and an epic waterfront are the landscape of New York changing and growing in the first 40 years of the 20th century. Industrial Sublime: Modernism and the Transformation of New Yorks Rivers, 1900-1940 at the Hudson River Museum
, Yonkers, October 12, 2013 to January 17, 2014, shows the convulsive changes in the New York metropolis and its rivers that are embraced in modern paintings from Robert Henri to Georgia OKeeffe.
Industrial Sublime takes a first time look at the links between American Modernism and Hudson River School painting. The ideals expressed in thousands of Hudson River School canvases from the 1820s through the turn of the century expressed a vision to which many artists clung decades after great physical change to the regions landscape. Other artists, though, some from the Ashcan School, eagerly turned towards the Machine Age, and painted, not majestic mountain ranges, but arching bridges, swinging cranes, and streamlined ocean liners moving in and out of the citys harbor. In hailing the new, these artists created a fresh vocabulary for their century.
Industrial Sublime includes over 70 works from museums around the country, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; High Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; The New-York Historical Society; the Phillips Collection; Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Norton Museum of Art; and, the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The exhibition is co-curated by Kirsten M. Jensen, Curator, and Bartholomew F. Bland, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Hudson River Museum. Industrial Sublime is accompanied by a fully illustrated companion catalogue. The exhibition and its catalogue are the fifth in the Hudson River Museums series The Visitor in the Landscape. Essayists for the publication include Wendy Greenhouse, co-author of Chicago Modern 1893-1945: Pursuit of the New; Katherine E. Manthorne, Professor of Modern Art of the Americas, Graduate Center, City University of New York; Ellen E. Roberts, Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art, Norton Museum of Art; and, Kirsten Jensen and Bartholomew Bland.