Pastoral Present is a project in which visual artist Wilhelm Neusser will subtly, thoughtfully alter the display of the Fruitlands Museum’s permanent collection of Hudson River School landscape paintings with new paintings he made specifically for the space. The first presentation will appear with the opening of our main season on Saturday, April 13, with two new works. The second shift will be shared in early September 2019.
A New View features more than fifty nineteenth-century landscapes by Hudson River School painters such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole, and Frederic Church. Neusser, a German-born painter whose landscape paintings are widely exhibited throughout Europe and the United States, has long been influenced by nineteenth-century landscape painting, which celebrated and romanticized nature and landscape at a time when dramatic change, such as industrialization, was underway.
The rich colors and captivating imagery of Neusser's paintings incorporate contrasting brushstrokes, some of which streak the scene in what the artist calls a dialectic process of healing and hurting the imagery. Pastoral Present is part of a new body of work that highlights the enduring influence of the Hudson River School –and how the artists’ concerns about highlighting and protecting our natural resources are relevant today.
Shana Dumont Garr, Curator
Related Events: Talk by Art Historian Erin Corrales-Diaz and Book Launch on Saturday, November 2