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Horse senses

Carrie Haddad Photographs in Hudson showcases equine art by Ida Weygandt & David Seiler through April 10

by Paul Smart
March 26, 2011 02:00 PM | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ever since Horseshows in the Sun (HITS) descended on Ulster County a decade ago, equestrian art has become something of a rage in the Hudson Valley. But thanks to a new show at Carrie Haddad Photographs in Hudson, featuring a fabulous series of color photographs of the Columbia and Dutchess County foxhunting set by Ida Weygandt, titled The Hunt, and some haunting horse portraits by photographer David Seiler, it seems that the field may finally be escaping its twee attributes.

Weygandt’s large color works, shot with a four-by-five-inch view camera, document a way of life centered around the beauty and magnificence of the horse that the Bard-educated and Germantown-based photographer knows from her own youth. “Foxhunting has for the most part always been perceived and portrayed as a mere show of splendor and pomp for the upper-class horse enthusiast. However, growing up in horse country, I saw it more as of a way of life for this diminishing and very private population of country folk,” she writes of The Hunt. “I wanted to bring this culture to the public’s attention in order to show the beauty that lies in this slowly vanishing tradition and the significant role it has contributed to land preservation.”

Seiler works in sepia tones and dusty grays, playing off a sense of nostalgia to suggest personal narratives for his stark works built through the layering of rectangular collage pieces of the same photograph. “I operate in the space between painting and photograph – object and print,” he says of his work. “These works of horses represent a new starting point in the continuum of my process… At the heart of my process is the desire to see things differently, to build an image literally in order to come to an understanding of the visceral nature of form.”

Rounding out and complementing the equine works in complex ways are a series of cityscapes by Peter Liepke that make contemporary New York settings feel timeless, ancient. “In a world far from perfect, I am more interested in the aspect of showing the viewer what could be, or the visual way in which I see the world, as opposed to simply photographing a bleak literal interpretation that shows the viewer what is,” he says. “Maybe my visual philosophy contradicts the medium of photography itself, but if we don’t hold true to our own vision, then why bother doing it?”

The show opened earlier this month and runs through April 10 at Carrie Haddad Photographs at 318 Warren Street in Hudson. For more information about the exhibit, call (518) 828-7655 or visit www.carriehaddadgallery.com. You won’t look at horsies in quite the same way again.

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