On view November 11, 2009 — November 2, 2010 on the fence at 20th Street that divides Sections 1 and 2 of the park.
Valerie Hegarty 's artwork often poses as artifacts of art history gone awry. Through the combination of real and fabricated components, Hegarty leaves the viewer to wonder at the veracity of the transformation. For the High Line, she will create and install a work that imagines a nineteenth century Hudson River School landscape painting that has been left outdoors, exposed to the elements. Hegarty’s painting is based on Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Autumn on the Hudson River of 1860, a bucolic landscape that shows none of the affects of the Industrial Revolution. Hegarty’s canvas is tattered and frayed, and the partially exposed stretcher bars appear to be morphing into tree branches, as if reverting back to their natural state.
Curator Lauren Ross notes, "Since the nineteenth century, the Hudson has been associated both with Arcadian beauty and industrial development, perceptions both simultaneous and contradictory. Today one can view fading remnants of the river as an active shipping port, as well as recent attempts to return it to a more ‘natural’ state through the development of park areas and pedestrian walking paths, including the High Line itself." As Hegarty describes it, her piece will "appear as if nature has become the artist, altering the idealized image of the early American wilderness to be a more layered representation of the area and times today."
This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation . High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr.
About the artist
Hegarty has had solo exhibitions at Museum 52 in London, England; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and Guild & Greyshkul Gallery, New York, among others. Her many group exhibitions in New York City include shows at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Artists Space, The Drawing Center, D’Amelio Terras Gallery, White Columns and PS1. She is the recipient of awards from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Illinois Art Council. Additionally, she has participated in residencies at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program, PS 122 Space Program, and Smack Mellon Artist’s Studio Residency, among others. Hegarty holds a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BFA from San Francisco’s Academy of Art College, and a BA from Middlebury College. She is represented by Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York and Museum 52  in London.
Valerie Hegarty, Autumn on the Hudson Valley with Branches, 2009. Photo by Jason Mandella
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