Shimmering Substance: Selections from Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grantees of the Hudson Valley – Opening Reception

March 12, 2016 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
36 Tinker Street

Exhibition dates: March 11 – May 1, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday March 12, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Discussion: Art in the World of Post-Capitalism, with participating artist Keiko Sono, Sunday, April 17, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Location: Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock NY 12498

Opening March 11 at Byrdcliffe’s Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Shimmering Substance: Selections from Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grantees of the Hudson Valley showcases work by Tricia Cline, Mary Frank, Elliott Green, Kahn and Selesnick, Jason Middlebrook, Martin Myers, Doug Navarra, David Nyzio, Mia Westerlund Roosen, Carolee Schneemann, Keiko Sono, and Robert The. All are recipients of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, one of the most prestigious sources of funding sought by artists today.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation was established in 1985 after the death of Lee Krasner, who along with her husband Jackson Pollock is among the world’s most revered abstract painters. The Foundation’s mission is to fund visual artists internationally who have worked professionally for a significant period of time. Since its inception the Foundation has given away approximately $65,000,000 to 4158 grantees. Of this total, the Foundation has awarded 116 grants totaling $1,838,900 to the Hudson Valley area.

The Foundation has been a major supporter of Byrdcliffe’s Artist in Residence program, which annually hosts 60 artists (visual artists, writers, and composers) at the historic Byrdcliffe Art Colony, where individual studios and living spaces provide for focused creative time in the idyllic mountain environment for which Woodstock is legendary. Established by Ralph and Jane Whitehead as a utopian colony in 1902, Byrdcliffe then as now is guided by principles of how a socially balanced lifestyle in a natural environment can motivate artistic production. In a similar spirit, the legacy left by Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock seeks to “stabilize and to strengthen the careers of artists, not to mention their personal lives as they do their creative work” ( Over the years the Pollock-Krasner Foundation will have provided all told over $168,000 of support to Byrdcliffe, including a fellowship in 2013 for artists displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

The exhibition’s title, Shimmering Substance, references a 1946 painting by Jackson Pollock. As part of his Sounds in the Grass series, Pollock painted Shimmering Substance when he first moved to rural Long Island; responding to his environment in a way that harkens to the Whiteheads’s own beliefs in the creative influence of nature, Pollock began to produce organic abstractions infused with the light of his new surroundings. The artists in the exhibition at the Kleinert/James, all of whom live or work in the Hudson Valley, bring together a panoply of media that represents both the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s and Byrdcliffe’s dedication to innovation in the visual arts. The participants were selected by the curators of the show from 75 individual Hudson Valley Pollock-Krasner artist grantees. To see artwork by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantees, please visit:

Tricia Cline is a sculptor who creates lifelike porcelain figures, both human and animal, with fantastical, literary identities. Mary Frank, a painter, printmaker, and sculptor, also has a primarily figurative output, often addressing myth and metamorphosis via the female body. Mia Westerlund Roosen’s sculptural figurations reference the body as well, but in ways gracefully kinetic rather than literal. Robert The uses a power saw to fabricate highly finished sculpture out of books, “lovingly vandalized,” he writes, into bodily organs, insects, or objects of human consumption, with a particular interest in guns.

Elliott Green and Martin Myers are both abstract painters; Green is represented in Shimmering Substance by broadly brushed expressionistic paintings that combine the languages of seascape and Surrealism, while Myers’s vibrant geometries analyze the dynamics of linear perspective and light. Jason Middlebrook’s work consists of intricately angular drawings, like schematic cityscapes, in spray paint on cross sections of tree trunks. The collaborative team of Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn work in many media, often producing staged photographs rife with art historical reference, such as the Dreams of the Drowning World series to be on view at the Kleinert/James; Carolee Schneemann, whose early performance art helped lay the groundwork for feminist discourse in contemporary art, is also represented by recent photographic series.

Doug Navarra’s gouache drawings on antique found paper are palimpsests of history, graphic design, and artistic intervention. David Nyzio’s seemingly boundless store of artistic media, which he attributes to “a predisposition as a tinkerer,” is represented in the present exhibition by smoke paintings and a floor installation of “sheep-licked salt.” Keiko Sono’s art has its primary goal, she says, in “mak[ing] us feel connected to the world;” the exhibition at the Kleinert/James will present a video of her public art project Yankeetown Pond. Sono will also give a talk in conjunction with the show, “Art in the World of Post-Capitalism,” exploring the role of art and artists and the transition from a scarcity-based capitalist economy to an abundance-based regenerative economy. The talk will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Sunday, April 17 at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts.

The exhibition is curated by Heather Hutchison, Doug Milford, and Portia Munson. The Kleinert/James Center for the Arts is open to the public Friday through Sunday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm, or by appointment Tuesday through Thursday.

shimmering substance

Image captions:
left: Robert The, Brook, 2004. Old encyclopedia set, dimensions variable.
center: David Nyzio, Smoke Flow #6, 2011. Smoke on paper, 60” x 40”.
right: Tricia Cline, Knowing’s Wife, 2015. Porcelain, 17″ x 11″ x 8″.