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Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College to Show Retrospective by Susan Hartung

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Aug. 28, 2014

The Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College announces Following a Line, a retrospective of paintings, drawings, prints and ephemera by Great Barrington artist Susan Hartung, on view Sept. 18 through Oct. 25, 2014.

Curator Peter Dudek will discuss the exhibit on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium, followed by a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Teaching Gallery. Both events are free and open to the public.

Following a Line presents nearly 60 works by Hartung, spanning some 50 years. Curated by Brooklyn artist/curator Peter Dudek- and organized by Teaching Gallery Director Tara Fracalossi, the exhibit eschews the standard chronological presentation of many retrospectives in favor of mixed chronology groupings that map out and explore shared concerns and relationships between bodies of work that may be decades apart in execution.

Hartung’s studio practice grew up in New York in the 1960s and 70s. It was there that her minimalist vocabulary of linear, repetitive marks and subtly modulated color coalesced into the framework of her life’s investigation. As Dudek writes in his exhibition essay, "The reductive lines of Ellsworth Kelly, the repetitive markings of Agnes Martin, the brushed stokes of David Smith that embrace chance as they unfurl across the page, all share Susan’s pursuit of a delicate immediacy, a sense of touch, and drawing as an act of discovery… For her, the not known is a working space devoid of any need for resolution."

Pulse.   2004,  23” x 28”  Acrylic on Canvas
Pulse. 2004, 23” x 28” Acrylic on Canvas

Restrained and refined, Hartung’s drawings and paintings navigate between tightly gridded and lyrically flowing compositions with a generally subdued color scheme. Though seemingly non-objective, these works are revealed by studies, photographs, and prints to have references in the patterns and occurrences of the natural world. Her Beaufort series from the 1990s is a group of delicate line drawings that repeat in a slowly evolving pattern. Despite these works’ apparent lack of image -- nothing is pictured per se -- the series’ title refers to the Beaufort Scale, the measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land. This subtle rooting of image to physical world -- present in many of Hartung’s pieces -- connects the works to a shared experience and external reference point that departs from Minimalist praxis.

Beaufort 5. 1997, 23” x 18.5” graphite on paper.
Beaufort 5. 1997, 23” x 18.5” graphite on paper.

Susan Hartung began painting as an undergraduate at Northwestern University. She continued studying at the Art Students’ League in New York and earned her Masters of Fine Arts degree at Columbia University. Selected exhibitions include solo, group and two-person shows at the Painting Center, NYC, Exit Art, NYC, Time&Space Limited, Hudson, The Albany Institute of History and Art, Five Points Gallery, East Chatham, NY, Lichtenstein Gallery, Pittsfield, Ma, The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Ma and Hunter College, NYC. Her work is held in many private collections as well as the collection of the University Art Museum, University at Albany. She lived and worked in the Berkshires.

Exhibition curator Peter Dudek is an artist who splits his time between Brooklyn and the Berkshires. He curates the cultural programming at Bascom Lodge atop Mount Greylock and teaches at the School of Visual Arts and Hunter College in New York City. He lives with the photographer Monika Sosnowski and their wonder dog, Ruby.

Founded in 2001, the Teaching Gallery has presented more than 50 exhibits and lectures by contemporary professional artists of regional, national and international standing, as well as annual exhibitions by students in Hudson Valley’s highly regarded Fine Arts and Digital Media programs. Since 2007, the gallery has been housed in the award-winning Administration Building, designed by Architecture+ of Troy, NY. Through its exhibitions, the gallery serves as a learning laboratory for students in the Fine Arts and Digital Media degree programs and Gallery Management courses, providing hands-on experience organizing, installing and maintaining exhibitions.

Upcoming Exhibitions:

Fine Arts and Digital Media Faculty Exhibit
Nov. 6 – Dec. 6, 2014
Reception: Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, 4 - 6 p.m. in the Teaching Gallery
Artist talks to be announced.

Artist Unknown – Oliver Wasow
Feb. 12 – March 21, 2015
Reception: Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, 4 - 6 p.m. in the Teaching Gallery
Discussion with the artist: Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, 3 - 4 p.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center, Auditorium

Gallery Hours:
The Teaching Gallery is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Wednesday 1-7 p.m.; Saturday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. For directions and more information, go to

Teaching Gallery exhibits are supported by the Department of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Broadcast Communications with assistance from the Office of Cultural Affairs. All exhibits are installed and assisted by students in Gallery Management classes. The Teaching Gallery is located on the ground floor of the Administration Building.