Right to Repair: Viewing

Photo: Eleanor ConoverQuarry, 2022, Oil, acrylic, graphite, dye, saw blade, wooden blocks, marble on sewn linen with beveled pine, 56 x 41 in

Eleanor Conover | Pooneh Maghazehe | Matthew Schrader

August 13 – September 11, 2022

Curated by Caitlin MacBride

Hudson House is pleased to present Right To Repair, an exhibition bringing together the work of three artists using material investigations to contemplate the environmental havoc of contemporary times. The human impact on land has lead to extraction, displacement, and vast amounts of accumulated refuse. Eleanor Conover, Pooneh Maghazehe, and Matthew Schrader use painting, sculpture, and photography to explore the way the natural world persists and acclimates to unnatural conditions. They are each interested in the way industry has shaped landscape and employ marble (Conover), plants and steel (Schrader), and a variety of synthetic materials (Maghazehe) to create new forms that reify the often overwhelming questions posed by environments in flux.

Matthew Schrader’s photos of the Ailanthus tree, commonly known as the Tree Of Heaven, depict a plant that is now fairly ubiquitous in American Cities. Originally introduced to North America from China by Philadelphian naturalist William Hamilton in 1784 as a decorative addition for gardens, it is now considered an invasive species and has been deemed a “noxious weed”. This plant which straddles the identity of being both an aggressive outsider and one of the most common and hearty American trees serves as a metaphor for the complexity of displacement and acclimation to a new land. Schrader’s Ailanthus Seed Pods are on display, a reminder of their ongoing ability to multiply and shape future changes yet to come. A nod to one of Pennsylvania’s best known exports, a pair of steel rods exactly two yards long are placed against a wall and connected with delicate thread. The piece engages Schrader’s ongoing riffs on measurement devices as well as a linguistic play on the word yard.

Eleanor Conover’s paintings are created through a process of dying, bleaching, sewing, oil painting, and adhering pieces of marble to the surface. The marble is sourced by the artist from a quarry in Knoxville, Tennessee. The painterly language and unconventional material exploration both take on investigative and intuitive processes. Together they balance the dichotomous nature of being in a body- the pursuit of knowledge and the desire for some things to remain mysterious. On a chemical level marble consists of calcite crystals that are linked like jigsaw puzzle pieces after exposure to extreme heat and pressure. Conover’s paintings begin with dye and bleach permeating linen and then oil paint and eventually marble slabs are applied to the surface. Much like an archeological dig they encourage a measured meditation on land and history via a stratified system of layers.

Pooneh Maghazehe’s sculptures are formed from such materials as hot glue, leak seal, plastic dip, plaster, coupons, bent bamboo patio furniture, brown lunch bags, wood glue clamps, and various metals. The material conversation focuses on themes of reusing, recycling, and recirculating of man-made materials in contemporary culture. Recognizable symbols are repurposed to mimic animal and human forms and a new sense of functionality embedded in refuse. Coca-cola symbols and coupons give way to cascading textures or etchings of a pelican, a reminder that in the right hands anything can find a new purpose. A series of locking lids for oil barrels references their original role as gatekeepers of the toxic and valuable liquid mixture found in geological formations. Yet in Maghazehe’s work they become portal-like reliefs, inviting the viewer to find their reflection or a framed surface of material exploration.

Text by Caitlin MacBride


Sep 11 2022


12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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Hudson House
Hudson House
824 Warren Street, Hudson, NY, USA
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