By PAUL LASTER, September 2020
Venturing to Upstate New York and Western Massachusetts for Upstate Art Weekend, Renée Riccardo and I took the train from Grand Central Station to Croton Falls to pick-up a rental car before heading to Magazzino Italian Art in Cold Springs. After admiring Arte Povera pieces from the fetching collection, we traveled to Rhinebeck to visit architect Steven Holl’s ‘T’ Space, but a downed tree blocked the road so we moved on to Woodstock, where we had booked an Airbnb for four days.
We left early the next morning for MASS MoCA in North Adams, where we caught two sensational, newly opened exhibitions—Ad Minoliti's Fantasías Modulares and Blane De St. Croix's How to Move a Landscape—and then roamed through the fascinating presentations of works by Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Oppenheimer, Sol LeWitt, Ledelle Moe and Franz West. Journeying to the nearby Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, we were captivated by the collection of classical, modernist and Old Master artworks, and a contemporary exhibition of hanging fabric sculptures by Pia Camil.
Next stop was Hudson, where we hit the galleries and shops—including Pamela Salisbury, Antigo, September, Ornamentum, Susan Eley Fine Art and the The Hudson Eye exhibition at Hudson Hall—before calling it a day. The following morning, we strolled the streets of Woodstock and then drove to Stoneleaf Retreat, the organizer of Upstate Art Weekend, to view a selection of indoor and outdoor projects and to roam the three-year-old artist residency’s verdant grounds.
From there, it was a short drive to the Starlite Motel, where works by Hope Gangloff, Liz Collins, Jeffrey Gibson and others were wonderfully installed around the restored 1960s motor lodge. Driving on to Germantown, we visited Alexander Gray Associate’s Upstate outpost to see Jennie C. Jones’s smart-looking show of acoustic panel paintings before moving on to Chatham, where Donna Moylan was premiering new, poetic paintings that enchantingly reflect the local landscape at Thompson Giroux Gallery.
On our final full day, we went for a marvelous morning tour of Manitoga, the former home and 75-acre woodland garden of industrial designer Russel Wright, in Garrison. Minutes away was Beacon, where we pondered shows at Mother Gallery and Parts & Labor prior to a walkthrough DIA Beacon, where we were taken by sprawling installations of powerful works by Andy Warhol, John Chamberlain, Sam Gilliam, Imi Knoebel, Dan Flavin and others. Wrapping up the day in Rhinebeck, we made it back to see paintings and sculptures by Hiroyuki Hamada at 'T' Space—a delightful end to our 600-mile art crawl. WM
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.
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