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Joseph Stashkevetch, Hudson Sketches

Von Lintel Gallery
520 West 23rd Street, 212-242-0599
September 3 - October 10, 2009
Reception: Thursday, September 10, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to announce its third exhibition of new works by Joseph Stashkevetch.

With isolated views of water, rocks, birds, a slip of sky and flora, Stashevetch’s large-scale drawings of the natural world are executed in exacting detail. One can easily mistake these works on paper for photography. It is only upon closer inspection of the paper’s rich surface that we realize the monochromatic renderings, subtle shifts in black and white, are layers of conté crayon worked into thick sheets of rag paper.

The work has a quiet, contemplative quality. With thoughts of the Hudson River school in mind, Joseph retreats from the contemporary grid to focus on something more fundamental. His imagery, centering on the remains of virgin forest in northern Manhattan, contains no evidence of our heavy footprint. Instead, borrowing from the same subject matter as the Hudson River school, Stashkevetch deconstructs his landscape into individual elements. We are offered severely cropped views: the Palisades, a sky clotted with clouds, the Hudson River itself. Heads of peonies seem to bloom and tumble out of darkness. Stashkevetch emphasizes the continuing, cyclical nature of life. The towering stratification of our past is revealed in rocks, as well as the gentle, rippling surface of the great estuary’s irresistible tidal flow. Yet subtle references to our input shadow this tranquility – is that a spot of waste floating on the sun-dappled waves? Why is it only clouds darken a June sky? They whisper and remind us that our chapter in this long story has thus far been brief, while taking comfort in the resilient and restorative nature of the planet.

Born in the United States, Joseph Stashkevetch studied at the Rhode Island School of Design. The artist’s work has been exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe and appears in numerous public and private collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Dallas Museum of Art. The artist lives and works in New York.
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