Monday, March 2, 2009

Hudson River stations inspire artist

For a modern take on the Hudson River as artistic inspiration, there is "A Journey Along the Hudson River Line” -- Frédéric Lére's oil paintings of the 31 train stations along the MTA and Amtrak Hudson River lines. The exhibit will be on display at RiverWinds Gallery at 172 Main Street in Beacon from March 14 though April 6. The artist’s reception will be held during Beacon’s Second Saturday, March 14, from 5-8 p.m.

Here is more about it from the gallery:

Frédéric’s oil paintings are an artistic catalog of the 31 train stations along the MTA and Amtrak Hudson River lines. Each stop on the MTA and Amtrak Hudson River lines is painted, keeping train station and river in sight if possible. Each one is framed in wood, pasted with a collage of train schedules revealing the name of each station in white highlights.

At the beginning of the 19th Century, the first school of American landscape painters explored the dramatic wilderness of the Hudson River. In their footsteps, New York City-based artist Frédéric Lère boarded the train in the summer of 2007 and 2008 to rediscover the Hudson Valley with easel, canvas and oil paint.

Always keeping train stations and river in sight, he found wilderness very close to the city, in places such as Breakneck Ridge or Manitou, as students and science teachers were foraging ponds next to his easel to find rare species of mud minnows. In many stations he also faced the discouraging development of suburbia with its sprawling acres of parking lots. But many treasures could also be found: a church in Cold Spring filled with live music and passionate people, a boat launch in Beacon, or a farmer’s market. In every station, Frédéric met humanity, curiosity and sometimes camaraderie of fellow painters.

Train stations along the Hudson lines played a pivotal role in the development of townships in the valley; they were the pride of the community and built to last, just like banks or churches. A few did not survive the modernization trend of the Seventies. Today, they are rediscovered, protected, and restored, -- although not always as train stations, -- as is the Hudson Valley itself.

Frédéric Lére, after Beaux-Arts studies as well as studies in stone carving and comics in France, arrived in New York in 1984 to specialize in mural painting. He met painter Mark Beard and worked with him on theater sets and decorative painting jobs in New York, as well as in Europe. His friendship with Mark continues today. They are working on murals in New York, Los Angeles, London and Tokyo. In Miami, he met another work partner, Pierre Marcel. Together, they have realized murals in Florida, Russia, France, even cruise-ships.

Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Mondays, noon to 6 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Second Saturdays. Direction at the Web site or by calling 845-838-2880.

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