The Riverdale Press

October 18, 2001

Hudson River Museum

Mounts Three Shows Inspired By Its Namesake

Leslie Galia

It comes as no surprise that many of the Hudson River Museum’s exhibits reflect the body of water that rolls right outside its huge picture windows. Collecting paintings by regional artists has been one of the museum’s top priorities since it was founded in 1919.

Many of theses artists, whether they were grouped together under the banner of the 19th century Hudson River School or whether they wielded their paintbrushes in the 20th century, captured the mighty waterway and its environs.

The latest series of exhibits to go on display at the museum, “Ellen Kozak Paintings: Reflections on a River”; “Living with Landscape; Paintings from Private Collections” and “Assembling the Pieces; Collecting in the ‘90s” showcases the river in all of its glory.

A party last Friday celebrated the opening of the three displays, which will run through the end of the year and into early January.

River reflections

One of the more recent artists to find her muse at river’s edge is showcased at the museum this fall. “Ellen Kozak Paintings; Reflections on a River” is on view through Jan. 6.

The exhibit of 33 canvases includes 10 Hudson River primer Series paintings (1996 to 2001) and watercolors from her 1996 book Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes; Notations on a Landscape.

Ms Kozak, a professor at Pratt Institute, has painted landscape for over a decade. Inspired by the rural location during a residency at Yaddo, an artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. she began to paint by observing the landscape.

Now she paints in the early morning from a point overlooking the Hudson River. “The river’s light became my subject, all of the painting was given to reflected light, the river’s surface, it’s tide, current, and atmosphere.”

Some of her works are minimalist—small pieces of broken, horizontal color, as seen on an overcast morning. In another, a painting of clouds reflected through the mirror-like lens of the unbroken surface of the river suggests an aerial view of the earth.

Ebb Tide Inlet, 1999

oil on panel

17″ x 20″
private collection