Thomas Cole and the Contemporary: Laura Moriarty’s “Tableau for Thomas Cole”

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Sat, Feb 27 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm FREE

This program is in conjunction with Hunterdon Art Museum’s current exhibition, Laura Moriarty: Resurfacing.

Featuring Kate Menconeri, Director of Exhibitions & Collections, Curator of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site

In 2018, celebrated artist Kiki Smith and curator Kate Menconeri organized “Spectrum,” an exhibition of contemporary art installed at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, the original grounds, house, and studio of the major American Romantic artist Thomas Cole (1801-1848).

The exhibition included Moriarty’s Tableau for Thomas Cole, a grouping of rock- and geode-like wax sculptures (similar to some currently on view at HAM) arranged on Cole’s table-sized palette. There, before Cole’s paintings of sublime outcroppings, caverns, and New York mountain peaks, Moriarty’s wax rocks, with their candylike colors, were both resonant and dissonant with the art of the past.

This program will consider Cole’s life and work in relation to contemporary art. How might Moriarty’s sculptures act as colorful meteorites from the present, traveling through time to haunt Cole’s works? How might the institutional work of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, including its contemporary art programming, enliven the past to enrich us now?