Eye Level with the Smallest Leaf by Louise Dudis
Opening reception: March 22, 2013, 6-9pm
Fallen Tree 5068, 2011-12
Archival ink jet print on paper
17" x 88" (over all)
©2013 Robert Henry Contemporary
Eye Level with the Smallest Leaf by Louise Dudis features 5 new large-scale pieces from her Fallen Tree Series that consists of multi-panel photographs of the forests of the Hudson Valley, and specifically trees that lie in the forests along the Hudson River’s edge. With its focus on the emotional and spiritual influence of the land, Dudis' work is a contemporary reexamination of the 19th Century’s Hudson River School of painting. Through the lens of 21st Century technology and environmental concerns, her work, influenced by American Transcendentalism, questions our impact and relationship to the land and explores ideas about time, the environment, spirituality and philosophy.
Dudis’s work is a visual, metaphorical exploration of 21st Century issues and ideas around human interaction with landscape on an almost microscopic scale. She demonstrates the fragility and beauty of nature in her work by photographing the delicacy of rotting leaves and bark, mosses and fungi. Dudis’s images are realistic moments in the life of trees, tied to specific times, places and seasons and intend to reveal natural beauty through scientific, almost forensic detail. Her images are hyper-real portraits of the once majestic, heroic trees intended to elevate our morality in the romantic narratives of pre-Civil War American philosophy, now lying in fragments on the forest floor, more vulnerable than fragile, but specific and identifiable. Like the Hudson River School her images contain their own peaceful contemplation of natural beauty but also reflect our contemporary concerns of an endangered environment.
Unlike the thinkers of 19th Century America, we in the 21st Century cannot think of the beauty and fragility of nature without also thinking about it as endangered, threatened or extinct. Like our environment as a whole the trees in Eye Level with the Smallest Leaf are in a state of transformation and are decaying into the forest floor. Her camera’s lens works like a wormhole into another time and place and her images reveal to us in great detail that beauty hides in the smallest places, often lying on the ground right in front of our eyes.
Ms. Dudis earned her BA (Cum Laude) in Studio Art from Connecticut College in New London, CT in 1972. She has exhibited her work nationally since 1975, including the Sculpture Center, New York, NY and the Penine Hart Gallery, New York, NY. She lives and maintains her studio in New York City.