Press Releases

14 Hudson Valley Artists selected to exhibit at Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art


NEW PALTZ -- “Artists in various fields are always the first to discover how to enable one medium or to release the power of another,” said philosopher Marshall McLuhan who in 1964 coined the phrase “The medium is the message.”

Robert The/ The Medium is the Message, 2006/ Altered book: Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore The Medium is the Massage (first edition)/ 7 3/4 x 4 17/20 x 3/4 in.

Considered the guru of media culture, McLuhan called attention to the powers of the technological world and how it actually creates meaning. Taken in a more literal way, meaning can be found in the materials artists use to express an idea as observed in the upcoming exhibition Hudson Valley Artists 2008: The Medium is the Message, on view June 6 – September 7, in the Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery & North Gallery at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.

Keeping with its special commitment to collecting and exhibiting important works of art created by artists who have lived and worked in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions, each summer the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art mounts an exhibition of work by emerging or mid-career Hudson Valley artists. This year, artists were asked to submit work that explores the materiality of art making and the meaning inherent in artists’ choice of media. Over 250 regional artists submitted work to the museum and fourteen were selected for the exhibition by juror Denise Markonish, curator at MASS MoCA. This year’s exhibitors include Kathleen Anderson, Allen Bryan, David Bush, Deb Davidovits, Tasha Depp, Dara Greenwald, Matt Harle, Roman Hrab, Christopher Huan, Tatana Kellner, Iain Machell, Laura Moriarty, Carrie Scanga, and Robert The. A reception for these extraordinary artists will be held on Friday, June 6 from 5-8:00 p.m. and all are welcome.

Tatana Kellner/ Installation view of Iron, 2007-2008/ Silkscreen, shirts, iron, ironing board

The exhibition, The Medium is the Message, is based upon McLuhan’s idea and extends it to the range of materials artists use in their work. Artist Robert The tackles this with the materials he uses – books that are painstakingly cut into shapes resembling guns, bugs and snowflakes. Taking a copy of McLuhan’s book The Medium is the Massage (not a misspelling), The meticulously cuts it and a transformation occurs; the book becomes a gun/book, commenting on the complexities of today’s world and alluding to McLuhan’s famous aphorism.

Roman Hrab/ Digital study for Green Zone Kilim, 2008/ Encaustic on inkjet print, mounted on birch panels/ approx. 10 x 18 ft.

Roman Hrab and Tatana Kellner alter easily recognizable materials or imagery in their work as well. Hrab’s work looks like a Persian carpet, full of ornate detailed patterns. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that the design is actually constructed out of green zone satellite images, taking two recognizable objects (the rug and satellite images) and merging them into a new hybrid. Kellner explores patternmaking in her installation Iron. Here viewers are confronted with an ironing board, iron and crisp white shirts. Kellner’s iron moves on its own, methodically ironing the shirts to reveal text as the material burns. The texts comment on working conditions of female laborers and immigrants from the 1900s to the present.

About the Juror

Denise Markonish, the juror for The Medium is the Message, is a new curator at Mass MoCA, where her first exhibition Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape, opened in May. Previously, Markonish was the director/curator at Artspace in New Haven, Ct., where she organized the exhibition Territories, which traveled to the Galerie fur Landschaftskunst in Hamburg, Germany. Additionally, she prepared the inaugural exhibitions, Time, Share and Body Double at Art Interactive, Cambridge, Ma. Markonish was curator at the Fuller Museum of Art, where she organized Drawing in Tradition, Face Off: Confronting the Figure, Almost Home: Photographers and Domestic Space, Project of a Boundary: Recent Art from Chile, and initiated a project space for the presentation of Palimpsest: Defining a New Cultural Language – named best of 2000 by The Boston Herald.

For additional information about this and other exhibition at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art call (845) 257-3872 or go to

If you are a person with a disability who will require special accommodations please contact Amy Pickering at 845.257.3844
no later than one week before the event.