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Tema Stauffer: UPSTATE

August 7, 2019 02:16 pm

HUDSON — Hudson Hall presents Tema Stauffer: UPSTATE, an exhibition featuring a selection of photographs centered on the intersection of the social, historical, and ephemeral landscape of the Hudson Valley. UPSTATE was recently published as a monograph with 33 color photographs by Daylight Books. A reception with the artist and book signing takes place Saturday, August 10 from 5-7p.m. The exhibition is on view until September 29, 2019. For more information, visit hudsonhall.org or call (518) 822-1438.

Situated on the shores of the upper Hudson River, Hudson was incorporated in 1785 and named in honor of Dutch explorer Henry Hudson. It developed rapidly as a thriving whaling and merchant seaport. After an economic downturn in the early 19th century, heavy industries such as iron factories and mills revived the fortunes of the city, only to fall once again following the Great Depression. In recent decades, Hudson has experienced new economic growth as a result of the arrival of newcomers from larger cities, yet this revitalization is at odds with the struggle experienced there.

Stauffer offers us the bones of what was, by focusing our attention to the underlying emotional current of human presence set against a decaying landscape. Tracey Morgan Gallery, who represent Stauffer, note:

“Alongside the presumed emptiness of Stauffer’s photographs is a sharp evening light inseparable to the landscape of the Hudson Valley. The light, piercing through the gray cold demeanor of the work, moves us beyond abandonment and into illumination. UPSTATE doesn’t offer us romanticism, instead it gifts us the truth of a region amassed in contradictions that somehow remain synched. Though human representation is largely muted, the photographs are not devoid. This is the beauty of Stauffer’s ability to humanize a region beset by struggle. Not only do we meet the eyes of locals through Stauffer’s inclusion of portraits, we see the reminder of lives lived through coffee cups left on a diner table, a rusted white car resting in front of a salon, or bee traps stacked along the side of a barn during warmer months.”

Tema Stauffer is a photographer whose work examines the social, economic, and cultural landscape of American spaces. Her work has been exhibited at Sasha Wolf Gallery, Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery, and Jen Bekman Gallery in New York, as well as galleries and institutions internationally. She is the recipient of the 2012 Women in Photography – LTI/Lightside Individual Project Grant and a 2014 CCNY Darkroom Residency. UPSTATE was recently exhibited at the Eastern Tennessee State University’s Reece Museum, coinciding with the publication of her monograph of the same name by Daylight Books. UPSTATE was recently nominated for the Unviel’d Photobook Award in 2018. She is an Assistant Professor of Photography in the Department of Art & Design at ETSU in Johnson City, TN.

Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House, 327 Warren Street, Hudson, www.hudsonhall.org, Ph. (518) 822-1438

Yellow House, Wire Road, Germantown, NY, 2016 by Tema Stauffer