Valerie Hegarty’s artwork often poses as artifacts of art history gone awry. Through the combination of real and fabricated components, Hegarty leaves the viewer to wonder at the veracity of the transformation. For the High Line, she has created a work that imagines a nineteenth century Hudson River School landscape painting that has been left outdoors, exposed to the elements. Hegarty’s painting is based on Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Autumn on the Hudson River from 1860, a bucolic landscape that shows none of the affects of the Industrial Revolution. Hegarty’s canvas is tattered and frayed, and the partially exposed stretcher bars appear to be morphing into tree branches, as if reverting back to their natural state.
(1-3) Photo courtesy of Friends of the High Line; (4-5) Photo by Christina Macaya.