Winter Eclectic

Jenny Nelson, Tracy Helgeson, Judith Hoyt, Ashley Cooper and Tony Thompson

December 15, 2011 through January 22, 2012

Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present “Winter Eclectic,” an exhibit which reflects the great diversity of the many artists we represent. Showcasing contemporary art for over twenty years, Carrie Haddad Gallery has a long history of exhibiting work across genres and in a variety of mediums. “Winter Eclectic” brings together the narrative paintings of Ashley Cooper, portraits by Tracy Helgeson, contemporary “double” landscapes by Tony Thomson, abstract paintings by Jenny Nelson, and outsider-art-inspired work by Judith Hoyt. The exhibit opens on December 15 and runs through January 22. A reception will be held on Saturday, December 17, from 6 to 8 pm. All are invited to attend.

Ashley Cooper collapses different narratives and time periods into each of her compositions. In “Laundry,” she gives us a cross-section of a house, exposing both its interior and the yard outside. Each region of the canvas documents a different aspect of this domestic chore; a sundressed woman hangs sheets on a clothesline while a nude tosses dirty clothes down a laundry shoot to the basement below. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Cooper intends her complicated paintings to cause the viewer to explore divisions between interior and exterior, between past and present, and between life and death. She lives in Cooperstown with her husband and her two sons.

Jenny Nelson patches together her compositions with layers of icy blues and grays. Though abstract, these paintings evoke winter in their palette. Nelson explains that her artistic process involves a series of additions and subtractions that bring every mark into formal relationships that are dynamic as well as balanced. Nelson received her BFA from Bard College, and currently lives in Woodstock. In addition to Carrie Haddad Gallery, Nelson is represented by galleries in New York City, California and Martha’s Vineyard.

Tracy Helgeson’s portraits mark a departure from her previous interest in painting landscapes. The same red grounds that enliven paintings of trees and fields bring warmth and vitality to her figures, which Helgeson paints with compassion. Tender brushwork and sensitivity to color heighten the humanity of her subjects. Helgeson was born in Minnesota, and has exhibited her work in the Midwest and throughout upstate New York.

On first glance, Tony Thompson’s “double landscapes” read like traditional landscape scenes reflected by clear, still water: a line of symmetry runs through the middle of each composition. In fact, these images emerge from the artist’s exacting reproduction of the same image twice within a single composition. Some of his paintings resemble quilts or tapestries in their symmetry and repetition. Thompson works to combine the concrete “objectness” of abstraction with the illusionism and rich color of landscape. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, as well as numerous galleries in New York and New England.

Judith Hoyt adds yet another dimension to this eclectic exhibit with her folk-art-inspired objects and paintings. Whimsy and intensity coexist in her work: fantastical, stylized birds and leaves adorn her objects, while her faces -- introspective, weathered, and sincere -- become the locus of emotional force. Hoyt lives in New Paltz, where she received her BFA in printmaking. Her work is in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Smithsonian Institute, among other cultural institutions. Carrie Haddad Gallery is located at 622 Warren Street and is open daily fro 11-5 (12-5 on Sunday). You can call the gallery at (518) 828-1915 for directions or more information, or see the entire show online at

Ashley Norwood Cooper

Jenny Nelson

Judith Hoyt

Tony Thompson

Tracy Helgeson