Bridgeport, CT - The Housatonic Museum of Art presents Anna Held Audette: Requiem for the Industrial Age, on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, Connecticut, from June 12 – July 25, 2014 with a reception open to the public on Thursday, June 12th from 5 – 7 pm. The Burt Chernow Galleries are free and open to the public. Visit the website, www.HousatonicMuseum.org for summer gallery hours.
Anna Held Audette was a distinguished artist and teacher best known for her drawings, prints and paintings of industrial ruins and obsolete machinery chronicling the decline of American industry. Her early works show her formative interest in structure which defined her style and imagery and developed along with her lifelong extensive travel exploring troves of discarded industrial machinery vehicles, and buildings. A large metal recycling yard in North Haven, Connecticut was a valuable resource for inspiration due to its proximity to Audette’s home in New Haven. Access to junkyards enabled her to achieve the ideal expressed by the modern painter she most admired, Charles Sheeler, best known for his paintings of American industrial sites. Like Sheeler, whose realistic paintings are supported by an intentional structure that implies abstraction, Audette’s work emphasizes inherent formal design elements such as shape and color with her preference for examining detailed segments of her chosen subject.
About the sources for her imagery, Audette wrote, “Both the literal and evocative meanings of these subjects strike a responsive chord in me and provide variations on a theme that has been central to my paintings for a long time. The relics remind us that, in our rapidly changing world, the triumphs of technology are just a moment away from obsolescence. Yet these remains of collapsed power have a strength, grace and sadness that are both eloquent and impenetrable. Transfigured by time and light, which render the ordinary extraordinary, they form a visual requiem for the industrial age.”
Audette’s early works evolved from printmaking to painting and are represented in the Fitzwilliam Museum, The Rijksmuseum, The National Gallery of Science, NASA, The National Gallery of Art, The Yale University Art Gallery, Smith College Museum of Art, The Currier Museum of Art and The New Britain Museum of American Art, among many others, as well as in numerous private collections. In 1991 she was inducted into the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2000 she was invited to become a Fellow of Morse College at Yale. She had a long career teaching drawing and printmaking at Southern Connecticut State University, contributed photographs and illustrations to numerous children’s books and poetry collections, and is the author of The Blank Canvas, 100 Creative Ideas and RUINS, Poems and Paintings of a Vanishing America, with Suzanne Notnagle.
The Housatonic Museum of Art’s collection contains over 5000 works of art spanning ancient through modern times and is one of the largest permanent collections of any two-year college in the Northeast. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by the Werth Family Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Target, Inc., and other individual donors. If you are interested in supporting HMA exhibitions and programs by donating to the Housatonic Community College Foundation, contact the Museum at www.HousatonicMuseum.org