Hassard & Steele: Concrete Dreams
February 11 – April 7, 2018
Richmond Art Museum (Indiana)
Opening this weekend at Richmond Art Museum (the second oldest museum in Indiana), you can view the works of nationally recognized artists Ray Hassard and Marlene Steele, whose paintings “reveal the revitalizing and transformative processes of man and machine of America’s urban infrastructure,” the museum explains.
“The demolition and replacement of a highway viaduct from the 1930s was the impetus for this body of work”, says Hassard. “Because of the scale of the project and the drama of the huge shapes, I felt it necessary to move beyond my usual sizes of pastels into larger oils and acrylic paintings. Watching the massive beams being hoisted into place with dramatic spotlights at night was one of the most exciting things ever. The workmen spent hours making sure they were balanced properly, so when they floated, seemingly effortlessly, into the sky, it just took my breath away and I knew I had to paint the scene. ‘Flying the Beam’ was the resulting pastel. The night they did this was also my birthday – what a great gift from the universe!”
Cincinnati Union Terminal (shown above), a beloved work of architecture to many, was an inspiration for Steele; the building is the focus of her new series. “I loved following the transformation of this Art Deco classic, as I painted at the site on a daily basis,” Steele says. “The modern restoration processes to save this historic icon were fascinating to witness.”