Man & Machine

Mark Beard, Matthew Hopkins, Robert Goldstrom, Harry Orlyk, Joseph Richards, and Allan Skriloff with sculpture by Lee Musselman and photography by Nick Simpson and Doug Fidoten

October 14, 2020 through November 29, 2020

Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present “Man and Machine,” an exhibit that observes nostalgic and idealistic themes about the role of mechanical strength in the human experience. British art critic Jasia Reichardt offers that “Artists have contributed significantly to the current image and meaning of the machine and have even anticipated some of its developments. Their approaches to the subject have ranged from reactionary distaste, to empathetic ingenuity, to romantic and celebratory bravado.” This selection of work from gallery artists parallels symbols of human strength with modern industrial might.

The paintings of Allan Skriloff and Joseph Richards call fascinating attention to the strength and magnitude of often overlooked subjects. Skriloff shines a glorified light on the muscles of men in hard hats that sweat and contort aboard an oil rig, elevating blue worker brawniness to a godly status. Richards harnesses a wistful sense of wonder in grand-scale detailed paintings of trains and cranes, a sight that would fuel any child’s obsession with the unstoppable force of construction equipment! Robert Goldstrom, well known for his architectural paintings of Brooklyn’s iconic buildings, introduces into the scene the construction worker, a reminder that our environments are largely manmade.

Mark Beard will feature a pair of large paintings under the guise of Bruce Sargeant that showcase robust WWII era motorcycles and their hunky riders. The young men outfitted in bomber jackets lounging alongside their mechanical steeds in an evergreen landscape offer a nostalgic glimpse into the fictious painter’s world. Another painting from the same artist of a pioneering family standing beside their tractor in tilled cornfields is suggestive of a propagandizing promise of the ‘American Dream.’ Harry Orlyk’s recording of upstate NY’s farmland impressionistically rendered in oil paint is perhaps a more realistic view of the farmer’s commitment to the land.

Matthew Hopkins will exhibit a series of charming still life paintings of various tools, shedding a painterly light on the commonplace objects while the late Lee Musselman gives them new life with his iconic and quirky sculptures. Musselman humorously personifies found objects by creating small statues such as “Shovel Head” (which is exactly what the title suggests) and “Groome Melting” where a pink, plastic baby doll head is given a mallet and an axe for its legs.

Nick Simpson’s sepia toned photographs captured with a Victorian lens represent the forward-thinking innovators birthed out of the Industrial Revolution. What is now viewed as trite albeit comical attempts at technological design in photographs like The Perambulator, was once considered the apex of technological invention. This further speaks to evidence of the expanding generation gap when defining the evolving role of technology.

Allan Skriloff

Doug Fidoten

Harry Orlyk

Joseph Richards

Lee Musselman

Mark Beard

Matthew Hopkins

Nick Simpson

Robert Goldstrom