Contributed by Sharon Butler / Peter Dudek spent his summer up in the Berkshires where he and his brother oversee Bascom Lodge, an old-fashioned hikers’ inn on the top of Mount Greylock. For the past few years Dudek has been hosting a small residency program–readers may recall I spent time up there in 2014. This summer the residents included curator and art historian Deborah Balken, urbanologist Max Grinnell, and artist Amelia de Neergaard, a sculptor who organized a pop-up exhibition and gave a talk about her work.
Dudek says the number of art venues in Western Massachusetts is growing, but noted that they seem geared more toward cultural tourism rather than expanding opportunities for local artists. He joked on his blog earlier this year that “with a few more cultural additions to North Adams and Williamstown, by mid-century one might be able to enter through the front door of MassMoca, continue through a series of contiguous museums, and exit through the rear door of the Clark. MassMoca; the proposed Museum of Extreme Model Railroading and Contemporary Architecture; the proposed Contemporary Museum at the North Adams airport; the Williams College Art Museum and the Clark in Williamstown, have all either expanded, are expanding, considering expansion, or exist on the drawing board looking for financing.”
Dudek focuses primarily on sculpture installations, but lately he has been working on paper and book projects, too. When we met for coffee last week he shared this intriguing series, which he calls the “White Outs.” The hand-painted images are photographs of work in his studio, but the background has been whited out, effectively disconnecting fragments of his sculptures from their environment.
Look for some of Dudek’s work in “Polymorphous,” the inaugural exhibition at The Cluster Gallery, a new project space in Gowanus. Curated by artist Joel Carreiro, a colleague of Dudek’s at Hunter, the show promises to be a big sprawling affair, featuring 28 artists who work in two- and three-dimensions, installation, video, artist books, and written word. Welcome back, Peter.