My 5 Favorite Paintings of 2009, Part 1

Stephen Hannock. 'Kaaterskill Falls for Frank Moore and Dan Hodermarsky (Mass MoCA#11)', 2005. Acrylic, alkyd and oil glazes with collage elements on canvas.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2005 I saw a Stephen Hannock painting at the Met for the first time: "The Oxbow, After Church, After Cole, Flooded, Green Light (Flooded River for the Matriarchs: Elizabeth and Agnes Mongan)", 96 x 144 inches, polished oil on canvas, 1999.

I was thrilled and deeply moved. I began studying the work of the Hudson River painters from the 19th century to understand Church and Cole. I looked forward to seeing the Oxbow again.
When we visited the Met in February the Oxbow was sadly not on display but this one was and it's beautiful. Up close the writing is personal and interesting and from a distance the painting is luminous. You can see my husband bent down to read the details at the bottom.

The painting pictured here has interesting collage elements and writing, including information regarding the painter Sanford Gifford, who painted in that area.

Yesterday I read the book 'Luminosity, the Paintings of Stephen Hannock', 2000. It was interesting and talked about his technique but the book didn't address the writing he places within the layers of glazes. I'd love to know more about the writing.

And, an odd detail: today I read 'American Sublime, Landscape Painting in the United States 1820 - 1880' and learned that Sanford Gifford was friends with Frank Pinchot, a NY merchant. They shared an interest in forestry. Frank is the father of Gifford Pinchot, the first head of the US Forest Service. A national forest in Washington State is named after him. Was Gifford Pinchot named after Sanford Gifford?