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New Yorker Review: Gail Albert Halaban at Edwynn Houk Gallery

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hopper Redux
Through December 22, 2012

While the exhibition title sums up the idea behind the work it does little to impress the length to which the artist dedicated herself to this practice. New York-based artist Gail Albert Halaban was greatly influenced by the work of Edward Hopper. Halaban has had a continued interest in the tension between private and public spaces, and in this area Hopper was a significant influence. Hopper's paintings were quite often windows onto the lives of others. The voyeurism embraced by Hopper is described by Halaban as something we all do- peek into open windows, weather we speak of it or not. It is natural to let our eyes wander from the darkness into the lighted frames of windows or haloes of street lamps and wonder- just what is happening.

Hopper Redux is a striking hommage to Halaban's inspiration; she traveled to Gloucester, MA where Hopper once worked. There she traced his footsteps and sought some of the exact locations Hopper had depicted. The work makes viewers do a double-take. There is an uncanny familiarity to the pieces and a clear dedication to detail on the part of Halaban to get the frame, the color, the whole piece just so. We have the strange sensation of looking back and forward in time at the same moment. We recognize and weigh the referent as we are surprised even pleased to see the familiar subject anew. Halaban is careful too to engage the sense of watching- we are happy to discover small narratives taking place between two boys on a street corner in Anderson's House; the exchange between figures in two upper windows of separate buildings in Portuguese Church in Gloucester, 2012; a man on a stoop at dusk in Marty Welch's House, 2012 and others.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit Edwynn Houk Gallery

New Yorker Review

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