Croton-Harmon Station, 2013
Ulmann’s Croton-Harmon Station is a series of landscapes depicting views of Croton trees passing through the seasons, from winter to fall to summer to spring and back. In the background images of homes in Croton subtly emerge providing familiar views. Each window is paired with the window directly across, so that the room is sequenced into bands of seasons as commuters walk across the space. For some, this path may allude to the passage of hours: from the quiet of morning, still full of potential, towards the abundance and productivity of the coming day. Once home, the images in reverse signal a calming down, a hibernation of the evening or weekend ahead.
Her imagery also pays tribute to the Hudson River School painters and their establishment of the romantic landscape. In a contemporary way, she incorporates one visual technique they practiced: using the tree as a framing element to establish the foreground and create a recession of space to the view beyond. Similarly, each window bay proposes the image of Croton trees to establish the foreground, but rather than a frame, the tree becomes a filter through which to see the view.
Ulmann positioned the trees to interact with the interior structure so that the brown window mullions share a similarity in size and color to the branches and trunks of the trees. At times, a tree appears to emerge from the central mullion. These kind of visual alignments are considered in the composition of each image as a way to contend with the repetition of structure, and reconcile these man-made elements with natural forms. Fabricated by Peters Studios, each window is comprised of three layers of handpainted glass.
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