Galerie Mourlot is pleased to invite you to the opening reception on Thursday, January 26th from 6 to 8 p.m. for Mary Louise Pierson's Photographs of Nelson’s Legacy, an exhibition of a series of photographs taken at Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate, by Mary Louise Pierson. When Nelson Rockefeller died in 1979, Mary Louise set out to document the wonderland her grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather had created. She had the great privilege of walking through the gardens of Kykuit and photographing sculptures by many famous artists, including Alexander Calder and Henry Moore, painstakingly positioned by her grandfather, Nelson Rockefeller. Through this process, she developed a passionate awareness for the placements of these works and documenting their transformations in the presence of light and changing seasons.
Mary Louise’s photographs of Nelson’s art depict the challenge of portraying and sharing with others personal visions of artwork placed in a Hudson landscape that infinitely transforms nature. The pieces express moments, she explains, when “light enhances the combination of a man-made piece and mother nature,” so as to create “a wonderful collage of colors and textures” producing an unprecedented “sense of space and time.”
The magical history of the Kykuit estate and its residing masterpieces is captured in this exhibition by a curated selection of Mary Louise’s photographs of Kykuit from the 1990’s. Mary Louise’s artistic process is informed and guided by the jungle scenes in Henri Rousseau’s paintings, the dramatic and illustrative lighting in Grant Wood’s iconic depictions of the American Midwest, and her apprenticeship with photographer Ann Parker. The result is a collection of images which, when occupying the same space, illustrate through a collage of painterly and realistic qualities, the story of a family’s artistic legacy and a world in which Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Aristide Maillol, Henry Moore, Alexander Liberman, Max Bill, Gaston Lachaise, and James Roast collide with each other in nature.
A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Mary Louise is a painter, photographer, and lecturer. She has produced two photographic books, entitled The Rockefeller Family Home, Kykuit, and Mr. Rockefeller’s Roads: The Untold Story of Acadia’s Carriage Roads and Their Creator, and frequently lectures on her photography, her grandfather Nelson Rockefeller’s art collection, and the founding of the Museum of Modern Art by her great-grandmother, Abby Aldrich.