DON FREEMAN / My Familiar Dream

The Gilded Owl is pleased to present DON FREEMAN / My Familiar Dream / 1994-2108.

Don Freeman is an American photographer, best known for his large, monochrome prints that depict subject matter, be it landscape, human forms or architectural fragments, in states of transmogrification. He divides his time between New York City and a house in the Catskill Mountains that he shares with his partner Garo Sparo and his dog Louie.

In the early years, Don mined religious iconography and images of classical antiquity to produce his hybrids of painting and photography. It was during this time that Don discovered photographic print toning and abandoned painting completely and started working with only his camera and his toning chemicals, creating work that explored tonality, depicted blurred and often fragmented images. The toners that Don chose to work with were single color, dye based, manufactured by Edwal. Dye toning kits were the domain of the amateur photographer who wanted to evoke a mood and nostalgia. In Don’s hands, these kitsch materials were transformed into a highly nuanced color system. The resulting image is no longer a traditional black and white photograph as the toning bath creates a chemical reaction that transforms the metallic silver in the paper to a dye.

Over the years Don pushed the envelope on what a photograph could be, he next moved on to using architectural blue printing to create a series of highly nuanced prints of flowers and Greek and Roman antiquities. As the blueprint process is highly unstable, something that Don was aware of, the images would degrade when exposed to light, creating ghosts of the original images.  Then he thought about how to preserve them-the “race to stop the process of aging”. He talked to a conservationist at the National Gallery in Washington and got some tips on how they were protecting Robert Rauschenberg’s “Blueprints”. “If its beautiful, people will find a way to keep it around ” she said.  Don’s blueprints were first exhibited at The Elga Wimmer gallery in New York in 1994, and will be on view at The Gilded Owl.

Don’s work is shot on 35mm black and white negative film. He uses high-speed, Tri-X, film for its inherent graininess. Don has created a catalog of images over the years; photos of flowers, antiquities, letters and architectural details that function as his noumenon awaiting their transformation by Don into subjective, tangible images. Don refers to his collection of images as, “a sort of Noah’s Ark.” Being very influenced by cinema, specifically the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, and more specifically Tarkovsky’s film Mirror, in which Tarkovsky creates a visual narrative that combines past and present, dreams and reality, color and black-and-white; themes at the core of Don’s interests.

His hand-made book “My Familiar Dream” (1991) a collection of images that include his ghostly series “Pompeii, and Alabaster Vessels, “I am all you have to contain your fears” reflect his belief that there is a collective unconsciousness to all things, and his camera a tool to bring that out.

The Branches: “My branch series is an ongoing project. I like the idea of coming face to face with something beautiful without anything coming between the image and me. I often carry around a white card with me when I go on walks through the woods and use it as a background to isolate the branches I find, like a portable studio. I’m not going after a Blossfeldt type approach, they’re very graphic and probably reflect my formal training as a graphic designer. When I exhibit them they’re presented like a checkerboard, one black, one white, after the other, across the wall.”

The Curtains: “They’re from a confessional in a church in Arezzo. I was taken in by the minute, human detail; you can actually see that they were stitched by hand. I think they express ideas that are deeper than words.”

When I shoot portraits I often like to make people look like statues. None of my work is photo shopped. I shot my friend Katherine under a tree and the sunlight filtering through the leaves created this dappled effect and made her take on the appearance of a weathered statue – the idea of turning someone into marble. It’s based on my favorite myth, Pygmalion, only in reverse. My lighting experiments don’t always work – I often need to see the contact sheet to see if a succeeded, but this one certainly did.”

Don’s latest work in process “Stone Faces” are digitally manipulated photographs from his archives of black and white negative film. “I want to create a library of images, using my original negatives in a modern digital way. Recently I had all of my Super8 Black and White film digitized from a project I began 30 years ago in Paris, which is loosely based on “Nadja” by Andre Breton. Last year I returned to Paris with my Super8 camera and together, with we finished the film, finding just the right ending-30 years later. All it takes is time.”

The Gilded Owl will also be screening Don’s documentary “Art House” (2015). The film explores the handmade homes created and lived in by eleven distinguished American artists, including Frederic Church, Paolo Soleri, George Nakashia and Wharton Esherick.

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We are pleased to present Lauren Drescher “LUMINARIES” at THE GILDED OWL. Opening August 4th and running through September 9th at our 105 Warren Street gallery.



I have a been a collector for as long as I can remember. I am fascinated by objects which have a history, give insight into the past and have a story tell. I travel quite a bit, collecting wherever I go, disparate objects accumulate until I have a clear idea of what they will become.

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The Gilded Owl turns three years old today and we celebrate our anniversary with the opening of Richard Saja’s exhibition “Tribes”.

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We opened our current show Paul Jacobsen “In Through the Outside” and Berlin Deko, a collection of furniture, lighting and objects by German architects from 1910 to 1930 this week with a stellar turnout and the installation will be on view through November 18th in our 105 Warren Street gallery.

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KLEMENS GASSER There Will Be…Without You

The Gilded Owl is pleased to announce There Will Be…Without You, an exhibition of photographs by Klemens Gasser. In his eighth solo show, Gasser presents not only an ornithological study in photography, but establishes, delicately, an existential examination of acts and awareness. Working in tandem, the two seemingly opposing tenets meld with one another as their simultaneous simplicity and complexity beam in Gasser’s offering of six monumental bird portraits.

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The Gilded Owl is pleased to announce it’s latest exhibition “THE ANATOMY OF A ROOM” in Hudson, NY.

This group show features works by master craftsmen Peter Superti, Ron Arad, Vico Magistretti, and Frederick McSwain and Brad Ascalon. The main gallery will feature a collection of pairs of chairs from 1920-1980 as well as artwork by Karl Klingbiel and Margaret Evangeline. In the other ancillary spaces table top pieces by Tommi Parzinger, Steven Holl, and Michael Graves are shown with Syliva Jaffe and Cole Italia and works by photographer Mick Rock and artwork by Sharon Brant.

And we are thrilled to present new work by jewelry designer and sculptor Jessica Carroll.

Opening November 5th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.


The Gilded Owl is pleased to present it’s fifth exhibition titled FRAGMENTS; paintings on panel by the artist, George Hofmann. On view in the galleries are 3 bodies of work dating from 2011 & 2012, each of which refer to their respective titles including Duccio, Breviary & Hours. Following are selected works and insight from Hofmann.

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On February 27th THE GILDED OWL opened it’s fourth show The Mystery of Beauty “Il Mistero della Bellezza” in Hudson, New York.

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THE GILDED OWL is pleased to present it’s third exhibition in Hudson, New York titled BLACK / WHITE + ALEX P WHITE. Inspiration for the show comes from combining Alex P White’s design sensibility and our love of all things black & white.

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In 2001 on the way to buy my mom a birthday present, I was running down 14th street and rounded the corner onto Eighth Avenue and ran into Stephen Sprouse so hard I knocked him down onto the pavement.

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THE GILDED OWL gallery opening

On Saturday November 22nd THE GILDED OWL gallery officially opened at 105 Warren Street in Hudson, NY.  After exactly one year of renovation and construction Elizabeth Moore and I welcomed over one hundred and eighty five guests to celebrate our inaugural show in the 1785 Federal style house that is a now home to a realized version of our design, art, fashion and music journal. The brilliant Hudson based photographer Tomm Roesch documented our preparations and was on hand with us to capture the opening with his thoughtful eye.  Thank you to all who made the journey to our beautiful new gallery and here’s a glimpse into THE GILDED OWL.


Last weekend while continuing to ready The Gilded Owl gallery for a summer opening, I attended the first weekend of annual fundraising for The Dr. Oliver Bronson House in Hudson, New York.

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KEITH SONNIER / Elysian Plain + Early Works

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LALANNE / The Poetry of Sculpture

On a beautiful fall day in New York I was lucky enough to catch the Les Lalanne exhibit, The Poetry of Sculpture at Sotheby’s at my friend Elizabeth Moore’s recommendation.

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ERRATUS / Stephen Appleby-Barr

I just returned from Toronto after attending Stephen Appleby-Barr’s second solo opening Erratus at Nicholas Metivier Gallery and it was sensational!

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Hank Virgona

When I moved into 41 Union Square West thirteen years ago and started my interior design business I met an artist named Hank Virgona that has inspired me ever since.

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Michael Abrams

In 2001 as one of my first projects was nearing completion, looking for art for the living room I discovered Michael Abrams work at Sears Peyton Gallery.

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Daniel Sean Murphy

Recently I had the great fortune of meeting Daniel Sean Murphy, a brilliant artist but that’s not really an accurate description of his talent.

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James Turrell / Aten Reign

Aten Reign, the new James Turrell light sculpture opened Friday night at the Guggenheim and I was there to get a first look at this incredible new work.

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Kohei Nawa

Currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is Kohei Nawa’s PixCell-Deer #24. As part of the “Designing Nature, the Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art” exhibit this work can be seen through January 13.

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Emma Bennett

For my next post, I immediately thought of Emma Bennett, an artist from Wales, working in London that I think is sensational!

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Stephen Appleby-Barr

Two years ago, my partner and I purchased our first painting by Stephen Appleby-Barr from Nicholas Metivier Gallery at the PULSE Art Fair in New York.

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