Cornwall Library showing the collected works of Duncan Hannah

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CORNWALL — The Cornwall Library presents a selection of paintings by the late artist Duncan Hannah, 1952-2022.

“A native of Minneapolis, Hannah went to Bard College and Parsons School of Design where he became a party insider in 1970s New York punk,” according to a statement. “In the 1980s, with sobriety, he became a highly regarded and original painter, working in an alluring figurative style all his own…Today Hannah’s work can be found in many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Early on, his work baffled fellow artists and critics, who expected him to use the abstraction that dominated at the time. Confronted with Hannah’s figurative pieces that evoke period films or empty foreign cities, they were puzzled or dismissive.

“They just assumed I was being ironic and that it was some sort of critique of art history, which it wasn’t,” Hannah told CBS in 2018. “It was more of a love letter to art history.”

Experts say the “mystery” in Hannah’s paintings may evoke Edward Hopper, but in the words of the late Glenn O’Brien, writing for Art Forum, he was “the Henry Mancini of the new wave, or the power- pop Balthus”. Hannah’s knowledge of music, film (especially French), and art history was great, but he especially loved reading; for twenty-six years, the sale of the Cornwall Library was a highlight of its summer calendar.

“Collectiond Works by the Late Duncan Hannah” will be on display from October 29 to November 29. 27, and will include a selection of paintings collected and curated by his wife, Megan Wilson, a book cover designer. She and Hannah split their time between Cornwall and New York for many years.

A reception for the exhibition will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on October 29 at the library. Registration is requested; go to cornwalllibrary.org/events/

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