“And once you get to the bedroom
Fill it with every delight; let’s have no modesty there.
Once you are out of there, though, abandon abandonment,
Bed is the only place where you can act as you please.
There it is no disgrace to fling your dress in a corner,
There it is no disgrace lying with thigh under thigh,
There it is proper for tongues, as well as for lips, to be kissing,
There let passion employ all the inventions of love.
There use all of the words, the helpful cries, and the whispers,
There let the squeak of the bed appear to be keeping in time.”
Two thousand years later, this Ovid poem perfectly describes what artist Judith Hudson has wanted to say — through her art, and her new show, “Under the Covers,” opening Saturday, May 19, at Tripoli Gallery in Southampton.
“‘Under the Covers’ reflects the need for a refuge of secrecy and intimacy,” she said in an artist’s statement. “When no one is looking, no one is exposed. I have built a fortress, layer on layer. The first layer of protection is the wallpaper and rugs, the second is the paintings. Beauty on beauty.”
Her third solo exhibition with Tripoli Gallery is “a window into the layered personal worlds we inhabit,” according to a press release, and includes immersive wallpapers and rugs alongside a series of intimate paintings on paper in watercolor, gouache and oil, which depict the privacy of bedcovers and the sleepers they protect.
“Each stroke of paint describes — without revealing — the tenderness, the warmth of the bodies, a fragment of a face, a head of hair,” the release said. “A hand lies on the bedsheets adjacent to a hair pin and the strands of hair left behind by its wearer, the sheets pulled away revealing a vacant, exposed space. In another bed a couple lie together, their heads cropped by the edges of the paper so as not to see their faces but to sense the forms of their bodies under the blanket. Their figures are shaped by the lights from a TV and the contents of its frame: a face looks out and a hand reaches toward something unknown–a narrative to unfold within subconscious, secret dreams.”
An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery, located at 30a Jobs Lane, and the show will remain on view through June 18. For more information, call (631) 377-3715 or visit tripoligallery.com.