Artist Len Tantillo is recognized for his ability to capture specific moments and visualize places of the past through his paintings. The exhibition A Sense of Time: The Historical Art of L. F. Tantillo highlights the artist's forty-year career and brings together a selection of over 90 works of art by one of the most noted painters of historical subjects and marine views of our time.
Having spent his life in the Hudson Valley, most of Tantillo's work portrays the sites and events that shaped the history of New York State, from pre-European contact Iroquois villages to Dutch settlement and continuing to the development of railroads and the construction of iron bridges across the Hudson River. By looking at a single Tantillo painting, a viewer can be transported back in time to when the Hudson River was a major highway with vessels of all shapes and sizes plying the waters or imagine how seventeenth and eighteenth-century Albany, Kingston, and Manhattan may have looked. Tantillo's painting of Fort Orange gives us a sense of what the earliest settlement of what is now Albany looked like in 1635 while his painting of a c. 1880 Hudson River icehouse depicts an important industry that no longer exists. He also envisions nineteenth-century shores of Troy and Rondout jammed with steamships, breathes life into steam engines pulling into railroad stations, and captures the energy of twentieth-century Grumman airplanes soaring through clouds.
As an artist, Tantillo is known for his attention to detail and historical accuracy. A Sense of Time, which features 94 works of art from fifty institutions and collectors, will provide insight into his artistic process. Before a painting, Tantillo meticulously researches his subject to ensure the accuracy of the painting's details and setting. The exhibition pairs some of Tantillo's works with historical maps, images, and objects that informed and shaped their accuracy. In addition, visitors will be able to see Tantillo's working models, digitally reconstructed villages and street scenes, and preparatory sketches.