Show Preview | Westering

Santa Fe, NM
Gerald Peters Gallery, August 3-September 29

Aaron Morgan Brown, Frontier 3, oil, 25 x 40.

Aaron Morgan Brown, Frontier 3, oil, 25 x 40.

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

In a can’t-miss show opening this month at Gerald Peters Gallery, five artists at the top of their game capture the old and new American West as they explore western themes and myths in their signature styles and mediums. The show, entitled Westering, features as many as 20 paintings and sculptures by Aaron Morgan Brown, Michael Cassidy, Arturo Chávez, Steve Kestrel, and Theodore Waddell. All of the works—most of which are new pieces—are unveiled on Friday, August 3. The gallery hosts an artists’ reception on Friday, August 24, at 5 p.m.

“If you look at the work in this show, it’s all very diverse, but all of the artists are looking at the West in terms of its landscapes and the animals you’d find in them,” notes Maria Hajic, director of the gallery’s naturalism and contemporary western art departments. In an effort to attract a wider audience, Hajic says she wanted to bring together artists whose depictions of classic western themes reflect contemporary visions and styles. “There’s the historic West and the mythical West, and we’re going to combine a little bit of both in this exhibition,” she adds.

Unexpected objects frequently pop up in Kansas native Aaron Morgan Brown’s vibrant paintings of the everyday world, presenting viewers with whimsical, sometimes humorous interpretations of his real-world observations. Brown’s trademark wit sparkles in his latest series of oils, which portray bison and other western icons alongside urban motifs like street signs and traffic lights.

Michael Cassidy grew up in Southern California and has traveled extensively throughout the West to gather research for his oil paintings. The artist’s subject matter ranges from western landscapes to cowboys and Native American figures, but his creative process remains consistent. Using the wet-on-wet technique, Cassidy produces vivid imagery with bold brushwork and palpable textures. He is one of the gallery’s newest artists.

As a 13th-generation New Mexican, Arturo Chávez’s roots—and creative inspirations—are deeply planted in the Southwest. The artist’s landscape paintings capture multihued expressions of the regional deserts and canyons, highlighting his sensitivity to color. Chávez’s latest works include a diptych of a southwestern sky and an aerial view of Spider Rock, a towering sandstone spire in Canyon de Chelly National Monument.

Wildlife sculptor Steve Kestrel grew up in southern New Mexico, where his love for southwestern flora and fauna first took root. Today, working in both bronze and stone, Kestrel gleans inspiration from the wildlife and landscapes around his home in Colorado’s Redstone Canyon. The artist brings depictions of a jackrabbit and a burly bull, as well as a monumental version of one of his older rattlesnake pieces, titled RATTLE ME NOT.

Montana native Theodore Waddell puts a modern spin on traditional portrayals of the West in his oil-and-encaustic paintings of cattle, horses, and northwestern landscapes. His abstracted imagery features flattened planes, hard-scratched lines, and thick layers of paint—a one-of-a-kind combination that expresses a singular, almost mystical vision of the West.

The gallery hosts two special events in association with the show. At 4 p.m. on Friday, August 24, Waddell signs copies of his new book, My Montana: Painting and Sculpture, 1959-2016. Then, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, B. Byron Price gives a talk on Charlie Russell and Hollywood. Price is the director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at the University of Oklahoma, the former director of notable western museums, and the author of numerous books and journal articles on western American history and art. —Kim Agricola

contact information
505.954.5700
www.gpgallery.com

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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