Beverly Hills, CA
September 28-October 26
This story was featured in the September 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
For an artist still comfortably in his 50s, Dennis Doheny has already gained recognition worthy of a venerable master. His works have won repeated accolades from top exhibitions including the Prix de West Invitational and the California Art Club’s Gold Medal Show, and they hang in such prestigious institutions as the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. No less an authority than Jean Stern, executive director of the Irvine Museum, which is dedicated to early-20th-century California Impressionism, has called Doheny “the seminal American landscape artist of the early 21st century.”
So guests show up with serious anticipation on Saturday, September 28, from 4 to 7 p.m., for the opening of Doheny’s latest solo show, which features some 25 oil paintings ranging in price from $5,000 to $40,000. “Many of the paintings sell from the catalog, which goes out around September 1,” says gallery director Whitney Ganz. “But we usually withhold four or five paintings for opening night, so when people come there’s still something for them to buy.”
Doheny reacts to such success with disarming modesty. “I’m really thrilled that people have accepted my work,” he says. “It validates what I’ve been doing and gives me the energy to try to keep getting better and better.”
For this show, Doheny’s efforts toward continued artistic improvement are evident in an overall challenge he gave himself to depict “the interaction between land and water.” Explains the artist, “I love painting water. I enjoy its reflections and the mood it gives you.” Viewers can expect his signature representational scenes of California and other western locations to come replete with views of rugged Pacific shorelines or idyllic mountain lakes and streams.
Works like SUN DAPPLED SHALLOWS, a morning scene of China Cove at Point Lobos, near Carmel, or LAKESIDE SENTINELS, set in the eastern Sierra Nevada, epitomize Doheny’s ability to endow his canvases with a rare sense of presence that subtly immerses viewers in the scene. “He captures the western light better than anybody I know,” says Ganz, who began representing the artist in 1997. “Dennis does an amazing job of getting it right, of depicting what you actually see.”
Such feats are all the more amazing for the fact that Doheny had no formal art training. “My father did some drawing and taught me the basics when I was very young,” he says. “And I was one of those people who sat in the back of the class through high school and doodled all the time.” He started selling his paintings right after graduating from high school, shifted into commercial illustration work in the mid-1980s to support his growing family, and then began transitioning into a full-time fine-art career in 1997 after “computer graphics put me out of business.”
One constant throughout those years has been his love of the outdoors. “It’s what I know and what I’ve always been involved in,” says the lifelong hiker and camper. Combine such intimate knowledge of his subject matter with an innate talent ever restless to improve, and Doheny’s works are likely to go on garnering still more well-deserved praise. —Norman Kolpas
Featured in the September 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2013 print issue or digital download
Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
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