Ann Korologos Gallery, January 8-February 16
This story was featured in the January 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art January 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
“We asked the artists to submit what they consider their best new work for this exhibition,” says gallery director Julia Novy of Ann Korologos Gallery’s first Best of the West show. The show features the work of nine gallery-represented artists and opens with a reception on Friday, January 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Dean Mitchell, Dan Young, Leon Loughridge, Terry Gardner, Andy Taylor, Jill Soukup, Amy Laugesen, Joel Ostlind, and Dinah Worman all contribute a half-dozen works each, with the show totaling more than 50 pieces. “These are iconic pieces of art that represent what each artist is most well known for—and the works that are most sought-after,” says Novy.
Colorado painter Young is known for western landscapes with suggestions of man’s presence, such as cut fields, horses, or outbuildings. His set of works in the show well represents his style. “I’m always, in theory, trying new things, but almost inevitably, two-thirds of the way through, I fall back into my signature style. I do hope that every painting is better than the last one,” he says.
He draws from the landscape near his home for most of his paintings. “Seventy to 80 percent of what I produce is from my backyard,” he says. Although the works are inspired by western Colorado, few are precise representations of his views. “I don’t try to paint a specific mountain; I try to be inspired by it,” he says. In a nod to the season, Young also includes a winter scene. He loves to paint snow, particularly evening and moonlit scenes. Fifteen years ago, he devoted extensive study to understanding the reflective light and sky as he mastered his snow technique.
Known for ceramic sculptures of horses, Laugesen has also spent quite a bit of time refining her depictions of these iconic western symbols. “Humans have a connection with horses we can see as far back as the cave paintings at Lascaux,” she says. These ancient and historical equine images inspire Laugesen. “I like the work to have a sense of antiquity. The glazing and coloring appears to have weathered and withstood a certain amount of time,” she says. In some cases, she’ll leave off elements from the horses’ anatomy—a bit of tail or the tip of an ear—as though they are archeological artifacts rather than modern creations. “The pieces that aren’t there are as important as the form that’s in front of [the audience],” she says. As she continues to explore her subject of choice, Laugesen’s begun illustrating not only horses’ connection with man, but also their connections to the landscape and each other. “Taking that one theme and creating it again and again, it makes a richer conversation,” she says. For this show, Laugesen is working in a size slightly larger than usual. She says she’s honored to be part of the gallery’s ode to the West. “It’s exciting to be an artist of this time and be able to have a voice in the expanding view of what western art can be.” —Ashley M. Biggers
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