Show Preview | Dean, Elliott & Polzin

Jackson, WY
Legacy Gallery, September 15-24

Josh Elliott, Spring on the Smith, oil, 24 x 48.

Josh Elliott, Spring on the Smith, oil, 24 x 48.

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Three rising stars in western art converge in a three-man show this month at Legacy Gallery in Jackson, WY. The dynamic trio—Glenn Dean, Josh Elliott, and Kyle Polzin—showcase some 30 new oil paintings, collectively, that highlight their individual styles, interests, and motifs. The show opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, September 15, at 2 p.m.

Though the artists have participated in some of the same prestigious national exhibitions, including the Prix de West Invitational, this event marks their first small-group show together, notes Polzin. “We all bring something different to the table,” he adds, “but we share a parallel course as artists and popped up on the scene at a similar time.”

Since moving to a new house and studio in Austin, TX, earlier this year, Polzin’s still lifes have acquired a bump in brightness, he says, thanks to broader studio lighting. But his Old World-style representations of Native American artifacts, cowboy gear, and other weathered relics continue to feature unique arrangements with lifelike detail and emotive chiaroscuro atmospheres. Some paintings feature artifacts handcrafted by the artist himself. For his oil A CHERISHED GIFT, Polzin researched and then built a cradleboard modeled after traditional Native American baby carriers, complete with beadwork and leather fringe. “I wanted the cradle to feel warm and cozy, as if it’s inside a teepee,” he says of the scene. “There’s a crosslight coming in, and it feels inviting, as though they’re waiting for the baby’s arrival.”

Elliott, who works en plein air and in his studio in Helena, MT, brings landscape paintings of the Tetons and other scenic western locations, including the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. A recent float trip with his family on the Smith River inspired the idyllic scene in SPRING ON THE SMITH, in which Elliott set out to capture the light and patina on the surrounding cliffs. “I’m spending more time with my paintings, building up a little texture,” he says. “I’m focusing on getting them right, which at times means putting the reference away and asking, ‘What does this painting need?’”

In his latest collection of oils, Dean continues to explore the relationship between lone cowboy figures and the western landscape, but like Polzin, a personal transition prompted a subtle variation in some pieces. “I’ve been exploring the theme of a couple—man and woman taking on the West together,” says the California artist, who recently tied the knot. The newlywed has since been inspired to paint scenes like the one in EVENING CHAT, in which a cowboy and his wife share a quiet, domestic exchange against the backdrop of open country. While Dean portrays the figure more prominently in some works, others present a “bigger stage” for the western landscape itself, he says.

The show opens during the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival—an opportune time to snatch up an original piece by these well-regarded artists. “Glenn, Josh, and Kyle are three of the most sought-after young artists out there,” says gallery marketing manager Janell Grady. “They all have their own unique styles that set them apart.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
307.733.2353
www.legacygallery.com

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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