Show Preview | William Haskell & Bryan Haynes

Santa Fe, NM
Manitou Galleries, July 7-21

William Haskell, Arizona Autumn, Tubac, acrylic, 22 x 30.

William Haskell, Arizona Autumn, Tubac, acrylic, 22 x 30.

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

In a dazzling tribute to the American Southwest, artists William Haskell and Bryan Haynes capture the land’s intrinsic colors and light in more than 20 new acrylic paintings on view at Manitou Galleries this month. The show opens at the gallery’s West Palace Avenue location in Santa Fe, NM, on Friday, July 7, with an artists’ reception at 5 p.m.

Following in the footsteps of American Regionalist painters like Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry, Haynes eschews portrayals of modernization in his paintings, but the self-described New Regionalist channels his acuity as an award-winning illustrator and muralist into vibrant, contemporary designs. While he frequently revisits historic figures and the Missouri countryside in his work, the Labadie, MO, artist fixed his sights on the Land of Enchantment in the dozen paintings he brings to the show. “In New Mexico, you’ve got all these cultures mixing together,” says Haynes, who lived there for two years and returned in 2015 to observe, paint, and gather reference material. “It’s such a rich vein to tap.”

Haynes’ paintings lead viewers through New Mexico’s colorful landscapes, from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the White Hills of the Rio Chama Valley. In a symbiotic pairing, the indigenous figures he adds to his scenes help the artist recount the region’s Spanish Colonial heritage, Native American traditions, cowboy culture, and celebrated artistic legacy. In WEAVERS OF CHIMAYÓ, for example, Haynes portrays two weavers who practice an eighth-generation Spanish weaving tradition as Navajo-Churro sheep graze beside their loom. “I see my work as a kind of storytelling,” he says. “The figure and landscape work together to make a statement, tell a story, or set a mood.”

A recent road trip through New Mexico and Arizona inspired the 10 paintings Haskell created for the show, all of which typify his energetic, stylized approach to portraying southwestern geography and dramatic weather. In several works, he portrays multidirectional winds and blowing cottonwood trees to relate flowing movement. Using as many as 25 colors, Haskell also applies multiple layers of paint to his surfaces. “I’ll put 30 to 40 layers of paint down and get these multicolored veils of paint that give a scene its own internal light,” says the Galisteo, NM, artist.

Haskell’s depictions of Monument Valley represent new subject matter for the artist. In RED ROCKS, he highlights the geometric shapes and ochre hues of the region’s sandstone buttes. A dirt pathway lined with chamisa serves as an “entry point” to guide viewers into the painting, he explains, and it also represents human life. “My main focus is the landscape,” says Haskell, “but I like to include just a hint of a human footprint—a house, an old truck, something left by us.” The Ohio native also brings a few depictions of the rolling hills and farmland he remembers as a boy growing up in the Midwest. “A lot of my paintings are about my past,” he says. “Everything is a self-portrait. You’re revealing your inner self when you paint.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
505.986.0440
www.manitougalleries.com

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

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