Show Preview | Matthew Higginbotham

Santa Fe, NM
Mark White Fine Art, July 24-August 6

Matthew Higginbotham, Veiled Sunset, oil, 14 x 44.

Matthew Higginbotham, Veiled Sunset, oil, 14 x 44.

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

For nearly a decade, Matthew Higginbotham’s colorful, impressionistic landscape paintings were a popular fixture at Waxlander Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. When the gallery shuttered last fall, the artist promptly received an invitation to join Mark White Fine Art, a nearby gallery known for its stable of distinctly modern artists. “The move has really created a new direction in my work,” says Higginbotham, whose debut solo show at Mark White opens on Tuesday, July 24. The artist gives a demonstration and lecture at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 28.

The show, titled A Sense of Place, features as many as 30 new oil paintings ranging in size from 12 by 12 inches to 6 by 4 feet. While many of these pieces reveal an exciting stylistic shift in Higginbotham’s work, the entire collection continues to reflect his reverence for landscapes throughout the Southwest. Many works depict local imagery that has long inspired the Santa Fe artist, including New Mexico’s desert canyons, bosques, and eye-popping sunsets, but visitors can also find agrarian and wooded scenes set in Texas and Oklahoma. A few works also reveal the artist’s growing fondness for portraying landscapes with man-made structures like farmhouses, grain elevators, and roads.

Collectors of Higginbotham’s work know that the former potter primarily uses palette knives to build up paint in luscious layers of color and texture. Those hallmarks of his style remain intact in his latest works, but now, he adds, “I’m breaking up the line more and going toward abstraction.” To do that, the artist has been applying a variety of “short dashes” and multidirectional lines to his compositions. The visual effect resembles “pixelation,” explains Higginbotham. “There’s vibration and movement. To me, landscapes are living, breathing, spiritual entities. There’s always movement, whether it’s wildlife or clouds or the sunlight, so I’m bringing that energy into my paintings. Breaking up the line causes that life.”

Keenly in touch with the motivations that have always compelled him to paint landscapes, Higginbotham views his new approach as a natural step forward as he strives to create “more impactful” experiences for those who view his work. “My paintings are like portals,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to make paintings that you can feel, because I feel them when I’m painting them.”
—Kim Agricola

contact information
505.982.2073
www.markwhitefineart.com

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

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