Culver City, CA
This story was featured in the June 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art June 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art June 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
Maxwell Alexander Gallery opened in November 2012 with the goal of bringing a new breed of fine art to Los Angeles. Located in the arts district of Culver City, the gallery features top contemporary western and figurative artists. “Our main focus is quality,” says the gallery’s Beau Alexander. When you look at the impressive roster of artists in this month’s group show, that focus on quality is clear.
How the West Was Won opens June 1 with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. and features new works by Glenn Dean, Logan Maxwell Hagege, Jeremy Lipking, Ed Mell, Bill Schenck, and Tim Solliday. “These artists are all painting with an edge and a more contemporary way of representing the west,” Alexander says. At the same time, he adds, “Each artist has their own signature [style], and their artwork can be recognized from across the room.”
Perhaps one of the most distinctly recognizable artists in the show is Schenck. Known for more than 30 years as a leading practitioner of the western pop-art movement, today Schenck is producing work as fast as ever. The artist has more than 15 new pieces in the show, including GERONIMO, which features a Native American man wearing a bandana, sunglasses, and a tie, with a caption above that reads, “Geronimo failed to see America for what it was.” While the style of the piece is similar to some of Schenck’s past work, GERONIMO is different because of its subject. “I’ve been doing caption paintings off and on for 30-plus years, but I’ve only done a few Native Americans for these,” he says.
Landscape painter Glenn Dean has always been inspired by his travels and painting excursions through the Southwest. Dean brings three to five new pieces to the show, including DESERT STRAY, which features a lone cow heading off into the distant mountains. “I enjoy pushing the design of a concept or composition,” Dean says. “This piece has strong directional leads, as the viewer is led in the direction the cow is heading, as well as where the cloud shadow on the mountain ends, leading them up into the clouds and back down again,” he explains.
Another avid plein-air painter in the group, Solliday brings three new pieces to the show, all created on location in Arizona and New Mexico. The artist prefers to paint outdoors because “natural light is where color exists in its finest form.” In nature, he says, you find “those colors that stimulate not just the eye, but also the soul … and I want to move the soul.”
Indeed, all of the artists in the show have a distinctly soulful quality to their work. “The artwork in this show has a whole new energy and is like a breath of fresh air in the western art world,” Alexander says. “The development of western America took risk and bravery. We see these same qualities in the artists in this show.” —Lindsay Mitchell
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