Show Preview | William Hook

Santa Fe, NM
Meyer Gallery, August 8-14

William Hook, Village A.M., oil, 18 x 24.

William Hook, Village A.M., oil, 18 x 24.

This story was featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

William Hook’s artistic roots run deep. His father worked as a photographer, while his grandmother was one of the first female architects of her generation. As a result, during his formative years, Hook enjoyed a continuous stream of vision, drive, and support for realizing creative pursuits. Thus emerged a passion for paint, an adoration of light, and a desire to push his medium further than anyone else has—by all accounts, traits that define the artist within his genre.

This month, Meyer Gallery celebrates nearly three decades of representing Hook with a solo exhibition of his classic yet progressive acrylic paintings. Depicting poised, painterly scenes of the American West and Southwest, Hook’s pictures possess a profound depth of color and vibrancy not typically achieved with acrylic. This ability to imbue canvases with the potent luster of oil paint has garnered the artist national acclaim while also branding him as an innovator in the field.

Hook’s latest solo show at Meyer opens on Friday, August 8, and a reception for the artist is from 5 to 7 p.m. that evening. Excited to reveal this most recent assortment of Hook’s work, the gallery’s Jordan West readily casts the painter as among the most talented and recognizable in his class. He names Hook as “one of the premier acrylic landscape painters of our generation” while also noting that he is the only acrylic painter currently represented by the gallery.

William Hook, Sage Scouts, oil, 24 x 36.

William Hook, Sage Scouts, oil, 24 x 36.

The collection of 30 new paintings is on display through August 14. With subject matter ranging from dynamic, fecund landscapes to gracefully austere adobe structures, the work reveals Hook’s fervent interest in nature, architectural forms, and the various ways in which light can illuminate, obscure, and ultimately define a space. Tightly cropped compositions with acute attention to spatial relationships add a contemporary edge, further elevating the beautifully naturalistic representations and painterly, intricate brushwork. With intense light and fantastic color that sometimes border on the surreal, Hook strives to “bring the viewer into” his scenes. ONE CUP OF TEA serves as a prime example, as light activates the space by extracting vivid colors and delineating contrasting—and, at times, mysterious—shadows across the canvas. “I want to make a painting I haven’t seen made before,” he declares.

This show precedes the release of a hardcover book chronicling Hook’s distinguished career. Titled William Cather 
Hook: A Retrospective and penned by Susan Hallsten McGarry, former Southwest Art editor in chief, the volume is scheduled for a September release. It will be available via Hook’s website at, where readers can now reserve advance copies. Hook plans to hold subsequent book signings at Meyer Gallery as well as in Denver, California, and Arizona.

Mirroring the book, the current show includes both old paintings and new, surveying the scope of Hook’s style and revealing his evolution as a professional artist over the past 30 years. This career-spanning exhibition is his 24th at Meyer Gallery. —Elizabeth L. Delaney

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Featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art August 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!