Santa Fe, NM
June 22-July 13
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!
Curt Walters, internationally known for his acclaimed southwest landscape paintings and especially for his masterful renderings of the Grand Canyon, now brings us Niagara Falls! And St. Peter’s Church in Vienna. And Jordan’s famed archeological city of Petra. “I’ve been working on a wish list of things I’ve wanted to paint for a long time,” the genial Arizona-based artist explains. “I’ve been doing western themes for a long time, and I’m very happy for that, but I’ve always felt like I’m bigger than a western-themed artist.”
Nedra Matteucci, owner of Nedra Matteucci Galleries in Santa Fe, agrees. Opening June 22, the gallery’s first solo exhibition for Walters features paintings from the artist’s travels to England, Europe, and America’s most-visited waterfalls, as well as scenes from the Santa Fe area and, of course, the Grand Canyon. The show, entitled Works From My Wish List, kicks off with an artist’s reception from 2 to 4 p.m. on June 22 and runs through July 13.
“When I heard that Curt was busy working on an expansive canvas of Niagara Falls, it brought to mind the tradition of American landscape painting that over the centuries has been an expression of our national identity,” Matteucci notes. “I am thrilled to see his vision and talent embrace an increasingly diverse and varied landscape with this newest collection of paintings.”
Walters developed a love—and an artist’s eye—for the vast southwestern landscape while growing up on his father’s farm in northwestern New Mexico. In fact, a large charcoal drawing in this show is based on a photo he took at age 18 of Navajo farmworkers in his father’s cornfield. “I finally got around to drawing it after 45 years,” he says, smiling.
For more than 30 years Walters has lived in Sedona, AZ, and made countless visits to the Grand Canyon. He has portrayed the majestic gorge in more than 600 paintings, many rendered on canvases of grand scale. Over the years the artist has earned such top honors as the 2011 Prix de West Buyers’ Choice Award, as well as Best of Show and the People’s Choice Award at the Quest for the West show in 2012, among many others.
Lately, contentedly diverging from expectations, Walters has delved into such ventures as a 42-by-90-inch painting of Horseshoe Falls at Niagara, inspired by artists like Frederic Church, a Hudson River School painter known for depicting the falls in large scale. Ten years ago, Walters visited Jordan and sketched the ancient site of Petra, material he recently translated into a painting. Other works from his wish list followed a fall 2012 painting trip to England and Europe with fellow artists John and Terri Kelly Moyers.
Among this imagery: Old World architecture, nocturnes in Vienna, and an interior of St. Peter’s Church, a painting he says contains “angels, gargoyles, angels, and more angels—what a magnificent cathedral! I love doing that kind of painting, I love the challenge of it,” he adds. “It’s not what I’m known for, but you know what? I’m over 60—I’ve earned it!” —Gussie Fauntleroy
Featured in the June 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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Southwest Art June 2013 print issue
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