Show Preview | Matthew Higginbotham

Santa Fe, NM
Waxlander Gallery, July 19-August 1

Matthew Higginbotham, First Snowfall, oil, 40 x 50.

Matthew Higginbotham, First Snowfall, oil, 40 x 50.

This story was featured in the July 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Matthew Higginbotham painted his first landscape in junior-high school. Although he remembers it being a very natural experience, years passed before he painted another. For a time, the artist worked as a potter and ran a successful pottery business. But Higginbotham abruptly changed course when he discovered a passion and aptitude for painting on canvas. He said farewell to the kick wheel and hasn’t looked back since. New oil paintings by Higginbotham are on view this month in a solo show titled Beyond the Boundary at Waxlander Gallery. Featuring some 30 works ranging in size from 12 by 12 inches to 48 by 60 inches, the show honors southwestern landscapes and the artist’s evolution as a painter. “The title of the show says it all,” says Bonnie French, director of Waxlander Gallery. “Matthew is pushing the boundary of color, texture, and light.”

Higginbotham’s paintings of warm sunlit canyons, tranquil cottonwood bosques, and verdant desert wetlands expose his emotional connection to the Southwest, which the Colorado native now calls home. Indeed, the artist notes that his neighborhood near Santa Fe inspired much of his recent material. But the show’s title also reflects his efforts to break into new territory. “Beyond the Boundary is about going deeper into the land, going beyond the work of my last show, and bringing new subjects into my work,” he says. “This is about honing what’s really meaningful for me as a landscape painter.” For Higginbotham, that includes playing with a range of perspectives and elevating seemingly ordinary subjects, such as the chamisa in FIRST SNOWFALL. “I’m going into the commonplace, blowing it up, and making it meaningful and powerful,” the artist adds.

Higginbotham’s new landscapes display prominent depth and texture, achieved with a fan brush and palette knives that permit “sculpting on canvas.” He also has introduced four new colors to his palette, including phthalo blue. “Bringing in new colors brought me into snow,” he says. “Snow scenes are showing up at the right time for where I’m at in my skill level.”

Waxlander Gallery invites visitors to meet the artist at a reception on Friday, July 22, at 5 p.m. —Kim Agricola

contact information
800.342.2202
www.waxlander.com

This story was featured in the July 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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