Show Preview | David Caton

Houston, TX
William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art, November 4-26

David Caton, Croton Peak Morning, Big Bend, oil, 36 x 48.

David Caton, Croton Peak Morning, Big Bend, oil, 36 x 48.

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

This month at William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art, David Caton—a leading contemporary Texas regionalist—unveils a major body of new work for the first time in more than 20 years. “It was long overdue for someone of his stature and expertise to have a formal solo exhibition,” says Sarah Foltz, co-owner of the gallery. “We consider him one of the foremost landscape painters in the Southwest. He continues to paint exceptional work.”

The show opens with an artist’s reception on Saturday, November 5, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Caton is also in the gallery on Saturday, November 19, from 2 to 4 p.m., to discuss the 25 to 30 works in the show, all of which are from late 2015 and 2016, so they represent Caton’s newest works.

Many of the landscapes depict Big Bend National Park and the Texas Hill Country, where Caton makes his home. He has been painting these areas for some 40 years, so the scenes invite the viewer to travel with him to lesser-known destinations discovered only during repeat visits.

Although Hudson River School painters such as Frederic Edwin Church inspire him, Caton cites his late teacher, Bill Zaner, and a memorable museum moment as the greatest influences on his current work. Caton began studying with Zaner at age 16 and traveled with him to Big Bend frequently beginning in the 1970s. A seminal moment in Caton’s career came five years ago in a museum when he saw a John Singer Sargent painting of a little brook. “I was so taken with the way he painted water. I thought it was a great subject matter that was analogous to a looser way of working, in pure strokes of color to represent what’s happening in the water and under the water,” he says. “It was a pivot point in my work when I started looking at water as a serious and good subject matter. I began to be more painterly in the way I applied the paint.”

Caton began painting the Frio River, catching the light as it hits the bottom of the creek and as it reflects light and color off the surface. Several of these works appear in the show. “One of the things that’s most captivating about David’s landscapes is his handling of light and, in particular, water,” says Foltz. “In person there’s a depth to it. You feel as if you could reach in and touch the water. You feel yourself immersed in that environment.”

Caton’s brushwork earned the cover of Texas Rivers and Texas Art by Andrew Sansom and William Reaves, a book from Texas A&M University Press set for release in February 2017 with a companion traveling museum exhibition. The gallery and its stable of artists have been instrumental in creating both the book and exhibition.

A former watercolorist, Caton now paints oil studies en plein air. He then returns to the studio to create first an intermediate piece and then a large-scale painting. With each rendition, the finely rendered details of stone and water in the Texas landscape emerge as only they can from a skillful artist who is intimately familiar with the subject. Ashley M. Biggers

contact information
713.521.7500
www.reavesart.com

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

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