New works by painters Glenn Dean, Jared Sanders and September Vhay will be on exhibition at Altamira Fine Art July 15-27, with an opening reception for all three artists on Thursday, July 18, 5-8:00 pm. Each artist brings renewed vision of their respective muses: for Dean, it’s landscapes imbued with a Taos light; Sanders’ renowned paintings of barns and other farm structures continue to accumulate silent power; and Vhay’s horses, accompanied by large-scale renderings of bison, are ever-intriguing.
“When I approach the landscape I try to simplify what I’m seeing. I strive to reduce the noise and look for nice color harmonies as well as positive and negative shapes playing off each other,” says Glenn Dean.
That’s modesty talking—Dean is much more complex than his statement suggests. A relatively young artist (Dean is 31), he has devoted himself to unraveling the complexities of works by great masters he admires; Maynard Dixon and Edgar Payne in particular. For Dean, Dixon and Payne “painted things the way they were meant to be painted, with a solid sense of form and broad strokes of clean, defining color.”
So, if you’re thinking like Maynard did, you approach landscape painting with spiritual reverence. And you are straightforward in your beliefs, as well as the task in front of you, which, says the artist, is humbling. Something hidden resides in each bit of landscape~~all artists interpret what they see in individual ways, but each personal endeavor brings its own revelation, translated to canvas.
A native Westerner, Dean is California born and now travels and lives in the Southwest. Mountains, deserts, and coastlines are his favorite locations, and within each painting Dean manages to both delineate full shapes and fill them with powerfully blended colors. We are transfixed. The big Western media and invational venues are focused on young Dean: he’s snagged Art and Antiques magazine’s first “Emerging Artist Award,” and won the grand prize AND “Artists’ Choice” awards at the Tucson-Sonoran Desert Museum Invitational. Wow.
“While some landscape painters relish capturing cheery beach scenes or sun-dappled aspen trees, [Jared] Sanders is drawn to the moody intervals that separate the seasons—the times between fall and winter and between winter and spring when he perceives subtle dramas unfolding.” – Southwest Art
Sanders’ show, “A Spirit of Place,” may certainly be about separation of seasons and the softer side of “idyllic,” but what Sanders has become known for is his ability to render barns and rural structures like the kind he knew as a child in a variety of settings and with a mastery of geometric composition and color. His is art that, at first glance may seem ever-repeating. Look again. With each work Sanders designs in depth, punctuating his compositions with brilliantly placed patches of color. Each work is a soul, and each soul regards viewer.
Sanders’ large, flat, geometric areas of color allow him to introduce those elements of abstraction and design into his paintings.
Sanders is meditative and precise, and his paintings stop you in your tracks. Allowing a long, luxurious amount of time to “read” Sanders’ paintings reaps endless rewards. This show, featuring full landscapes as well as barns, do demonstrate his singular intimacy with nature. He is a careful draftsman, sketching from hundreds of photographs he takes himself, and transfering them—–transforming them—-into his still, contemplative works of soft browns, yellows and pitch-perfect reds.
“Horses, bison, coyotes and deer grace the canvases — and a guest appearance by a hummingbird.”
September Vhay’s new show, “A Divine Pause,” spotlights “animals both delicate and sturdy,” says Altamira. Vhay’s approach to her work remains classic, with a sense of dimension so palpable it can only come from a highly developed spatial aptitude. Vhay’s architectural background is evident in every work.
“My challenge and subsequent reward,” explains Vhay, “is to reorder reality by distilling it to its essence.” The truth of each subject lies in its essence, and intrinsic in that is great truth, she believes. “It is,” she says, “a pleasure to seek out this essence and to share it with others.”
Altamira sells Vhay’s works almost as quickly as they arrive at the gallery. This time, mule deer and foals share space with bull bison and “regal” horses. In fact, many creatures of the valley are rendered: fox and coyote make peace with each other and defer to a lighter-than-air hummingbird. Vhay deeply explores composition, color, light and expression; her backgrounds are often blank, elevating each creature to a higher status, and allowing their essence to be the work’s sole focus.
I happened to be in the gallery the afternoon Vhay’s charcoal works “Chiefs of the Day” and “Chiefs of Night” arrived. Measuring 30 x 77″ they are monumental in size, and viewers feel these iconic animals’ presence, inhale prairie dust, catch the scent of the buffalos’ hides, feel their hot breath.
“Confidence, power and beauty are intrinsic to September Vhay’s artwork, notes fine art consultant Katherine E. Harrington. “September’s soft touch demonstrates a refined appreciation of her subject. To look at September’s Vhay artwork gives the mind a place to rest.” www.altamiraart.com
Watercolor images of wildlife and landscape, as well as works with religious themes by painter Morten Solberg are now on exhibition at Astoria Fine Art. This is a solo show, but you can meet the artist, who has been painting for decades, at an artist’s reception on Thursday, SEPTEMBER 18th, 5-8:00 pm.