Have A Basquiat in Your Closet? Let’s talk.

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Today art world minds are being blown all over the planet as Sotheby sells a 1982 skull painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat for 110.5 million last night. Basquiat is now the highest grossing American artist of all time. Pretty great for a street kid. Read all about it in this New York Times article.

 

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New Mexico Connections: Hondius and Cowles

Cowles-Dasburg-Hondius-ArtistsFrom top: Cowles, Dasburg and Hondius 

You’d be surprised at how often we find New Mexico links in the biographies of our historic artists, even if they never lived here. The latest paintings to appear on our walls are good examples. Gerrit Hondius and Russell Cowles were celebrated modern artists in New York: both exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and the World’s Fair, and their works are now part of the permanent collections of numerous major museums. Their mutual friend Andrew Dasburg, whose career also took off in New York, would move to Santa Fe in 1921 and help usher in the region’s modernist period.

It goes to show that New Mexico was a major player in the American modernist movement, far beyond Georgia O’Keeffe’s significant contributions. Read on to learn more about these influential artists and their ties to the Land of Enchantment…

Russell Cowles- Untitled Modernist Landscape- Matthews Gallery Blog

Russell Cowles, Untitled (Modernist Landscape), Oil on Panel

“When an artist sees something he wants to paint, his first step should be to look- to look long and sensitively- to feel what nature has to say,” said Russell Cowles (1887-1979). Wherever the modernist set up his easel—from New Mexico to East Asia—he followed this philosophy with the passion of an artist and the intellectual focus of a scholar.

The Iowa-born artist graduated from Dartmouth College in 1909. He studied painting in Paris and Rome, drawing inspiration from the artwork of Cezanne and Gauguin. Cowles returned to the United States in 1920, exhibiting his artwork at the Metropolitan Museum of Art soon after. In 1925, he received a medal from the Art Institute of Chicago. These honors marked the beginning of a long and illustrious career that took Cowles as far as China to study with a master of Chinese painting, and Bali to experiment with abstract painting.

Cowles began living in Santa Fe for part of each year in 1930, and befriended John Marin, Andrew Dasburg, Marsden Hartley and other New Mexico modernists. He received a prize at the World’s Fair in New York City in 1937, and his artwork appeared in LIFE Magazine in 1948. He died in New York City in 1979.

Gerrit Hondius- Untitled Modernist Landscape- Matthews Gallery Blog

Gerrit Hondius, Untitled (Modernist Landscape), Oil on Panel

Gerrit Hondius (1891-1970) was born in the Netherlands and studied painting at the Royal Academy in The Hague. It was there that he developed a passion for Georges Rouault and the French expressionists, but he found a true match for his style and creative energy in New York City.

Hondius moved to New York in 1915, and studied at the Art Students League with Max Weber and Andrew Dasburg. He first caught the eye of the art world with a massive WPA mural in brilliant Fauvist and expressionist hues. In the mural, colorful city people tangled with masked figures, clowns and ballerinas, inviting Old World allegorical figures to frolic in the capital of New World modernity.

In the following years, Hondius split his time between New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts, and exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the World’s Fair, the Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center and over fifty other venues across the United States and Europe. His artwork is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum and other institutions across the world. His wife Paula donated his sketchbooks, letters and other personal effects to the Smithsonian Institution after his death.

Check out our website to learn more about Gerrit Hondius and Russell Cowles, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr for daily gallery news.

The Lumpkins Files: Secrets of the Santa Fe modernist

Santa Fe Artist William Lumpkins- Matthews Gallery Blog

 

Special thanks to Inn & Spa at Loretto for featuring this exhibition on their blog,
and Paul Weideman of the Santa Fe New Mexican for his lovely article in Pasatiempo. 

 
When William Lumpkins Jr. appeared at our door holding a large portfolio last year, we were already quite familiar with his father’s work. In fact, if you’re in Santa Fe, Lumpkins Sr.’s most sizable oeuvre is impossible to miss. He was a prolific architect who specialized in modern adobe building techniques and had a hand in the design of over 2,000 structures around town. Nearly every street you’ve passed today wouldn’t look the same without Bill.

The thick stack of artwork in William Jr.’s arms was a different story. Since his death in 2000 Lumpkins has gained notoriety for his bold watercolors, but this new series of works on paper came as a surprise. The paintings, serigraphs and drawings before us were stunningly diverse. They ranged from an early modernist landscape to a series of fractured abstract expressionist compositions. A large group of felt-tip pen drawings featuring colorful geometric designs gave us new insight into Lumpkins’ experimental artistic process.

William Lumpkins- Paintings and Prints- Matthews Gallery Blog

 

William Jr. explained that his father had asked for the works to be released only after his death. The file is a time capsule that spans most of Lumpkins’ artistic career, from 1937 to the 1970s. Lumpkins was born near Clayton, New Mexico in 1909 and studied art and architecture at the University of New Mexico. He settled in Santa Fe for the first time in 1935 and helped found the Transcendental Painting Group, an influential modernist art collective. After a stint in California he returned to the Southwest in the late 1960s, establishing a new style of architecture in Santa Fe called “Spanish-Pueblo” and producing innovative art late into his life.

The time has finally come for the debut of Lumpkins’ never-before-seen collection. This Friday from 5-7 pm the artwork will appear in our special exhibition NEW MEXICO MODERNS: The Lumpkins Files. If you’re in Santa Fe this weekend, come experience the exquisite creations of a true Renaissance Man who left an enduring mark on the City Different.

Inn and Spa at Loretto- Santa Fe New Mexico

Also, take the opportunity to marvel at—and perhaps reside in—one of Lumpkins’ grandest architectural creations. He helped design parts of the Pueblo-inspired Inn & Spa at Loretto, the award-winning hotel that’s next to the famed Loretto Chapel a short walk from the Plaza. We’ve partnered with Loretto to offer special room rates to our collectors. Just use the code CANYON when you make a reservation and you’ll be treated like a VIP! We also highly recommend their restaurant, Luminaria.

Click here for more information on the exhibition, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for daily gallery news!