G. Russell Case

Desert vast­ness

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - G. RUSSELL CASE

G.Russell Case’s works of­ten show the im­men­sity of the land and sky tow­er­ing over the desert. The size of his sub­jects is im­pos­ing and mag­nif­i­cent—ter­ri­fy­ing when you think of your own place among the grandeur. And yet his mon­u­men­tal moun­tain cliffs and end­less skies feel ac­ces­si­ble, in large part to his care­ful in­clu­sion of hu­man fig­ures, struc­tures or even just clus­ters of sheep that of­fer a vis­ual scale that brings view­ers into the paint­ing with­out over­whelm­ing them in the scenery.

“Adding those things helps with the vast­ness of the desert,” Case says from his Utah stu­dio. “I’m drawn to these big, open places. And they re­ally are quite big. The land just seems to go on for­ever.”

Case, who has a new show open­ing at Maxwell Alexan­der Gallery in Los An­ge­les on May 5, will be pre­sent­ing as many as 10 new works, in­clud­ing pieces like Be­tween a Rock and a Hard Spot and Ver­mil­ion Flats, both of which fea­ture stun­ning rock formations and dis­tant cliffs, as well as smaller more in­ti­mate scenes of sheep and Na­tive Amer­i­can sheep­herders in the fore­ground. “Grow­ing up on and

around the In­dian reser­va­tions, you re­ally do get to watch the hu­man-scale el­e­ments of the land as these peo­ple walk through. It gives you some in­sight into their daily rou­tine, and their per­sonal sto­ries, as they walk through these land­scapes that are ruth­less and bar­ren,” the artist says, adding that the ruth­less el­e­ments of the land can be seen in his works. “You can see in the land the strug­gle for ex­is­tence as sage­brush stretches for miles and miles, and then out in desert there’s a dot that is a per­son’s home. It re­minds me a lot of Ed­ward Hop­per, who did these great street scenes in Maine and the shut down shops filled with lonely silence.”

The new show also dis­play Canyon de Chelly, Rep­e­ti­tion in Clay and Au­tumn Canyon— works that are punc­tu­ated with dra­matic shad­ows that ca­ress cliff faces and deeply carved ravines. “Shad­ows and other dark ar­eas are usu­ally what the com­po­si­tion hangs on. I draw with the shad­ows, and those ar­eas an­chor the paint­ing,” Case says. Shad­ows are the silent part­ner in the paint­ing. We see color and light, but it’s those parts of any paint­ing that in­form the com­po­si­tion.”

Other works on view in­clude Com­ing Rain and Spring at Table­top. Both are colos­sal land­scape scenes with rid­ers trudg­ing through the end­less sage­brush amid the mon­u­ments of the desert.

Be­tween a Rock and a Hard Spot, oil, 30 x 24"

Rep­e­ti­tion in Clay, oil, 11 x 14"

Ver­mil­ion Flats, oil, 35 x 42"

Spring at Table­top, oil, 18 x 30”

Com­ing Rain, oil, 30 x 40”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.