This summer, Maxwell Alexander Gallery will mount a small works show featuring a number of its gallery artists. The show will have no particular theme, other than the size, so the style and subject matter represented is far-reaching. Artists will include both contemporary and Western, and some who blur the gap. Among them are Teresa Elliott, Danny Galiote, David Grossmann, Matt Smith and Kim Wiggins.
Over the past 30 years, much of Wiggins’ work has been focused on symbolism and his painting A Song in the Garden of Taos fits that bill. The work, which is part of his Voices Series, “centers on the isolated surroundings of Taos, New Mexico,” he explains. “By the end of the 19th century, American artists were searching desperately for a place and a subject that would set their work apart from the European school of art. The remote village of Taos soon emerged as the purest symbol of unblemished America…as if a fabled American Garden of Eden.”
In Autumn Cottonwood and River View, Grossmann depicts one of his favorite cottonwoods. “It grows on the banks of the Colorado River in an open space that is filled with the sound of water and of rustling leaves,” he says. “I especially love going there to paint this tree in the autumn when its leaves are radiant, caught in the breeze and spreading the air with gold.”
Another landscape painting in the show is Smith’s Peralta Cliffs, which was inspired by an area the artist has painted and hiked for 35 years. “The day I set out to paint this piece, my goal was to focus on the cliffs,” says Smith. “Everything changed when I came across the dramatic, cast shadow on the arm of this lone saguaro. The cliffs were still present, but the plant ruled.”
Galieote has a love of old Hollywood cinema including vintage Westerns. It came about from his family having horses and a clothing store on Hollywood Boulevard in the 1940s through 1960s. “Even though I wasn’t around to visit the store, I have my grandfather’s home movies. All the old film footage and his stories combined together to create this natural attraction and understanding of this era,” he shares. “I’ve always liked to glean stylistically from this period’s artistic design sensibilities as well and use them as my vessel to address timeless sociocultural themes in my work. In this case, my narrative revolves around this tough, independent cowgirl passing through for an afternoon libation.”
The exhibition runs July 13 through 27.