Thursday, July 10, 2008
Starting out in New Mexico
I saw a great Maynard Dixon Painting of the Pedernal, at a gallery in Santa Fe.
The Pedernal is a flat topped mountain that Georgia O'Keeffe painted over and over during her life. This painting was made in 1931 when Maynard spent, with his then wife Dorthea Lange, about 8 months painting in NM and around Taos.
It reminded me of a Hopper painting I knew and I walked down to the book store and saw Hopper had painted a very similar painting of Cape Cod the same year. Dixon would have been aware of these paintings, I think.
I say all of this as Dixon is such a good western painter because his form is molded from eastern tradition which is linked to the larger European.
Most painter's out West come in on the larger painting conversation in the middle and don't really know the voices. Maynard is talking to Hopper, and the early Modernists, though he mainly is true to the landscape in front of him-- through them.