Category Archives: Art History

2016 Jackson Hole Art Auction Results!

Dean Cornwell (1892–1960) Portrait,1929 oil on canvas 30 x 24 in Sold: $245,700

Dean Cornwell (1892–1960) Portrait,1929 oil on canvas 30 x 24 in Sold: $245,700

I’d certainly buy her if I could. Dean Cornwell’s (1892 -1960) beautiful portrait of a young woman surrounded by American Indian motifs and symbols stole my heart. This painting sold for $245,700. Her story is just one of the hundreds of successful art stories to emerge from 2016’s Jackson Hole Art Auction, which realized over $8,000,000 in sales earlier this month. As always, the auction took place at Jackson Hole’s Center for the Arts, in downtown Jackson, Wyoming, and is a partnership production of the Trailside and Gerald Peters galleries.

This is a quick post; my aim is to get you the sales information as quickly as possible!

SALE HIGHLIGHTS: 

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Charles M. Russell (1864–1926)
Buffalo Hunting,1894
oil on canvas
20 1/8 x 24 in
Sold: $450,000

unnamed-3N.C. Wyeth (1882–1945)
He Rode Away, Following a Dim Trail Among the Sage, 1909
oil on canvas
38 x 25 in
Sold: $585,000

unnamed-4Maynard Dixon (1875–1946)
Cattle Drive, 1939
mixed media
49 x 36 1/2 in
Sold: $409,500

unnamed-5Walter Ufer (1876–1936)
October
oil on canvas
31 1/2 x 47 1/4 in
Sold: $374,400

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John Clymer (1907–1989)
Moving Camp, 1972
oil on canvas
20 x 40 in
Sold: $380,250

unnamed-7John Clymer (1907–1989)
September, 1972
oil on board
15 x 30 in
Sold: $187,200

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Martin Grelle (1954–Present)
Last Trail to Medicine Wheel, 2016
oil and acrylic on linen
40 x 48 in
Sold: $198,900

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Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert (1865–1926)
Brüllende Löwen
oil on canvas
44 3/4 x 83 1/2 in
Sold: $280,800

marris 6-23 right, 6/23/16, 11:02 AM, 8C, 7704x10681 (0+0), 138%, gustafson less, 1/8 s, R69.1, G56.4, B81.5

Bonnie Marris (1951–Present)
Family Ties, 2016
oil on canvas
36 x 48 in
Sold: $140,400

View all of the Jackson Hole Art Auction’s 2016 sales results at www.jacksonholeartauction.com! More local art news coming soon!

As Art and Seasons Turn

"The Connoisseur," by Norman Rockwell.

“The Connoisseur,” by Norman Rockwell. The work appears on American Art Review’s October cover.

Ahhh. It’s Fall. Lovely.

Soon I’ll be returning to Jackson, and for almost everyone this season is a time of reflection. It’s also a time of “buckling down to work” and transition.

When I’m not reading or writing about Jackson Hole’s art scene, I’m often reading about art in other corners of the world, and quite a bit about art across the country. This entry, I’d like to offer up a few stories that recently caught my eye.

The first concerns plein air painting, and a show about a collection of artists, now deceased, whose works were, in their time, considered excellent. But as their lives came to an end, so did their visibility as artists. The show is “Variations on a Theme: American Painters (1850-2000), opening next month at the Rockport Art Association and Museum in Rockport, Massachusetts.

“It is an unfortunate fact that unless an artist has a gallery or family to keep their name in the forefront of the art world, the bulk of their work can be lost in the mists of time,” writes Judith A. Curtis in the latest edition of “American Art Review.” 

Alexander Bower (1875-1952), Cottage on the River

Alexander Bower (1875-1952), Cottage on the River

This is not currently a big problem for Jackson artists~~(housing is another matter)~~a number of artists who didn’t have representation or were faced with a gallery scene refusing to show their work are now front and center. This is incredible, and perhaps because we, collectively, are the polar opposite of the small New England town’s plight, the article spoke to me.

The Rockport’s mission is to feature local painters who are not only considered excellent, but have been “the mainstay of the Association in its fledgling days.” To sum up Curtis’ point, the museum would never have survived without intense dedication, talent, and a consistent “forward momentum.” Until last year, when the Rockport mounted an all-women’s art show  and expanded its reach, the museum was unable to produce a show like “Variations.” In the article about the show (if you can find a hard copy~~I can’t find the article on line) you can read about a number of New England plein air painters who, despite their great talents and breadth of subjects, faded from view. It’s a touching look from a knowing and careful perspective.

Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

Don’t hurt me, NYT! I loved this article. And I hope that we in Jackson Hole can figure out something like the Lower East Side’s “100 Gates Project.” 

Tamara Best wrote about a street art project that’s transforming a part of Manhattan’s dingy Lower East Side. Although we in Jackson don’t pull down metal doors when we close up for the day, we could paint some fabulous large-scale works and use them as promotion for our local artists. What about that idea for the Public Art Spot, the snaggly “banner” space that juts out over West Broadway? That needs upgrading, up-thinking. 

Or, we could place art on the streets themselves. And create/paint/build/light up huge arrows pointing to the Art Association! Once visitors arrive at the Art Association, they’d find so much affordable local art that they couldn’t help but bring some back home.

Our public art is fabulous, but I feel more thoughtful placement of work is possible. Let’s not crowd small spaces without offering a place to rest, without offering nature and true assimilation of place and object.

I’m in favor of making the Art Association more “public,” a retail operation that draws more tourism dollars. Tourists rarely, if ever, visit and we need a fresh audience. I’m in favor of another project I recently read about, and Jackson has already started: displaying local art, with prices, in every lodging location possible, AND add an artist studio space directly into the lodging structure itself. The artist is always in residence.

Read Best’s article HERE. 

sothebys7-28-16My mom gets newsletters from the Hollis Taggart Gallery in NYC. The gallery sends out an Art Market Report much like our Jackson Hole Real Estate Report. A summation of the latest report says that there has been a “rising tide” of gallery sales and an “ebb in momentum” for auction houses. People are consigning, not selling, in an erratic market. Feels safer, more control.

As the gallery went to press with their newsletter, the SEC reported a 65% reduction in Steve Cohen’s Sotheby’s stockAlmost immediately a Chinese insurer “China Guardian” bought up a 13.5% position in Sotheby’s. And now it’s Sotheby’s largest shareholder…….

“No doubt China Guardian was quietly buying Steve Cohen’s stock position!” exclaims the Report.

Invest in, support and love your local artists. We are a family. An Association.

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Because I do not wish to finish on a “corporate” note, I offer some these observations on the passing of time and transition:

We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” ~Albert Einstein

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.”~Thich Nhat Hanh

Painting For Life: New Book Celebrates Gregory I. McHuron

"Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron," by Susan Hallsten McGarry

“Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron,” by Susan Hallsten McGarry

“If you are attaining your goals, you’ve set your goals too low. The last painting you do should be the very best.” –Greg McHuron

Words to live by. Words to paint by.

Gregory I. McHuron (1945-2012) is considered by many admirers the sole plein air painter that could stand up to the Tetons’ majestic size and power, as well as their surrounding valley. Indeed, McHuron stood for the majesty of ALL wilderness and wildlife, and he left a permanent legacy when we lost him to cancer.

Four years after his death a seminal book worthy of McHuron’s life, artistry and passion for wilderness has come to fruition: “Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron,” lovingly authored by former Southwest Art Magazine editor-in-chief Susan Hallsten McGarry,  will soon to be available through the Grand Teton Association.

McGarry says that this book, a retrospective, “is not only a story of living in the now; it is also a guide to finding what McHuron called the “WOW” that serenades your soul.”

“Painting has never been a job to me,” McHuron said. “It’s why I live.”

Greg McHuron near Menor's Ferry, Grand Teton National Park. It would be his final "Artists in the Environment" demonstration. Photo by Tammy Christel

Greg McHuron near the Chapel of the Transfiguration, Grand Teton National Park. It would be his final “Artists in the Environment” demonstration. Photo by Tammy Christel

“In the summer of 2013, Linda McHuron, Peter Ward, and I got together to discuss the idea of a book,” says McHuron’s long-time friend and fellow plein air painter Stephen C. Datz. McHuron was a member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, a group painting annually in Grand Teton National Park in support of the Grand Teton Association. Datz served as the group’s president for four years.

“We made contact with as many family, friends, colleagues, and collectors as we could and began collecting stories and remembrances. Peter began the work of gathering, collating, and cataloguing images of Greg’s work,” said Datz.

McGarry feels that this book, a retrospective, “is not only a story of living in the now; it is also a guide to finding what McHuron called the WOW” that serenades your soul.”

Gregory I. McHuron, "Seasonal Differences," Oil, 40" x 30"

Gregory I. McHuron, “Seasonal Differences,” Oil, 40″ x 30″ Photo by Tammy Christel

For the next two years, through emails, phone calls, one-on-one meetings and gatherings hosted by Peter, we accumulated a huge stash of memories of Greg and advice that he had given his students,” recalls Datz. Matt Montagne and Charlie Craighead contributed an invaluable cache of candid photos of Greg out painting and doing AIE (Artists in the Environment, an open-to-the-public plein air painting program McHuron co-founded in 1974 with Connie Schwiering and Chuck McCurdy) demos.”

McGarry notes that “true artists must live their art and paint from the heart.” McHuron’s lifestyle epitomized that philosophy, she says. His paintings expressed what he felt, and he shared those feelings with others willing to listen, including mentoring artists, in workshops or in his own “no bull*@#!” critiques.

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Our Majestic Parks: Ziemienski at Altamira Fine Art

Dennis Ziemienski, Stone Bridge Over the Merced, Yosemite National Park. Oil on Canvas 40 x 30 "

Dennis Ziemienski, Stone Bridge Over the Merced, Yosemite National Park. Oil on Canvas. 40×30″

In Dennis Ziemienski’s new show “Celebrating Our National Parks” at Altamira Fine Art, our parks are monumental. Man’s presence, for the most part, is small and humbling. In every image, you’ll find homage and acknowledgement that they, the parks, were here before us; and they, not us, are Earth’s great achievements.

DENNIS ZIEMIENSKI: CELEBRATING OUR NATIONAL PARKS, is on exhibit at Altamira Fine Art in Jackson, Wyoming, August 15-27, with an opening reception on Thursday, August 18, 5-8:00 pm. 

Dennis Ziemienski Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park Oil on Canvas 48 x 30 inches

Dennis Ziemienski
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park
Oil on Canvas
48 x 30 “

As I write, 11 works from the show are posted on Altamira’s website; two have already sold. Ziemienski’s painting has always been marked by an appreciation of all things vintage. At times I’ve felt his work can be a little too obvious, but in this show, being obvious about color, scale and our precious parks is the point. These are spectacular tributes to some of America’s greatest treasures: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, Arches National Park, Glacier , Yosemite and Devil’s Tower National Monument. This year is the National Park Centennial, and if you are one of the millions whose lives are deeply affected by personal park experience; if these wild and gorgeous places have made their mark on your soul, then you are bound to be transported by this tremendous exhibit.

Works reflect National Parks grandeur and scale. Ziemienski’s smallest painting measures 18 x 24″, and the largest canvas is 36 x 48″.

“The stunning beauty, history and wildlife provides an unlimited source of inspiration and subject matter for my paintings.” ~ Dennis Ziemienski

Growing up near Yosemite, I spent many summers there. Two decades ago I moved to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park; stepping off the plane here for the first time my pulse quickened, stunned by the Tetons’ visual impact. Those halcyon summer months spent at Yosemite’s lakes, beneath the waterfalls, hiking valleys, camping in the pines~~I can smell it. I thought I’d lost that sense memory forever. Thank goodness, I was wrong.

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Jackson Hole Art Auction: The Menu

Charles M. Russell (1864–1926) Menu (Cafe Noir) (ca. 1896) watercolor and pencil on paper 6 x 4 (sight) in  Estimate: $40,000–$60,000

Charles M. Russell (1864–1926)
Menu (Cafe Noir) (ca. 1896) watercolor and pencil on paper 6 x 4 (sight) in
Estimate: $40,000–$60,000

This year’s Jackson Hole Art Auction is two months away; time flies. After all, it’s summer and high art season in Jackson, Wyoming. Stay on your toes, keep a daily eye out for new auction lots! Get your consignments in on time~~2015’s deadline opportunity has likely evaporated. So many impressive consignments arrive at auction headquarters, upstairs at Trailside Gallery, that some must be put forward for your consideration.

Whether it’s market confidence or simply a new method of expanding their buying audience, the auction spreads itself over two days this year, with two separate buying events. The auction, a premier venue for Western masterworks, begins September 18th, 2015.

“The ninth annual Jackson Hole Art Auction will begin with Session I held on Friday, September 18th at Trailside Galleries in Jackson, WY. Session I will be a small well-curated sale of lots by highly desirable contemporary and deceased artists. Session II will be held on Saturday, September 19th at the Center for the Arts,” notes the auction. Both events include free, open-to-the-public preview opportunities.

E. Martin Hennings, Untitled. 18.5 x 15 1/4".  Oil $40,000 -$60,000

E. Martin Hennings, Untitled. 18.5 x 15 1/4″. Oil $40,000 -$60,000

So, what’s on the auction menu? It’s impossible to provide a full list in this space, but highlights include historic and contemporary works by Bierstadt, C.M. Russell, Bob Kuhn, Carl Rungius, Howard Terpning, Z.S. Liang, Remington, E. Martin Hennings, Clyde Aspevig, Richard Schmid, Harry JacksonEanger Irving Couse, T. Allen LawsonStanley Meltzoff and William Acheff.

Bob Kuhn (1920–2007) Winter Browse - Mule Deer (1995)

Bob Kuhn (1920–2007) Winter Browse – Mule Deer (1995) Acrylic on Board  14×18″ Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000

Lot estimates range anywhere from four digits to seven.

Though not an official part of Jackson Hole’s famed Fall Arts Festival, the auction is a heady and highly anticipated conclusion to Jackson’s official arts season. Live Western auctions cause attendees and staff to break out in goosebumps. This thing is full of adrenaline~~the auction has become one of the country’s top Western art auctions, each year offering up exquisite paintings, sculptures and artifacts. A co-production of Jackson’s Trailside Galleries and Santa Fe’s Gerald Peters Gallery, the auction is an upscale, professionally organized and thrilling event.

Visit www.jacksonholeartauction.com for information, or phone Auction Coordinator Jill Callahan at (866)-549-9276.

Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) Wind River Country Wyoming (ca. 1860) oil on canvas 28 1/4 x 39 1/2 in Estimate: $1,000,000–$2,000,000

Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902)
Wind River Country Wyoming (ca. 1860)
oil on canvas
28 1/4 x 39 1/2 in
Estimate: $1,000,000–$2,000,000