Southwest Art Previews Cumulus Show

Los Angeles, CA

Maxwell Alexander Gallery, March 10-31

 Dennis Ziemienski, Summer Thunderhead, Monument Valley, oil, 20 x 30.

Dennis Ziemienski, Summer Thunderhead, Monument Valley, oil, 20 x 30.

We probably take them for granted more often than we should. This month, however, clouds receive a well-deserved tribute at Maxwell Alexander Gallery, where 12 leading western artists portray these billowing beauties of the sky in more than a dozen new paintings of the American West. Fittingly titled Cumulus, the exhibition opens on Saturday, March 10.

 

Devotees of historic western art might presume the show is a commemorative nod to early western landscape painters like Maynard Dixon (1875-1946), who frequently depicted massive, showstopping cloudscapes over low-lying horizons. But gallery owner Beau Alexander is quick to note that, while this group of contemporary painters may be influenced by such artists, it’s not the focus of the exhibition. “We’re really trying to look forward,” he says. “These artists are cutting their own path and doing something a little different.”

Among those portraying clouds in a new light are Eric Bowman, Scott Burdick, Phil Epp, Danny Galieote, and Michael Klein. The artists were invited to interpret the theme in any way—and any size—they saw fit, notes Alexander. The result is a diverse collection of cloud-infused scenes that range in tenor from whimsical to contemplative.

Bowman, a western native, has given the theme plenty of thought himself. “Clouds are such enigmatic elements in our landscape’s skies, constantly moving and shape-shifting, especially here in the West where they’ve helped define wide-open spaces like Montana’s Big Sky Country,” he says.

Clouds typically play a “backup role” in his landscape paintings, says the Oregon artist, but in his major work for the show, titled "Levels and Degrees" they take center stage. “I wanted to create some cloud iconography using various levels of depth, large-mass shapes, and temperature shifts to convey a larger-than-life impact,” he explains. Bowman strategically set his cloudscape over southern Utah’s ancient bluffs and canyons, both to support the composition’s vertical design and to create a “large-scale, heroic feel,” he says. “As a design feature, clouds can theoretically be shaped into any configuration imaginable, and in this case, hopefully they inspire our imagination about how large and legendary the West really is.”

Landscape artist Phil Epp has been painting clouds for years, and like Bowman, he thrills in their potentially endless configurations. In his cloud-dominant painting "Hilltop Trio", Epp portrays a triad of horses in the Kansas hills near his home. They are dwarfed, however, by a cobalt-blue sky with plump, unfurling clouds that fill nearly 80 percent of the picture plane. “In my imagery, it’s basically earth and sky, and clouds become the characters of the scene,” says Epp. “I don’t intend for them to be realistic. I make an effort to show vastness, space, and emptiness. Out West, you’ve got the ground ahead of you and the sky above you, and that’s about as basic and primal as it gets.”

If anyone can inspire us to glance skyward with a deeper appreciation for clouds, surely this group of artists can. “We all know what clouds look like,” notes Alexander, “but it’s not until master artists share their vision that our own vision opens up.” —Kim Agricola

To view the Cumulus exhibition, click here.

 

Maxwell Alexander Gallery Celebrates their Five Year Anniversary

Dear Art Enthusiasts, Artists, Friends, and Family: 

My name is Beau Alexander, owner and operator of Maxwell Alexander Gallery.   I am happy to announce that today, December 15, 2017, is officially the five year anniversary of our gallery. 

On December 15, 2012 we held our first exhibition opening simply titled:  "Grand Opening."  The show, which opened in our Culver City location, featured some of the best realist artists in the country including Kim Cogan, Glenn Dean, Logan Maxwell Hagege, Jeremy Lipking. David Kassan, Billy Schenck, and Joseph Todorovitch, just to name a few.   

I clearly remember the night before I had a dream (or nightmare)-- that literally no one showed up to the opening.  Why would they?  We opened the gallery with almost no press, no investment, no advice.  It took us a month to open our doors because we couldn't get an insurance company to grant us a fine art policy.  We had to personally guarantee the building lease incase of a default.  The only weapon in our arsenal was our vision.  Our vision came from the mind of my brother and artist, Logan Maxwell Hagege.  It was to create a safe space, where artists were treated right, and most importantly to give a group of young quality artists a venue to shine:  The New Breed of Fine Art.   That was and still is our tagline.   To my surprise, we had over 400 people attend opening night...a line down the block -- it was clear that collectors understood our vision, we didn't have to explain it.  (continued below)

 

Maxwell Alexander Gallery: Grand Opening 12/15/12

It didn't hurt that my brother's artist friends were some of the best in the country.   The only reason our gallery has been successful is because of the artists that have agreed to associate themselves with us.   Without their trust in us we wouldn't have lasted a year, let alone five.   Social media has also played a large role in our success.  It only seemed natural to us - share good art, people will respond.  And you have.  

Our knowledge and experiences in the art world have made our gallery a magnet for not only the best artists, but emerging artists as well.  Noted discoveries that had never shown in a gallery prior to Maxwell Alexander Gallery include Brett Allen Johnson, Mark Maggiori, and Vincent Xeus.  All three are names you probably know by now.  Early on we became known for our themed group exhibits that brought together different genres and artists that would have never thought they'd be showing together in the same space.   Our Black Friday exhibit was created so young collectors would have a chance to live with and feel the power of original art in their homes (Black Friday 2017 sold 50 pieces of original art in one day).  

We were the first gallery to show Glenn Dean's figure series - they've been selling out ever since.  We hold the price record sale for Logan Maxwell Hagege for his 2016 painting "Doorway in the Sky," 80"x80" Oil.   We've hosted numerous sold out exhibitions, including four in 2017.  We've revitalized and propelled numerous others simply by presenting their work in a different light.  We regularly consult for museums around the country who are trying to figure out why artists and collectors want to be part of the movement we've created.  It's no surprise museum show rosters look very similar to our own.   (Cont. below)

 

Glenn Dean "Holding Steady" Oil 30"x30" 

Logan Maxwell Hagege "Doorway in the Sky" Oil 80"x80"

Mark Maggiori "Down the Wash" Oil 40"x40" 

Vincent Xeus "Emma Choosing" Oil 30"x20"

We've been bullied by older galleries and misunderstood by certain collectors - but there is no doubt that those who are able to look forward understand. 

As I reminisce on the last five years I can't help but look forward.  We recently moved into a 3500 sq ft gallery with 16 foot high ceilings in booming Downtown Los Angeles.  We are hosting major exhibitions in 2018 that include artists: Cesar Santos, Sean Cheetham, Mian Situ, Danny Galieote, G. Russell Case, Eric Bowman, and a joint show with Joshua LaRock and Michael Klein.   New works in the gallery from John Moyers, Serge Marshennikov, Ed Mell, and Tim Solliday are just a few other things to look forward to.   We have started to include installations and interactive exhibits during our openings.  In my opinion the traditional art opening has become stale.  We are constantly experimenting to keep fine art interesting - especially to the new generation of collectors.   I'd like to invite everyone to visit our new arrivals page where we try to highlight new works that we receive on a weekly and monthly basis.  You can do so by clicking HERE


I can go on forever, but I'd like to end by thanking all of our supporters, collectors, magazines who write articles on our openings and the artists we represent.  I'd like to thank Logan Maxwell Hagege for creating a movement that has given many artists a new life.   Most importantly I'd like to thank all the artists that have shown or wanted to show in our gallery.  We all owe a debt to you. 

Peace and Love, 
Beau Alexander

 

 Jeremy Mann Installation during OPUS 27 solo exhibition July 2017

Jeremy Mann Installation during OPUS 27 solo exhibition July 2017

Serge Marshennikov "Resting" Oil 23"x32"

John Moyers "Tres Hermanos" Oil 36"x24" 

Brett Allen Johnson "Refuge Under an Arid Sun" Oil 40"x36"

Maxwell Alexander Gallery's New Location 

 

 

 

Southwest Art Previews Mark Maggiori Show

Show Preview | Mark Maggiori

By: Southwest Art | November 15, 2017

 

  Mark Maggiori, In Altitude, oil, 24 x 30.

Mark Maggiori, In Altitude, oil, 24 x 30.

by Laura Rintala

A cowboy peers down at the rocky trail as his horse picks its way through the loose rock and sagebrush, while behind them the ground falls away to distant snowcapped peaks against a blue sky. In another scene—a nocturne—another cowboy shifts his weight in the saddle and gives his horse rein to make its way down a steep, shrubby incline, the full moon highlighting distant canyon walls. These two paintings, and seven more canvases that examine the often solitary beauty of cowboy life, are on view this month in Mark Maggiori’s solo show entitled Lonesome Souls. It opens at Maxwell Alexander Gallery on Saturday, December 9, with an artist’s reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“When I started work for the show, I was going up to Wyoming [and photographing] cowboys,” Maggiori explains. “For two or three days we were on the Continental Divide. It was very inspiring for me visually. When I came back, I wanted to paint what I had just experienced.” After working through his photos and making sketches, the artist realized a recurring theme: “I ended up painting mostly lonesome cowboys,” he says. “My feeling is that the cowboy life is very lonesome. It’s a feeling of being far from world reality and having symbiosis with nature.” And the painter, alone in his studio day after day, recognized the parallel to his own work. “There’s the beauty of [that solitude] as well as the hard part,” he says.

Lonesome Souls is Maggiori’s second solo show at the gallery and, notes gallery director Beau Alexander, his second solo show ever. “In this show we’re seeing Mark’s style develop. His ability as an artist and his voice as an artist has really matured since his first show in 2015. This show is cohesive and focused on the lonesome cowboy on the range in different scenarios.”

Maggiori pays particular attention to making his images timeless. “I don’t want to mark [a time period] through [the tack or] gear—when you’re a specialist you know it is [contemporary]. But I want to stay on the iconic side of the West,” he says. “That is what brought me to paint cowboys. That is what I have been fascinated with.”

And those cowboys are depicted as larger than life. “I cheat scale. My cowboys are 20 times bigger than they are supposed to be,” he says. And while there is limited human interaction depicted, Maggiori explores other relationships. “We don’t say enough about how important the horse is to that person being in that place and having that experience,” he says.

“The solo show is such a special event for collectors,” Alexander says. “In group shows you see one or two paintings by an artist, maybe three. But you can’t know an artist without seeing them in a solo exhibition, their small works, large works. Mark’s been working on this show for a long time, and we’re excited to be able to present it to the public.”

For more work by Mark Maggiori, click here.