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.


The small town of Taos, New Mexico, has provided inspiration for Western artists since Joseph Henry Sharp first visited there in 1893. The art haven is the subject of a new group show at Maxwell Alexander Gallery, which opens with a reception from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on September 23 and remains on view through October 7, and features the artwork of Danny Galieote, Kim Wiggins, David Grossmann, John Moyers, Tim Solliday and Logan Maxwell Hagege.

“The mix of cultures in Taos, its history and its beautiful surroundings make it a fascinating place to paint,” Grossmann says. His painting Clouded Sunset, Taos, captures an adobe structure called La Morada on the outskirts of Taos, which was part of a Catholic monastery dating back to the late 1700s. “The evening that I did this painting, the silence of La Morada seemed to carry a hidden history, a feeling echoed by the clouds that veiled the glowing sunset. I wanted to capture the sense of deep solitude and the way that the adobe walls seemed so connected to the land.”

In Galieote’s The Watchers, three protectors watch over their Pueblo family. “I wanted the figures to conjure a feeling of order and stability and that nothing could get past their glistening inscrutable eyes,” Galieote explains. “The middle figure seemed to naturally take his place as the wisest and the one who will have the final word to carry forth in war or in peace.”

Taos is an alluring subject for Wiggins. The landscape and the history imbue a sense of importance in his work. “My work, One Night at Taos Pueblo, centers on the iconic San Geronimo de Taos Mission located at the Taos Pueblo,” he explains. “In the painting two beautiful Pueblo children stand outside the mission under the light of a full moon. This painting is both symbolic and ethereal in nature hopefully capturing the very heart and resilience of the Taos people.”

View the show preview HERE