A new group show at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles will examine the ranch lifestyle as it pertains to the Southwest. Ranch Life will feature the work of 10 artists, each one offering a different perspective on the popular Western subject matter.
In Bryan Haynes’ Harvey House Cowboy, the painter was guided by early Western illustration. “The painting Harvey House Cowboy was inspired by the early-20th-century promotional posters the legendary Harvey House Hospitality would create along with the Western railroads such as the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) beginning in 1875,” Haynes says. “Many early illustrators and Taos art colony founders participated in the poster series we are very familiar with now. I wanted to create what feels like a very ‘classic’ cowboy from around the turn of the last century, when even carrying a sidearm was common. Ranch life is also very familiar to my wife and me as we have had horses on our property and in our barn for decades, mostly Morgan horses, the only truly American breed of horse.”
Artists of America, will be presenting Wyoming Cowpuncher, “a painting depicting a cowboy riding through the high desert plateau of Wyoming, breathing the fresh air and listening to the clip of hoof on stone, the squeak of saddle leather and feeling the power of his horse beneath him,” Redden says. “It is an exhilaration that motivates the cowboy to live the sometimes solitary lifestyle, long thirsty days in heat, bitter cold, and wind and dust. Ranch life is the struggle of men, women and families to provide a living, battling elements over which they have almost no control: weather, markets, predators, politics. The animals and the landscape and the hardy work ethic of the people who live the ranch life are those things that inspire me to paint. I strive to portray the subject in ways that communicate the struggle. Everything has been painted. The challenge is to bring a fresh viewpoint, push composition and color and surface quality.”
Eric Bowman will be offering Morning Rider, featuring a lone cowboy in a marvelous landscape. “[It was] inspired by several elements; freedom and wide-open spaces for one. I am a
nostalgic person, and I have always liked the older, American dream-version of the cowboy roaming the open plains and desert regions of the West; back when movie studios didn’t have to travel far to shoot epic vistas for the old Western serials of the 1930s and 1940s—as cliché as they may have been,” Bowman says. “The romantic, lonesome aspect of solitary travel and adventure in a time before freeways, urban growth and technology took over...There’s an optimism in scenes like this where there was not yet any competition from the ‘progress’ that loomed on the horizon. I think this kind of open-ended narrative lends an undercurrent that resonates with a lot of people too—escapism perhaps, but it’s honest in its simple appeal to our sense of freedom and the big outdoors.”
Other artists with works in the show include Joshua Clare, Howard Post, Billy Schenck and others. For updates on the show, visit www.maxwellalexandergallery.com.