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Brad Price: A Renewed Perspective on the Western Landscape

October 19, 2017

Brad Price: A Renewed Perspective on the Western Landscape

In Brad Price’s impressionistic southwest landscapes, the viewer can articulate each stroke that the artist has applied to the canvas. Short, wavy lines reminiscent of Van Gogh’s broken brushwork form breezy cottonwoods, exalted skies and mesas that glow beneath vivid desert sunsets. These pure strokes of complimentary colors vibrate against each other, creating a brilliant effect in the viewer’s eye. This technique is called “simultaneous color contrast,” and was first incorporated into art by the Post-Impressionists and Fauvists around the turn of the century. Price discovered the technique in college and eventually adopted it into his work. “When I was in art school at the University of Oklahoma, a Canadian teacher had me paint huge canvases of pure color with a big brush,” he explains. “He wanted us to experiment with the interrelationships of colors…the way colors moved forward and backward from one another, pushing and pulling from the surface. It began then,” he says of his current painting style.

Brad Price is drawn to the ruggedness of the southwest. According to the artist, there is a “tortured beauty” to New Mexico that has always fascinated him. Up until this summer, all of Price’s inspiration came from regular trips to Taos, Abiquiu and other areas of northern New Mexico. This past August after his regular pilgrimage to the southwest, however, Price kept driving. He explored every corner of the American west from Canyon de Chelly and the Grand Canyon, to Monument Valley and Lake Powell, to the Redwoods of California and Tetons in Jackson Hole. The artist spent three weeks exploring parts of the country he had never experienced before, taking photos and absorbing inspiration for a new body of work as he went. These new Western works debut on November 3rd as part of his solo exhibition, in addition to New Mexico landscapes that he has painted within the past year.

Throughout his recent western travels and in his routine trips to New Mexico, Price seeks out remote and untouched “jewels” as potential subjects for paintings. The artist’s adventurous spirit and commitment to the “treasure hunt” as he calls it, takes him miles off the beaten path on uncharted trails, down long winding roads and to the tops of mountains. In “Taos Morada,” Price’s subject is an old adobe dwelling that he serendipitously came across on a back road in Taos. We must look beyond the brush and gnarled trees in the foreground to see the building, feeling Price’s excitement for this unexpected find as we search out its shape against the landscape. In “Wotan’s Throne,” Price drove over an hour from the Grand Canyon’s main lodge on the north rim in order to find the formation depicted in the painting. “You have to just take off up a road and see what you can find,” he says. “There are times when all I can do is get out of the car, jump up and down and laugh out loud. I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to see it.”

See Brad Price’s expressionist depictions of New Mexico and the American west from November 3rd through November 10th at the gallery. Click here to preview his exhibition paintings.

 

-Kelly Skeen


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