Simpler, Brighter, Stronger

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Early Modernism and Southwest American Art

October 18, 2013 – July 26, 2014

A new exhibition of paintings from the collections of Diane and Sam Stewart and the Brigham Young University Museum of Art showcasing the crossroads of modernism and the American Southwest, Simpler, Brighter, Stronger features a selection of early twentieth-century paintings that represent the inspiration that artists in the region drew from early European modernists.
 

About the Exhibition

For many early twentieth-century artists in the American Southwest, the academic realism of the period seemed inadequate to express the emotional intensity of encountering towering mountains, sweeping desert vistas, blindingly clear sunlight, and absolute solitude in nature. Their paintings drew inspiration from early European modernists. Monet’s dabs of pure color, Cézanne’s geometric mountains, van Gogh’s emotion-charged brushstrokes, Matisse’s unnaturally bright colors, and Picasso’s fragmented images all found admirers and imitators among American artists in this region.
 

Simpler

One approach to distilling the essential qualities of the Southwestern landscape was to simplify the view by deleting many of the details and transforming the big natural shapes into bold geometric patterns.
 

Brighter

Many artists arriving in the Southwest were stunned by the brilliant sunlight and vivid colors of the region. They responded with a more intense palette of warmer colors, brighter highlights, and deeper shadows.
 

Stronger

Some regional painters imbued their subjects with a sense of vibrant life and dramatic motion by emphasizing rhythmic lines and juxtaposing dynamic forms and exaggerated hues.
 

Opening Celebration

October 18, 2013 | 7 PM
Join us for an evening of great food, live music, and excellent art. Free and open to the public.
 

Simpler Brigher Stronger

Conrad Buff (1886-1975), Canyon Walls: Zion National Park, Utah, undated, oil on canvas, Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection

Harold “Buck” Weaver (1889-1961), Cloud Pattern, c. 1927, oil on masonite, 34” x 36”,  Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection

Harold “Buck” Weaver (1889-1961), Cloud Pattern, c. 1927, oil on masonite, 34” x 36”, Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection

Harold Joe Waldrum (1934-2003), La Iglesia en Corrales, undated, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 30”, Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection

Harold Joe Waldrum (1934-2003), La Iglesia en Corrales, undated, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 30”, Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection

Gerald Curtis Delano (1890-1972), Canyon Scene, undated, oil on canvasboard, 7-3/4” x 9-11/16”, Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection

Gerald Curtis Delano (1890-1972), Canyon Scene, undated, oil on canvasboard, 7-3/4” x 9-11/16”, Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection