An American Visionary--Paintings and Works on Paper
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
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I first made contact with Alexandre Hogue in 1985 when I was guest curator of the exhibition The Texas Landscape: 1900–1986 for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In a letter written to Hogue, I made the mistake of describing the desert locale of a Big Bend painting as “desolate.” In his speedy reply, Hogue instructed me to strike the word from my vocabulary ...
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... figure, from memory or imagination. Accordingly, he aimed to comprehend and express the tension and harmony he perceived between the self and the spiritual world, between the intellect and nature as he understood them. The Southwest— Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma—provided settings that allowed ...
Part One : Paintings
1: The Early Years
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... physical involvement with the landscape of the Southwest. Founded on a deep accord with nature, his work expresses the beauty and fragility of this relationship. His purpose was consistent throughout his prolific career, namely to create paintings that express his spiritual vision in the most profoundly ...
2: Taos and Back to Texas
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The only way to get in was through a locked corral gate in this big ranch. From there you’d take a trail. You’d see a windmill and then all of a sudden you’re on the edge of the canyon looking down. It’s that quick. There is enough of an irregularity to indicate why that canyon is there—why it ...
3: The Dust Bowl Era
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... contours presented a sentimentalized nineteenth-century view of America that idealized life on the land. Benton, in particular, roamed the country for months on end in the hopes of grasping rural America’s earthy vigor. Taking cues from the “people’s art” of the Mexican muralists, Benton created an indigenous ...
4: The Early Forties
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constantly sought a subject matter that would represent his authentic inner self—a core goal for modern artists. Personal experience was the connective tissue for Hogue. This aspect of enlarging experience led him to express and identify the very soul of his environment. “In various creative mediums it is my desire to interpret nature and my nature in relation to the ways ...
5: Toward an Intuitive Geometry
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library material which most people have never seen.”1 In the years that followed, Hogue frequently visited Gilcrease at his home where they would engage in discussions about modern art and the direction of the museum. At the time, the collection was housed in an old stone barn; another building down the hill was used as an office, and an upstairs space housed a group ...
6: The Moon Shot Series
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the constraints of the art market or the aspersions of critical response, Hogue began to commingle increasingly overt references to science and technology, ranging from an awareness of atomic energy to a fascination with space exploration, especially NASA’s program to reach the moon. Hogue did not see art, nature, science, and daily life as separate pursuits, but as different ...
7: The Big Bend Paintings
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taught a summer painting class at Sul Ross State College in Alpine, some eighty miles north of Big Bend National Park. For Hogue, the intention was to cultivate a sense of merging with the vast ecosystem, with scenery that couldn’t be controlled, in order to comprehend that working with nature also means functioning on nature’s terms. Significantly, wisdom from maturity ...
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Alexandre Hogue’s subject was the instability of life, its changeability in a widening world. His purpose was to stimulate a fresh but not always comforting sense of possibility and wonderment. What he created over a long career is a body of work that hauntingly insinuates itself into the minds of viewers. What he painted was a visual articulation of the experience of being alive in a modern industrial world. This kind of completeness is ...
Part Two : Works on Paper
8: Drawing: The Dynamic Impulse
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... or chance encounters. Drawing’s qualities of immediacy and intimacy suggest it as the quintessential medium for artists to express ideas of freedom and dissent, passion, fear, or disorder. Drawing is improvisatory and always in motion, offering the most extraordinary range of possibilities. It is a map of time that records the actions of the artist. As such, its very nature ...
9: The Late Works
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... universal order. As his imagery developed, the work consistently invoked personal experience while addressing the most primal of human concerns: the difference between self and other, between transcendence and metamorphosis, between that which can be controlled and that which cannot. Some images tap into memories of strange places and the wonder that both attracts ...
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It’s tempting to see Alexandre Hogue’s art as germane to current art world practices. Affinities with new art give his work some parochial currency, but its larger significance has to do with a general desire for authentic expression. Hogue’s choice to pursue his own path, to quit the city, to paint what he wanted, not what the market dictated, certainly plays into the popular notion of the artist indifferent to art world machinations, ...
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Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 61 color plates. 13 b&w drawings. Index.
Publication Year: 2011