Shelter / Edge of Town | Scottsdale, AZ
Altamira Fine Art Scottsdale is pleased to present Shelter / Edge of Town, a two-artist exhibition featuring new work by Jared Sanders and Robert McCauley.
Utah artist Jared Sanders is known for his contemporary barn paintings and tonal landscapes. His subdued palette and keen eye for design lend a modern feel to his canvases.
Washington state artist Robert McCauley is known for his contemporary wildlife paintings. Robert's painting style draws influence from 19th century American Romanticism, however his clever use of juxtoposition and modern narratives lend a freshness and a unique voice to a traditional genre.
For "Edge of Town", my first exhibition at Altamira Gallery (and my first in the state of Arizona), there will be two separate image types, both with the same content: The environment. My work, although at this point centers on the American black bear, is not about the bear. It’s equally not about my style of paint handling. Both approaches are the only voice I have for a diatribe on how we’re doing as custodians of this planet.
One group of paintings uses the single bear as metaphor. It is a confrontational bear, making eye contact with the viewer. This bear is an emissary, not an adversary. It’s not the cliched aggressive stereotypical open mouth of canine teeth or the threatening projection of the claws. The bear stands erect, and as such, is one of the few animals that can resemble man, and that I am familiar with, having spent most of my childhood out in the woods of Washington State.
This single bear has lost habitat. I place him/her casting a long shadow against a Spartan wall, or same wall, no shadow (therefore “no place”). Or I place him in front of a landscape which is obviously a painted diorama. (you can see this because the light source on the animal is different from that of the landscape). Often, either the painting or the frame includes text, done so to direct the viewer away from retinal admiration to thinking about the plight of nature. The writing is integral to how these images materialize. A portion of these paintings are set in round frames to emphasize that the animal is worthy of portrait painting. The tondos elevate the subject so as to downplay animal world hierarchy.
The second group of paintings I refer to as the Raft of the Medusa paintings. These have very complex compositions of intertwined animals all jammed together regardless of roles of predator and prey and of climate zones. They’re (we’re) all together in this. Polar bear and banana slug. There is no hierarchy.
– Robert McCauley on "Edge of Town"
Both artists will be in attendance for the reception on March 9 from 6:30 to 9pm at our Scottsdale gallery.
More images coming soon.
Jared Sanders was born in 1970 in Kaysville, Utah. He studied art with Glen Edwards at Utah State University. It wasn’t long after graduation that Sanders attracted the attention of both galleries and collectors. Sanders currently lives near the small town of Heber, Utah, and paints the enduring forms of farmlands, hills, rivers, and trees that he intimately knows and loves. His moody, tonalist western landscapes have given way in recent years to iconic barn paintings. “To me, barns are simply a great visual gift that someone built and left on the landscape for me to use in my work,” Sanders says.
The western landscape offers up a wealth of abstract elements to Sanders’ eye. He pulls out these elements and plays with them. Structural, human-made influences take up a dialogue with the natural curves of the land. He likes to put the horizon line low in a painting so that the overall feel becomes calm and restful, yet not without a certain tension still being held in the composition.
Sanders considers himself a regionalist, and travels the winding roads of the West for his inspiration. His masterful handling of paint allows him to portray the subtle grace of a small Utah farmhouse at dawn, a vast Montana pasture in early spring, or a hundred-year-old Colorado barn. His skies are exquisite – luminous yet quietly potent. The artist’s reverence for the everyday contemporary West is clearly evident in his work.
Sanders’ selected awards include the 2000 Art for the Parks People’s Choice Award; the 2003 Award for Best Oil or Acrylic at Maynard Dixon Country; and the 2004 Purchase Award at Deseret News Landscape Art Show, “Color of The Land.” In September 2000, he was featured in Southwest Art’s "21 under 31." He has had over a dozen one-man shows in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sedona, Arizona; Park City, Utah; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. His heroic canvas, the 72” x 60” Landmark, was acquired in 2013 by the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Whitney Gallery for their permanent collection.
Robert McCauley was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, Washington, and has been influenced by the Northwest Coast culture in his artwork. Originally an oceanography major at Western Washington University, he switched to art when he realized that oceanographers have to work in labs. Later, hearing that it was best to go east for grad school, he went all the way to eastern Washington to attend Washington State University. After getting an MFA in 1972, he settled in Illinois to teach at Rockford College. After a long and distinguished career as a professor and chairman of the art department, McCauley returned to his beloved Skagit Valley to live and work.
While McCauley’s paintings, drawings, installations and mixed media works are rooted in the tradition of 19th century American Romanticism, his narratives are contemporary, timely and relevant. Through the metaphorical juxtaposition of found objects, inscribed texts on frames and ambiguous titles, McCauley addresses a wide variety of contemporary themes and issues, including cultures in collision, environmental ethics, humankind’s impact on nature and the appropriation of nature in art.
McCauley’s paintings are sometimes ambiguous, but not so much that no meaning comes across. Returning to his childhood haunts each summer has shown the artist how much things keep changing. “The salmon streams I fished in are silted up and have no more salmon,” he says. “The Native Americans used to set a trap of chicken wire a half mile out to sea, and I would watch the salmon in the trap in awe. That’s gone. Even the huge fishing resorts are gone because the fish are gone. Clear-cutting is still common. A small greenbelt of ten feet on either side of the roads makes you think you’re looking at forest, but beyond that it’s just devastation.”
McCauley is an award-winning artist who has exhibited in museum and gallery shows nationally since 1975. His teaching experience includes Professor Emeritus at Rockford University, and Professor and Chairman, Department of Art and Art History, Rockford University. He was awarded a Fellowship in drawing from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982, and a Fellowship in Painting from the Illinois Arts Council in 1999, as well as a Research Grant, Kwakwaka’wakw Culture, Vancouver Island, Rockford College in 1994.