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Indepth Arts News:

"Sacramento Valley Landscape Painters"
2005-07-06 until 2005-08-21
John Natsoulas Gallery
Davis, CA, USA United States of America

Sacramento Valley Landscape Painters, co-curated by John Natsoulas and Don Hagerty, represents the 2nd annual exhibition of work by the Sacramento Valley School of Landscape Painters. Concurrent with and highlighting this yearís show will be a one-day seminar on Saturday, July 23rd. The morning program will feature plein-aire painting demonstrations by four eminent Sacramento Valley landscape painters: Gregory Kondos, Chella, Sam Clayton, Del Almeida and Gary Earnest Smith. Following the demonstrations will be a lunch with the artists, at Putah Creek Lodge, and a lecture and exhibition walk-through led by Don Hagerty.

The collection of landscape paintings in the exhibition ranges from the very early works done in the 1930s by artists such as Maynard Dixon and Otis Oldfield, to landscape paintings by contemporary artists that include Gregory Kondos, Wayne Thiebaud, Patrick Dullanty, Michael Tompkins, Pat Mahony, Matt Bult, D. A. Bishop, Boyd Gavin, Gary Ernest Smith and Chella.

Those who have never been to Sacramento Valley may feel that these painters tend to romanticize the light. Luxuriously rich, palpably colored, and yet possessing a remarkable clarity, it almost needs to be experienced to be understood. But it has become an identifiable part of Sacramento Valley art. Itís there, and itís real, and the insistence upon light-as-subject is the unifying motif behind the Sacramento Valley School of Landscape Painting. In almost all landscape painting the subject is lightóthe ways in which it plays across familiar forms, and the ways in which it can become symbolic of other levels of experience. This has always been so. But for Sacramento Valley landscape painters, particularly in this century, the qualities of light have become a kind of obsession, and this richness and the variety of the resources from which they work have produced a body of art that recalls other great ages of landscape painting.

Don Hagerty is one of the most knowledgeable scholars of the art and culture of the American West. He taught for 22 years at the University of California, Davis. In 1981 Hagerty organized the first important exhibition of the art of Maynard Dixon, Images of the Native American, held at the California Academy of Sciences. Hagerty is the author of Desert Dreams: The Art and Life of Maynard Dixon (1993, 1998) and numerous other books on historic and contemporary painters of the West. This is the second in a series of annual exhibitions that will be the basis of a book, The Sacramento Valley Landscape Painters, by Don Hagerty and John Natsoulas.

Gary Earnest Smith

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