FEATURED SPECIAL SECTION IN THE MARCH 2023 EDITION OF WESTERN ART COLLECTOR.
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When visiting Colorado, you simply cannot ignore the monumental and awe-inspiring presence of the many peaks and natural wonders of the Rocky Mountain range or the “Southern Rocky Mountains.” Colorado is home to the highest of the peaks in the entire range that spans around 3,000 miles between Canada and New Mexico. Many creatives, for many years and across generations, have been hypnotized by its allure—compelling them to try their very best to not only capture the indescribable beauty of the Rockies, but a taste of Colorado itself.
Renowned artists like Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), known for his large landscape paintings of the American West inspired by trips of the Westward Expansion, depicted the Rockies in several significant paintings, and captured the Colorado Rockies in Estes Park, Longs Peak, 1877—depicting a dramatic landscape scene of the town that sits at the base of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
“[Bierstadt’s] painting Estes Park, Longs Peak represents a romanticized style of landscape painting and bears exaggerated details characteristic of Bierstadt’s art, such as the added height of Longs Peak and the dramatic clouds,” says Nicole A. Parks, a past curatorial assistant in the Petrie Institute of Western American Art (PIWAA) at the Denver Art Museum. Bierstadt was a member of the Hudson River School movement, in which works were painted in amazing detail and dramatic elements—the most important being light.
The PIWAA at the Denver Art Museum showcases Bierstadt’s painting and others that depict the Denver area and the Rocky Mountain region, with additional holdings that “date from the early 1800s to the present and include an impressive mix of paintings, sculpture and works on paper by renowned artists who worked in and depicted the West,” reads the museum website. “Our collection of bronze sculptures, several significant paintings by members of the Taos Society of Artists, and examples of 20th-century modernism make our collection one of national significance.”
“Further educating and celebrating the artistry to come out of Colorado, the museum also discusses Moraine Park by Charles Partridge Adams (1858-1942), a self-taught artist that lived in Colorado for more than 30 years. The piece departs from Bierstadt’s view of the Rockies in that it is “based on the painting tradition of naturalism (or a realistic description) rather than exaggeration or romanticism,” says Parks.
She continues, “Adams was able to capture the light and atmosphere of the Rocky Mountains, a reflection of his direct and intimate knowledge of the landscape. Moraine Park is located within Rocky Mountain National Park and can be seen today as Adams depicted it.”
Fast forwarding to today, we see Colorado artists, galleries and art institutions continuing in the footsteps of these iconic artists. While the Rockies do not solely define the state as a whole, the landscape remains a powerful influence for many. Continue to read through this section to hear insights from the artists and institutions that are keeping the Colorado Western art scene alive and well.
211 Midland Avenue a Basalt, CO 81621
Ann Korologos Gallery is the premier gallery to discover contemporary art of the modern West.
“We hold a space for artists to create and explore the changes in the world around us,” reflects gallery director Sue Edmonds. Changing Course, on view March 4 to 25, features the landscape paintings of Colorado artists Andy Taylor and Peter Campbell.
Interior of Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt, Colorado. Artwork, from left to right, includes pieces by Margaretta Caesar, Rick Stevens, Diana Woods and ceramic by Michael Wisner.
All season visitors can explore landscapes by Rick Stevens, Katie DeGroot, Donna Howell-Sickles, Linda Lillegraven, Joel Ostlind and Brett Scheifflee. Compare the interaction of light, shadow and wildlife depicted by Ewoud de Groot, Dan Young, Deborah Paris and Sherrie York. Witness the mastery of positive and negative space in multidimensional works by Michael Wisner, Michael Kessler, Leon Loughridge, Lisa Gordon, Amy Laugesen and Sarah Lamb.
With each visit online and to the Basalt, Colorado, gallery, learn more about painters, printmakers, photographers, mixed media artists and sculptors.