William C. Hook: Blue Skies Up Above a One Man Show
William Hook: Blue Skies Up Above
Blue Skies Up Above features a new body of work by American Landscape painter William Hook. The artist, who splits his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Carmel, California, is known for his distinct perspective and vivid portrayal of the southwest landscape, and most recently, his evolving exploration in modern painting. Both styles will be present in Blue Skies Up Above, which directly references the recurring shades of blue in Hook’s work while also offering an encouraging sentiment for current times. The exhibition opens with an in-person artist reception on Friday, July 31st from 5-7pm.
With equal beauty, Hook’s latest representational paintings showcase the grit and glory of life in New Mexico. An iconic image of Ranchos de Taos in Adobe Noon, for example, may hang alongside an unkempt adobe structure such as in Afternoon Apologue. The latter portrays a bright turquoise house that Hook has often photographed along the High Road to Taos. When observed closely, the viewer can discern a graffiti tag on the exterior wall, which the homeowner has attempted to cover with mismatched paint. Off to the side of the slightly skewed structure is a cat nestled in a birdbath, while the front window reflects a mountainous landscape. These elements purposefully provide an open-ended narrative for the viewer to interpret.
Other realist pieces in the show depict luminous aspen groves, moonlit skies over wide horizons, mesas at twilight, and turquoise windows against adobe walls. Just Walkin’ Down the Street is one representational work that portrays an adobe structure on what appears to be Canyon Road, juxtaposed by a bright turquoise door and a Native American figure cloaked in orange. Hook abstracts the same scene for Do Wa Didi, a lyrical response to Just Walkin’ Down the Street focused on form, line and color. This is how Hook introduced his abstract paintings in 2018 – as direct reflections of representational works. Now as he settles into his process, Hook is creating abstract paintings that stand alone, allowing the viewer to imagine their own interpretations. Such is the case with the other modern paintings for this exhibition, which are largely inspired by abstract elements such as composition, balance, color and harmony, rather than a specific scene or place.