Artist Alexandre Hogue as “Environmentalist”

Alexandre Hogue, whose works are currently on display at the Rockwell, explored environmentalism through his art, well before it was the popular thing to do. His love of nature inspired him to critically examine the effects of man on the natural landscape. In the video below, Susan Kalil, co-curator of the Rockwell’s exhibition Alexandre Hogue: An American Visionary – Paintings and Works on Paper, discusses Hogue’s fascination with nature and the background that led him to explore environmental topics in his work.

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Identity and the Artist @ The Rockwell

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Our work with schools and the community is designed to help ensure that all children have successful experiences as they grow up in the community.

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September 2013: Masks, Music, Movement and Monologues Performance

Identity and the Artist is a multi-media art program which was established at The Rockwell in 2003 for incoming High School Learning Center students and is in its 10th year.

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Students gain confidence in themselves.

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And teachers gain an understanding of how a museum can be a resource for academic work and personal growth through the study of art.

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This project begins with an in-depth tour of the Museum art collections with a focus on images of nature. Students create writing projects and artwork at the Museum that explore their identity.  There is a culminating performance by students called Masks, Music, Movement and Monologues.

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The Identity and the Artist program at the Museum Students study how artists in the collection reveal aspects of their cultural and personal identity through their artwork. Over the course of six (three-hour sessions) students create a paper-maché mask (under the direction of a professional artist) which personifies an element of nature (e.g., wind, rain, thunder or fire).

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Students then write a monologue for the mask and choreograph a movement piece accompanied by professional and student musicians. The culmination of the program is a performance and reception for an invited audience of family and community members.

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The program, in particular the culminating performance, provides a unique opportunity for the parents of the students to gain insight about their child and to understand how the community is working together to create valuable learning experiences for their children.

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Here is a video of the 2012 performance:

http://www.rockwellmuseum.org/High-School-Learning-Center.html

New Exhibition Features Works by Alexandre Hogue

Alexandre Hogue: An American Visionary – Paintings and Works on Paper , co-curated by Susie Kalil and James Peck.

Acequia Madre 1928

Acequia Madre by Alexandre Hogue, 1928

Hogue painted the fierce geology of his native southwest with passion, precision, and prophesy. The Rockwell Museum of Western Art currently features more than sixty paintings and works on paper by this giant of American art. An edited version of the more comprehensive 2010 retrospective organized by the Museum of South Texas, the Rockwell exhibition hopes to elevate Hogue from the status of Regionalist artist to his rightful place as a major twentieth century American artist.

The exhibition is drawn from 38 private and public collections throughout the United States, including the artist’s daughter Olivia Hogue Mariño, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Taking as his subject matter the plains, deserts, mountains, and other fantastic geological formations of the southwest, specifically Texas and Oklahoma, Hogue was most famous for his Dust Bowl paintings. While Hogue came of age alongside artistic masters like Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, his fame never reached the same level. Yet by every measure, his art was just as powerful, and perhaps more prophetic, than either of these icons. These paintings take the viewer on a journey through Hogue’s diverse 70-year artistic career.

Dust Bowl, 1933

Dust Bowl by Alexandre Hogue, 1933

Several major periods of Hogue’s art are featured, including early works from Taos and Texas in the 1920s, the iconic Dust Bowl period of the 1930s, the lesser known post-1945 works, including several nonobjective and calligraphic one-liner paintings, as well as a large selection from the bold, final Big Bend series of the 1970s and 1980s.

Throughout his life, Hogue stuck by his innermost belief: a sense of life within the earth that endures despite man’s ravages. Each series—from the hauntingly beautiful Taos landscapes and prophetic canvases of a dust-covered Southwest to his depictions of the striking geological phenomena of the Big Bend—serves as homage to nature. Today, with the ecology of the American West more fragile than ever, Hogue’s works seem even more prescient. Their almost supernatural beauty reminds us of the power of the earth and our own somewhat tentative connection to the land.