Focus Gallery Two: Landscapes of the Southwest, and Beyond
September 12-October 24, 2015
The direction of my painting clarified in the mid 1960s. Pure abstraction and the cool urbanity of Pop Art were dominant in the art world, but I discovered a greater affinity for figurative painting.
I painted from the model and studied the Bay Area painters, where the figure emerged from painterly space. I also began to make free copies of the best examples of European painting, particularly Velazquez and Vermeer.
The transition from figure to landscape happened suddenly in 1979.
While I was working from a Vermeer in my second floor studio, on a hill side west of San Antonio, I noticed fantastic skies passing by my window. I moved my easel to the window and began to paint the sky and the city moving relentlessly our way.
This tension between nature’s vulnerability and her endurance has remained an undercurrent in my work. My early landscapes were painted on fringes of urban expansion. Eventually, I visited the vast space of West Texas, the Gulf, and New Mexico.
In 1999, I was a Resident Fellow of the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland. There, on the rugged Atlantic coast, one experiences a spectacular display of primal forces in motion. I returned in 2005, and have since sought locations where Nature is clearly dominant and dynamic. The Tuscan hills, Nova Scotia, the Northern California Coast, and the Aegean Sea have been valuable sources.
I believe that the Landscape is a subject of primary importance in art, and I am greatly indebted to many great artists who have given us vivid and timeless images, deepening insight into our existence with nature.
For a moment, consider these examples; Monet’s Water Lilies, Van Gogh’s Cypresses soaring into the Starry Night, the radiant skies of Turner, Constable, and Van Ruisdael, Cezanne’s grand unity of form, and, in our time; Richard Diebenkorn’s sensuously painted surfaces, and his serene reflections on the landscape.
I have enjoyed presenting this exhibition, gathered from my past thirty-five years. I hope my observations and reflections will add to your own. –Charles Field
A native of California, born in 1936, Charles Field was educated at Stanford (B.A.) and The University of Washington (M.F.A.). His resume lists 30 solo and extensive group exhibitions both in the US and international. Honors include Fellow of The Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ireland (Residencies1999, 2005) and San Antonio Art League's Artist of the Year 2005. His work is represented in many public collections including AT&T Center, San Antonio, Austin Museum of Art, The Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ireland, McGraw-Hill, New York, The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, U.T. Southwestern, Dallas, Texas Instruments, Dallas.
Field was an influential teacher in his 37 year career beginning at Western Illinois University in 1965 -67, The University of Texas at Austin, 1967 - 72, The University of New Mexico, 1972 - 74. He returned to Texas in 1974 to be among the founding faculty of The University of Texas at San Antonio 1974 - 2002, and retired, Professor Emeritus. He remains a close friend and inspirational force to many of his former students.
He is represented by the Hunt Gallery, San Antonio.