Texas artist David Bates has long been one of my favorites. Like so many of us, he was deeply moved by Hurricane Katrina and began sketching the New Orleans residents he saw on television news almost immediately. He spent the next several years painting scenes of the aftermath and created many large portraits of the grieving faces he had witnessed. His work became a chronicle of the suffering and damage done by the storm.
I am counting the days until the weekend trip my husband and I have planned to see the exhibition David Bates: the Katrina Paintings, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
in Kansas City.
in Kansas City.
Photo from MW Capacity blog
David's paintings are compelling and spiritual. While I have admired his work for many years, I now have a new respect for his realistic and narrative style. His work reminds me of Picasso and another favorite of mine, Marsden Hartley.
I can hardly wait to experience this series in person.
Photo from Arthur Roger Gallery
There is tons of information on line on David's work, and particularly this series. If you are interested in doing a search, this article is especially informative and to the point.
Barbecue Man, a lithograph by David Bates, which hangs in my kitchen, was a gift of sorts years ago from Peregrine Press in Dallas. Unlike the Katrina series, this work brings a smile to one's face.
Peregrine Press is no longer in existence from what I have learned, but was at one time a great source for prints made by noted artists.
In Dallas, Mike Hart, a graduate of the print program at the University of North Texas, founded Peregrine Press with his wife Jo Ann in 1981. For the next ten years, the Harts invited many of the most accomplished artists in Texas, including eighty-three-year-old Otis Dozier, to create editions in their facility. Others who created editions at Peregrine include John Alexander, Eric Avery, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Bates, Linda and Ed Blackburn, Derek Boshier, Earl Staley and Judy Youngblood. Peregrines high-quality editions gave these artists a first-class printmaking experience and built an informed print audience statewide. The Harts eventually retired, donating their equipment to the Print Research Institute of North Texas in DentonReference
Art Lies: Art quarterly
I so look forward to visiting Kansas City and experiencing this amazing collection of work. I will report back!