Visions West Contemporary, Bozeman, MT is pleased to announce Forgotten, a show featuring the works of artist Rocky Hawkins.
Hawkins began his painting career with a focus on illustration and commercial art at the Burnley School of Art in Seattle, however his later desire for self-expressionism and creative freedom led him into the world of abstract fine art painting. Despite the steadfast traditionalism of the west, he takes a more nontraditional approach by using vibrant colors, abstract line forms, and bold gestures.
Hawkins is interested in the texture of the painting's surface, the relationships of colors, and expressing a feeling about what he sees. Hawkins looks to the Abstract Expressionists as kindred artistic souls-Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and others.
The exhibition will feature work from three series: Forgotten, Homesteader and Graffito.
“Forgotten” is a series focusing on old cedar fence posts commonly seen on western properties. As times progressed, these fence posts became out of date, useless, and forgotten. Although few notice their subtle presence anymore, Hawkins sees them as a representation of everything forgotten about from the old west. Each unique fence post still standing, is silently crying out to be viewed and remembered with its own unique visual story. In his paintings he uses them to distinguish a link between the past and modern eras, and what we value nowadays.
His, “Homesteader” series, is inspired by the book Letters of a Woman Homesteader and Covered Wagon Women dating back to 1850-1851. These paintings contain images and scenes of wagons, log cabins, horses, buffalo and written words. Hawkins takes a raw, nontraditional approach to western frontier life that sparks intrigue and mystery.
The “Graffito” series is a modern abstract graffiti-inspired approach to looking at life in the American west and beyond. He integrates pieces from old pulp fiction, western book covers and other elements. Within these vibrantly expressionistic paintings you can find hints of railroad cars, graffiti, words of the west, scribble, and more.
The artist's reception will be hosted from 6-8pm on Friday, June 10th and will run through July 7th. It will include oil on canvas, oil on paper, and mixed media on paper works by Hawkins.