Tracy Stuckey’s show, Nocturnes is largely influenced by 19th century artist Frederic Remington’s night paintings. Made in the last decade of Remington’s life, these paintings reflect the artists growing disillusionment with the changing landscape of the American West. Stuckey’s works reflect not only the false romanticism of the American West but also the complete fabrication of it.
“Those familiar with Tracy Stuckey’s work will recognize in his new paintings something of a shift. Compared with the glamorous frontier fantasies he has been painting for more than half a decade, these are somber. In many of them, cool hues and dim light replace the bright colors of the Hollywood West that characterize his earlier paintings. The figures that populate the new works are pensive, not playful; static, or nearly so; and unsmiling. As a whole, the series has a new tenor—a deeper, minor tone. Even without a point of comparison, viewers heretofore unfamiliar with Stuckey’s work can surely sense the unease that underlies these images.
The new series does not memorialize the West for the simple reason that one cannot commemorate the death of something that has never existed. The West that Stuckey depicts here and in earlier works is not a historical or current reality but a myth. In his paintings, Stuckey approaches the frontier as a fictionalization and cultural phenomenon—one that Remington helped create—that exists only in illustrations, novels, and films, on television, and in the pages of glossy magazines. He does not glorify or perpetuate the myth but deconstructs it and exposes its continued influence on American popular culture.” -Zoe Larkins
Tracy Stuckey received his BFA in painting from Florida State University and his MFA from the University of New Mexico. He has exhibited his work extensively throughout the United States and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, most recently the Professional Development Grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. In 2009 he was an artist-in-residence at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover, Utah. Also a professor, Stuckey has taught at West Virginia University, and most recently, Colorado State University. Tracy and his wife, artist Erika Osborne, live in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Exhibition Fact Sheet:
Artists: Tracy Stuckey
Exhibition Dates: October 19th -November 24th, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, October 19th, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Full essay by Zoe Larkins, Assistant Curator, MCA Denver
available at visionswestcontemporary.com