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McKie Trotter, Nocturnal, c.  1958, acrylic on masonite, 48 x 21 inches

Regional Connotations: Two Modernists in Cowtown Exhibition

William Reaves Fine Art / January 10 - February 8, 2014 / Houston, Texas


During the interior decades of the twentieth century, artists in Fort Worth, Texas embraced their own distinctive brand of Texas Modernism. In this first exhibition of 2014, William Reaves Fine Art explores the work of two of Fort Worth’s foremost mid-century modernists – Cynthia Brants (1924-2006) and McKie Trotter (1918-1999). Influenced by the style and verve of the “Fort Worth Circle,” the now-famous modernist forebears of the 1940s, Brants and Trotter were among a group of young Fort Worth artists who celebrated and extended the Circle’s progressive movements. They blazed new paths in regional art through the 50s, 60s and beyond, and in doing so sealed Fort Worth’s reputation as a harbinger of modern art within the state. While equally adept at many media, the two artists made their principal marks in different domains, with Brants achieving notoriety as one of the most inventive and accomplished printmakers ever to grace the Texas scene, and Trotter emerging as one of state’s most heralded and broadly exhibited painters of the mid-century period. Accordingly, the exhibition proudly features elegant prints by Cynthia Brants along with a cache of fresh-to-market paintings by McKie Trotter. These works combine to create a stunning and engaging exhibition of classic Texas Modernism. While working in differing styles and media, the works of this “Cowtown” duo bear a common Texas imprimatur. As the exhibition title suggests, regional connotation is consistent and strong in the prints of Cynthia Brants and the paintings of McKie Trotter. Whether capturing gentle folds of a flower, demure light streaking through native live oaks, or the classic movements of a horse’s gait, Brants regales us with a treasure trove of Texas subjects in her exquisite prints, rendered in her distinctive cubist style. Likewise, Trotter’s affinity for the wide-open, horizontal expanses of Texas, the nuanced colors of its lands and the charged atmosphere of its unbroken skies comes through time after time in his landscape-inspired abstractions. The results are a block-buster exhibition which employs a modernist perspective to convey familiar Texas imagery in a beautiful and sensuous manner. On View January 10-February 8, 2014. Opening Reception: Saturday, January 18th, 5-8pm. Gallery Talk: Saturday, January 25th, 2-4pm

William Reaves Fine Art
2313 Brun Street
Houston, Texas

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