Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Art with a story: literally. Artist Stephen Hannock to visit BBHC

Artist Stephen Hannock incorporates hundreds of phrases and sentences into his painting Flooded Cascade, Yellowstone Dawn, now on display in the Whitney Gallery of Western Art at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

At first glance, the observer might miss Hannock's diary entries hidden in the walls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. But, on closer inspection, those brush strokes that add texture to the canyon wall, the forest, and the rocks below, are really words. In addition, viewers should look for buried images of people and places.

With its three panels, this painting measures eight feet tall and twelve feet wide, and adequately, if not paradoxically, fills the space occupied last summer by Thomas Moran's The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1893 - 1901, on loan to the Historical Center from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Hannock's version portrays the lower falls of the Yellowstone River with layers and layers of paint on the canvas, polishing each one before the next. After many layers with this treatment, the painting takes on a luminous effect.

In a July 30 talk titled Geology, Finance, and Rodeos around the Yellowstone Ecosystem, Hannock discusses his painting with visitors at its location in the Whitney Gallery. The presentation takes place at 3 p.m. and Hannock says it "will support and clarify the title." For more information, contact Acting Curator Christine Brindza at christineb@bbhc.org or 307.578.4051.

Stay up-to-date with all the Historical Center activities at http://www.bbhc.org/