Book Premiere and Signing at the Yellowstone Art Museum
Theodore Waddell: My Montana—Paintings and Sculpture, 1959–2016, By Rick Newby
The Yellowstone Art Museum is pleased to premiere Theodore Waddell: My Montana—Paintings and Sculpture, 1959-2016 at a book signing by the subject of the book 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11th.
Waddell is well represented in the museum’s collection and has had multiple exhibitions at the museum over the past 4 decades.
Theodore Waddell: My Montana is published by Drumlummon Institute of Helena, MT, and is distributed by the University of Oklahoma Press.
Born in 1941 in Billings, Montana, painter, sculptor, and rancher Theodore Waddell stands as one of the West’s most celebrated contemporary artists. His late modern “landscapes with animals” couple abstract expressionist technique with creatures—Black Angus cattle, horses, and bison—that populate the high plains and mountain valleys of today’s ranching West.
Richly illustrated with the artist’s own work, as well as images from his personal archive, Theodore Waddell: My Montana traces Waddell’s influences, ranging from the Cézannesque works of Montana rancher and teacher Isabelle Johnson to the abstract expressionism of Robert Motherwell, the expressionist figuration of Robert DeNiro Sr., and the classic western paintings of Karl Bodmer, Charles M. Russell, Frederic Remington, Thomas Moran, Joseph Henry Sharp, and Maynard Dixon.
With access to Waddell’s journals and letters and an extensive oral history recently completed, author Rick Newby offers unprecedented insight into Waddell’s first years as an avowed artist and his period of struggle and disciplined creativity. Newby portrays Waddell’s decades as a practicing rancher and the years of his success—when his sculptures and vast canvases have found homes in leading museums.
“Theodore Waddell’s vast (and intimate) canvases represent the pinnacle of contemporary western painting and the telling of his life and work lends rich texture and depth to the evolving narrative of the development of modern and contemporary western art,” said author Rick Newby.
Ultimately, Theodore Waddell’s works are important, not simply because they bring together disparate traditions but because they stand as emotionally and sensuously resonant works of art that speak of landscapes and animals, life and death, austerity and abundance. They possess, in the words of Seattle Times critic Robin Updike, an “immense, poetic dignity.”
This volume also includes a gathering of essays celebrating the life and art of Theodore Waddell by the Montana curators, critics, scholars, poets, and fiction writers who have known him best. Contributors include the Honorable Pat Williams, Robyn G. Peterson, Bob Durden, Gordon McConnell, Mark Browning, Donna Forbes, Greg Keeler, Patrick Zentz, Scott McMillion, William Hjortsberg, Paul Zarzyski, and Brian Petersen.
Rick Newby has contributed major essays to the exhibition catalogs A Ceramic Continuum: Fifty Years of the Archie Bray Influence and The Most Difficult Journey: The Poindexter Collections of American Modernist Painting. He is the editor of In Poetic Silence: The Floral Paintings of Joseph Henry Sharp, by Thomas Minckler.
This event is free to museum members or complimentary with paid admission by other museum visitors.
Author contact: Rick Newby, Drumlummon Institute, 418 West Lawrence Street, Helena, MT 59601, 406-461-7494, firstname.lastname@example.org www.drumlummon.org