The Artist and His Legacy
Hulings' work defines a modernist sensibility without departing from the real—without removing all that is recognizable or deluding the audience by escaping into the wholly abstract.
The Modern Realist
Hulings undermined the distraction of class, reminding us that most people don’t move between glamorous towers or drag their knuckles. He showcased the dignity, nobility, and beauty of common people and ordinary things.
One of the Great Discoverers
Hulings insisted the contemporary world could only be fully understood by specific, personal awareness of its inhabitants. Therefore, he was relentlessly devoted to the figure and figurative work. He pursued stunning multinational backdrops replete with the day-to-day realities only visible through the lens of an international nomad.
Challenging an Audience & Status Quo
A relentless experimenter, Hulings exploited modern techniques from the conventions of impressionism and abstract art, bending them with equal ease into the service of an open-ended art of the figure that wouldn’t limit itself to conventional realist boundaries. His compositional "recipes" enabled him to play the sly subversive, literally slipping things under our noses that we might otherwise be too closed to notice.
Advancing the Craft and its Meaning
Clark Hulings assailed our bias toward the “other” by engaging culture through visceral daily reality. An enemy of distraction, he reprimanded modernism’s flight from that challenge and into the purely abstract. He instead produced a continuous documentary of a changing world at the pace of its most common inhabitants.
New Hulings discoveries every week!
Auction Alert: Major Hulings European Market Scene
“The most interesting time of day for this pedestrian mall is early morning. The mist has not yet burned off. Flower merchants are setting up their stalls, Barcelonans are walking to work and tourists are still in bed.” —Clark Hulings, Timeless Beauty: Pursuing Life’s Textures
AUCTION ALERT: Major Hulings Grand Canyon Painting
“This is the Southern Kaibab Trail. There is a Northern one as well. They connect, and it is possible to hike the canyon from rim to rim without veering from Kaibab.”
Portrait in Vermilion
“I do not know this man’s name, but I do know that he founded the Abbeville Building and Loan in 1890, and that my father painted his portrait sometime between 1947 and 1954. Clearly he was quite young when he founded the savings bank in Abbeville, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana.”
“The story of her patient’s amnesia is told by the shadow on his face, and no matter how long she’s been on her feet this shift, she is rosy-cheeked, and her lipstick is on-trend.” As I am away this week, our Account Manager Penelope has written this week’s post: hope you enjoy it! — Elizabeth.
Blue Shoes, White Donkey
This little gem was included in my father’s 1964 solo watercolor show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from which it vanished into a private home.
Crisis & Resilience in Guatemala
“Hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers face impassible roads and destroyed bridges, and over 3,000 residents have been evacuated…”
Franco’s Laundry Room
“I have a very vivid memory of being carried into fairly rough surf by a local fisherman, because I was demanding to be allowed into the water, and my mother was concerned about the waves.”
The Camel of the Bayou
In the Southern US, Spanish Moss apparently was named Itla-Okla or “Tree Hair” by Native Americans; as the French and Spanish created new, retaliatory names for it that mildly insulted one another’s beards and hair, “Spanish Moss,” ended up sticking.
The Rain in Spain
“I titled this painting assuming that the name painted on the basket was indeed that of the lettuce seller. The scene is in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where the rain falls mainly everywhere —hence the damp pavement.”
It’s Donkey Week!
“Donkeys are part of how things get done. Patient. Steadfast. Hardworking. Humble. Strong. Clark Hulings said: ‘If left to their own devices and their own pace, they will serve well. They are by nature sure-footed, loyal and affectionate.’ “
May the Fourth Be With You!
“Who doesn’t want a chance to look up from typing an email and pretend, just for a moment, that we are flying across the universe in a spaceship, or captaining a submarine?”
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