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: Aix-en-Provence Flower Market
“You could have run into anyone from Paul Cezanne to Albert Camus, or famous American expats like Nina Simone or Ernest Hemingway, or the Hulings family, circa 1984.” This painting is set in the Cours Mirabeau, the center of the old town of Aix-en-Provence, France. The dappled afternoon light falls peacefully on the scene, giving […]
The Ides of March
“Morely Callaghan’s main character in this book is a failed painter who falls in love with a failed American singer—who is pretending to be Italian.” The Ides of March marked a lunar cycle in the Roman calendar that was equivalent to our March 15th; it was a day dedicated to Jupiter and settling debts. It […]
“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?”— Michelangelo Picture it: 1949. The Art Student’s League. Clark Hulings was 27 years old and pursuing the dream, studying with the […]
Ebbs and Flows
“A strong tree trunk softened by Spanish Moss frames the fisherwoman—almost as if the environment itself ‘has her back.’ “ Clark Hulings had many ties to Louisiana: his parents moved there during WWII, when his father headed up the effort to create synthetic rubber to replace the rubber tree supply that had fallen under Japanese […]
Please Stand By
“They do not agree, they did not expect it, and they have something to say about it…” When he drew this in 1999, Clark Hulings was certainly already a master painter. It was the year of his one-man show at the Nedra Matteucci Galleries in Santa Fe—with its beautiful accompanying catalogue and an introductory essay […]
Working Like a Donkey
“The burro is standing patiently, dead still, in the hot bright sunlight with only his nose tucked into the shadow.” There’s something about this time of year: the holidays are behind us, the spring seems miles ahead, and work is in high gear. Many of us juggle a long to-do list and wake in the night, […]
Year of the Pig
“This mother pig might be catching up on rest; we can’t see her face, but we imagine she must be exhausted with her six hungry piglets having lunch…again.” Chinese New Year gives us a chance to put the spotlight on an animal theme. Last year was a little more cuddly with Year of the Dog, […]
Call the Cavalry
“An ill-advised assault, it resulted in the cavalry’s defeat, and Reynolds being court-martialed and suspended from the military.” Henry Winston Allen was a writer of many names. As the author of more than fifty books about the American West, he used the pseudonyms Will Henry and Clay Fisher, and was a five-time winner of The […]
Step by Step
“Cuernavaca is still a popular getaway, which it has been since Aztec emperors started summering there to enjoy its pleasant climate and bougainvillea.” Clark Hulings loved Mexico. His body of work set there spans over 40 years. In what is now a well-known Hulings story, in 1963, the director of Grand Central Galleries in New […]
SOLD: Mississippi Cabin
Update: this painting was successfully sold at Bonhams to a seasoned Hulings collector! Sending our congratulations for the wonderful addition to his collection. “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” —Martin Luther King Jr. This 1976 Mississippi painting features two men, each […]
Babies & Burritos
“They have the calmness and gentleness of those who fear nothing.” One of the Hulings collectors in our circle just had his first baby. It’s reminding us of the beauty of fresh starts—the innocence of being brand new and still finding your legs. This happens throughout our lives: as we challenge ourselves with new things, […]
“Cowboys have an all-season job that has become iconic as the embodiment of rugged independence and integrity.” Happy New Year! This week we’re visiting Montana in 1978, when winter was winter. In a state that boasts 2.5 head of cattle for each person, ranching has been a way of life since the mid 1850s. It’s […]
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