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: Caramel From The Carmelites
Hulings 1981 Spanish painting “In Watering Place at Ubeda” will be featured at Santa Fe Art Auction November 10th. It’s a classic slice of life from Spain. The winding orange-yellow earth road flows around a corner of buildings, where daily life is unfolding. A man brings his white burro to drink from a stone cistern, where a lean greyhound is also considering a drink.
Auction Alert: Calm Before the Storm
“Clearly 1976 was a good year in the area, because there’s water in the stream and all the chamisa are green and happy.” This week we’re back again in Tesuque. This classic Northern New Mexico landscape shows the last gasp of fall, before the leaves fall off the trees and all the chamisa shrubs die […]
Auction Alert: Tesuque Mayor’s Back Yard
“Tesuque Mayor’s Backyard” is masterfully composed in a way that keeps your eye in perpetual motion, has particularly engaging use of color, and features a gorgeous display of chiaroscuro in the alternating bands of light and shadow. It’s coming up at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on November 8th.
Water is Life
Hulings painted “Boy Leading Water Burro” in 1981. It’s almost, but not quite a square, which gives a cozy feel to the frame. Set in Mexico, the strong, directional sunlight gives a high-contrast look to the painting and adds a bright spark to these tough little guys. If you look carefully at the top and right, you’ll see a series of amber highlights almost burning through the frame, as if the scene is lit from the inside.
Auction Alert: Fodder for the Donkey, Gift for the Wife
Fodder for the Donkey, Gift for the Wife by Clark Hulings oil on canvas, 9 x 12” 1978 November 10th, 2018 Santa Fe Art Auctionemail to inquire
Lovers & Soldiers
Hulings’ 1950-60s illustrations are a unique part of his body of work. Many of them were created for pulp covers and were so successfully attention-grabbing that they’re now almost as enjoyable for the campy, sensationalist factor as they are for the artist’s skill. Not so with this one. Hulings’ original illustration for the cover of Tana de Gámez’s “Like a River of Lions” is simply breathtaking.
“There were majestic mountains stationed behind those clouds and they revealed themselves periodically while I was painting. I chose in the end to cover them with mist because they stole interest from my hillside village.” Late summer bucolic Swiss beauty. Too soon it will be buried in alpine snow. When you think of Clark Hulings’ […]
Beautiful Memories of Aix-en-Provence
When I was 16 we spent the entire summer in Europe. This was not completely unusual, because we would often spend chunks of time traipsing around foreign barnyards and villages whenever I had time off from school (and sometimes when I didn’t!). But three months straight was a long trip, even for the Hulings’ family. […]
Last Bit of Relaxation
El Saler is a seaside village South of Valencia. The painting is from the 1960s, but my father would have visited there many times, beginning when he lived there as a child in the 1920s. His father, step-mother and sister would often take weekend day trips to the countryside to escape the heat and bother of Valencia.
If You’re in Dallas, Join Us!
“We are honored to have the CHF Dallas Summit featured in the September 2018 issue of Western Art Collector. Like many Hulings collectors, we are fans of this publication: it is one of the best ways to stay current with upcoming sales of both contemporary and historic Western Art.”
An Artist’s Alchemy
“What appears to our eyes as ‘real’ in a painting has, in fact, been cobbled together from abstract elements. This is an artist’s alchemy: the transmutation of something basic into something valuable and meaningful.”
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