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‘A Journey Less Traveled: ’ Clark Hulings’ Paintings Capture International Treasures Travelers Rarely Experience
Works showcase acclaimed painter’s global travels in search of “off the road” subject matter that reflects the beauty of our world and vibrancy of the human spirit
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO – October 11, 2017 – A bustling market full of people and sparkling flowers in a pristine square in Aix-en-Provence, France. A rainbow of buildings overlooking the Ligurian Sea on the western coast of Italy. A man, his ox, and his cart in the shadow of Volcán de Agua, which rises 11,500 feet above the Pacific Ocean, only a few kilometers from the historic colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala.
These are the paintings of Clark Hulings, an award-winning realism artist (1922 -2011), who captured the heart and soul of everyday people and their lives, from the Grand Canyon to Oaxacan villages, to Romanian horse fairs. For the traveler wishing an “off the road” journey, Hulings paintings provide recommendations and/or ideas for itineraries. For armchair travelers, they are opportunities to experience unusual destinations through his eyes. For others, who have stood in those places, Hulings’ brilliance is a reminder of visits past or ancestry remembered. His works speak to the memories and dreams within each of us.
As of 1972, Hulings lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but he loved to travel. As a child, he lived in Spain. As an adult, he struck out on his own, taking three years to roam from Norway’s arctic to Egypt’s desert. For the rest of his long life, he traveled, and painted what he saw. Hulings had a way of capturing the everyday reality of a locale, a person, or an animal. He saw compassion and self-respect among people everywhere, and he enjoyed capturing them as they pursued their everyday lives – fascinated by their cultures and ways of living.
“I grew up amusing myself in dusty villages, barnyards, and along the sides of country roads all over Western Europe and Mexico,“ said Elizabeth Hulings, the late painter’s daughter. “We would go for weeks, even months at a time, with no itinerary or agenda, other than to find subject matter for my father to paint. At the time, I was bored, and felt myself to be deprived!”
“Of course, I now see what a privilege it was to have so many people let us into their lives, and share their worlds with us,” continued Elizabeth. “I am so thankful to be able to continue sharing those experiences with others, through my father’s work.”
Elizabeth and her mother, Mary Hulings, are honoring Hulings’ legacy, and solidifying his position in the canon of American artists with their activities on behalf of the Clark Hulings Estate. In September 2016, they unveiled the artist’s archives, including an extensive catalogue, documentation, and information about Huling’s art and career, for the benefit of his collectors, dealers, curators and legions of fans.
For would-be travelers, Hulings’ paintings showcase the everyday moments of places, people, and nature–the amazing journeys “less-traveled.” They are treasured stories seen through the painter’s lens. They are a gifted traveler’s stories. They are our stories.