Monday, September 28, 2020

Guy Anderson, Another Pacific Northwest "Mystic" Painter

Guy Anderson (1906-1998) was one of the four Seattle area painters famously (in Seattle, at least) featured in a 1953 Life Magazine article.  I wrote about them here.  More information regarding Anderson can be found in a fairly lengthy Wikipedia entry.

My post included the following:

"I should add that Guy Anderson was my art 'instructor' once upon a time. In retrospect, it was probably an example of Richard Fuller [head of the Seattle Art Museum] helping out an artist in need. What happened was that, during my senior year in high school, the Seattle Art Museum held an all-city art class wherein each of the eight public high schools sent two students to it one afternoon a week. For a reason I do not know, I was one of Roosevelt High's representatives. There actually wasn't much or any 'instruction' from Anderson. He'd mostly sit there in his turtle-neck sweater and tweed jacket and puff on a pipe while we students did whatever puttering around we did with our art supplies. The main things I got from the class were a crush on one of the girls and a date for my senior prom with another."

As it happens, I now live right outside the town of La Conner, Washington where Anderson spent a good deal of his life, including his final years.   The Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner has some of his paintings.

Anderson's works are usually large -- even huge -- with plenty of impasto.  Unless he used cheap paints, the monetary cost of some of his projects must have been considerable.  Although he incorporated stylized images of humans in his earlier works, he later tended to create abstractions.  Examples of each can be seen below.


Search for the Morning - c. 1951

Language Wheel - 1962

Deception Pass Through Indian Country - 1960
Washington State's Deception Pass is a narrow strait essentially separating Whidbey Island from the mainland.  There are Indian reservations nearby.  None of this seems very evident in the painting.

Storm over Skagit
La Conner is located in Skagit County, and there is a Skagit River there.

Man and Woman in Dark of Night - 1969

Place of Socrates - 1980

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