Meet noted Plein Air Artist Don Sahli
Opening Reception, Saturday March 9th, 1-5pm
Don Sahli strives to continually expand his horizons and push the limits, presenting and creating his work in ways that are unexpected, fresh and stimulating. Instead of being limited by the technical bounds of painting and the expected response to subject matter, he takes these boundaries and uses them as the jumping off point - the start of something, not the end. And while Sahli's work can be seen as traditional with old world qualities that come from his
background in the Russian School of Painting, it can also be seen as modern and contemporary - on the cutting edge in terms of color, design and passion.
Don Sahli made the decision to become a professional artist at a very early age. By the time he was 17 years old, art galleries in Texas and New Mexico were selling his paintings. Sahli has earned his living as a professional artist all his adult life. His work is presently represented in galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Aspen, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Breckenridge, Colorado; Wilmington, North Carolina, Sedona, Arizona, and Midland, Texas. He is quite prolific, producing numerous studio pieces - including public works and corporate commissions - and innumerable sketches and plein air works each year.
Sahli began his formal art education at the University of Texas in Austin. A year later, he met Sergei Bongart, the famous Russian colorist. At Bongart's invitation, Sahli followed him to California and became his last apprentice. He remained with the Russian for three years, until Bongart's death in 1985.
The broad range of Sahli's work shows his talent as a painter and his philosophy toward painting. "When I look at a painting, I want it to bring me back to when I was on the scene. I want it to convey the drama and emotion that first captured my attention - the atmosphere and the soul of the place. This is the goal of my work - to go past just the image to touch the viewer in a way that evokes emotion" Rather than just reproducing the object or telling a story, Don Sahli creates his images with the dramatic and subtle use of color. The viewer's eye sees the vivid color and reacts to the color - each perception unique. Sahli's paintings are also filled with the contrasts of heavy textured brushstrokes to soft fluid washes. As Beethoven took distinctive approaches to the art of music - he wrote the Requiem Mass, the light airy moonlight Sonata and the Ninth Symphony - Sahli approaches each painting expecting to make it truly distinct from the last. Instead of seeking a niche, finding something that is comfortable and familiar, and painting to that, Sahli endeavors to expand the possibilities. Yet, there is something that unites all the work - it is designed to create an emotional interaction between the viewer and the painted image.
Having been in business for over 45 years, Southwest Gallery is one of the largest galleries in the United States. Our 16,000 sq. ft. location holds work from some of the world's premier painters and sculptors including one of the largest collections of graphic works in the world by Mexican master Rufino Tamayo. The gallery represents over 100 living artists in styles ranging from traditional to abstract. We also deal heavily in the recognized masters of the 19th and Early 20th Century such as Jules Herve, Edouard Cortes and Antoine Blanchard. Our gallery is one of the largest resources for sculpture in the country, housing a major collection of work by 20th Century master Frederick Hart as well as Gary Price, Martin Eichinger, Larry Young and others. We have hosted six major events for Hart, which included the largest offerings of his sculpture in the nation. Our staff of 12 has a combined experience of hundreds of years dealing in fine art. Each of our monthly exhibitions showcase one of the gallery's talented artists and invitations to these events are mailed to collectors nationally. The gallery has a large interactive web site that caters to clients on a national and international basis. Southwest Gallery has had the pleasure of helping service some of the country's most sophisticated collectors as well as nationally known celebrities. Southwest also has an impressive framing department capable of handling highly specialized items with the utmost of care.