In 1931 Wells settled in New Mexico and soon thereafter sought out Andrew Dasburg as a teacher. Dasburg introduced him to the fluid medium of watercolor, which clearly suited Wells’ style and vision. From 1932-1933, Wells enrolled in courses at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard. In 1935 he went to Japan specifically to study Japanese brush techniques. Throughout these years, however, Wells lived and worked primarily on his ranch in Jacona, NM.
There is a great variety in Cady Wells’ paintings. His exploratory nature never allowed him to overwork any particular style; rather, it constantly forced him to consider new subject matter and to tax the possibilities and resilience of his water-based medium. The artist translates New Mexico’s geography into undulating hills and clouds and transparent tendrils of foliage. A strong interest in texture begins to emerge in Wells’ work during 1939 and 1940. This is evidenced in several free, somewhat abstract landscapes.
He was given twenty-one solo exhibitions, was included in seventy group shows and was often noted in media and books on the subject of twentieth-century American art.
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