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April 4 -
June 10, 2017
Selections of Modern Postwar and Contemporary Art

William Thomas Lumpkins

(b. 1909 Clayton, New Mexico d. 2000 Santa Fe, New Mexico)

William Lumpkins was one of the only early modernists native to New Mexico. Lumpkins is associated with a number of prominent modern art movements in the Southwest, including the Transcendental Painting Group and the Los Cinco Pintores.  Lumpkins moved to Santa Fe in 1935, where he met Raymond Jonson.  It was through Jonson that Lumpkins became involved in 1938 with the Transcendentalist Painting Group founded by Jonson and Emil Bisttram.  These artists were committed to the philosophy that one achieved artistic fulfillment by going beyond sensory experience into spiritual realms.  Their art became a way to transcend the physical world.

Lumpkins’ abstract work predated by ten years most of the Abstract Expressionists in America.  Lumpkins’ paintings, both representational and abstract, exhibit a unique mastery with the medium of watercolor. His works poignantly communicate emotion and mood with a powerful eloquence of expression through shape, color, and space.

Lumpkins moved to Santa Fe in 1935, where he met Raymond Jonson.  It was through Jonson that Lumpkins became involved in 1938 with the Transcendentalist Painting Group founded by Jonson and Emil Bisttram.  These artists were committed to the philosophy that one achieved artistic fulfillment by going beyond sensory experience into spiritual realms.  Their art became a way to transcend the physical world. But World War II brought an end to that. The Transcendentalists as a formal group officially disbanded in 1942, their mission called off due to a world of conflict and some members of the group being called to serve in the military.

 


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