Willard NASH US, 1898-1943
"Willard Nash, the 'American Cezanne;, was a modernist painter of the short-lived group of Santa Fe artists known as 'Los Cinco Pintores.' Having received some fine art training at the Detroit School of Fine Arts, Nash traveled to Taos to work with the famed modernist painter Andrew Dasburg. Nash did not have a signature style, yet all of his work retain Cezanne's preoccupation with shadow and color."
- Aaron Payne
Born in Philadelphia, PA on March 29, 1898, Willard Nash studied art with John P. Wicker in Detroit. At 16 he was a successful commercial artist in Detroit and the highest paid boy soprano in the U.S.
He also acted on the Detroit stage and enjoyed a brief career as an amateur boxer.
At age 22 he moved to Santa Fe, NM and became the most progressive and multidimensional member of the short-lived group of Santa Fe artists known as "Los Cinco Pintores." Nash traveled to Taos to work with the famed modernist painter Andrew Dasburg, who had turned from the academic style he had been taught, and helped Nash do the same.
The influence of Cezanne upon Dasburg, who had once watched the great master paint in his studio, was passed along to Nash, whose paintings retain Cezanne's preoccupation with shadow and color. In fact, it was the vivid, almost garish colors of the Cinco Pintores' first show that got the attention of the Santa Fe art community.
Though they believed themselves to be modernists, or at least billed themselves as such, Los Cinco Pintores was a loosely-formed coalition of painters painting in greatly disparate styles.
Nash exhibited pieces in two Whitney Biennials and was favorably reviewed by the artistic press, beforoe moving to California in 1933. After a brief period of teaching in San Francisco, he taught at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, a position he held until shortly before his death in Albuquerque on Sept. 3, 1942.