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HIGH ART: Return of Red Horses
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – In 2007, artist September Vhay was in Seattle when she saw a sculpture of a horse by Deborah Butterfield. Vhay started drawing the sculpture. That loose drawing would lead to a series of work of red horses Vhay is now known for and seven years later is still painting.
On Dec. 16, Vhay will showcase about 20 new pieces at a show in Altimara, the first all red horses show she has done in three years.
Over the years Vhay has created 72 paintings. Her lines and the way she bleeds the watercolors have become more refined. She has also expanded from small watercolors to larger sizes and oil on canvas pieces.
While she is stuck with the paintings, she only paints a few each year and the work is a fresh departure from her regular art, that unlike the abstract horses is more classic and captured in a muted monochromatic palate, Vhay said. The challenge of painting the horses is coming up with new forms. The style only works well from certain angles, she said.
This body of work includes several large oil paintings on canvas pieces, said Meg Daly, Altimara development coordinator. “She’s going bigger this time,” Daly said.
Vhay also will show one special addition, a painting of a red bear. Vhay’s red horse paintings have been an exploration that has continually intrigued and captivated people. One reason is likely the color, Daly said. It’s vibrant and pops on a white background. “It’s minimalist,” Daly. “It’s gesture and form and this kind of power color.
It evokes a certain aspect of the essence of the equine form that speaks to people.”
She’s also has taken a traditional Western symbol that people already love and put a different twist on it.
The show will hang at Altimara from Dec. 16 to Jan. 1. There will be a reception 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 19 and at 6 p.m. Vhay will discuss the origins of the Red Horses.