Friday, August 28, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Alexandre Hogue, Artist and Ecologist.

 Howdy Neighbour (1936)
Alexandre Hogue. Who was he? I didn't know. I do now.

Born on 22 February 1898 in Memphis, Missouri, moved with parents to Texas at a young age. A He was, by style, a realist and regionalist painter associated with the "Dallas Nine"; he also taught art in the region. The majority of his works focus on Southwestern and Midwestern landscapes during the time of the Dust Bowl.
From the Wikipedia link above:
Hogue’s mother had a huge influence on his work; she taught him about “Mother Earth,” which became a key concept to most of his paintings, specifically Mother Earth Laid Bare in 1938. Hogue connected the human body to the natural world, recalling his mother’s words that “...conjured up visions of a great female figure under the ground everywhere- so I would tread easy on the ground." In addition, the effects that the Dust Bowl had on the land that Hogue had grown to love had a profound effect on his works

 Erosion #2 - Mother Earth Laid Bare (1935 /1938)

The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890-1950
By Emily Ballew Neff

Interesting video - just 2 mins and 44 secs.

A few of his paintings (more can be seen via Google Image).

 Drought Stricken Area (1934)

 Red Earth Canyon

 The Crucified Land

 Oil in the Sandhills

From NCBI, here.
Hogue described his work as “psycho-reality,” involving “mind reactions to real situations, not dreams or subconscious.” He converted his thoughts into abstract visual terms, which were stronger than nature itself. In his work Drouth Stricken Area, “The windmill and the drink tub are taken from life,” he wrote. “I worked on that windmill. In fact I was knocked off it by lightning. It was the windmill that was on my sister and brother-in-law’s place―the Bishop Ranch near Dalhart, Texas. The house was strictly my own. I just depicted it so it would be typical of the time…. The placing of a top of a shed coming in front of the tank is strictly a matter of composition. The whole thing is just visually built.”

“Some may feel that in these paintings… I may have chosen an unpleasant subject, but after all the drouth is most unpleasant. To record its beautiful moments without its tragedy would be false indeed. At one and the same time the drouth is beautiful in its effects and terrifying in its results. The former shows peace on the surface but the latter reveals tragedy underneath. Tragedy as I have used it is simply visual psychology, which is beautiful in a terrifying way.”

“I don’t like to be called a ‘regionalist’ or ‘American scene painter,’ or, as Life magazine called me, ‘painter of the Dust Bowl,” proclaimed Hogue even as he urged farmers to cooperate with federal soil conservation efforts. “My paintings are as much a statement of what may happen as what has happened―a warning of impending danger in terms of present conditions...."


No time of birth known, chart set for 12 noon.

Most surprising factor about Hogue's natal chart: no planet in an Earth sign. Perhaps he had an Earth sign rising - if we only knew his time of birth!

He does have a very nice Grand Trine in Air, sharpening his intellectual understanding of environmental matters, and related issues. The Grand Trine can take in Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune.

Sun conjunct Venus (planet of the arts) in Pisces speaks of highly sensitive emotion in his artwork. Natal Moon's position isn't known exactly, but would be either in late Pisces or early Aries - and quite possibly in trine to Chiron (known as the Wounded Healer) in Scorpio. That would fit very well!


LB said...

Twilight ~ So here's an interesting "quinky-dink". My relative (the respected artist I've mentioned), while not one of the original "Dallas Nine", was among a small group of artists "closely associated with the group". When I saw Hogue's art (which has a similar feeling), I knew there had to be a connection. I googled the Dallas Nine and sure enough, my relative's name was among the listed artists.

I like Hogue's art and I enjoyed the video too, especially the part about his predictions involving water. Speaking of water, did you happen to notice his South Node in Cancer is trine his Chiron in Scorpio? If his Moon was in the later degrees of Pisces (as you suspect), it would complete a Grand Trine.

His natal Ceres (earth and nature's cycles) at 28 Gemini (the messenger) would've formed uneasy aspects to his other water placements, likely making him aware of our challenges, a message he then communicated through his art. Ceres in Gemini also lends itself to his work in advertising and free-hand ('hand-lettering') skills.

Recently, I read something about how shamans (don't recall from which culture) are often struck by lightening. He was definitely tuned in to something.

LB (again) said...

Just noticed something else. Hogue's North Node in Capricorn, Chiron in Scorpio and Ceres in Gemini form a Yod, with his natal Ceres as the apex point.

mike said...

Both you and LB cover his astrological tracks, and I'll add that all of Hogue's planets (Moon too, whether in Aries or Pisces) have the mutual reception of Venus-Jupiter as final dispositors, enhancing his artistic talent with a philosophical-spiritual tone. Wiki states that Hogue blamed humans for the misuse of the land, unlike others that saw the predicament as nature's wrath, and this is evident in his paintings. I think this rings with his Venus-Jupiter mutual reception in Pisces-Libra, inconjunct each other (plus Venus conjunct Sun, both square Uranus, with Jupiter sextile Uranus), as an odd frisson of rebellious discontent, but expressed with pleasantry via art.

"He always viewed himself as a radical, yet his passion stemmed from a deeply conservative idea: that art, culture, and nature should form a central force in the life of every human being.",6420.aspx

I like his art...beautiful paintings! He has an ability to portray a harsh subject, but dress-up the presentation with eye-appeal and vivid colors. I like the "smoothness" or "comfort" that contrasts with the subject matter. "Erosion #2 has the female form in the foreground made of the rolling contours of the land...those same contours with the visual feel of a soft down comforter.

I've mentioned in previous posts about my grandfather's absolute love of his soil, which was more precious to him than anything other than his family. His belief was that his wealth was contained in the soil he nurtured and this was his bank account. He had tremendous pride, pleasure, and satisfaction with his dirt and all things harvested from it...appealed to his Taurus Sun.

There was a 2012 Ken Burns, PBS special, "The Dust Bowl", which was excellent. I read Timothy Egan's book, "The Worst Hard Time" about the dust bowl and thought it excellent, too...couldn't put it down and was fascinated with the story telling and research effort the author provided.

There's next to nothing available about his personal life! He must have been a recluse, too.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Ah! It's a small and quinky-dinky old world. As I wrote once to (I think it was kidd who found a personal link to a topic) small, and funny, and fine. Song - "Small World" from the show "Gypsy", lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Thank you for pointing out the Ceres links - an excellent fit!

Twilight said...

mike ~ thanks for the extra astro pointers.

I like his paintings too, though in a way they do make something that was truly devastating a tad too beautiful. For the reality we really have to see Dorothea Lange's photographs. Maybe Hogue was trying to show Mother Earth's happy satisfaction at the "pay-back" being given to humans who had mis-treated her.

Coincidentally, last night, in "Outcasts" the sci-fi series we've been watching on Netflix, a similar situation is arising, on the new home planet for some humans - Carpathia. The planet doesn't want humans there so fights back (and who could blame it!) We'd best watch out because here, now, Mother Earth's anger is starting to rise once again!