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 Russell Case  (1966 - )

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Lived/Active: Utah      Known for: western landscape painting

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An example of work by G. Russell Case
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Biography from Gerald Peters Gallery:
Western painter G. Russell Case is inspired by nature, but he places little value on literal translations.  His sweeping, idealized versions of the western landscape are compositions that combine the beauty of the natural world with the rich imagination and originality of an artist’s mind.  While there is an unmistakable honesty present in his painted environments -- stemming from his engagement with the land painted directly from nature -- viewers may be reminded of other great artists of the west, whose work is marked by distinctive artistic philosophies.  Case’s work is unfettered by philosophy and intellect, though he is surely a student of his artistic forebears.  The monumental scale of Maynard Dixon, or the unfiltered color and light of Thomas Moran both find their way into his visual language. Yet Case’s work is simple, pure, and fresh; his painting draws in the viewer and delivers timeless landscapes.  We are immediately transported into a world created by shadow and light, of immense vistas punctuated by jagged mountains and inhabited by lonesome cowboys.  Although Russell Case was undoubtedly stirred by the philosophies of the great artists and fueled by the freedom of painting from nature, this artist maintains that his most profound inspiration came from those in his own life who bolstered his career and remained faithful to his vision.

Born in the small town of Brigham City, Utah, Russell Case’s artistic enthusiasm was first fostered by his father, Gary Case, who was also an artist.  His father encouraged Russell’s artistic talents and helped him seek exposure through marketing and local galleries.  For fifteen years the younger Case translated his surroundings into watercolor, creating a foundation for the liquid vibrancy found in his later oils.  This transition developed during his college years, where Case studied with the intent to become a professor of art.  After graduating from Utah State University in 1990 and with the support of his wife, Susanne, Case decided to dedicate himself to painting full-time.  It comes as little surprise that Case’s work eventually attracted the attention of collector Dr. Mike Edson and his wife Karen.  Case credits Edson as being a major factor in his success due to his attentive monitoring of the young artist’s progress: his vigilant observation, unwavering support, and learned guidance helped develop Case’s talent and channel his artistic energy.

Case has also won numerous awards including Best of Show and First Place Oil Painting, Phippen Western Art Show in Prescott, Arizona in 2001; First Place at Southwest Magazine Artist to Watch Show in Steam Boat Springs, Colorado in 2002; and Best of Show, People’s Choice, and Artist’s Choice, Maynard Dixon Country, Mt. Carmel Junction, Utah in 2003.  Among the shows that Case has been invited to in the last few years are the Western Visions show in Jackson, WY; Coors Western Art Exhibition, Denver, CO.; and Maynard Dixon Country, Mt. Carmel.

Russell Case now resides in Brigham City, Utah with his wife, Susanne and two of his children Morgan, and Cooper with the oldest Taylee away at college.

Biography from Maynard Dixon Living History Museum:
As a painter and as a person, G. Russell Case is an individual.  His approach has always been such, whether hiking in the Wasatch Mountains above his Utah home or throwing the perfect fly cast on the Green River.

As a painter his most important influence in finding freedom to make his own approach is the writing of Robert Henri in his book, The Art Spirit.  Through his art, Case intends to convey simplicity, artistic vision, and observations of western travel.  He paints directly from nature to record color and light, and his studio compositions are derivations of thoughts recorded outdoors. 

Expressing his own attitude toward subject matter, Case has made it clear that there is no value to be placed on literal translations of nature.  His general scope is not realistic, rather his tendencies strive toward idealization.  Thomas Moran was one of the first to declare this thesis when asked about using photography for subject matter.  He said, "Of course, all art must come through nature or naturalism, but I believe that a place, as a place, has no value in itself for the artist only so far as it furnishes the material from which to construct a picture."

More than anything, this is the philosophy of Case as he seeks subjects in the enchanting southwestern country, flooded with color and enchantment, where pictorial interpretations await only artists with natural skills and original thoughts.  The Grand Canyon was there before Moran; the clouds were there before Dixon.  California hills were there before Wendt and Redmond; Utah cottonwoods and Mormon farmhouses were there before Stewart.  Russell Case has also discovered these subjects.

A graduate of Snow College and Utah State University, Russell has studied with Osrald Allred, Carl Purcell, Harrison Groutage, and Gaell Lindstrom.  One-man shows and awards include Best of Show at the Phippen Museum and Best Small Oil at the Maynard Dixon Country 2001 invitational.

By Paul Bingham

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G. Case is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Painters of Grand Canyon

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