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 William Cather Hook  (1948 - )      Visit this Artist's Studio on AskART

About: William Cather Hook
 

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/California/Kansas/Missouri      Known for: southwest landscape painting, illustration

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William Cather Hook
from Auction House Records.
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Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted August 2004, is from the artist.

The American landscape is William Hook's inspiration.  Large skies, low horizons, distant mountains and textured foregrounds are expressed in his paintings with broad brushstrokes of vivid color.  The magazines Southwest Art, Art of the West, U.S. Art, American Artist, and Focus Santa Fe have featured Hook's work in cover articles, and the book, Leading the West by Donald Hagerty, references William Hook as one of the notable influences on the western art scene.  In addition, publishers Harper-Collins and North Light have included his work in numerous books written about the contemporary art process in Europe and America.

William Hook's background in art began at home.  It was through the influence of his father and grandmother, a professional photographer and architect respectively, that art became second nature to him.  Other family members were art historian Bainbridge Bunting, prominent Italian painters Gino and Bertha Venanzi, as well as Pulitzer Prize winning author, Willa Cather.  When the discussion of art arose at the Hook household, there was never a lack of opinions and interests.  "I was always encouraged to try new media, and that is one reason why I still paint in acrylic. My grandmother would find materials in art stores or would have read about a newly developed medium and I would be the art guinea pig".

After having attended classes at the Kansas City Art Institute, Hook left his hometown of Kansas City to continue his study of fine art at the University of New Mexico.  Hook went on to complete his formal education at the Universita Per Straniere (Perugia, Italy) and the Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles, CA).  It was his time spent in New Mexico, where the scenery made an indelible impression on the aspiring artist, that led him to return to make it his home and frequent subject.  "I have painted all over the United States and Europe and continue to find New Mexico at the center of my work".

Mr. Hook's paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Tucson Art Museum, the University of New Mexico, the FORBES Museum, NYC, and the Genesee Museum, NY.  In addition, Hook's work is featured in prints for the New Mexico Symphony, Music from Angel Fire, and the Santa Fe Opera.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Signature Member - California Art Club
Master Artist - Artists of America
Instructor, Scottsdale Artists' School
Instructor, Fechin Institute
Artist Member - Mountain Oyster Club
Acrylic Painters of America

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2004 Coors Western Art Exhibit - Denver, CO
Haggin Museum - "From Sea to Shining Sea: A Reflection of America" National Ivitational - Stockton, CA
The Albuquerque Museum Foundation - "Miniatures/2004" Show - Albuquerque, NM

2003 Annual Colorado Mountain Club Landscape Exhibit - Denver, CO
The Albuquerque Museum Foundation - "Miniatures/2003" Show - Albuquerque, NM

2002
The Albuquerque Museum Foundation - "Miniatures/2002" Show - Albuquerque, NM

2001
Haggin Museum - "Contemporary Artists Paint Yosemite" California Art Club Invitational - Stockton, CA

2000 "Awash in Color - The FORBES Trinchera Ranch" - New York, NY
California Art Club - 90th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition - Los Angeles, CA
Artists of America - National Invitational Exhibition - Denver, CO

1999
Artists of America - National Invitational Exhibition - Denver, CO
Colorado Governor's Invitational - Loveland, CO

1998
Artists of America - National Invitational Exhibition - Denver, CO
Colorado Governor's Invitational - Loveland, CO

1997 Carson Gallery - Denver, CO
Artists of America - National Invitational Exhibition - Denver, CO
Colorado Governor's Invitational - Loveland, CO

1996 Artists of America - National Invitational Exhibition - Denver, CO
Colorado Governor's Invitational - Loveland, CO

1995
Artists of America - National Invitational Exhibition - Denver, CO
Colorado Governor's Invitational - Loveland, CO
Coors Western Art Invitational - Denver, CO
Covering the West: The Best of Southwest Art Magazine Exhibit

AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS

2003 Carmel Plein Aire Festival - Best Local Artist
2002 Carmel Plein Aire Festival - Honorable Mention
2000 Artists of America - Master Artist Award
1997 New Mexico Symphony Orchestra - Featured Poster Artist
1996 Music from Angel Fire Chamber Music Festival - Featured Poster Artist
National Academy of Design, Acrylic Painter of the Year
1995 "Covering the West" - Best of the Southwest Award
1994 Santa Fe Opera Poster - Featured Artist
1992 National Parks Academy "Arts for the Parks" Competition - Finalist, Best Landscape Award
1990 Colorado House of Representatives Art Competition - Finalist
1991 National Parks Academy "Arts for the Parks" Competition - Finalist
1989 National Parks Academy "Arts for the Parks" Competition - Finalist
Artists of the West - Featured Artist
1988 Denver Parkscapes Art Exhibition - Best of Show
1987 Denver Parkscapes Art Exhibition - Best of Show

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS

The Denver Art Museum - Denver, CO
The FORBES Museum - New York, NY
Genesee Museum - NY
Pioneer's Museum - Colorado Springs, CO
The Tucson Art Museum - The John Goodman Collection - Tucson, AZ
The University of New Mexico Fine Arts Museum - Albuquerque, NM

DISTINCTIVE COLLECTIONS

Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher - New York, NY
Guarantee Bank and Trust - Denver, CO
Holland and Hart, Attys.-at-law - Denver, CO
Banc One - Denver, CO
Blockbuster Video Headquarters - Houston, TX
Founders Asset Management, Inc. - Denver, CO
AOL/Time Warner - New York, NY
Raymond James Collection - Dallas, TX
Texaco World Headquarters - New York, NY
FORBES Magazine - New York, NY
Indonesian Secretary of State
R.J. Bank and Company, Inc. - Tampa, FL
World Trade Center - Los Angeles, CA

SPECIAL COMMISSIONS

AmFirst Bank - Denver, CO
Bank of Ireland - Dublin, Ireland
Bixby Ranch Corporation - Irvine, CA
First National Bank of Colorado Springs - Colorado Springs, CO
Metro Bank - Denver, CO
Chevron Corporation - San Francisco, CA
Texaco International Headqters - New York, NY
Denver Convention Center - Denver, CO
Affiliated Bank Shares of Colorado - Denver, CO

PERIODICALS/PUBLICATIONS

Focus Santa Fe - Feature Article/Cover, August 2003
Art & Antiques - Feature Article, May 2001
Art of The West - Feature Article, January/February 2001
American Artist Magazine - Realism Today, October 2000
Southwest Art - Feature Article, June 2000
Art of The West - California Art Club Tradition - May/June 2000
American Artists Watercolor Magazine - Cover, Spring 2000
Art of The West - Feature Article, November/December 1997
Focus Santa Fe - Feature Article/Cover, August 1997
The Artists Magazine Art Masters: Color Secrets of the Masters - 1996
Art of The West - Feature/Cover Article, July/August 1995
Watercolor - Fall 1993
Focus Santa Fe - Feature Article/Cover, April/May 1993
Southwest Profile - November 1992
Focus Santa Fe - Feature Article/Cover, August 1991
Southwest Art - Feature Article/Cover, August 1991
The Artists Magazine - April 1990
American Artist - Feature Article/Cover, August 1990
Art-Talk "Trends in American Art" - Feature Article/Cover, March 1989
U.S. Art Magazine - Feature Article/Cover, April 1989
Art-Talk "Artists Worth Watching" - Feature Article/Cover, June 1989

BOOKS

Keys to Painting Trees & Foilage by Rachel Wolf; North Light Books; Cincinnati, OH; 2001
Keys to Painting Fruit & Flowers by Rachel Wolf; North Light Books; Cincinnati, OH; 2000
Leading the West by Donald J. Hagerty; Northland Publishing; Flagstaff, AZ; 1998
Acrylic Painters: Styles & Techniques by Rachel Wolf; North Light Books; Cincinnati, OH; 1997
The North Light Book of Acrylic Painting Technique by Earl Killeen; North Light Books; Cincinnati, OH; 1995
Acrylic Masterclass by Sally Bulgin; HarperCollins; London, England; 1993
Tony Couch's Keys to Successful Painting by Tony Couch; North Light Books; Cincinnati, OH; 1992



This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Painting in acrylic is a distinction that has made William Hook one of the country's notable artists because of his expressionistic handling of the medium.  A writer for Southwest Art Magazine stated: "Hook balances clarity, drama, order and an antic touch in his work.  His impeccable technique and driving work ethic produce the visible results of his life in art.  U.S. Art Magazine had the following: "When most of us are at a loss for words, Hook makes his response to the American Southwest in a brilliant and vital vocabulary of light and color." Art-Talk has singled out Hook in articles: "Trendsetters in American Art" and "Artists Worth Watching."

Hook's paintings have also appeared on the cover of Focus Santa Fe, Southwest Art and Art of the West Magazines.  The Angel Fire Music Festival, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Opera have each featured a Hook painting for a season's performances.  Artist of America (AOA) as well has featured a Hook painting on an annual show invitation.

His works are owned by a wide variety of individuals and institutions. William Hook does not come by his excellence solely by accident.  His family heritage is most interesting. Hook's grandmother, Mary Rockwell-Hook, was one of the first female architexts in the country.  She graduated from Wellesley College at the turn of the century and studied at the Ecole Beaux Arts in Paris.  Hook's father was a professional photographer.  Hook's middle name, Cather, is no accident.  It too indicates a family tie to early American author Willa Cather.

About 50 years ago, William Cather Hook was bom in the Kansas City area.  He completed high school in the area, but not before he was juried into a group show at the young age of 11.  He received an MFA degree from the University of New Mexico and has taken supplemental studies at the Los Angeles Art Center, Kansas City Art Institute and in Perugia, Italy.  He now leads seminars in a variety of locales including the Fetchin Istitute in Taos, NM and the Scottsdale Artists School in Arizona.  Generally, Hook's works are composed in his spaceous studio. His camera is almost always present as he finds the best elements of the light and landscape of the American West.

Source:
Kent Whipple, Art Professional, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, III:
Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, William Hook remembers being encouraged by his family to pursue art. His father, a commercial photographer, and his grandmother, an architect, especially pushed him towards painting. Their support bore fruit, and Hook took classes at the Kansas City Art Institute during high school.

He left Missouri to pursue an architectural degree at the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, where he later graduated with a degree in Fine Art. There, he felt under the influence of his cousin, art historian Bainbridge Bunting, and found himself painting and photographing the Pueblos up and down the Rio Grande river valley. Painters such as Victor Higgins and E. Martin Hennings influenced the young artist. After earning his degree, Hook moved to Los Angeles, California to attend the Art Center College of Design, graduating two years later.

Hook moved to Denver, and became a partner in one of Denver’s most prominent advertising agencies. After more than a decade, Hook left to devote himself to painting full-time. “Giving up a successful career, especially one that I didn’t find at all to be unsatisfactory, was certainly a difficult decision. But when I got to the point where I was working all day just to get the opportunity to paint up through midnight every evening, I realized it was time to get off a declining curve and step onto a ascending one. Now, I feel like the lucky guy who landed the world’s best job.”

Now a well-known artist, working in acrylics, Hook acknowledges that there are spiritual implications to his work. That, as well as the dramatic tension he finds in the grandeur of nature, inspires his artwork. When faced with extraordinary beauty, most find themselves at a loss for words. Hook responds in blues, greens, reds and in the brilliant and vital vocabulary of light and color. He is best known for his intensely colorful, yet peaceful still life paintings and his southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico landscapes.

In setting out to bring a new level of creative achievement into his work, Hook has decided that when it comes to interpreting the beauty of the Western landscape, no boundaries should be left unchallenged. “I’m trying to discover something new for myself,” the artists says, “and if there are visual elements in my work that tend to challenge viewers, those are intended to enhance what all too often starts to become a mundane viewing experience.”

Hook has been featured in magazines such as Southwest Profile and Art of the West. He now lives in California with his wife, Kate. They split their time between their oceanside home in Carmel, California and their home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Reference: www.michaels.com, "Southwest Profile" Nov/Dec/Jan 1992/1993, "Art of the West" Jan/Feb 2001

Biography from Meyer Gallery:
The American landscape is William Hook’s inspiration. Large skies, low horizons, distant mountains, and textured foregrounds are expressed in his paintings with broad brushstrokes of vivid color. His work is distinctive and stands out from the crowd of today’s genre of landscape painters. The magazines Southwest Art, Art of the West, U.S. Art, American Artist, and Focus Santa Fe have featured Hook’s work in cover articles that proclaim his importance as a leading landscape painter. The book, Leading the West by Donald Hagerty, features William Hook as one of the notable influence on the western art scene. In addition, publishers Harper-Collins and North Light have included his work in numerous books written about the contemporary art process in Europe and America.

William Hook’s background in art began at home. It was through the influence of his father and grandmother, a professional photographer and architect respectively, that art became second nature to him. Other family members were art historian Bainbridge Bunting, prominent Italian painters Gino and Bertha Venanzi, as well as Pulitzer Prize winning author, Willa Cather. When the discussion of art arose at the Hook household, there was never a lack of opinions and interests. “I was always encourage to try new media, and that is one reason why I still paint in acrylic. My grandmother would find materials in art stores or would have read about a newly developed medium and I would be the art guinea pig”.

After having attended classes at the Kansas Art Institute, Hook left his hometown of Kansas City to continue his study of fine art at the University of New Mexico. Hook went on to complete his formal education at the Universita Per Straniere (Perugia, Italy) and the Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles, CA). It was his time spent in New Mexico where the scenery made an indelible impression on the aspiring artist, so much so, that he returned to make it his home and frequent subject. “I have painted all over the United States and Europe and continue to find New Mexico at the center of my work”.

Mr. Hook’s paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Tucson Art Museum, the University of New Mexico, the FORBES Museum, NYC, and the Genesee Museum, NY. In addition, Hook’s work is featured in prints for the New Mexico Symphony, Music from Angel Fire, and the Santa Fe Opera.


Biography from Morris & Whiteside Galleries:
Following formal studies at the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of New Mexico, the Universta Per Straniere (Perugia, Italy), and the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, William Hook embarked on a sixteen year advertising career that took him from Los Angeles to Albuquerque to Denver.  From 1975 to 1987, Hook led his own Denver advertising agency to numerous national awards from design.

In 1987, William Hook left the commercial field and began to devote his full energies to fine art.  In New Mexico, the artist was influenced by the works of Taos painters Victor Higgins and E. Martin Hennings and the bold, abstract color compositions of Richard Diebenkorn, an alumnus and guest lecturer at the University of New Mexico.  Today his frequent field trips along the back roads of Colorado and wooded trails of Northern New Mexico have begun to produce small, plein aire studies that are eagerly sought by collectors.

As a child, William Hook traveled extensively with his family in Europe and as an adult he continues to seek the mysteries and drama of light patterns on the architectural and landscape of the west, southwest, and southeast.

The artists work has been featured in U.S. Art Magazine, American Artist, Southwest Art, Focus Santa Fe, and Art of the West.

In 1996, William Hook was named Acrylic Artist of the Year by the National Academy of Design.  He has also been featured in four major books on acrylic painting.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


William Hook is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
The California Art Club

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