Yakima Valley Museum

The Yakima Valley Museum is proud to present a new fine art exhibition, observation texture topography: New Paintings by Tom Chet Hausken, running from February 18 to August 6, 2017. The exhibition will feature roughly 25 new works of art by Yakima artist Tom Chet Hausken and will be accompanied by a publication. Hausken is the museum's 2016-17 artist-in-residence.

A free public reception to celebrate the exhibition will be held at the museum on Friday, February 17, beginning at 5:00 PM, with introductions and remarks at 6:00 PM; refreshments will be served.

While avoiding direct representation, Hausken's paintings have been perceived by many as forms of landscape, whether that be a landscape of place, atmosphere, or emotion. His art is meditative, urging the viewer towards reflection, self-reflection, and to a dimension that touches the spiritual. One can see in his work the influence of the Northwest School of painters that made its mark in the 1930s and 1940s, and drew its own inspiration and aesthetic from the diffuse light and tonal ranges of the Skagit Valley in Western Washington. Hausken's work can also be understood within the context and lineage of nationally-renowned abstract painters such as Agnes Martin, Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn (particularly his Ocean Park series), John McLaughlin, and Mark Rothko, whose aesthetic choices were rooted in powerful shapes, lines, and colors.

The physicality of working with paint and materials is at the core of Hausken's process: mixing graphite, charcoal, and oil paint; applying pigments in layers; scraping and cutting the dried layers on the surface of the canvas, panel, or paper; applying more color, followed by additional scratching and scouring. It's a process that, consciously or not, suggests patterns of accretion and erosion in nature. Of Hausken's work, exhibition curator Andy Granitto notes, "Tom is inspired by nature. He draws color and form from his experience of everything around him, and creates paintings that are at one time both reflections of the world outside and complete worlds unto themselves. In many ways, this exhibition showcases Tom's philosophical approach to perception, process, and paint itself."

In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum is proud to present the following talks:

  • March 16 at 7:00 PM: Tom Hausken discusses his aesthetic and approach to creating art. Learn more about his influences and artistic philosophy.
  • June 1 at 7:00 PM: Andy Granitto, the Yakima Valley Museum-s Curator of Exhibits, presents a talk on Abstract Expressionism — the first truly American contribution to Modern Art — and its relation to Tom Hausken's work.
Hawk, 2016.
Oil, graphite on canvas; 46" x 48"
Interior study with incense, 2015-16.
Oil, enamel, polyurethane, shellac, graphite on canvas; 52" x 58"


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