05/18/2018 - 09/02/2018

Art Museum of South Texas, Affiliated with TAMU-CC

Over his fifty-year career Richard Stout, a native Texan born in Beaumont and currently living in Houston, established himself as one of the leading Modernist artists in the American Southwest. He is among five mid-century artists widely identified as the best abstract expressionists in Texas. Beginning in New York, Abstract Expressionism gained popularity in the United States in the 1950s and 60s. It veered away from realistic depictions of physical subjects in order to communicate the intangible. Stout along with David Hickman, William Anzalone, James (Jack) Boynton, and Dorothy Hood, established the movement in Houston. These artists expressed themselves in drastically different styles, yet each artist gained inspiration from the place where they created their artwork.

AMST Curator of Exhibitions, Deborah Fullerton, describes Stout’s early work, of both interiors as well as his coastal meditations as revealing, “a sensitive and abiding interest in light as it travels through space and around objects.” In the exhibition catalogue, available in the AMST Gift Shop, David E. Brauer expands on Stout’s expression of light and ongoing tension between interiors and exteriors by comparing his work to paintings by seventeenth century Dutch masters – minus human figures, still life, or settings. The Dutch masters strove to depict a specific place at a specific time, whereas Stout’s compositions allusively suggest settings in order to depict his memories of these places, regardless of time. Stout’s ability to convey an emotion associated with a memory through his work is what makes him a master.

Whether it is a childhood home, the location of a first date, or an alma mater, having a specific emotion associated with a place is an experience familiar to all. The 39 two-dimensional works and 14 three-dimensional sculptures were created between the start of his career in the 1950s to present day. Take note of his inspirations – locations along the Texas Coast – places where his family gathered, fished, and lived. His works in this exhibition convey Stout’s emotions, his state of mind when he visited these places – locations where Stout grew up, and chooses to live now. Each artwork separately, and all 50 collectively, expresses Stout’s sense of home.

This exhibition was organized by the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont.