Catch and Release - Craig Cully
This exhibition features selections from two bodies of work that were created concomitantly over the course of several years. This work began while residing in central Pennsylvania where I was surrounded by the bucolic beauty of rural countryside along with the fraught tensions of familial dynamics.
The paintings from Discourse of the Chase, depict narratives of foxhunting, a centuries-old sport riddled with intrinsic conflicts. The central question of this work inquires about the reasons for our persistent need to chase that which we know has no apparent utility. What does this say about our capacity for empathy despite the apparent futility of such pursuits? In this work, I cast the foxhunt as a central character in a series of allegorical paintings portraying the ambivalent, and at times contentious, relationship between humans and animals.
The little landscape paintings function not only as a foil to the larger, more bombastic works in Discourse of the Chase, but they are also a compelling counterpoint of calm and serenity in contrast to the types of tumultuous activity that occur within them during the hunts.
Having grown up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, some of Craig Cully earliest influences come from the area’s long-standing tradition of realist painters.
Cully’s work has been featured in gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the United States and is part of the permanent collection of The Boise Museum of Art, The Tucson Museum of Art, The University of Arizona Museum of Art, the University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma, and the Museum of Art at Texas Tech University. Currently he is represented by the Etherton Gallery in Tucson, AZ, the Cumberland Gallery in Nashville, TN, the Sue Greenwood Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA, Gallerie Urbane in Dallas/Marfa, TX , and the Projects Gallery in Philadelphia, PA.
Being committed to the power of the visual image, and the desire for art-making to be embraced and respected, Cully also teaches. He is an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at New Mexico State University.
Cully divides his time throughout the year living and working along side his wife Kelly and their two beautiful basset hounds, Gertrude and Bertha, in both Tucson and Las Cruces.