YARES ART is pleased to present Sean Cavanaugh: Under the Elder’s Gaze, an exhibition of recent works centered on intimate nature studies. The show appears at YARES ART, Santa Fe, August 2–September 28, 2019. Highlighted here are approximately two dozen of Cavanaugh’s precisionist oil-on-canvas paintings and luminous works on paper featuring detailed renderings of trees. Cavanaugh’s meticulously wrought compositions are often intimate in scale but expansive and powerful in scope and ambition.
“Often trees are the oldest living members of the environment, and some are the oldest life forms on Earth,” the artist noted in a recent statement. “It is my hope that my work expresses some measure of their presence, quiet wisdom, and beauty.” Cavanaugh’s sensitive and astute approach to nature studies conveys an increasing sense of urgency today, as the natural environment becomes ever more threatened by recent attempts to reverse environmental protections throughout this country and abroad.
Due to the artist’s commanding technical ability, a botanist would be able to easily recognize the various species of trees that Cavanaugh focuses on in his work. However, with his subtle and stunning nuances of tone and texture, Cavanaugh’s work, on some level, advances the possibilities of pure painting.The painterly aspect of his endeavor is befitting an artist who grew up surrounded by paintings—those of his mother March Avery, and his grandparents Sally and Milton Avery—all artists whose work reflects a special reverence for nature. Born in 1969, Cavanaugh received a Bachelor of Arts degree in both art and environmental studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Having developed his own inimitable painting style over the years, Cavanaugh has held numerous solo gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the country, most recently at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.