He’s sold out before the paint dries, but luckily you can see Logan Maxwell Hagege’s work right here and by appointment in his new exhibition.
Drawing inspiration from the Southwest, Southern California-based contemporary artist Logan Maxwell Hagege (pronounced Ah-jejj) paints in a style he calls stylized realism.
“He is arguably one of the most adept artistic narrators telling and re-telling a modern story of a hauntingly beautiful desert land,” says Hagege’s bio on the Maxwell Alexander Gallery website, where his solo exhibition is on view through July 4.
We couldn’t agree more.
His works are part of the permanent collections of such revered institutions as the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles; the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia; the Cal Poly Pomona University Collection in Pomona, California; the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, Florida; the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City; and the Scottsdale Museum of the West in Arizona, among others. A recent public auction record for a Hagege painting hit $234,000.
We talked to Hagege about his new Dear Old Western Sky exhibition at Maxwell Alexander in Los Angeles and what Gene Autry has to do with it.
Cowboys & Indians: The name of your new solo show is Dear Old Western Sky. The sky is definitely a prominent through-line in the paintings. …
Logan Maxwell Hagege: In the West and the Southwest, the sky is such an important part of our experience when we’re out in the landscape, out in nature. I’m playing with different moods and feelings the sky can create — sometimes dark and ominous, sometimes bright and happy.
C&I: The title of the exhibition sounds awfully familiar. …
Hagege: The title is loosely based on the Gene Autry song “Dear Old Western Skies.”
My son was just under 2 when he latched on to Gene Autry. No nursery rhymes for him, just Gene Autry. I’ve been painting for this show for close to two years, with lots of Gene Autry on in the background. We love it.
C&I: After a glitch caused by the lockdown, the show is open to the public to see the works in person, is that right?
Hagege: Yes, by appointment. It’s been one thing after another in L.A. There was looting for a while and the gallery had to be closed and boarded up. But the gallery is open now, and the show is up.
C&I: How many paintings in the show? I’ve seen some pictures of you with one of the works, and it’s huge. Lots of oversize pieces?
Hagege: There are 13 paintings. One is 8 x 12 feet. There are a number of large ones — four or five are pretty big.
C&I: That gigantic one, The Song at Sunset, is so wonderful.
Hagege: “A Song at Sunset” is another Gene Autry song.
C&I: Everything in the show appears to be sold already. Are all your paintings basically spoken for before they come off your easel?
Hagege: Yes, basically. I’ve been really fortunate the last 10 years or so. The pieces are sold by drawing; the names of people who are interested in buying go into a box.
C&I: You’re painting a lot of Native Americans. What’s the meaning in that for you?
Hagege: It began with an attraction to the desert landscape originally. I had studied portraits and figures and wanted to start putting them in my landscapes. That was a love of mine, drawing and painting people. I wanted to incorporate them into my paintings of the West. Native Americans and cowboys are such a strong part of the West, so they started showing up in my paintings.
C&I: What has been preoccupying you in these recent works?
Hagege: Just trying to improve from one show to the next, one painting to the next — to push beyond and grow as an artist. Each piece leads me into the next. It’s an evolution.
Photography: Images courtesy Maxwell Alexander Gallery, Jason Rothenberg