George Bougher's People, Places, Things

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George Bougher's People, Places, Things at the Dixon brings together 27 of his paintings from the last two years. Tonight marks the show's opening at Art after Dark from 6 to 9 p.m. (Plus, one of my favorite local bands, the Bluff City Backsliders, will be performing.)

George Bougher, The Middle Ground
  • 15 x 23.5 in
  • George Bougher, The Middle Ground

"I call the show People, Places, Things after the spaces I've been that are special to me, places I sought out, things that spoke to me in a special way," says Bougher. "I get in rhythm with a person, place, or thing. That's the best way I can explain it. There's lots of trees but why do I want this tree? Why do I want a relationship with this tree? Sometimes I never know the answer and sometimes the answer isn't logical its psychological."
George Bougher, The Time Traveler
  • 13.75 x 21 in
  • George Bougher, The Time Traveler

Bougher's paintings have an oil painting quality to them, but he uses a technique known as watercolor impasto, which blends the lightweight watercolor with a thicker texture. As for his subjects, Bougher has collected them over his long life as a self-proclaimed "gypsy."
George Bougher, The New Jersey Castle
  • 17.75 x 20.75 in
  • George Bougher, The New Jersey Castle

"I decided years ago that I was willing to take the vow of poverty to pursue a life in the development of fine art," he says. "That's taken me all around the country. I have a cabin in the Black Hills of South Dakota, so I go back and forth from [there]. I'll go out for the solitude for a month or a few weeks and then come back. I'll make the trip interesting for myself. Take a side trip to a place."

From "tearing up SoHo before SoHo was cool," to modeling his life after George Catlin ("going out and seeing this new wilderness untouched and untampered with"), George Bougher has been living for his art for decades. "When I love, I go all the way," he says.

Bougher's exhibit will be on display until January 9, 2011.

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park Avenue, 761-5250, dixon.org

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