Alexandre Hogue


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Painter. Known especially for desolate Depression-era landscapes, he later responded to the inhabitants, environmental concerns, and spiritual dimensions of the Southwest. Hogue's hard, unforgiving stylization well suited the bleak vision of his Dust Bowl scenes. In Drouth Stricken Area (Dallas Museum of Art, 1934), vultures await as a pathetically skinny cow poses inertly by an empty water tank while sand dunes engulf a nearby farmhouse. Although not motivated by a political ideology, Hogue's unrelenting, often exaggerated scenes of despair ally him with the social realists of the American Scene movement. Hogue often suggests the misery visited on ordinary people through no fault of their own, but he blamed human carelessness for the land's destruction. Occasionally, Hogue made use of symbolic elements, as in Erosion No. 2—Mother Earth Laid Bare (Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, 1936). At a glance another ravaged landscape, set off by an abandoned plow in the foreground and unused farm buildings in the distance, the image's eroded gullies and mounds form the body of a prostrate nude woman. Born in the northern Missouri town of Memphis, Hogue spent his childhood in Denton, Texas, and graduated from high school in nearby Dallas. He studied for a year at the Minneapolis School of Art (now Minneapolis College of Art and Design) and worked as a Dallas newspaper illustrator before moving to New York in 1921. During four years there, he painted in Texas during summers, and eventually he moved to Dallas. From 1926 until 1942 he often sojourned in Taos. During the Depression, he painted murals for a federal art project, and from the 1950s, he sometimes experimented with abstracted and even nonobjective form. Also active as a lithographer, Hogue taught at the University of Tulsa from 1945 until he retired in 1968. Subsequently, he divided his time between Tulsa, where he died, and an Oklahoma farm.

Subjects: Art.

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