Galloping beyond the cliché

Review of art exhibit “William Matthews: Trespassing” at DAM

  • William Matthews (American, b. 1949), Bottle Tops, 2005. Watercolor on paper; 39-1/2 x 43-3/4 in.

    Collection of William Matthews
  • William Matthews (American, b. 1949), Hard Candy, 1995. Watercolor on paper.

    Lent by Graeme and Norah Bretall, Ketchum, Idaho.

Denver-based artist William Matthews is best known for his watercolor paintings of cowboys. But his interest gallops beyond traditional images of horses and guys in chaps; Matthews depicts objects like oil drums and even a lollipop as he breaks through clichéd imagery to reflect the contemporary American West. His paintings are featured in a new exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. William Matthews: Trespassing runs until May 17, 2015, and includes 27 works, ranging from the artist’s early career to his recent works. The museum also features a documentary that follows Matthews as he prepares for the exhibit.

William Matthews: Trespassing is on view until May 17 in the Gates Family Gallery on Level 2 of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building; the exhibition is included in general admission.

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