Joe Neil Beeler (1931-2006) Montana Buffalo Hunt 40 x 80in (Painted in 1985.)

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Lot 33
Joe Neil Beeler
(1931-2006)
Montana Buffalo Hunt 40 x 80in

Sold for US$ 56,250 inc. premium
Joe Neil Beeler (1931-2006)
Montana Buffalo Hunt
signed, dated and inscribed 'JOE BEELER / 1985 ©' (lower right)
oil on canvas
40 x 80in
Painted in 1985.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The artist.
    Acquired by the late owner from the above, 1985.

    Exhibited
    Kerrville, Texas, Cowboy Artists of America Museum, CA Retrospective 1995: Joe Beeler and John Hampton, January 20-April 3, 1995.

    Literature
    S.H. McGarry, Honoring The Western Tradition: The L.D. "Brink" Brinkman Collection, Kerrville, Texas, 2003, p. 91, illustrated.

    L.D. Brinkman's relationship with Joe Beeler transcended more than that of simply artist and patron. They were close companions who shared a passion for contemporary Western art. Beeler is most known for his instrumental efforts as one of the founding members of the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA), established in 1965, with fellow artists Charlie Dye, John Hampton and George Phippen. Beeler's personal connection to the West and specifically the Native American people stemmed from his own cultural heritage. His father part Cherokee. Beeler was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri, as a fourth-generation Westerner who grew up alongside the Indian tribes of northeast Oklahoma.1 Beeler's body of work composed during his life time serves as a living testament – filled with depictions of cowboys, Indians and wild animals – to his great pride for the American West.

    The present work expertly illustrates Beeler's skill as a draftsman who in Montana Buffalo Hunt demonstrates his mastery of both human and animal anatomy. The Indians on horseback who are seen circling the buffalo pack, are alive with energy, momentum builds as they rush the pack, looming over their prey. The muscles of the central figure are strained as he draws his arrow back to strike the confused animal whose eyes almost focus on the viewer and translate its urgency, perhaps even fear. The embattled white horse stands in stark contrast against the herd of buffalo who blend into one hurried beast. The Montana landscape, rugged with its mountains blurred in the background, and with its grassy plains, are familiar territory to the Indian tribes who inhabit the land. At lower left, the skull remains of a buffalo appear discarded amid the brush, it foreshadows the grim end that nears for the buffalo outwitted by their hunters.

    1 P.J. Broder, Bronzes of the American West, New York, 1975, p. 338.
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