William Hawkins: Paintings

Frank Maresca, Roger Ricco, 1997
Publisher: Knopf.

Dimensions: 9.75 x 1 x 11.25 inches

Pages: 127

The first book of paintings--122 reproductions--by a brilliant twentieth-century folk artist: a self-taught master, who began to paint when he was ten years old and won national recognition at the age of eighty-five.

William Hawkins was born and raised on a small Kentucky farm. Needing to express himself, he used whatever materials were at hand--glossy enamels (ordinary house paints), large pieces of Masonite, heavy paper or cardboard rescued from trash heaps. He painted continuously, earning his living as a truck driver, among other things. His intense, wondrous, quirky paintings are filled with images--startling and playful--that derive from an unruly but inspired sense of freedom and humor. Here are wild animals--an elephant with a striped tusk and trunk...a stag, wide-eyed and startled, looking out from a masklike face; cityscapes; historical and modern landmark architecture; images made from photographs; a red Ferris wheel; a short humpbacked creature with a cone hat, a beak, and a single, pasted-on eye.

Handsomely designed and produced, William Hawkins chronicles the life and work of one of our most important folk artists.

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