Lines and Colors art blog

Stephen Hannock

Stephen Hannock
Stephen Hannock’s glowing, atmospheric landscapes of sweeping valleys show the influence his admiration for 19th Century painter Thomas Cole.

This is particularly evident in his painting with the rather cumbersome title: “The Oxbow: After Church, After Cole, Flooded (Flooded River for the Matriarchs E. & A. Mongan), Green Light” (images above, top with detail) that is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s interesting to compare it to Cole’s painting, also with a lengthy title: “View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow“.

Hannock also painted the same scene in very different light as “The Oxbow: After Church, After Cole, Flooded (Flooded River for Fran)“, a painting in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Another of Hannock’s other major themes, though older, is nocturnes that show the influence of Whistler. He has three sets of them, along with more recent work, on his website. Unfortunately, the reproductions on his site, in contrast to the high resolution image available on the museum’s site, are frustratingly small given the generally large physical size of his work.

You can find some slightly larger images on the website of the John Berggruen Gallery.

One of the interesting aspects of his work that is only visible in the larger reproductions or in person is the addition of textural elements that are actually inscriptions, lines of text relating to personal events, family or friends. This is easiest to see in the large images on the Met’s site.

The artist’s website is somewhat confusingly arranged. From the Index page, be sure to investigate a number of the links to previous exhibitions to see additional images of the work.

There are print collections of his work available. Stephen Hannock by Jason Rosenfeld, Martha Hoppin and Garrett White is in print. Luminosity: The Paintings of Stephen Hannock and Stephen Hannock: Rockets and Flooded Rivers, along with other titles, can be found from used book sources.


6 responses to “Stephen Hannock”

  1. Ahhh the Northampton, Oxbow. Boy do I love living next to Mt Tom, The Holyoke range. Walking and riding down the dirt road through the fields by the Oxbow, the Summer water ski events, the spring floods, the winter snow… Tomas Cole’s “View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow“ is fantastic. When I was bit hardier, and not so busy, I’d hike past that view(though a little different now-a-days) 3 ro 4 times a year.
    Sigh, wish I was back home now…. well back to the day job. Thanks for the the brief mental break Charlie. Cheers, Mike

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mike.

      My understanding is that Hannock painted from much the same vantage point. Maybe his views are more in keeping with the current appearance, I don’t know.

  2. Hannock did a nice job of capturing the romance and beauty of the Oxbow. But it is a much more practical place then his painting shows. There’s a power plant, small factory, rail bridge, route 91, power lines and a Marina tossed in there. It’s certainly is an interesting place historically in that MT Tom and The Holyoke Range had summit houses as destination points back in their heyday. Somewhere down closer to the Oxbow there was a small hotel to, you can walk throughout the old foundation. If I understand stand part of the history correctly it was kind of a destination point before you would go into the “West”. The sunset today probably looks similar to Hannocks painting… cheers, Mike

  3. I love his work which is new to me and the Oxbow indeed looks like a fantastic place too, as Mikes comment seems to reinforce that in Hannocks’ painting.
    Will have to pick up one of his books.
    And the contrast from the earlier Whistler inspired softer ‘style’ to his recent work, the waterfall for instance, is fascinating.

    Thanks Charley for another discovery!

  4. Stephen Hannock Avatar
    Stephen Hannock

    Greetings Charley…. and many thanks for the kind notes regarding my installation at the Met. The adventures that come to my mind while the vista is being painted…as well as being viewed after completion… are so fluid that it’s a treat to see the painting appreciated by fresh eyes. If you are in the city this spring we will be showing 4 vistas with text (10 years of work) at Marlborough in May. The opening date will be posted on the Gallery’s website in the New Year.
    Best wishes…..good going on a cool blog……and good luck in 2012,

    1. Thanks, Stephen. I appreciate the comment and the kind words about Lines and Colors. Thanks also for letting me know about the show at the Marlborough. I would enjoy seeing that and will keep my eye on the gallery’s site for the announcement.