The Main Stope Gallery will open an exhibit of paintings by the late Martin Fuller (1917-2020) from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 S. Montana St.
Fuller received his formal training at the Chicago Art Institute, The Colorado Springs Art Center, and the Brooklyn Museum School. He began his art career in New York City, where he had a number of solo exhibits. Working mostly with oils and acrylics, his paintings cover a wide variety of subjects from landscapes to portraits to animals and various combinations of those subjects. The term “magic realism” best describes his mastery of composition, color, and range of value. Fuller’s paintings reflect not only the physical image of the subject, but also the subject’s spirit or mood.
Fuller moved to Montana in 1970 at the age of 50 to accept a position at Montana State College library, where he oversaw the Reserve Services. Another reason for his move was his love of sport fishing. When he wasn’t painting, he was fishing and vice-versa. He was often inspired by words, being a librarian for much of his life. He told of being touched by the image of a character in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon who liked to put a sofa in a row boat, cover himself with an umbrella, and go out on the lake and read. He heard a line from a Lyle Lovett song about a pony on a boat, “If I Had a Boat”, and he had to paint that too. He felt that painting is about paint, the subject and the artist and that painting helps one see what one knows.
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