Featured in: Southwest Art


The Magazine for Today's Collector

 By Lynn Pyne
 May, 2000
Pages 111,117,118

"...Following is an introduction to seven artists of the new West, each forging their own brand of western art and bringing the genre into the new century."

One of the first sights travelers encounter at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ, is a 20-by-30 foot mural depicting a Wild West stagecoach by John Farnsworth. the artist has deep roots in the West, having been raised along the Santa Fe Railroad and in the logging camps of northern Arizona.

Even so, it would be a mistake to label Farnsworth a western artist -- he doesn't fit easily into any niche. Farnsworth painted American Indians until that subject became so popular that he moved on, to horses, cattle, dogs, landscapes, Hopi Kachinas, and still lifes. Those subjects could be western but are not necessarily so. The horse paintings encompass Arabians, racehorses, rodeo stock, and equine images from European old-master works. The artist may focus narrowly on the colors and shapes of particular design elements, such as horses' heads, rather than taking a traditional view. Working primarily in oil and watercolor, Farnsworth maintains balance by moving between large, developed pieces and smaller, spontaneous ones. He lives in New Mexico, where he and his wife, Thea, operate Farnsworth Gallery Taos.