Joseph McGurl

Joseph McGurl

Scenes from the old West will come to life in paintings and sculptures that will fill the galleries of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, with the opening of the 10th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. In one gallery, the only gallery like it in the state of Indiana, visitors can see and be the first to bid on millions of dollars in artwork from 50 coveted Western artists.  Meet Quest for the West Artist Joseph McGurl.

McGurl 2015
Joseph McGurl
Born 1958, in Boston, Massachusetts; lives in Cataumet, Massachusetts

JOSEPH MCGURL is an acknowledged leader in the current American landscape school. He studied with his father, muralist James McGurl, who exposed him to a wide variety of materials and taught him an appreciation of the craft of painting. He studied with Ralph Rosenthal, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, graduated from Massachusetts College of Art, and studied in England and Italy. To focus on drawing, he sought out and studied figure drawing under Robert Cormier, a devotee of the French Academy methods.

McGurl’s paintings have been included in many museum exhibitions. He had retrospective solo shows at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Cahoon Museum of American Art, the Saint Botolph Club of Boston, and at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY. At the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, NY, he was included in the exhibit, Re-presenting Representation West, 2002. At the Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA, his work was included in Contemporary Artists Paint Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra, 2001.

For McGurl, the process, rather than the product, is the most important part of a painting. For this reason, his studio paintings are developed from sketches painted on location. This gives him the freedom to create paintings based on his imagination, memory, and his sketches. Although the objects depicted in the paintings are elements of the landscape and have a deep personal meaning to him, an equally important subject is an exploration of light, form, space, and color interpreted through paint.

Notable Awards and Achievements:
2013    Art Renewal Center International Salon, First Place Landscape category Guild of Boston Artists, Gold Medallion
The John Singleton Copley Award for Artistic Achievement

Select Publications:
2013    Art of the National Parks: Historic Connections, Contemporary Interpretations by Susan Hallsten McGarry, Jean Stern, Terry Lawson Dunn

Gallery Representation:
Collins Galleries, Orleans, Massachusetts
Helena Fox Fine Art, Charleston, South Carolina
John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, California
Palm Avenue Fine Art, Sarasota, Florida
Tree’s Place Gallery, Orleans, Massachusetts


Revolver, Ouray, Colorado
2015, Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

I painted many plein air studies of this classic western town over a period of several days and was intrigued by the changing light in the valley as it corresponded to the revolving earth. The painting’s smoothly rendered sky contrasting with the textured land forms relate to the respective ethereal and solidly rugged qualities of those elements.  As well as relating to the revolving earth, “Revolver” can also refer to the classic firearm of the American West.