Luke Hillestad, “The Fool,” oil on canvas, 42 x 42 in. © Luke Hillestad 2017

Take “A Fool’s Journey” next month in New York City through the creative, traditional, and self-proclaimed kitschy vision of ascending painter Luke Hillestad. When and where?

As he draws heavily upon some of history’s greatest painters, the classical Greco-Roman tradition of the Renaissance and Baroque prevails through the work of Luke Hillestad. Beginning April 1 at New York City’s Paul Booth Gallery, “A Fool’s Journey” will be the latest solo exhibition from a painter quickly ascending in the representational art world. A pupil of the famed European master kitsch painter Odd Nerdrum, Hillestad has amassed an impressive body of work with an eclectic range of themes, including kinship, ritual, wilderness and — during the upcoming exhibition — “the inner landscapes of human pathology and desire for meaning,” the gallery writes.

Luke Hillestad, “The Island,” oil on canvas, 68 x 78 in. © Luke Hillestad 2017
Luke Hillestad, “The Island,” oil on canvas, 68 x 78 in. © Luke Hillestad 2017
Luke Hillestad, “The Mark,” oil on canvas, 60 x 75 in. © Luke Hillestad 2017
Luke Hillestad, “The Mark,” oil on canvas, 60 x 75 in. © Luke Hillestad 2017
Luke Hillestad, “Whistleblower,” oil on canvas, 66 x 48 in. © Luke Hillestad 2017
Luke Hillestad, “Whistleblower,” oil on canvas, 66 x 48 in. © Luke Hillestad 2017

Hillestad employs the palette of renowned 4th-century BCE master Apelles of Kos (red, yellow, white, and black), which results in a balance and cohesion of color in his paintings. Some of the most famous artists in history adopted the same limitations of palette, including Rembrandt van Rijn, Titian, and — of course — Odd Nerdrum. “A Fool’s Journey” will present several captivating new oils that “invite the viewer to wander, with the fresh eyes of the Fool, down an arcane path,” the gallery continues. “Along the way, we encounter painted rituals, alchemical symbols, and a cast of archetypes bearing qualities of the old but not forgotten. An unpredictable wilderness is the backdrop for the paintings where the power of the natural elements, the animal kingdom, and forest talismans imbue the narrative. Initiation, desire, and a struggle of will are among the themes explored in Hillestad’s large-scale works, painted with a harmonious Apelles palette.”

To learn more, visit Paul Booth Gallery.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Fine Art Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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