Although he has long enjoyed a prominent place in the canon of self-taught artists, the Ohio painter William Lawrence Hawkins (1895–1990) has received less than his fair share of attention in recent times. This monograph—the first in 20 years—introduces Hawkins’s exuberant paintings to a wider audience at a time when more and more general museums are recognizing the powerful appeal of America’s self-taught artists. Focusing on the artist’s most aesthetically successful, confident and characteristic works, it brings special attention to his use of space, his collage practice and his work in series, of which his nine Last Suppers are perhaps the most extensive example.
Drawn from important public and private collections across the United States, William L. Hawkins: An Imaginative Geography includes approximately 50 of Hawkins’s most important paintings, both well-known pieces and others rarely seen. All of Hawkins’s favorite subjects are covered here, including cityscapes, landscapes, exotic places, animals, current events, historic scenes and religious scenes. Also reproduced are a rarely seen assemblage and a selection from his large oeuvre of drawings.