Alexandre Hogue

      Alexandre Hogue (1898-1994) was born on February 22, 1898, in Memphis, Missouri. He developed a reputation as an artist for his remarkable renderings of the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression of the 30’s. Most of his works are expressed in realism and regionalism. Other subjects are of  the lives of the Indians of the Southwest as well as the oil industry and farm life. He painted many fine canvases in the Texas Big Bend area.

      His early years were in Denton, Texas, and graduated from Bryan Street High School in Dallas in 1918. Hogue took classes at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The following year he worked as an illustrator for the Dallas Morning News and then on to New York in 1921 where he found employment with designer and advertising firms. Summer trips back to Texas often included sketching trips with pioneer artist Charles Franklin (Frank) Reaugh. When he returned to Dallas in 1925, he began to paint full-time. He also taught summer classes at the Texas State College for Women from 1931 to 1942, and was head of the art department at Hockaday Junior College from 1936 to 1942. During the 1920s and 1930s Hogue also spent much time in the Taos, New Mexico, art colony and elsewhere in the Southwest. In addition to having contact with artists like Ernest Blumenschein, W. Herbert Dunton, and Joseph Imhof, Hogue also became acquainted with the art and culture of Native American tribes of the region. Their concepts of the centrality of nature and of the human obligation to respect nature were significant in the development of his artistic philosophy.

Early West Texas Pastel with Frank Reaugh

      During the 1930s Hogue was associated with other Dallas-area artists such as Williamson Gerald (Jerry) Bywaters, Otis M. Dozier, William L. Lester and Everett Spruce. All sought to express the particular character of their region, but it was Hogue's paintings of the ecological disaster known as the Dust Bowl that gained the greatest fame. In 1937 his Dust Bowl series was featured in Life magazine. Works such as Drought Survivors (1936) and Drought Stricken Area (1934) became well known for their accuracy in depicting the Dust Bowl environment and for the compelling message of the artist. In these and other works on the subject, Hogue presented a new interpretation of the American landscape-not as an infinitely productive garden, but rather as a devastated and ruined wasteland created through human greed, misuse, and disrespect. From 1939 to 1941 Hogue painted murals for the Treasury section of the Federal Art Project. With the coming of World War II, he devoted himself to defense work at North American Aviation in Dallas until 1945, when he was named head of the art department at the University of Tulsa, a position he held until 1963 and died in Tulsa in 1994.

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