Spotlight: Jill Soukup’s Modern Visions of Majestic Horses Are on View in a New Denver Exhibition

Nearly two dozen of the artist's works are now on view in Denver.

Jill Soukup, Frankie & Maryanne (2022). Courtesy of Gallery 1261.

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About the Artist: Artist Jill Soukup was born in Buffalo, New York, but as a small child her family moved to Colorado, where Soukup still lives and works. Growing up in Colorado, Soukup had a strong affinity for horses and began making many drawings of them while still a child. After graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in fine art, Soukup first pursued a career in illustration and design, before returning to full-time painting. Her works today focus on her life on a Colorado ranch, with detailed and subtle portraits of the farm animals she interacts with. Her current exhibition “Accelerated Calm” at Gallery 1261 in Denver brings together nearly two dozen paintings by Soukup.  

Jill Soukup, White Duo (2021). Courtesy of Gallery 1261.

Jill Soukup, White Duo (2021). Courtesy of Gallery 1261.

Why We Like It: With the exception, perhaps, of Susan Rothenberg’s emotive paintings of horses, paintings of these majestic animals are often thought of as belonging to another era. Soukoup’s large-scale portraits of horses, cows, and bison, however, are imbued with a sensitivity and sense of individuality that underscores the artist’s attunement to the animals she paints. Soukoup’s animals are often painted against dusky skies of blues and purples that imbue the images with an ethereal quality. 

 Installation view "Jill Soukup: Accelerated Calm" (2022). Courtesy of Gallery 1261.

Installation view “Jill Soukup: Accelerated Calm” (2022). Courtesy of Gallery 1261.

According to the Artist: “Every morning, for unknown reasons, I wake with nerves on high alert. Perhaps it’s the rapidly changing world outside my window and the unsettling polarities that seem inherent in nearly everything I perceive. It’s alarming; It feels unsafe, intrinsically. So, I retreat into my internal realm of creating, infusing ease back into my day and life by relying on intuition, leaving the present and ego behind. This body of work reflects the personal calm I experienced when visiting the ranch. It is a reminder of the simpler things, a return to roots and the earth, an embrace of time suspended in the gentle sway of a horse and little else. It’s a whispered confidence in peaceful places and spaces to come,” Jill Soukup said in a statement. 

Jill Soukup: Accelerated Calm” is on view at Gallery 1261 through May 14, 2022.

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