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Artist William Anzalone has been recording the terrain of Round Top and environs for the course of five decades. On the eve of his upcoming show at Red & White Gallery, Catherine D. Anspon has a studio visit with one of Texas' most timeless painters, who's boldly embarking on a new chapter creating canvases with a tensile, abstract edge. HOMECOMING PHOTOGRAPHY JACK THOMPSON I 'd been warned by his Fayetteville art dealer, Jerry Herring, that William Anzalone is a tough cookie to interview. Famously taciturn, he's intensely devoted to painting — his life's work — with studio time, followed by exercise, the dual passions that order his day. The youthful octogenarian does not suffer fools, nor does he want to waste precious moments in stuffy interviews or intrusive photo sessions. So I was prepared, as was our photographer, who arrived 30 minutes before I did at Anzalone's Round Top farmhouse. By the time I navigated directions and located the painter's property, Jack Thompson had concluded the fastest photo session on record and was packing up camera gear. Thompson also alerted me that my conversation with Anzalone needed to be focused and very concise. But that, fortuitously was not to be the case, because the artist and I revisited a connection that extends back 32 years, when I worked as a junior gallery assistant at Meredith Long & Company from 1989 to 1991 and helped organize details of Anzalone's art openings. Subsequently, I'd caught a parade of nearly annual Anzalone exhibitions at the gallery, where the dealer and the artist had an unparalleled run for some 55 years until Mr. Long passed away in 2020. While he wasn't loquacious, I did not find Anzalone reticent. Opinionated and direct, yes; he knows his mission on earth. In his mid 80s, he still cuts an impressive figure: tall, slim, with the intense gaze of a hawk, and rugged, handsome features. We bonded over discussions of his time at Meredith Long gallery. Besides our chat, what was most meaningful was basking in the artist's latest paintings and works on paper, orderly arrayed in stages of completion across his ample studio. His signature subject was visible for all to see: the surrounding fields and stands of trees that his studio looks out upon from spacious farmhouse windows. Strikingly, this recent work signaled a new direction for the painter known for landscapes rendered in varied seasons and times of day, all seeming to be lit from within by a bright glow. Now dense, taut skeins of dark lines lend urgency and energy to the underlying bucolic imagery, revealing the structure Top photo: William Anzalone's My Places #1, 2021, at Red & White Gallery, Fayetteville. "I WASN'T INTERESTED IN LIVING IN THE COUNTRY — I'M FROM BROOKLYN, NEW YORK. WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO IN THE COUNTRY." — William Anzalone COURTESY THE ARTIST AND RED & WHITE GALLERY, FAYETTEVILLE William Anzalone 88

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