Nationally acclaimed painter Rory Wagner (1950-2010) was noted in 1982 as America’s Finest Young Realist in the New York Times, just prior his Opening Western Exhibition of 20 paintings at the Quail Hollow Galleries in Oklahoma City. The show was an astounding success with over 400 people in attendance and a complete sell-out in the first ten minutes of the Exhibition.
Raised in Florida, he moved to Taos, New Mexico, in the late 1970s to pursue his painting career. On his arrival in Taos, he happened into the gallery of R.C. Gorman. R.C. helped get Rory settled in the artistic community, became his mentor, and was his lifelong friend.
He sketched right on the canvas and then started layering paints until he achieved the final, desired effect. Rory’s work has a sense of mystery. His meticulousness – down to the tiniest detail in clothing and beadwork was vital in order to produce the intense, historically correct images that hold our gaze. Each figure’s powerful eyes can’t help but demand our attention. Rory’s level of perfection is unquestionably why his works are in public, private and corporate collections all over the world. Governor Bill Richardson honored Rory with the New Mexico Governors Award Winner for Excellence in the Arts award in 2006.