#004 John DePuy

February 16, 2016


Madman and seer, 
painter of the apocalyptic volcano of the world
— Compañero, I am with you forever
in the glorious fraternity of the damned.
 —Edward Abbey

 The expressionist paintings of John De Puy conjure a sense of a life spent striving to capture the spiritual in art.

John is a third-generation New Mexican. His grandfather, Chester De Puy, came to the Southwest in the 1880s and ran a grain mill in Mora, New Mexico. John’s parents moved east during the early years of the Great Depression, and John was born in New Jersey in 1927. His family soon returned to the Taos area. 

After enduring severe injuries as a medic in the Korean War, John dedicated himself to art by studying expressionism with modernist Vaclav Vytlacil and abstract painter Hans Hoffman in New York City.

John returned to Taos in the 1950s where he became part of the group of artists soon to be recognized as the Taos Modernists. It was at this time that he met renowned writer and environmental activist Edward Abbey who would become his closest friend for the next four decades until Abbey’s death in 1989. The two kindred souls made a vow to chronicle the landscapes of the Southwest – John through his painting and Abbey through his writing. 

 John invited us to his studio in Ojo Caliente, NM for our Art+Tea conversation. The Harwood Museum of Art is featuring John's work in an exhibition through May 1, 2016

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