Curt Mattson

Art of the North American Cowboy

Born in California, Curt Mattson comes from a long line of horsemen. His family trained and showed horses, and he worked on ranches stretching from California to Alberta, Canada, a thorough education in all things related to horses. His grandfather made saddles and riding gear; he taught his grandson the craft and encouraged him to create sculpture “in order to tell stories of the buckaroo.” In 1988, Mattson acted on his grandfather’s advice, turning to sculpture as a full time occupation. His decision has been rewarding. Artistically successful, he feels honored to share the work he loves with others.

 

“Man is a creator; it is intrinsic in his very being. This drive to create is one of the most compelling proofs that man, himself, has been created. For it is in the image of his Creator that he was formed. It is fitting that man, formed out of the dust of the earth, would seek to create out of the clay of the earth.

 

I sculpt and paint to bring to the world images that will encourage, excite and enrich. It is my goal to create lasting works that will be a constant source of joy to each collector. It is vitally important to me that my pieces be, not only accurate from a historical perspective, but also have the ingredients of truly great art.

 

My passion is the world of the buckaroo and of horsemen and horsewomen, both contemporary and historic. This is my background, combined with the love of art and of training horses. It is vitally important to me to leave a record of the buckaroo of today, and to tell the lives of the historic horseman of the West. The pieces I create allow me to share this passion.

 

Bronze is the medium that allows such statements to be made in a tangible form. Not only the sense of sight is involved, but the sense of touch, as one views the piece in the round. The piece will enchant you afresh each time you move it. Sculpture allows me latitude that I do not have in flat formats. Watercolor has a transparency and luminosity unavailable in other mediums. Watercolor is a classic format for Western Art and telling the stories of the West.

 

Sculpture is what initially drew me to art. On a ranch, surrounded by the horses I love, I wasn’t looking for another obsession. But then I saw a bronze done by a cowboy artist, and it struck me hard. From that point on I began to pursue the means to sculpt. Other sculptors took the time to teach me. I began to grow as a sculptor. These men gave me the background to accomplish more and more sculpturally, as I pushed forward. I must look at the masters of our day and of the past to study and learn from both. I desire that my work will be seen as important art in the years after I am gone. Sculpture is as timeless a medium as man has to leave a record. Therefore I want what I sculpt to be worthy of such a permanent material.

 

I have always loved Ed Borein’s watercolors. His work has the authenticity of someone that has been there. Like myself, he was a native Californian and worked on ranches throughout California and the West.  His work focused on the Vaqueros of California that he had ridden with. His work breathes with life and energy. Watercolor is the most difficult of mediums and the challenge of creating with it draws me to create paintings of the West. It is a very permanent medium and has its own challenges that drives me to excel with it.

 

Few of us will ever know what it is like to be on horseback in country that swallows you up with its grandeur. We can only wonder about the sensations we might have as we sit on the back of a nasty bronc, fanning him to the point where the bucking ends. Imagine having a rope out, chasing after maverick cattle. Picture yourself next to your horse, cold and wet already, and the morning has just begun. These and a thousand other experiences are what the buckaroo lives. In spite of the challenges he faces today, the buckaroo understands that what he does has an important role in America’s future. He is an American icon that represents what is good in our great country. My art celebrates this lifestyle.

 

My life has been centered around this world. To be able to bring this world to others, is a great joy, a privilege and a great responsibility.” –Curt Mattson

 

AWARDS

 

2017 American Artists Professional League
89th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY ~ Wild Horses, Wilder Women
Presidents Award

2017 Allied Artists of America
104th Annual Exhibition, New York, NY ~ Pickin’ His Way
The Ranieri Sculpture Casting Award

2017 Night of Artists
Briscoe Museum San Antonio, TX
James Bowie Award for Best Sculpture ~ Dealin’ With The Bolter

2016 American Artists Professional League
88th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY ~ Pickin’ His Way
Helen G. Oehler Memorial Award

2015 American Artists Professional League
87th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY ~ Carrying On The Tradition
Kathryn Thayer Hobson Memorial Award

2015 American Artists Professional League
Sculpture Theme Show, New York, NY ~ Bawlin’ Broncs And Clatterin’ Horns Best In Show

2014 International 2013-2014 ARC Salon ~ Sculpture Finalist ~ Waitin’ For His Ride 

2014 American Artists Professional League
Sculpture Theme Show, New York, NY ~ The Reata Master Best In Show

2013 American Artists Professional League
85th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY ~ Catchin‘ A Lucky Break
President’s Award

2013 International 2012-2013 ARC Salon ~ Sculpture Finalist ~ Turnin‘ The Renegade Cow

2012 American Artists Professional League
84th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY ~ Turnin‘ The Renegade Cow
George Gach Memorial Award

2011 International 2010-2011 ARC Salon ~ Sculpture Finalist ~ Catchin‘ A Lucky Break

2011 National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, San Dimas, CA
Gold Medal Sculpture ~ Dealin‘ With The Bolter

2010 Quest For The West Art Show and Sale
Eiteljorg Museum Indianapolis, IN ~ Dealin‘ With The Bolter
Purchased for Eiteljorg Museum Permanent Collection

2010 National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, San Dimas, CA
Gold Medal Sculpture ~ Fannin’ A Hot Head

2010 International 2009-2010 ARC Salon~ Sculpture Finalist ~ Dealin‘ With The Bolter

2009 National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, San Dimas, CA
Best Of Show ~ The Wild West In Wichita

2009 National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, San Dimas, CA
Gold Medal Sculpture ~ The Wild West In Wichita

2009 International 2008-2009 ARC Salon~ Sculpture Finalist ~ Too Close For Comfort

2008 American Artists Professional League
80th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY ~ Pride Of The Beartooth
Leonard J. Meiselman Memorial Award for Traditional Sculpture

2008 Quest For The West Art Show and Sale
Eiteljorg Museum Indianapolis, IN
Cyrus Dallin Award for Best Sculpture ~ Short End Of A Long Rope

2008 Elected as Member of The National Sculpture Society  www.nationalsculpture.org

2007 International 2007 ARC Salon ~ Sculpture Finalist
Bawlin’ Broncs And Clatterin‘ Horns

2007 American Artists Professional League
79th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY
Frank C. Wright Jr. Medal of Honor plus ~ The Hoolihan Man

2007 Phippen Museum Fine Art Show, Prescott, AZ
2nd Place Sculpture ~ Bawlin’ Broncs And Clatterin’ Horns

2007 National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, San Dimas, CA
Festival Choice ~ Purchase Award for the City of San Dimas ~ Two Old Pro’s

2007 National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, San Dimas, CA
Best Of Show ~ Short End Of A Long Rope

2007 National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, San Dimas, CA
Gold Medal Sculpture ~ Two Old Pro’s

2006 American Artists Professional League
78th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY ~ Steward Of The Sandhills
Leonard J. Meiselman Memorial Award for Traditional Sculpture

2006 Cowboy Artists of America Founders’ Award* ~ Short End Of A Long Rope
Presented at the 2006
Phippen Western Art Show, Prescott, AZ

In honor of the founders of the Cowboy Artists of America, George Phippen, Johnnie Hampton, Charlie Dye and Joe Beeler. The current members want to recognize young artists who endeavor to continue the artistic representation of the American West in the tradition of Russell and Remington.

The CAA Founders’ Award recognizes an individual for their commitment to that tradition and to encourage this artist to continue to develop their talent and body of work.

2006 Phippen Museum Fine Art Show, Prescott, AZ
3rd Place Sculpture ~ Short End Of A Long Rope

2005 American Artists Professional League
77th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY
Presidents Award ~ Two Old Pro’s

2005 Phippen Museum Fine Art Show, Prescott, AZ
Phippen Family Award ~ It Don’t Tally

2005 Phippen Museum Fine Art Show, Prescott, AZ
Best Of Show ~ Wild Horses, Wilder Women

2005 Phippen Museum Fine Art Show, Prescott, AZ
1st Place Sculpture ~ Wild Horses, Wilder Women

2004 American Artists Professional League
76th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY
Medal of Honor {1st place} ~ The Eager Student

2003 Allied Artists of America
90th Annual Exhibition, New York, NY
Silver Medal of Honor ~ Two Old Pro’s

2003 American Artists Professional League
75th Grand National Exhibition, New York, NY
American Artists Fund Award {2nd Place} ~ All That Jazz

2003 Phippen Museum Fine Art Show, Prescott, AZ
2nd Place Sculpture ~ Good Partner, Good Hand

2002 National Sculpture Society Annual Show, New York, NY
Elliot Gantz Award ~ Two Old Pro’s

2002 Phippen Museum Fine Art Show, Prescott, AZ
2nd Place Sculpture ~ When Experience Counts

1994 The Images of Art, City of Paramount, Los Angeles, CA
1st Place Sculpture ~ Carrying On The Tradition

1991 The Rotary Club of Amarillo, Amarillo, TX
1st Place Sculpture ~ Near Getaway

1991 The Images of Art, City of Paramount, Los Angeles, CA
1st Place Sculpture ~ Near Getaway

1990 The Images of Art, City of Paramount, Los Angeles, CA
2nd Place Sculpture ~ Blue Monday

1990 Best and Brightest Scottsdale Artist School, Scottsdale, AZ
Scholarship Award ~ Escapin’ The Mustangers

 

Please contact Mountain Trails Gallery for information about Curt Mattson’s additional exhibitions, including museum exhibitions and collections, as well as publications, and awards.

Artist Statement

 

“My passion is the world of the buckaroo and of horsemen and horsewomen, both contemporary and historic. This is my background, combined with the love of art and of training horses. It is vitally important to me to leave a record of the buckaroo of today, and to tell the lives of the historic horseman of the West. The pieces I create allow me to share this passion.” –Curt Mattson

To see more of this artist's work, please contact us by using the chat box below,

or call 800-527-6556 . 928-282-3225, or email inquiries to fineart@mountaintrailssedona.com.

Mountain Trails Galleries at Tlaquepaque

fineart@mountaintrailssedona.com

336 SR 179, Suite A201, Sedona AZ 86336
PO Box 1482, Sedona, AZ 86339

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK
Monday - Thursday 10:00am - 5:00pm

Friday - Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm 
EXCEPT MAJOR HOLIDAYS

800-527-6556 . 928-282-3225

  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Facebook
  • YouTube