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Dancing Guardian, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 50” x 98“, courtesy Grace Hopkins.

by Laura Shabott

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.“ — Henry David Thoreau

Budd Hopkins (1931-2011) was a highly complex, remarkable artist. His unique vision, a melding of abstract expressionism and hardedge abstraction, will be on view in two upcoming shows at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, curated by daughter Grace Hopkins, and at Berta Walker Gallery Provincetown. Both exhibits will bring the viewer from the artist’s earlier years creating abstract expressionist works, through his collage-based hard-edge period, to the guardians and altars, and finally, to Hopkins’ return to action painting with his series of “Dancing Guardians.”

Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, Hopkins was struck with polio at the age of two during the American pandemic in the 1930s. Homebound for over a year, he started collaging and creating shaped objects out of anything he could find around, in a way, “collaging his environment” noted Berta Walker, adding, “his artistic inclinations had been awoken early on.”

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