264 The Returner

Category Art
Auction Currency USD
Start Price NA
Estimated at 20,000.00 - 30,000.00 USD
The Returner
Artist: Ryan, TomDate of Birth: 1922-2011
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 24 x 30 inches
Signed: Signed lower right

Tom Ryan enjoyed a long and successful career in illustration before turning his attention to Western easel paintings. An early member of the Cowboy Artists of America, Ryan spent much of his career chronicling the world of the cowboy today. As he once said, “Visits to the Four Sixes and Triangle ranches in Texas added mesquite to the fire. From 1963 to the present my work has been dedicated to painting the contemporary ranching industry.” (Howard, Ten Years with the Cowboy Artists of America, p. 81) Ryan’s mature paintings present cowboy and ranch life as it is, but with an emphasis on its mysteries (mysteries here in the sense of the passed-down, ritual secrets of a trade or guild).
It’s hard to know just who “the returner” is in this picture. Is it the night herder who has returned or the standing longhorn he might have been out looking for? They stare one another down, recognizing in one another, perhaps, kindred spirits. Perhaps both the steer and the cowboy are restless loners, roamers in a world that’s bedded down for the night.