I went in to Counterculture on Baca for elevenses and found this way groovy show by the artistic team Scuba.
I bought this one, and one with pencils. Hey, for $10 I’m going to buy more–and you should too.
When I am at Counter Culture for coffee and eggs–which is frequently–I like to park at the far end to see what is happening in the studios there on Baca Street. Elodie Holmes at Liquid Light is always making something beautiful.But I was really surprised to walk into one of the perpendicular spaces and see this:
Actually, the installation by a small artists’ collective just relocated from San Francisco was coming down. And the little objects were for sale. I considered this one:
One of the artists was playing the piano when I came in. The collective includes the duo SCUBA–drawingwhiledriving.com
I’m very curious to see what they do next.
Recently I found a remarkable work of art languishing in the nether regions of the Gallery storage area. It had been there for a few months. In the mad and demanding rush of our 2010 exhibition schedule, I almost forgot it was there—all wrapped in plastic and cardboard and tucked into the stacks, safe from forklifts and fingerprints. I carefully extracted it from its secure place, removed the wrappings and hung it on a wall in our private Glass Block Gallery. And then I looked at it…and looked at it.
Knowing that it is a trompe-l’oeil (“fool the eye”) painting by a master of the genre did not make it any less amazing to behold. How did he do that?! Is it a collage? A photograph? No. It is essentially a painting with just a small patch of glitter and some sort of “secret” process that the artist developed decades ago. It is, in my opinion, a mid-career masterpiece by an inspiring artist of great talent: Paul Sarkisian.
Paul Sarkisian #9 with O’Keeffe, 1981 acrylic & mixed media on canvas 40 x 58 inches
Before my so-called career in the world of Art was even an idea, I was learning something about the difference between “looking” and “seeing” from spending time with Paul and our two families and our mutual artist friends.
It’s the late 60’s!
…Paul and I are hiking through the high desert landscape near Cerrillos, south of Santa Fe…Every now and then, we stop and Paul shows me something beautiful and natural that I would never have noticed on my own: circles drawn in the sand by the erratic wind on sturdy stalks of gramma grass; intricate patterns of dried, cracked mud on the edges of the arroyo…Paul’s hungry eye saw beauty and mystery and curiosity everywhere. He saw purples and yellows in the rocks where I had only seen browns.
But, I digress…
This painting belongs in a museum or in the home of special lovers of art who would (eventually) gift it to a worthy public institution. It deserves to be seen. There is so much to see in it: the image of Georgia O’Keeffe (who was a close friend of the Sarkisians), the art review by Carol Mothner, the colors, the composition… Perhaps you saw Paul’s exhibition at SITE Santa Fe a few years ago. Perhaps you read the introduction by guest curator, Louis Grachos, the Director of the Albright-Knox Gallery, who wrote, in part, “Since the 1950s, PAUL SARKISIAN’S DEEP COMMITMENT to the art and language of painting has been reflected in his extraordinarily innovative and stylistically diverse oeuvre…”
Come see this painting! Let’s have tea! Let’s talk about seeing…
Linda Durham Contemporary Art
1807 Second Street #107
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
Southwestern Glass Artist: Lucy Lyon
Whenever I go in to the LewAllen Gallery on Palace I look to see if there are glass sculptures by Lucy Lyon. My favorites have been the libraries–walls of glass books with a lone figure sitting and reading. The colors of the volumes mutate and change. The pieces are called things like “Morning” and “Night” as if reading takes us out of time. I like the sense of that solitary figure surrounded by the words I imagine inscribed on those tiny flat volumes. I like that someone is reading.
Other of her sculptures show figures standing line, with spaces both intimate and alienated between them. Practically my favorite thing in the world is to read. One of my absolutely least favorite activities is standing on line. But these figure express it well. Some are in their own worlds, some chat with each other. Some accept the stasis, some want to edge the line forward. Sometimes a figure is bent over a book, passing the time, reading.
I was at the gallery a few days ago. This was the figure that struck my fancy:
Waiting too or resting. Maybe thinking about a book.
When I arrived in Santa Fe in 1984 I almost immediately became aware of Helen Hardin’s painting through the remote connection that my literary agent had sold Jay Scott’s book CHANGING WOMAN: The Life and Art of Helen Hardin (Northland Publishing, 1989). I was mesmerized by the work, by the artist herself, and the brilliantly colored often geometric paintings. What were they? Klee? Kandinsky? Indian paintings? I knew nothing originally about the issues in contemporary Native art, issues of modernism, expression, and traditionalism. I didn’t need to. I just fell in love with the paintings.
Helen Hardin was the daughter of renowned Santa Clara painter Pablita Velarde. I met Velarde once, late in her life, selling prints of koshares at a pow-wow at Tesuque Pueblo. I was almost too overawed to speak. Velarde was a star in the constellation I had come to understand of the early generation of Indian painters. She had roots in WPA, and her aesthetic was part of what formed my understanding of where I was–Santa Fe.
Some years ago I saw an article in “New Mexico Magazine” that covered not only Velarde and Hardin but Margarete Bagshaw–Hardin’s daughter. Her work was constructivist, dynamic, original. It was entrancing to think of three generations of such women painters.
I was beyond excited when I read that Bagshaw had opened a gallery at 201 Galisteo St, showing the work of all three.
This is the best–and close to only–place to buy Velarde’s work. The small work is still amazingly dynamic, even after so many years.
Golden Dawn Gallery is the Exclusive Estate Representative of
Helen Hardin and Pablita Velarde.
Golden Dawn Gallery
201 Galisteo St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501