At LewAllen Galleries in Santa Fe

A great modernist and a great Native American painter…

The opening reception for Fritz Scholder: Figures of Paradox will be held this Friday, June 30, from 5-7pm. This show is a historically significant, first-of-its-kind exhibition of paintings, bronze sculpture and works on paper from three of the world’s most prominent private collections. The show extends through July 23rd.

Details of Abstraction

Contemporary works and abstract expressionist masterpieces converge in Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford, a collaborative two-venue presentation by the Denver Art Museum (DAM) and Clyfford Still Museum (CSM). Paintings by renowned contemporary American artist Mark Bradford—who is representing the U.S. at the 2017 Venice Biennale—are on view at the DAM, alongside related canvases by Clyfford Still. An exhibition of Still’s work curated by Bradford is on view at CSM. Shade underscores the legacy of abstract expressionism and Bradford’s exploration of abstraction’s power to address social and political concerns.
As an African American painter, Bradford has long been fascinated by Still’s extensive use of black as a signature component of his work. Shade explores both artists’ unique relationships to black in their paintings, whether it’s used to force viewers out of their comfort zones, evoke emotions, or confront conventional notions of race.

Garden of Earthly Delights–Miriam Sagan


my father took me to Spain
to see The Garden of Earthly Delights
hanging on the Prado’s wall,
Hieronymous Bosch had painted
a man and woman
ensconced in a bubble
a strawberry
bigger than a person
a couple—black and white—
embracing in a boat
while in Hell
a knife sliced an ear
(the dreadful cacophony of the damned?)
and in Eden
a youthful God,
from creation
sweet Eve and Adam
while somewhere in this
paradisical chaos
a headless body
is being eaten
while blackbirds
fly out of the anus.
where was I
in all this?
still in high school
but singularly obsessed
with this triptych
and my father
who boycotted Franco
wouldn’t buy
even a jar
of fascist olives
suddenly seized with the belief
that I, his eldest, had to see
this, and the Goyas,
at once.
the airport, bleak and old-fashioned
the hotel
what I remember
is the oddness
of being with my father
in a foreign land
without the rest
of the family
he can speak Spanish, can order
in a restaurant
food he doesn’t
quite approve of,
but that is delicious,
chops, and olive oil and bread.
so long ago
I might be making this up
but I think
we went to dinner and flamenco
in a cavernous restaurant
with a stage floor
and castanets and my father
suddenly transported
because he really loves
everything Spanish
even Mexico
where my mother
refuses to go
because once there
she hallucinated
blood flowing
in the Zocalo.
My father
made a dream come true
his or mine
I don’t know,
if you fold
Bosch’s triptych up
it forms an image of the world
round, translucent
grisaille sphere
containing both paradise and perdition,
like my father—
composed of


My Mother-in-Law Was an Abstract Expressionist



I mix the color. Ink the roller. Ink the small plastic sheet. I rub it with a rag, cardboard, my thumb, left fingers—it’s action painting in miniature!
Suddenly I’m flooded with the presence of my first mother-in-law, Abbie Winson, now deceased. She was an abstract painter, trained by Hans Hoffman. I believe she painted a few summers in Provincetown. She was a link for me with the glorious romantic lineage of the NY Abstract Expressionists. Her work was vibrant and often joyful. She herself, like so many artists, was an introvert, even shy.
Of course as my daughter Isabel’s grandmother she must have influenced Iz in many ways. Iz worked alongside Abbie in her studio from the time she was tiny. There is a lot of permission there for a girl—a grandmother who is an artist.
Apparently there is permission for me too—I just didn’t know it. If Abbie wanted to be Hoffman or Kline (and I’m not sure she did—it seems she mostly wanted to be herself) then I just want to be her. The 1950’s in Manhattan is my early childhood. I love the visuals of that time, from furniture to wallpaper. My little monoprints are a homage to that aesthetic—from here on Lama Mountain.



Art by Roshan Houshmand

Of all the artists I know, Roshan Houshmand is the only one whose paintings are both in my house and in my office on campus.



Artist’s Statement

As an Iranian/American painter who was raised in the Philippines and then Iran, with a Dutch-American mother and a Persian father, my roots are steeped in ancient patterns and textures.  My formal education in the arts however is absolutely Western, with a BA from Bennington College and a MA and MFA from Rosary Graduate School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy.

My life’s journey has been based on making art for the past thirty years. It has been the only constant in my life for as long as I can remember.  My process feels ritualistic, and I am often guided by intuition, and a sensitivity to the formal relationships in paint.

The most recent series “Petrichor” incorporates Persian calligraphy, block prints, collage and painting. Petrichor refers to the distinctive aroma released when rain falls on dry land, activating certain compounds in the soil.  These paintings are about the present.  They were achieved with a spontaneity guided by process using mixed media.  The immediacy allows for a certain specificity and clarity that inthe past has been diffused through a more formal and analytical approach to image making.


In Memory of Margarete Bagshaw

I’m not usually downtown in the summer, but I had errands there yesterday. And decided to treat myself to a visit to Golden Dawn Gallery, which shows the work of three major Native American women artists of three generations all in the same family: Pablita Velarde, Helen Hardin, and Margarete Bagshaw.
I was stunned to find out that Bagshaw had died in March. The sunny day seemed cloudy, Galisteo Street seemed sad and remote. My introduction to the three came through Helen Hardin, Bagshaw’s mother, who died quite young.
When I came home, I immediately went to look at the etching of Bagshaw’s that I bought when the gallery opened. An abstracted colorful piece, it’s title is “The Muse.”



Margarete Bagshaw at work. May she remain an inspiration.

Emily Carr–Victoria’s Georgia O’Keeffe

Emily Carr, the extraordinary modernist, lived in a house just catty corner from where I am staying at the James Bay Inn. In fact, she actually died in this very building, but I was reassured that her room was in what is now the pub, so I am unlikely to see her ghost on the second floor. CarrHouseEdited (photograph from the house’s website).

Carr dominates this terrain the way O’Keeffe does New Mexico–her images are everywhere. Last night I enjoyed a presentation on her work by Jacqueline Pearce, who has written two children’s books about the artist. We’ll be touring the house today, but I couldn’t resist a preview visit to the garden.

red peonies take
“no one else’s approach”
in this garden


totem poles decay
at the edge of sleep
lost dream

Cubist vision–
square pretty house, vertical


Time by Behzad Dayeny


Standing frozen
In the moment
Trains dash by
And so do terrains
Planes fly by
A hat blows
In the wind
Plastic bags
Trying to break
Free from the tree
Caw, caw, caw
Coughs the crow
A feather falls
Off the falcon
Still frozen
A mannequin
In the window
Snow comes
Snow melts
Destroy cities
Climb higher
Man walks
On Jupiter
Sun becomes
Less bright
Winters linger
Longer, and
A woman

Dreams about
A red dress


Behzad Dayeny, Director of Food Services at Santa Fe Community College. Born in Iran, I have been living in Santa Fe since 1984