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.

Something New and Groovy on Baca Street: Caldera and Scuba

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:

And bought this one:

One of the artists was playing the piano when I came in. The collective includes the duo SCUBA–

I’m very curious to see what they do next.

Linda Durham on Paul Sarkisian

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