Fine Arts Museum, Museum of New Mexico
Left: Plaza, Looking North, Santa Fe, February, 1997; Right: Detail of Front Facade, Fine Arts Museum, Santa Fe, 1997, photos by John Hazeltine
Santa Fe, NM
"Selections from the Permanent Collection" and "New Mexico Collects" at Fine Arts Museum, Museum of New Mexico
"Selections from the Permanent Collection" includes paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and popular images that chronicle New Mexico art from the 1880s to the present. William Lumpkins, Agnes Martin, Freemont Ellis, Andrew Dasburg and Elaine de Kooning are among the artists represented in the exhibition.
"These works document changing versions of Modernity in New Mexico during the last century," says Joseph Traugott, the museum's Curator of 20th-Century Art. "Themes that permeate the exhibit include the depiction of Native life ways and religions, the marketing of New Mexico through tourism, the search for spiritual values, the borrowing of ideas between cultures, the influence of the atomic bomb on daily lives and the translation of ethnic New Mexico into mainstream popular culture."Selections from the Permanent Collection" emphasizes new acquisitions, such as the pair of works by Rebecca Salsbury Strand James, a close associate of Georgia O'Keeffe. The two images depict northern New Mexico religious symbols executed in reverse painting on glass and in embroidery with hand-dyed yarns. Also on exhibit will be the recently acquired large expressionist painting Juarez by Elaine de Kooning. The work dates from 1958, when the artist was a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico and became fascinated with bullfights in Juarez. (left: Andrew Dasburg, Poppies, oil on canvas)
"New Mexico Collects" presents 29 works of art from local collections, highlighting the diversity of art collected by New Mexicans well as the diversity of collectors. Pieces range from oil paintings, such as Emil Bisttram's 1930 Ranchos de Taos, (left, oil on canvas, courtesy of Robert Blommer and Lowell Soucie) to a lowrider bicycle. The exhibition provides an opportunity to see works that generally are not on view to the public, including the 1918 Cubist Pueblo Dance by noted New York painter Jan Matulka and Electric Bulb, New Mexico, a 1922-1924 painting by Stuart Davis. Also on display will be a 19th-century bulto carved between 1830 and 1850 by the Arroyo Hondo Santero and a 1915 Indian motorcycle, recently shown at the Guggenheim Museum.
"Changing artistic attitudes at the end of the century fuel the variety of images acquired by these New Mexico collectors," Traugott says. "Viewers may find that these works challenge their definitions of art and artistic merit."
"Selections from the Permanent Collection" will run through September 5, 1999. University of New Mexico and became fascinated with bullfights in Juarez. "New Mexico Collects" closes October 10, 1999. The opening reception on June 25 for both exhibits will be hosted by the Women's Board of the Museum of New Mexico.
Read more in Resource Library about the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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