LA to Taos Catalogue

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Early Modern to Contemporary 1335 Gusdorf Rd. Suite i .Taos . New Mexico . 87571 . 575.751.1262 .


Opening Reception: Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 5-8pm Exhibition Dates: September 21 - October 28, 2019

INTRODUCTION LA to Taos is an exhibition recognizing and honoring the achievements of four artists, Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Ronald Davis and Ken Price, who have all made significant contributions to the evolving art colony of Taos. In the vibrant scene of 1960’s Los Angeles, the four artists moved in similar circles–as graduates of The Chouinard Art Institute, as participants in the Whitney Biennial, and as members of the Cool School and the Ferus Gallery. Their early successes garnered international recognition, making their exodus from Los Angeles all the more contrary to expectation. Between 1970 and 1990, each of the four artists made the unlikely move from Los Angeles to Taos, New Mexico, where they continued to live and work in the ensuing decades. In recent years they have each enjoyed late career success despite, or perhaps because of, the remoteness and quietness of Taos. In 2009 and 2011, respectively, they reunited for ‘Hopper at the Harwood’, curated by Dennis Hopper, and the Getty Museum’s major survey ‘Pacific Standard Time’. Although their approaches to artmaking span various disciplines and methods, they share a penchant for rule-breaking and innovation. From Bell and Cooper’s perceptual exploration of light and space, to Davis’ reimagining of the digital medium and Price’s idiosyncratic ceramics, these artists defied and redefined the boundaries of their fields.

LARRY BELL Throughout his career Larry Bell has made investigations into the properties of light on surface. Often associated with the Light and Space movement, Bell’s work exists at the subtlest thresholds of perception, where the process of seeing becomes the primary experience. Larry Bell moved to Taos, NM in 1973, where he and Gus Foster purchased a large, neglected building that had formerly been the only commercial laundry in New Mexico. Bell renovated the facility to house the ‘Tank’ (page opposite), the 14-ton vacuum deposition chamber used to create his iconic Cubes and iridescent paintings. Larry Bell was born in 1939 and lives and works between Los Angeles, CA and Taos, New Mexico. Group exhibitions include ‘Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Doug Wheeler’, Tate Britain, London (1970); ‘11 Los Angeles Artists’, Hayward Gallery, London (1971) and ‘Phenomenal’, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2011). Solo exhibitions include the Pasadena Art Museum, California (1972); Fort Worth Art Museum, Dallas, Texas (1975 and 1977); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1986); Denver Art Museum, Colorado (1995) Carré d’Art Musée d’art Contemporain de Nîmes, France (2011) and The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas (2014). Sources:

Photo courtesy of Larry Bell Studios

Photo courtesy of Eric Andrews

Larry Bell, MP 199 (Vista Grande, Mirage Series), 46 x 50�, mixed media on canvas, 1990 1

Larry Bell, MEL 6 (Medium Ellipse), 28 x 22�, aluminum & silicon monoxide on paper, 1983 2

Larry Bell, SMVD 97 (Vapor Drawing, Small Mirage Series) 17 x 12�, collage with aluminum, silicon monoxide & watercolor on handmade paper, 1989 3

Larry Bell, Tres Orejas, 30 x 30�, aluminum & silicon monoxide on canvas, 1991 4

Larry Bell, Fraction Series #771, 10 x 10�, aluminum & silicon monoxide on canvas, 1996 5

Larry Bell, Fraction TIA 13, 10 x 10â€?, collage with aluminum, silicon monoxide & watercolor on paper, 2003 6

RON COOPER Ron Cooper is among the pioneering California-based Light and Space artists, so-called because they broke beyond the bounds of the physical object to experiment with the manipulation of light and space and their effects on perception. Cooper works with variously colored fluorescent lights, as well as materials like glass panels, resin, and fiberglass that hold, refract, and reflect light. Though his vocabulary is Minimalist —he crafts cubes, rectangles, and circles out of the interplay of light on the materials he uses—his works are luminous, insubstantial, devoid of mass and solidity. Cooper moved to Taos in 1982 and began working out of his studio in the Ranchos Trading Post building. He now has a facility in Ranchos de Taos that also serves as the headquarters of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, for which he won a James Beard Foundation award. Ron Cooper was born in Nw York City in 1943 and lives in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, and Oaxaca, Mexico. Solo exhibitions include the Pasadena Art Museum, California (1971); Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla, California (1981); Sena Galleries, New Mexico (1991); Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, New Mexico (2001); Colectivo Central, Oaxaca (2005) and 203 Fine Art, New Mexico (2010). Sources:,

Photos courtesy of Ron Cooper

Ron Cooper, Vertical Bar (Green to Rose) 96 x 3.625 x 3.625�, lacquer, nacreous pigment & transparent dyes on plexiglass, 2019 7

Ron Cooper, Vertical Bar (Gray to Blue) 96 x 3.625 x 3.625�, lacquer, nacreous pigment & transparent dyes on plexiglass, 2019 8

Ron Cooper, Smoking Mirror, 4.625 x 4.625 x .5�, ground & polished obsidian, ed. of 10, 2018 9

Ron Cooper, Circular Void, 18 x 4�, silver plated steel, LED light, electric circuitry & aluminum, 2012 10

Ron Cooper, Triaxial Rotation of a Floating Volume of Light, 22.5 x 29.75�, lithograph printed at Cirrus L.A., 1971 NFS 11

Ron Cooper, Oldest Artwork in the World (Void Series), 13.75 x 1.375�, 300 million year old orthoceras fossil, light, 2009 12

RONALD DAVIS Ronald Davis is famed for his geometric shaped illusionist paintings, which utilize colored polyester resins and fiberglass. He is also known for his innovative work in various other mediums. Davis’ eclectic practice spans sound sculpture, electronic music composition, 3-D rendering, digital painting, giclée computer printing, silkscreening, lithography, etching, and papermaking. He has also collaborated with architects Frank Gehry and Dennis Holloway on the design and construction of numerous architectural projects, his Hondo Mesa studio among them. Davis traveled to Taos, NM in 1990 and purchased a 10 acre lot north of Taos on the Hondo Mesa, where his distinctive studio compound now sits. Ronald Davis was born in Santa Monica, California in 1937. Solo exhibitions include Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York (1966); Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (1968, 1970, 1973, 1974); Kasmin Gallery, London (1971); Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, New Mexico (2013). Davis’ works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Chicago Art Institute. He participated in Documenta, 1968 and the Venice Biennale, 1972. Sources:

Ronald Davis, Three Corners - Silver, 30 x 40�, polyester resin and fiberglass, 1969 13

Ronald Davis, Rounded Vessel, 48 x 48�, pixel dust on aluminum, 2005 14

Ronald Davis, WCOG, 23 x 30�, watercolor on paper, 1988 15

Ronald Davis, Staurolite II, 30 x 24�, pixel dust on aluminum, 2006 16

Ronald Davis, Checkerboard X Painting, Checkerboard Series, 65.625 x 52.75�, Cel-Vinyl Acrylic Copolymer, 1978 17



For over 50 years, Ken Price produced brightly colored ceramic sculptures with exquisitely worked glazed and painted surfaces in which he achieved a balance between form and surface. In 2012, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art organized a major retrospective exhibition highlighting Price’s sculpture, which traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Price’s works on paper have also achieved wide recognition, with a 2013 survey organized by The Drawing Center in New York. Price moved to Taos in 1970 with his wife Happy. The folk art traditions of New Mexico had considerable influence on him, inspiring the six-year project “Happy’s Curios”. Ken Price was born in Los Angeles in 1935. He lived and worked in Venice Beach, CA and Taos, NM. Price’s first solo exhibition was held at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles in 1960. Various institutions have hosted retrospectives of his work, including The Menil Collection, Houston (1992); Chinati Foundation, Texas (2004); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California (2012); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012); The Drawing Center, New York (2013); Albright-Knox Gallery, New York (2013); and the Harwood Museum of Art, New Mexico (2013). Sources:

Photo courtesy of Paul O’Connor

Ken Price, Cup with Purple Band, 3.75 x 4 x 3�, glazed & painted ceramic, c. 1976 18

Ken Price, Village Plate, 11.75 x 7.5 x 1�, glazed & painted ceramic, c. 1976 19

Ken Price, In Lorna’s Lagoon, 6 x 12”, watercolor & Xerox print on paper, ed. 2 of 5, 1981 20

Ken Price, Cup with Red Band, 3 x 3.5 x 3.25�, glazed & painted ceramic, 1972-1977 21

Ken Price, Detective’s Room from Plain of Smokes Series, 10 x 14”, screenprint ed. 21/35, 1981 NFS 22

Ken Price, Unititled Figure in Landscape, 11 x 14�, hand-touched silkscreen print, AP, 2004 23

Ken Price, Mezcal Cup (Orange/Red/Blue & Green), 2 x 2.5 x 1.5�, glazed & painted ceramic 24

Ken Price, Erotic Drawing (She Was a China Tea Cup), 3.88 x 4.5�, graphite on paper 25

Ken Price, Western Sunset, 26 x 20�, silk screen print in colors, ed. of 70, 1993 26

Ken Price, Untitled Painted Cup Urban Scene, 3 x 2 x 3�, glazed & painted ceramic, c. 1980’s 27

Ken Price, Recluse, 9 x 12�, acrylic on paper, 2012 NFS 28

Ken Price, Untitled to Spike, 5 x 7�, acrylic on board, 1980 NFS 29



Early Modern to Contemporary 1335 Gusdorf Rd. Suite i .Taos . New Mexico . 87571 . 575.751.1262 .

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