Works by Lawrence Calcagno (1913-1993) & Lee Mullican (1919-1998)

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Works by Lawrence Calcagno (1913-1993) & & Lee Mullican (1919-1998)

This exhibition will include a fine selection of works by Lawrence Calcagno and Lee Mullican, two highly accomplished artists. Both men began their careers in California but had strong ties to Taos, New Mexico. Their uniquely divergent artistic styles set them apart from the Taos Moderns, a local group of like-minded artists that embraced them both. Calcagno and Mullican continued to maintain homes and studios in Taos for many years, with the light, land and culture continuing to influence their work.

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 25, 5-8 pm Exhibition: May 25 through June 23, 2019: 575-751-1262 - 1335 Gusdorf Rd. Suite i - Taos NM

LAWRENCE CALCAGNO (1913-1993) Born in San Francisco (1913). After high school, traveled in Asia, working as merchant seaman. Served in U.S. Air Force (1943-46). First attended California School of Fine Arts (1934). Studied with Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko (1947-50). Lived and worked in France, Italy, and North Africa (1950-55); studied at Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris (1950-51); Istituto d'Atre Statale, Florence (1951-52); worked and studied independently in Paris (1953-55) and helped organize exhibition of American artists in Paris (1953). Visiting artist-in-residence, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (1955-56). Artist-in-residence, Albright Art School, Buffalo, N.Y.; traveled in Peru (1956-57). Visiting artist-in-residence, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1958-59). Taught part-time at New York University, New York City (1960-61). Traveled widely (1961-63). Visiting artist-in-residence, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (1965). Taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. (1965-68). Visiting artist-in-residence, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii (1968). Summer residency, the Wurlitzer Foundation, Taos NM (1972). Purchased home in Taos (1975). Traveled and lectured in Russia on a U.S. Information Association cultural exchange grant (1988). Received National Endowment for the Arts grant (1989). Moved to New York (1990). Made last trip to Taos NM (1992). Died in State College, Pa. (1993). Selected One-Person Exhibitions: Little Gallery, New Orleans (1945); Lucien Labaudt Gallery, San Francisco (1948, 1954); Studio Paul Facchetti, Paris (1955); Martha Jackson Gallery, New York City (1955, 1958, 1960; 1962, cat.); Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y. (1956, cat.); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1959); Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City (1961); Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. (1965); Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. (1965); Esther Robles Gallery, Los Angeles (1966); Westmoreland County Museum of Art, Greensburg , Pa. (1967, cat.); Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii (1968, 1969); Ithaca College Museum, Ithaca, N.Y. (1970); Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (1973-75 [traveling exhibition], cat.); Contemporary Art Center, Honolulu (1976); Mitchell Museum, Mount Vernon, IL. (1982-83, cat.); Roanoke Museum of Fine Art, Roanoke, VA. (1984); Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York City (1987, 1992); Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y. (1992). Included in a major traveling group exhibition (1997): San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism (based on the publication of the same name, published by the University of California Press)., at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Horizon with Red, 18 x 20", acrylic on canvas, 1979


Red Line Horizon, 59 x 70", oil on canvas, 1966


Summer Night, 22 x 30", watercolor, 1986


Taos Church, 22 x 32", watercolor on paper, 1979


Sentinel, 48 x 52", acrylic on canvas, 1975


Sunbands #23, 30 x 22", acrylic on paper, 1982


Summer Solstice #1, 7 x 5.5", oil on canvas mounted on panel, 1975


Sunbands #17, 20 x 32", acrylic on paper, 1981


White Buildings in Landscape, 7.5 x 4.75", watercolor on paper, 1951


Untitled Landscape #23, 24 x 28", acrylic on canvas, c. 1970's


Pond Wood, Macdowell, 30 x 22", watercolor on paper, 1971

Lawrence Calcagno in studio


Gorge Taos, 22 x 30", acrylic on paper, 1980

LEE MULLICAN (1919-1998) Reluctant to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and the current art world trends, Lee Mullican combined personal and cosmological content in his painting and sculpture. Considered to be a California artist, Mullican worked steadfastly in the Los Angeles area for most of his career, where he taught, painted and quietly exhibited. Mullican's style is drawn from a variety of sources—most importantly, his experience in the army as an aerial topographer in the early 1940s. The process of visualizing shapes and patterns from a bird's-eye perspective cultivated Mullican's appreciation for naturalistic forms and abstract patterns, and would later contribute to his signature style. On childhood trips to New Mexico, Mullican was exposed to and influenced by Native American arts and cultures. His resulting paintings would juxtapose the chaos of the natural world and the linearity of scientific empiricism. Along with the prominent Surrealist Gordon Onslow Ford and the artist Wolfgang Paalen, Mullican formed the San Francisco-based group Dynaton, which established an alternative visual imagery to Abstract Expressionism. The San Francisco Museum of Art gave Mullican a one-person show in 1949. At this time he had nearly developed his mature style, all before reaching the age of thirty. In 1959 Mullican won the Guggenheim Fellowship, allowing him to study in Rome. Afterwards he would join the art faculty at UCLA. In the 1970s, Mullican began spending most of his summers in Taos, New Mexico, where he was considered a member of the group known as the Taos Moderns. Selected Solo Exhibitions: San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco (1945); Herbert Palmer Gallery, Los Angeles (1985,1996,1998); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2006); John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco (2007); Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014). Selected Group Exhibitions: Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, NY (1950); Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY (1953); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Santiago, Chile (1968); Galerie Schreiner Basel, Switzerland (1993); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA (2011, 2013); Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2012); Hammer Musuem, Los Angeles (2013); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA (2011, 2013); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2013). His works remain in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the MoMA in both Paris and New York City, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Harwood Musuem of Art in Taos, New Mexico.


Untitled Guardian Series, 60 x 50", oil on canvas, 1978

Detail of Untitled Guardian Series

Lee Mullican, photo credit John Mullican


Spirit Head, 24 x 20", oil on canvas, 1984


Untitled Medicine Head, 28 x 22", oil on canvas, 1984


Shooting Chant, 48 x 40", oil on canvas, 1984/1992


Pueblo Tale (Corporate Kachina Series), 14.75 x 19.75", pencil & ink wash on paper, 1971


Spirit Head Swims Red, 30 x 30", oil on canvas, 1984


Abstraction, 24 x 18", oil on paper, 1962

LEE MULLICAN CERAMICS Although known primarily for his works in painting and drawing, Lee Mullican also produced an eclectic body of work in ceramic. While these works also embody his interests in nature, spiritualism and modernism, they express a humorous sensibility not found in his painting. Mullican first dabbled in clay after meeting Isamu Noguchi and his sister Ailes Gilmour in the 1950’s. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that he returned to working with ceramics in Taos, New Mexico, where he made his first wood-fired pieces. Between 1984 and 1997, he produced a range of ceramic works that would be included in an exhibition at the Harwood Museum. The ceramics included in this exhibition were all fired in anagama kilns—Mullican reserved much of his favorite work for anagama firing. The anagama, meaning ‘cave kiln’ in Japanese, is built on a slope to facilitate the upward movement of wood ash through its tunnellike chamber. During firing, hot ash and salts alight on the ceramic pieces, reacting with the clays to create varied, textural glazes. As with Mullican’s drawing and painting, the element of chance is explored in the process of making these ceramic pieces. Information provided by Hank Saxe and Richard Tobin


Guardian Figure, 10 x 3 x 3", wood-fired ceramic, 1995


Jade Woman, 5.5 x 6 x 8.5", wood-fired ceramic, 1995


Singing Figure, 9 x 2.5 x 2.5", wood-fired ceramic, 1995


Guardian, 6 x 11 x 6", wood-fired ceramic, 1992


Untitled (Male Fetish Figure), 9.5 x 4 x 4", wood-fired ceramic, 1994


Ganesh Mudhead, 9.5 x 7.5 x 8", wood-fired ceramic, 1995


Untitled (Venus), 17 x 6 x 6.875", wood-fired ceramic, 1994

Located south of downtown Taos NM. We are a destination location, open by appointment, for a personalized art experience. Please call or email. 1335 Gusdorf RD . Suite i . Taos NM . 575.751.1262 .

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