ART of ANCIENT AMERICA
World-class private collection receives a public home
COLLABORATIVE ARTIS TRY Tamarindâ€™s enduring influence on five regional printmakers
CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Exploring art and architecture in the heart of Santa Fe
Master of Abstract Illusionism continues to push pictorial boundaries
SUMMER 2012 Display $ through October 2012
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142 Lincoln Avenue Suite 102, Santa Fe, NM 505-820-0788 www.popsantafe.com David Ho, The Predator, original on masonite, 16” x 20”
14 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
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contents Summer 2012 Art of Ancient America 48 Shedding light on Mesoamerican culture, politics, and society with a newly public world-class collection. By Rena Distasio
Material World 60 Transcending modernist conventions, Zane Fischerâ€™s home proves that bold and simple can have a heart. By Rena Distasio | Photos by Kate Russell
Rolling the Stones 70 Impervious to the vagaries of fashion, the Tamarind Institute has long endured as a nexus for the fine art of printmaking. BY
BY KATHRYN M DAVIS | PHOTOS
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84 Departments 28 FROM THE EDITOR 30 CONTRIBUTORS 32 FLASH
38 IN MEMORIAM
Collectors Mary Hunt Kahlenberg and Sandy Besser leave exceptional artistic legacies. BY WESLEY PULKKA
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi’s treasure trove of art BY GUSSIE FAUNTLEROY PHOTOS BY ROBERT RECK
94 ARTIST PROFILE
As one of America’s most prolific abstractionists, Ron Davis skews color, form, and spatial relationships. BY RIC LUM PHOTOS BY LEE CLOCKMAN
104 ARTIST STUDIO The non-objective nature of Lilly Fenichel BY WESLEY PULKKA PHOTOS BY KATE RUSSELL
108 ARTIST STUDIO
Painting at the speed of thought with John Wenger. BY JON CARVER PHOTOS BY KATE RUSSELL
130 ART MATTERS 138
The Harwood’s showing of Agnes Martin’s early work raises questions of intention versus education. BY JAN ERNST ADLMANN
ON THE COVER: In the foreground is Ron Davis’s Strata (1969), molded polyester resin and fiberglass, Dodecagon Series. The piece is in the collection of the Portland Art Museum. The background image is a detail of inks on paper, shot by Peter Ogilvie at Lynch Pin Press in Taos, New Mexico.
136 TAOS HUM
Photographer Paul O’Connor’s book documents three decades of remarkable relationships. BY LYN BLEILER
138 GASTRONOMICA Rancho Manzana looks back for its future. TEXT AND PHOTOS BY GABRIELLA MARKS
The Occupy Santa Fe Movement encapsulated–past, present, and future. BY DARRYL LORENZO WELLINGTON AND CHRISTIAN LEAHY | PHOTOS BY LISA LAW
160 END QUOTE
TOP: ROBERT RECK; LEFT: GABRIELLA MARKS
Fact, Fiction, and the Farmer’s Table; Thirty Years at the Stove; Expanding Creativity: Seoul and Santa Fe; Santa Fe Opera
New Mexico’s matriarch of soul Hillary Smith; producer/mixer/musician John Kurzweg BY APRIL REESE
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PUBLISHER Cynthia Marie Canyon EDITOR Rena Distasio ART DIRECTOR Janine Lehmann COPY CHIEF Cyndi Wood EDITOR-AT-LARGE Ric Lum DIGITAL PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Stephen Lucero CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jan Ernst Adlmann, Lyn Bleiler, Jon Carver, Kathryn M Davis, Rena Distasio, Gussie Fauntleroy, Christian Leahy, Ric Lum, Gabriella Marks, Wesley Pulkka, April Reese, Darryl Lorenzo Washington CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ARTISTS Lee Clockman, Lisa Law, Gabriella Marks, Peter Ogilvie, Robert Reck, Kate Russell
SALES MANAGER Cynthia Canyon, 505-470-6442 REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Judith Leyba NORTH AMERICAN DISTRIBUTION Disticor Magazine Distribution Services disticor.com NEW MEXICO DISTRIBUTION Andy Otterstrom, 505-920-6370 ACCOUNTING Danna Cooper
SUBSCRIPTIONS Visit trendmagazineglobal.com and click “Subscribe,” call 505-988-5007, or send $15.99 for one year to Trend, P.O. Box 1951, Santa Fe, NM 87504-1951. PREPRESS Fire Dragon Color, Santa Fe, New Mexico PRINTING Publication Printers, Denver, Colorado Manufactured and printed in the United States. Copyright 2012 by Trend, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of Trend may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent from the publisher. For reprint information, please call 505-988-5007 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Trend art + design + architecture ISSN 2161-4229 is published two times in 2012, with Summer (circulation 25,000) and Fall/Winter/Spring issues (circulation 35,000) distributed at outlets throughout northern and central New Mexico and throughout the nation at premium outlets, local grocery stores, Barnes & Noble, and Hastings stores. Please ask your newsstand to carry Trend and friend us on Facebook. Direct editorial inquiries to email@example.com. Trend, P.O. Box 1951, Santa Fe, NM 87504-1951 505-988-5007 26 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
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FROM THE EDITOR
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Earlier this year, Trend helped launch EcoSource, a new resource guide and interactive website of sustainable action. Its goal is to help reflect sustainable lifestyle choices and raise awareness of the myriad options available to build and maintain thriving communities in which we can be proud to live and encourage others to visit. Join us at ecotrendsource.com for up-to-the-minute info on everything from zero energy home building and alternative energy trends to home furnishings from the greenest sources. ecotrendsource.com 28 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
recently went through several early family photo albums, and the thing that strikes me most (other than my unfortunate series of little kid haircuts from about 1967 to 1970), is the number of snapshots my mother took of her stuff. Copper pots and pans she’d hauled over from Europe (she was a German immigrant), paintings by my dad and other friends, the Navajo rugs she bought from the locals, even our Christmas trees, decorated with her distinctive flair. The people also jump out at me—not my parents, brother, or relatives, but the others. Novelist Bill Eastlake and his artist wife, Martha, from whom we rented our house in my hometown of Cuba, New Mexico. R.C. Gorman, mugging wildly during a visit, neighbor Kirk Hughey dodging the camera. I remember how carefully my parents saved up to buy one of Hughey’s paintings and how my mother’s hard-won, polarizing choice quickly became part of family lore. When she died ten years ago, a common refrain among family members was, “I’d love to have something to remember her by—just don’t send me that Hughey.” Unfortunately, there are no photos of Agnes Martin. Memories will have to do. Or, rather, my memories of my mother’s—I barely remember the woman with whom she shared a love of roaming the desert scrublands that surrounded both our homes. But I do remember the postcard-sized pen and ink drawing Martin gave my mother that I last saw stuffed in between the pages of a book. (Note to self: find that sketch!) That was my early childhood, in a nutshell: surrounded by artists, surrounded by art, much of it now in my care. The pots hang in my kitchen, the rugs lie on my floor, the paintings—even that Hughey—hang on my walls. I keep them because my mother loved them, because she believed we should surround ourselves with objects that speak to us. That’s how we know who we are, she said. I long ago gave in and took her beliefs to heart. I chucked a business degree in favor of art history to become, to borrow from the musicobsessed main character in Nick Hornby’s novel High Fidelity, a “professional appreciator.” As I am about to help put my first issue as editor of Trend magazine to bed, I like to think it would resonate with my mother—indeed with anyone who has had a profoundly personal response to a work of art. In this, as in all our issues, we spotlight not only artists but also their champions, because for every impulse that wields a paintbrush, manipulates a piece of clay, or snaps a shutter, there must be another impulse willing to give it sanction, to show it to the world and say, “See, here? This is how we tell the stories of who we are.” —Rena Distasio Editor
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Kate Russell is a nationally recognized photographer based in Santa Fe. Known for her ability to create evocative images and elevate simplicity, Russell’s sensitivity to light and the moment can be seen in her photos. Her work has appeared in numerous local and national publications, including The New York Times, Western Interiors, Santa Fean Magazine, and the books Old World Interiors by David Naylor and Designers Here and There by Michele Keith. Kate’s work with a traveling circus and the arts brought her to the world of photography, and they continue to provide inspiration for projects both near and far.
Lee Clockman is a nationally and internationally published photographer formerly with the Dallas Museum of Art. He resides in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, and also spends time in the Dordogne region in France. His work has been featured in various periodicals and books, one of which, American Furniture in the Bybee Collection, was awarded the Montgomery Prize by the Winterthur Museum and Yale University for its distinguished contribution to the study of American Decorative Arts. He is currently working on new personal photographic abstract images made on the streets of Paris.
Gussie Fauntleroy’s exploration of the long past and present-day visual beauty of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi involved a confluence of some of her favorite realms: art, architecture, spirituality, and history—especially the rich history of New Mexico, where she lived for 26 years before moving to southern Colorado. She contributes regularly to regional and national magazines and is the author of three books on visual artists.
Ric Lum brings to Trend his perspective as an artist, designer, chef, sustainable food advocate, former environmental executive and entrepreneur, biker, cyclist, and lifetime ski bum. As a high school junior he worked as a stringer covering motocross, and has been a graphic designer for a shipyard, designed and operated recycling plants, was a gallerist and art collector, architecture gadfly, restaurateur, and caterer—multifaceted life experiences he brings to the mission of finding the best for Trend magazine.
Peter Ogilvie was raised in southern California and studied Art and Architecture at University of California at Berkeley. After graduation he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and started making documentary films. Filmmaking lead to still photography, both fine art and commercial. Pursuing his career in advertising, fashion, and fine art photography, he has lived in San Francisco, Milan, Paris, New York, and now New Mexico. He has traveled the world on assignments and has won numerous awards for his work with clients like Saks Fifth Avenue, GAP, AT&T, Levi Strauss & Co., Sony, Macy’s, Vogue, Marie Claire, and GQ.
Jan Ernst Adlmann is a Santa Fe-based author, art historian, and museum director/curator who has worked at institutions that include the Vassar Art Museum and, as Vice Director, New York’s Guggenheim. He is an emeritus member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and a decadeslong contributor to art journals such as Art in America and Museum News. He has also had four solo Santa Fe exhibitions as an assemblagist. R
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FACT, FICTION, and the FARMER’S TABLE SITE Santa Fe’s Summer Events By Gussie Fauntleroy
Eva and Franco Mattes, Catt, Fake Cattelan sculpture (2010), taxidermy cat and bird, polyurthane resin, cage, wood
Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
here was a time when SITE Santa Fe hosted the only international biennial in the United States. That was in 1995, when SITE emerged as an exciting new force at the vanguard of contemporary art. Now there are hundreds of biennial exhibitions around the world— and for the first time in 17 years, there will not be one this summer at SITE Santa Fe. Instead there will be an exhibition at least as ambitious and in some ways larger, bolder, and more momentous. More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness opens July 8 and continues through January 5, 2013, when it travels to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Featuring an international, intergenerational roster of acclaimed and emerging artists, More Real? explores the shifting relationship between fact and fiction in the 21st century. Its title borrows the Stephen Colbert-coined term—“truthiness”— to question the nature of reality in an age when fact and logic are no longer considered necessary ingredients in what is presented as truth. The exhibition includes 60 works of painting, photography, film, sculpture, installation, and digital media. Among the artists: Ai Weiwei, Seung Woo Back, Zoe Beloff, Cao Fei, Jonn Herschend, Sharon Lockhart, and Eve Sussman. Opening weekend activities include a panel discussion with curator Elizabeth Armstrong and participating artists, VIP lounge party, free public opening July 8, and More Real? tours of Santa Fe. More Real? is SITE’s first major collaboration with an institution of the scope and prestige of the MIA, which houses one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country. The exhibition draws on the strengths of both institutions while sharing resources. It grew out of SITE’s ongoing process of re-envisioning the biennial model and points to even more intriguing changes on the horizon for 2014. “This up-ends what people expect from SITE,” says Irene Hofmann, Phillips director and chief curator at SITE Santa Fe. “We’re raising the bar on all of SITE’s exhibitions and building a reputation apart from the biennial.” The National Endowment for the Arts put its stamp of
approval on More Real? by awarding it a $75,000 NEA Art Works grant. The grant supports “art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.” In August, SITE continues its popular My Life in Art series of conversations with major players in the world of contemporary art. August 7 features Angela Westwater of Sperone Westwater gallery in New York. On August 14, Juliet Myers interviews Sidney Felsen and Joni Moisant Weyl. Felsen is the founder of Gemini G.E.L. (Graphics Editions Workshop) in Los Angeles, one of the country’s preeminent printmaking studios, and Weyl is owner of Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, the New York gallery representing these works. And on August 21, the irascible Dave Hickey will lead a conversation with Irving Blum, notable former director of Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. SITE Santa Fe’s much-anticipated SPREAD 3.0 takes place September 7 at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. SPREAD is a community dinner event that generates micro-grants for innovative New Mexicobased artists’ projects and creative initiatives. For a sliding scale, cash-only admission ($15–$50), attendees receive dinner plus a ballot. During dinner, up to eight artists—selected by a committee of curators and artists—present brief proposals for new projects. These can include performance, public projects, interactive pieces, and studio-based work. Attendees vote on their favorite proposal, and following dinner the project with the most votes receives a cash grant of all the door proceeds. This is the third dinner in an ongoing cycle of SPREAD events that began in 2011. The winner of SPREAD 2.0 in October 2011 was Jason Jaacks and the Reel Youth Stories Project. The project worked with local middle school students to create short films on issues of importance to the young people. Earlier this spring, SITE Santa Fe offered artists a free workshop on grant applications and project presentations.
For more information on SITE Santa Fe events visit sitesantafe.org or call 505-989-1199.
ake one world-class New Mexico-based chef, add five of his successful protégés, stir in a generous amount of culinary creativity and a dash of fun, and place in the kitchen of one of Santa Fe’s finest resort restaurants. The result is a recipe for an unparalleled seven-course winepaired dinner. More than that, it cooks up an opportunity for new generations of homegrown New Mexico chefs to receive some of the most coveted culinary training the country has to offer. Thirty Years at the Stove: A Benefit for the Charles Dale Scholarship Fund is a lavish benefit dinner set for June 26 at Encantado Resort’s Terra Restaurant. The event celebrates three decades of cooking by Terra Executive Chef Charles Dale, while also establishing the state’s first scholarship fund for young chefs. Administered by the James Beard Foundation, the fund will partner with New Mexico culinary institutions to select deserving students to apprentice in some of the great kitchens of New York, San Francisco, and Napa Valley, or to attend a semester at one of the country’s best culinary institutions. Chef Dale is known for opening Renaissance and two other restaurants in Aspen, Colorado, and for bringing his regionally inspired “modern rustic” cuisine to Terra. The idea for a culinary scholarship emerged from his own deep gratitude for the chefs who mentored and guided him in the early years of his career. Among these: Michelin-starred chefs Alain Sailhac, Daniel Boulud, Georges Masraff, and Jean-Paul Lacombe, a disciple of Paul Bocuse. “The fact that they took a personal interest in me was really a catapult to By Gussie Fauntleroy my success,” Dale says of his mentors. “I always say to young cooks: Don’t go for the money first. Seek out the best chefs you can work for and get the training.” Which is what he did. Following the advice of Sottha Khun, then-sous-chef under Boulud at Hotel Plaza Athénée in New York, Dale worked under some of the world’s finest chefs for eight years before opening his first restaurant. His patience and diligence paid off— he was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs in 1995, and twice was nominated as Best American Chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation. Generously sharing his knowledge and encouraging young culinary talent, Dale has watched his protégés rise to their own successes in restaurants and as private chefs around the county. He invited five of these—Mark Fischer, Ryan Hardy, James Mazzio, Jason Tostrup, and C. Barclay Dodge—to join him in creating the first annual Charles Dale Scholarship dinner. Each chef will be responsible for one course and one of six hors d’oeuvres. Dale’s main plate offering will be citrus-cured wild Alaskan salmon with tomato jam bruschetta and arugula-parmesan salad. Among the evening’s other culinary delights: Kusshi oyster shooters with green curry, tobikoginger whipped cream, and chive sprouts; slow-roasted North Fork goat with house-made chèvre agnolotti; Vermont artisan cheeses with honeyhabanero sorbet and garden vegetable terrine; and hammered strawberries with lemon-lime scone, tequila sunrise coulis, mascarpone crème, and tangerine sprouts. “I’m so proud of how far they’ve come, and I’m excited to cook with them as peers,” Dale says of the chefs taking part in the dinner. “It’s going to be a lot of fun—like a band getting back together for one last reunion show!”
COURTESY OF AUBERGE RESORTS
Thirty Years at the Stove
Venison two ways with blackberry Cumberland salsa and winter greens. Above: Chef Charles Dale
For more information and reservations, call 505-946-5800 or visit encantadoresort.com. trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 33
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EXPANDING CREATIVITY Santa Fe, Icheon, and Seoul Partner for Cultural Exchange Text and photos by Thomas Lehn
n epochal center for creativity almost from the moment of its founding, Santa Fe continues to attract innovative individuals who quickly grasp the scope of the City Different’s inspirational power. That power, says Mayor David Coss, is manifested in Santa Fe’s aesthetic values and uniquely multi-cultural perspective. “Santa Fe is where East meets West, meets Anglo, meets Hispanic, meets Native American, and the creative synthesis comes out of that.” Long a champion of Santa Fe’s cultural dynamism, Coss recently entered into two unique creative partnerships with Icheon and Seoul, Korea—partnerships designed to inspire creative solutions to shared cultural and social issues. It all began back in 2003 when the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sent several of its officials from Paris to visit Santa Fe during its second annual Folk Art Market. During a reception held at the Governor’s Mansion and attended by city councilor Rebecca Wurzburger, one of the UNESCO representatives exclaimed, “Santa Fe is so gifted with its many cultural assets,” and then promptly added that she had never
heard of the city before. Councilor Wurzburger took this as a personal call to action. “Here was a very sophisticated, worldly woman,” she remembers, “and she obviously loved our city, but she never knew that we even existed.” When Wurzburger heard this spokesperson go on to say that UNESCO was thinking of starting a Creative Cities program whose purpose would be to exchange ideas with partner cities to enhance each other’s creativity and support social, economic, and cultural development, she knew that the program was a perfect fit for Santa Fe. In July 2005, after much hard work from councilors Wurzburger and Tom McGuire, UNESCO named Santa Fe as a Creative City of Folk Art (later, it added Design), making Santa Fe the first city in the United States to be appointed this designation, and the second worldwide, after Edinburgh, Scotland. Wurzburger did not stop there. Under her leadership, Santa Fe hosted the 2008 International Conference on Creative Tourism, welcoming eight other internationally designated UNESCO Creative Cities to discuss, among other topics, the concept of “creative tourism,” whereby visitors immerse themselves fully in a city’s culture and society. In October 2011, councilor Wurzburger, Mayor Coss, and Santa Fe’s First Lady, Carol Rose, traveled together to Icheon, Korea, to attend UNESCO Creative Cities Network’s second forum, Cities, Creativity and Networks: Regenerating Cities through Culture. The trio also visited various exhibitions and centers of ceramics, fashion, and other arts and crafts. Recognized as the center of South Korea’s crafts industry, Icheon has recently developed a strong link between traditional crafts and tech-
Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger addressing the General Assembly at the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Conference in Seoul.
34 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
Santa Fe Mayor David Coss
nological innovation. At the research-oriented Ceramics Institute, they witnessed several new designs, including a micro-thin piece of porcelain that is being developed as a computer chip, and a new kind of porcelain clay that, when shaped in the form of a tea cup, can withstand the pressure of a one-ton truck placed on top of it. They also attended the Gyeonggi International Ceramix Biennale, which focuses on contemporary ceramic art, and visited worldrenowned Korean ceramist Sug Bong Han in his studio. From there they traveled to Seoul to participate as speakers at the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Conference. “The focus of the Seoul conference,” says Coss, “Was to encourage mayors from cities around the globe to brainstorm on how creative endeavors can help make our cities more sustainable.” As it so happened, Seoul’s mayor, Won-soon Park, newly elected only three weeks prior to the conference, was also on hand. “I was the only U.S. mayor that attended the conference,” Coss continues. “Mayor Park had been to Santa Fe and really liked it, so he invited me to meet with him in his office. We talked about sustainability and culture, and because we were both designated as a City of Design, he suggested that we collaborate.” Currently, they are working on bringing
Mayor Park and a delegation to Santa Fe for further planning on what this collaboration will entail. There is certainly plenty of common ground. “Seoul’s sustainability efforts are similar to our own,” continues Coss. “They are working on public transportation, bicycle transportation, energy efficiency, alternative energy, and water conservation, among other things.” Wurzburger also reports that she and the mayor’s office are continuing to expand their
an honor and an opportunity to be designated a UNESCO Creative City of Folk Art and Design, but for that designation to mean something beyond the ceremonial, city leaders must actively engage the community in support of these initiatives. Bill Miller, CEO of the non-profit organization Creative Santa Fe, whose mission is to invigorate Santa Fe’s artistic and cultural scene, recently said during the launch of its new initiative, Imagined Futures, “ While our
Reception dinner for Santa Fe delegates to the second UNESCO Creative Cities Network forum in Icheon, Korea
already-strong relationship with the city of Icheon. Their delegation will be visiting Santa Fe during the Folk Art Market, and Wurzburger has asked Icheon’s mayor to include the director of their tourism division as well. Wurzburger acknowledges that the impact of these relationships may take some time to be felt. “What will make a huge impact is when we start seeing increases in the number of visitors. And that will happen.” In the meantime, “the cross-cultural exchanges are very important.” Increased international tourism has tremendous economic benefits and also expands Santa Fe’s exposure to the outside world. But does it necessarily strengthen the city’s creative vitality? For instance, how will creative tourism engage Santa Fe’s populace and will the city help finance and support these initiatives? Certainly it is both
local and state governments are trying their best to [develop more creative vitality], the truth is that their financial resources are limited. They can only do so much, and they can’t do it alone.” What is needed, says Miller, is to once again affirm Santa Fe’s place as a leading cultural, scientific, and creative hub. The trick is to honor the city’s rich cultural heritage while at the same time recognize that something newer and bigger, something starting now, is needed to bring all aspects of the community together over time. Creative Santa Fe’s Imagined Futures is trying to do just that, with a set of focused objectives to arrive at expansive solutions. It is this kind of thinking, this kind of work, that will transform the UNESCO Creative City designation into relevant results for Santa Fe as a whole. R trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 35
FLASH news, gossip, and innuendo
Rising Stars and First-Ever Performances Highlight Santa Fe Opera’s 2012 Season By Gussie Fauntleroy
COURTESY OF SANTA FE OPERA
s rich sunset colors wash over the Santa Fe sky this summer, opera lovers will be in for an equally dazzling treat. Five new productions are set to grace the stage of the Santa Fe Opera beginning June 29. Debut and returning performers, conductors, directors, and designers promise memorable achievements to match the brilliance of much-loved and newly rediscovered works. The season opens with Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, one of the most well-known and popular operas of the 19th century. Featuring a score filled with arias, duets, and choruses of unparalleled beauty, the production presents the American debut of renowned soprano Amanda Echalaz in the title role. A new production of Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers reunites the same creative team that designed and directed the Santa Fe Opera’s highly acclaimed 2010 production of Madame Butterfly. A passionate love story, The Pearl Fishers was written when Bizet was only 24. The opera’s exotic setting and
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musical brilliance presage the quality of the composer’s later works. Also highlighting this summer’s season is the world premiere of a new edition of Gioachino Rossini’s Maometto II. Set in 15thcentury Greece during a Turkish invasion, the historical tale moves to a score that was edited from the original 1820 Naples version and the composer’s own manuscript. The exciting new production features Luca Pisaroni, a fast-rising young Italian baritone, in the title role. King Roger by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski also brings history and magic to the stage in another first-ever performance by the Santa Fe Opera. King Roger is the story of a 12th-century Sicilian king tempted to excess by a mysterious prophet from the East, disguised as a shepherd. American conductor Evan Rogister makes his Santa Fe debut. And for lovers of Richard Strauss operas, Arabella returns to Santa Fe for the first time since 1997 in a new production co-produced with the Canadian Opera Company. Erin Wall plays the title character in one of Strauss’s finest singing roles for women. For ticket information and a complete schedule, visit santafeopera.org or call 505-986-5900 or 800-280-4654. trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 37
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BY WESLEY PULKKA
or much of her life, textile weaver, collector, curator, dealer, and connoisseur Mary Hunt Kahlenberg worked to raise the stature of textile arts from its traditional position as a cultural artifact or high craft to the status of a true fine arts medium. When she died last October at her home in Santa Fe at the age of 71, the world lost not only a champion of the textile arts, but also a woman beloved by friends and family alike for her graciousness and sense of adventure. Kahlenberg’s groundbreaking 1972 exhibition titled The Navajo Blanket, which premiered at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, established her credentials as a cutting-edge curator and scholar. The exhibition traveled throughout the United States and went on to Hamburg Germany, receiving critical acclaim along the way.
Mary Hunt Kahlenberg
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“The range is amazing,” New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer wrote about the blanket show exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. “There are designs here—fields of gray with the leanest linear embellishments—that answer to the strictest notions of minimal aesthetics and there are others so vivid in their color, so intricate in their accretion of forms, so overpowering in their optical effect, that they make the inevitable comparisons with recent developments in op art almost laughable. Nothing that our painting has produced in recent years exceeds in sheer visual power the strongest works in this survey.” Kahlenberg went on to found Textile Arts Inc. as a textile gallery and consulting firm in 1978. “Mary had a strong sense of adventure and felt she had achieved many of her goals in the museum world,” Kahlenberg’s husband of 30 years, Rob Coffland, says. “She also saw an opportunity in the emerging market for Indonesian textiles that were finding recognition and acceptance in the 1970s.” Coffland explains that Kahlenberg not only brought her expertise as an art historian and weaver to her enterprise but that she had a heartfelt passion for textiles, born during her childhood attic explorations of her grandmother’s multigenerational ribbon collection. She would go on to earn an art history degree from Boston University and pursue graduate studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as study textiles at various schools in Berlin and Vienna. “Mary truly loved textiles, but she was also an avid gardener,” Textile Arts gallery manager Susi Perry says. “One of the neatest things she did for me during our 11-year working relationship was to place a flower on my desk on a regular basis. It was a lovely and gracious way to begin the day.” In addition to running Textile Arts, Kahlenberg was a research associate at the New Mexico Museum of International Folk Art where, as an independent curator, she helped develop its Neutrogena Indonesian Textiles and Folk Art Collection. Few in the art world today would deny the status of fine artist to those who make textiles their medium. These artists, and those who collect them, can be thankful for Mary Hunt Kahlenberg’s lifelong championship of textiles as an expressive and intellectually satisfying form of fine art. R
COURTESY OF TEXTILE ARTS INC.
Mary Hunt Kahlenberg’s Life in Textiles
Collector Sandy Besser’s Artistic Legacy KATE RUSSELL
hen the congenial and lovably eccentric collector Sanford (Sandy) Michael Besser died at age 75 at his Santa Fe home last November, he left behind not only a wide circle of family, friends, and colleagues, but also one of the most eclectic and impressive art collections of the last several decades. A larger-than-life personality on the Santa Fe art scene for many years as a curator, collector, and member of a number of arts boards, Besser held talented artists in high regard but had little patience for
artistic or administrative pretenders. “Sandy was in a class all his own,” says Corrales-based artist Bart Johnson, one of Besser’s favorites. “He had an unusual sensitivity for what artists do. What I found extraordinary was that Sandy collected art that was very difficult and complex. He was one of those rare types whose unique personality was directly expressed by his collection. He ignored fashion and other moving targets to honor his own purely visual taste.” The bulk of Besser’s and his late wife Diane’s passionately and insightfully acquired 10,000-piece art collection is housed in a number of major public and private institutions where they will continue to be shared with and act as inspiration for artists and art lovers alike. A major selection of contemporary drawings, innovative ceramic teapots, and African beadwork went to the de Young section of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; 700 pieces were donated or lent to the New Mexico International Folk Art Museum; and a cross section of works went to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas. Approximately 1000 remaining pieces are slated for direct sale. “Part of the pure fun of having these things is to share them with others and to be able to rearrange them to better reveal their character,” Besser said in a 2007 interview with Trend magazine. “I give my prized possessions to institutions so that poor boys and girls like I once was can see and enjoy them.” In 2002 Arts and Antiques magazine named Besser among the top 100 collectors in the United States. His eclectic pursuit of the best art by emerging and often unknown artists was tempered by awe-inspiring intelligence, a laser-like vision for the skillfully unconventional, and an ebullient appreciation for the riotous humor and too often tragic pathos of being human. As a youngster Besser began collecting butterflies and matchbooks, eventually expanding his interests to include swizzle sticks and art. Following his graduation from Vanderbilt University and subsequent marriage to Diane, Besser pursued a successful 35-year career as an investment banker at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas. “Sandy Besser collected artwork with equal measures of passion and intelligence,” artist Alice Leora Briggs says. “His responses to works of art seemed to be initially visceral, deeply felt, then analyzed and articulated with care. Essentially he was an artist with collecting as his medium of choice. I was humbled to have some of my pieces be part of his masterwork. I deeply admired him and his choices.” Besser will be missed by all who knew him, whether as an inspiration, mentor, heartfelt friend, or loving family member. A shining light in the art world while living, his wisdom, enthusiasm, and knowledge will continue to burn brightly through both the people and the art collection he left behind. R trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 39
wee oul t iste r Hillary Smith
t’s 9:30 on a Saturday night in Albuquerque, and the Zinc Blues Cellar, a subterranean bar in Nob Hill, is packed. A mix of University of New Mexico students and doctors from the nearby hospital are sloughing off the week’s stresses with wine and beer and laughter, and the white noise of their chatter permeates the small room. It’s the kind of din that can drown out whatever band is playing. But tonight the band is Soul Kitchen, and a funny thing happens: After a song or two, people stop to listen and the din drops to a murmur. Over a chooglin’ rhythm section comprised of Mark Clark on drums and Marcus Casman on bass, Chris Dracup peels off one tasty blues riff after another. But it’s the voice, rising and falling with the ease of a bird in flight, that has the crowd rapt. One minute it’s as smooth as pure agave tequila, the next, swampier than a Tennessee tent revival in August. The woman behind the voice is Hillary Smith, New Mexico’s matriarch of soul. Smith, who also performs with the allfemale group hONEyhoUSe and an oldschool R&B band called Hip Pocket, grew up singing gospel in church in Hobbs, New 40 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
Mexico, and started singing in Albuquerque bands when she was still a teenager after dropping out of UNM to focus on playing music. Smith, who is also a songwriter, has been named best vocalist in Albuquerque The Magazine’s “Best of Albuquerque” awards three times—2008, 2009, and 2011— and her album No Easy Way won five New Mexico Music Awards in 2009, including best of the year. She also snagged the best vocal performance award that year for the song “I Prefer You.” “Everything that comes out of her is just beautiful to me. I could watch her and listen to her all night long,” says Yvonne Perea, an Amarillo, Texas-based singer, songwriter, and guitarist who plays with Smith in hONEyhoUSe. “Technically, I think she’s one of the best singers that I’ve ever heard. She can rasp it up or belt it out when she needs to, or she can sing like an angel. There’s nothing she can’t do.” “She’s a great singer,” adds multi-platinum producer and singer/songwriter John Kurzweg. “I think she’s as good as anyone in the country.” With accolades like that, it might be easy to develop a bit of a superiority complex. But
Smith is no diva. In person, she exudes an easy warmth, and she is exceedingly gracious—when we scheduled a sit-down interview over email, she asked what beverage I’d like her to have on hand. “She is one of the most loving, big-hearted, open, giving, sweetest people that I know,” Perea says. And yet, like most of us, Smith still has her moments of self-doubt. Even though she’s been performing for 30 years, Smith admits she still gets nervous before every show. “I have a little stage fright,” she says, sitting on an overstuffed brown leather couch in her elegantly appointed house in Northwest Albuquerque. “But it’s getting better every year. Girl, by the time I’m 80,” she says, snapping her fingers in the air, “I’ll be fearless.” At 50, Smith seems to have already learned a thing or two about overcoming fear. The past year has been a time of transition: She recently went through a divorce, celebrated her 50th birthday in September, and downsized from a big house near the river with a huge yard to a less-big eco-chic home in a cul-de-sac on Rio Grande Boulevard. Right now, though, Smith is spending a lot of her time in the studio with Soul Kitchen
By April Reese
recording the bandâ€™s next album. She also has some tour dates with hONEyhoUSe this summer in Texas and Oklahoma and hopes to play more festivals. â€œThatâ€™s where I become a performer, on a big stage,â€? she says. â€œI take chances that Iâ€™d never take somewhere else. Itâ€™s where I like to be.â€? One of her fondest on-stage memories is from the Silver City Blues Festival in southwestern New Mexico. It was there that Ruthie Foster, one of Smithâ€™s biggest influences, invited her onstage to sing â€œTravelinâ€™ Shoes,â€? a song that Soul Kitchen often performs. One day, Smith says sheâ€™d like to open her own venue, showcasing great musicians and maybe even serving up some sustenance along with the beats. â€œIâ€™m a killer soul food cook,â€? she says. Itâ€™s unlikely that Smith will ever give up singing, though. â€œItâ€™s a great job to have,â€? she says. â€œYou get to connect with people youâ€™ve never met before. Thatâ€™s a very rich life.â€? You can hear Smith perform with Soul Kitchen at Vanessie in Santa Fe at least once a month, and in Albuquerque most weekends. To see Hillary Smithâ€™s full show schedule and hear her music, visit her website at hilljam.com. trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 Âť Trend 41
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It’s All in the Mix
By April Reese
here probably aren’t many men who would say no to Sheryl Crow. But producer/mixer/guitarist/drummer John Kurzweg did just that about seven years ago, when her management contacted him to see if he’d be interested in producing one of her songs. He was right in the middle of Creed’s third album, and just didn’t have time to take on another project. “That’s something in my career that I truly regret,” he says, adding that he also got a call from Jakob Dylan around the same time and had to turn him down, too. “I was very impressed with their work, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I have a chance to do this.’ But I had to say no.” While Kurzweg is best known as a hard rock producer due to his success with Creed, Puddle of Mud, and Scott Stapp, he has a serious soft spot for singer-songwriters. “People associate me with hard rock bands, but that’s not what I really listen to,” he says, sitting on a powder-blue couch in his living room. He is surrounded by a drum kit, a couple of lava lamps (several more are scattered around his studio down the hall), a few lit candles, and copies of the New Yorker strewn across an exquisite stoneand-wood coffee table that was given to him by one of his clients. Having to say no to working with Crow and 42 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
Dylan was something of a dream deferred. He also admits he was a bit apprehensive about taking on such a different kind of project, at least at that time. “It was just insecurity—could I really offer them something?” he remembers thinking. The story has a happy ending, though: Later that year, Kurzweg got to work with Jewel and Eagle-Eye Cherry. These days, he focuses more on mixing. That’s partly out of necessity: In an industry transformed by the Internet’s plethora of cheap—or even free—online music downloads, there’s less money to spend on topnotch production. “No one’s buying records now, and the sad part is there’s a lot less resources because of it,” he says. “People like me have to work so much cheaper.” But Kurzweg has found that mixing can be just as satisfying as producing. “I’ve always loved mixing,” he says. “A lot of people think mixing is just technical, but it can affect the emotional impact of a song.” For example, putting the vocals at the forefront of a song can create a more intimate feel; highlighting crescendoing drums can build tension. Tiho Dimitrov, a Santa Fe-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter who recently hired Kurzweg to mix a few songs, credits Kurzweg with extracting the hidden nugget of gold in a track called “Sleepless Nights.” He tweaked the drums so they “had a lot
more life to them,” and added some reverb and effects to parts of the song that needed finessing, Dimitrov recalls. “It was really like night and day. There is a subtle difference between a good record and a great record. It’s going that extra mile. That’s one thing I really like about working with him— ‘good enough’ is not good enough.” Apart from its professional rewards, Kurzweg has found that focusing on mixing also has other advantages. “It’s a little less stressful and doesn’t blow out my life,” he says, adding that producing a record can require several months of intensive work. “I can [mix] a record in a matter of weeks and I still feel like I’m contributing a lot to the project.” Today he’s working on a song by the Makepeace Brothers, a new group from upstate New York known for its multi-part harmonies and feel-good, rootsy pop. The track came soaked in reverb, and Kurzweg is experimenting with giving it an earthier feel. Watching the 51-year-old Kurzweg navigate his way around ProTools, the complex recording and mixing software used to make most records these days, it’s easy to forget that for the first 15 years of his career, producers were still recording albums on tape. He made the shift from analog to digital around 1998, but not without some trepida-
tion—and a little coaching from a certain bigheaded artist/computer geek. “I was scared to death of computers,” Kurzweg says. “My first project using them was with Big Head Todd and the Monsters [on the 2002 album Riviera]. I was a two, and he [singer/guitarist Todd Park Mohr] was a ten. When I got on the computer, things would slow down.” Kurzweg himself decided to slow down around 2005, a couple years after moving to Santa Fe from Tallahassee, Florida, where he had lived for almost three decades. Having taken on one big project after another for years, he wanted to take a break. But by the time he emerged from his brief hiatus about 12 months later, record labels had begun slashing their budgets. Well-established producers like Kurzweg found their phones ringing less often. “It was bad timing,” he says. “I turned down some important jobs during that time. I moved to Santa Fe, and within three years, my career as I knew it was pretty much gone—not because of Santa Fe, but because of the changes in the industry. People want things quicker, cheaper.” But that lull turned out to be somewhat of a blessing in disguise, leading to smaller but rewarding projects that allowed more creative freedom. Kurzweg counts two of those projects, 2007’s Point, by the Athens, Georgia-based band Tishamingo, and
2009’s Floodplain, by local artist Sean Healen, among his most gratifying. In the past couple of years, Kurzweg has also begun focusing more on his own music. An accomplished guitarist, singer, and songwriter, he recorded an album for Atlantic Records in 1987 called Wait for the Night, under the name John Philip, but hasn’t released another since. Over the past couple of years, he’s begun playing with his own self-titled band around Santa Fe, and often plays guitar with the Sean Healen Band. ‘‘He’s an incredible guitar player,” Dimitrov says. “One of the things that impresses me about John is that he is always very spontaneous with his playing. Most guitar players have a dictionary of cliché licks and riffs, but he really does think outside the box. He’s got really good control of tone and volume, too, and he doesn’t overplay.” While Kurzweg can wail away with the best of them, he understands that true musicianship is about serving the song. “Forget the solo,” says Kurzweg, who started playing guitar when he was 11 years old and later learned drums as well. “It’s the rhythm guitar that makes a song work.” You can see the John Kurzweg Band perform at various venues around town, including El Paseo and El Farol. To hear his music and find out more about his work, visit myspace.com/johnkurzweg. trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 43
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Art of Ancient America
A world-class collection travels to Albuquerque BY RENA DISTASIO
It is a collection of breathtaking size and scope. One item, a pendant-sized Olmec-style mask featuring that culture’s distinctive “jaguar-baby” face is so delicate as to be almost transparent. Another, a brightly colored Mayan funeral urn crafted from clay to depict a half-monster, half-human face, is nearly two feet in height. There are dozens of figurative pieces, from the whimsical and rough-hewn to the highly realistic and detailed. Vessels abound—drinking cups, incense burners, bowls—some practical, others obviously meant for ritual use. And then there is the “bling”—cast gold and gold-and-stone inlay pieces of astonishing intricacy and beauty. At once familiar and yet so foreign, these objects are emblematic of the cultures that thrived throughout Mexico and several South American countries for nearly 3000 years before European arrival. Who were these peoples—the Olmec, the Maya, the Aztecs—with their complex cosmology, pantheon of deities, and highly ritualized political and social life? How is it that some lived simple lives farming and fishing, while others tamed impossibly tangled jungles to carve out highly sophisticated city-states of incredible political and economic power? The world is about to gain fresh insight into these cultures thanks to a once-private collection now available to the public. The collection was sparked by an adventure usually found only in books and movies—with a spirited teenager as one of the main characters and the plot full of fortuitous meetings leading to the discovery of the ruins at Bonampak in 1946. This ancient Mayan archaeological site in the Mexican state of Chiapas soon became famous for its Temple of the Murals, where the walls and ceilings are covered in brightly-colored frescos depicting a great battle. Fast forward nearly seven decades later. The teenager, now grown and a resident of Santa Fe, is donating his world-class collection of ancient American art and artifacts, along with a substantial endowment, to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. In turn, the Walters created an exhibition that will travel to several museums throughout the United States, stopping first at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History from June 10 to August 26, 2012. “The fact that this collector had been collecting for many, many years, that he started so early on—and was one of the three outsiders who discovered Bonampak—makes this an unusual collection,” says Dorie Reents-Budet, the project’s consulting curator and author of the accompanying catalog Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas. But beyond that, she says, “It is important to receive a collection like this because it is so culturally comprehensive, a fine seed collection that allows any museum to give the public at large a very good sense of what they are looking at.” And what they are looking at is not one or even several specific time periods or geographical locations. Instead, the 300-plus artifacts represent nearly 3000 years of ancient Mesoamerican history, including thirty-eight different cultures from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and northern portions of Honduras. The periods covered include Formative Pre-classic (1200 BCE–100 CE), Classic (100–900 CE), and Post-Classic (900–1521 CE). As such, says Gary Vikan, director of the Walters, the collection offers visitors, academics, and scientists alike an invaluable opportunity for research and contemplation. “People were studying Greek art in Roman times and studying Pompeii and Herculaneum in the 17th century,” he says. “Every decade since has gone full bore on the antiquities and medieval era and we have pretty much posed all the basic art historical questions and found some good answers. But then you get to the Ancient Americas and we’re still in the infancy of our studies, still asking questions. That is exciting.” The collection also offers the general public a rare glimpse into what art historians do behind the scenes. “One of my interests is in the scientific examination of art,” Reents-Budet continues, “and the Walters is one of the few museums with such an outstanding, well-rounded, and robust conservation department. This is an exciting 48
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new trend as museums begin to present their analytic data to the public so they can really see what goes on behind the scenes.” With this exhibition, Reents-Budet aimed to strike a balance between art, science, and public edification. “Museums can no longer create an exhibition that is a lineup of a bunch of artifacts,” she says. “What you have to do is start with an overarching narrative, select sub themes, and then go in and develop that narrative and those themes. It becomes a combination of scholarship, visual impact, and didactics.” Her task was even more challenging in this case because, she says, “When you put up a Greek sculpture, you don’t have to explain who the Greeks were; we all have a basic understanding of that culture. But not the ancient Americas. Still, you can’t overwhelm the objects with label copy. Narrative and design have to work together.” The approach, says Vikan, is certainly in keeping with the Walters’s overall mission. “I want us to be a center for the research and history of this material, its science, its preservation. At the same time, I want it to be meaningful to a broad base of the general public—individuals, families, children, and the growing population of south Baltimore.” The exhibit that is traveling to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History will showcase around 125 items, mostly from the Classic Maya period, but will also include some Aztec and Olmec pieces. “What I like best about this exhibit,” says Andrew Connors, curator of art for the museum, “is its interesting mix of sacred and everyday objects, giving us the rare opportunity to look at not just one, but many ancient American cultures.” The museum will also host a series of lectures and performances in support of the exhibit, including an opening day lecture by Reents-Budet on Sunday, June 10 at 1:00 p.m. Other scheduled events include a Family Night on Thursday, June 21, 5:00–8:30 p.m.; a lecture by art historian Kristaan Villela on the Mayan concept of time on Sunday, July 8 at 1:00 p.m.; Latin American musical performances throughout July and August; and a lecture by Andrew Connors on “The Ancient Americas in Modern Art” on Thursday, August 16 from 5:00–8:30 p.m. “The more that we in the Southwest know As important to the ancient Americans about other cultures, many of which were existing as the grape was to the Greeks, the cacao at the same time as ours, the more richly we can bean figured heavily in Mayan cuisine, ceremony, and mythology. Studded with understand our local heritage,” Connors says. sculpted cacao bean pods and a pictorial “No culture lives in isolation, and those ideas of panel of the Mayan maize god sprouting [cultural and economic] trade and the constant a cacao tree, this lidded earthenware vesrefinement of our heritage inspired by communisel from Early Classic Period Guatemala is likely a drinking cup for the popular ties are important. We feel very fortunate to bring mixture of chili, spices, and chocolate opportunities like this to the public.” > prized throughout Mesoamerica for its restorative properties. PHOTO COURTESY THE WALTERS MUSEUM OF ART, BALTIMORE
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UPPER AND LOWER LEFT: COURTESY THE WALTERS MUSEUM OF ART, BALTIMORE; UPPER RIGHT: KATE RUSSELL
Ancient American art runs the gamut from the sacred to the secular. Figures like the couple opposite (either loved ones or a shaman with his patient) display a charming realism. At the same time, a pervasive belief in the supernatural resulted in the creation of many effigies for a variety of ritual purposes, some highly stylized renditions mixing human with god- and animallike features. This jade pendant (above left) illustrates the importance of the jaguar to the mythology of the Olmec, who thrived along the Gulf Coast of Mexico between 1200 and 400 BCE as ancient Americaâ€™s first great civilization. The Mayan burial urn at left likewise embodies the belief in the transmutation of human into godlike spirits at death. Above right is a silver alloy ceremonial knife from Peru.
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A grouping of figures from the region surrounding Colima, Mexico. The figure at left is from Columbia and dates between 1200â€“1400 CE, indicating perhaps some seafaring contact with Mexico. The figure at far right is from the Late Formative to Early Classic Periods, as are the three knife/axe forms in front of him. A hallmark of Post-Classic Colima sculpture, the three large incense burners in the middle feature the rounded eyes associated with the rain deity Tlaloc as well as decorative elements symbolizing the ceiba tree, which represents the connection between heaven, earth, and the underworld in ancient American mythology.
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The ballgame known as ﾅ考lamaliztli in the Aztecan language has been popular in Mesoamerica going back to nearly 1400 BCE. A sport with religious/ritual overtones, it was played using a solid rubber ball in a manner similar to racquetball, although often the hips were used to move the ball instead of a racquet-like object. This jadeite figure of Olmec origin (Middle Formative Period) depicts a ballplayer in full garb, including the characteristic headband, loincloth, and hip wrap.
Left: Many objects such as this figural urn from Zapotec, Oaxaca, Mexico, are discovered broken, and putting together the pieces becomes an intriguing process for collectors and curators. Not only do the items in the Walters collection contribute greatly to the over all study of Mesoamerican history, society, and cross-cultural exchanges, they also help curators and historians make their assessments regarding authentication. This urn underwent extensive thermoluminescence testing, a process that measures ceramic firing dates, and was determined to be authentic.
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LEFT: KATE RUSSELL (2); RIGHT: COURTESY THE WALTERS MUSEUM OF ART, BALTIMORE
While volcanic stone carvings like this maize deity from Mexico in the Late Post-Classic Period are sturdier than ceramics, they do suffer from wear and tear. Originally, this piece was covered in white stucco and red, blue, and green pigment.
This earthenware figure is from the El Zapotal site in southern Veracruz, Mexico, where many such hollow figures were found. That most were intentionally broken before burial indicates their ritual importance. This figure wears the jaguar headdress of a warrior, but his closed eyes and ropes around his neck and torso indicate he was most likely a prisoner, and is perhaps now dead. He also appears to be wearing a top made from flayed human skin, a practice common in rituals associated with the god of agricultural renewal.
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photo: Brad Bealmear/Santa Fe Dreambook
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Material World Zane Fischer realizes his rural-modern vision on Santa Feâ€™s West Side
BY RENA DISTASIO PHOTOS BY KATE RUSSELL
Here in the desert Southwest—a region with a design vernacular so distinct it is almost sacrosanct—one imagines conversations between most architects and homeowners must at some point deal with questions of style: Pueblo, Territorial, Northern New Mexican? A modern interpretation thereof? Something at the very least with stucco? Zane Fischer never had those conversations. “I was looking more at materials,” he explains about the design process of his new home. “And then I discovered the people who used those materials with virtuosity.” The resulting collage of images, culled from magazines and the Web, provided architect Alexander Dzurec with an intriguing direction. “I looked at that collage and realized that what Zane wanted was something akin to a modern ruin.” While it’s not as drastic as it sounds, from the beginning Fischer had a vision for his home that did not include traditional methods or materials. “I have a contemporary sensibility, but I didn’t want anything shiny or smooth,” he says. “I wanted a modernist dream house that also gave me a sense of wear and the hand of the maker in it.” It is an affinity rooted in Fischer’s nature and his nurture. “My father was a mountaineer,” he reveals, “so from a young age I was staring at striated earth and relatively dramatic geological upheaval. I spent a lot of time outside, and I think that still makes an impression on me.” Fischer purchased his two-and-a-half-acre property close to Agua Fria on Santa Fe’s West Side with the idea of turning it into a family compound. Fischer, his girlfriend (painter Katherine Lee), and their 10-year-old pound pup Boris planned to occupy the historic adobe on the east side of the property, while Fischer’s mother, Alex, would build on the empty field just to the west. Although the couple soon discovered the adobe did not suit their lifestyle, Alex fell in love with it, leaving her son with the opportunity to build his own home—and serve as its contractor. Although the award-winning arts writer and a founder/principle of the Santa Fe design studio Anagram has remodeled a few homes over the years, he admits there was a moment when he was “deeply terrified” at the prospect of serving as primary builder. “I thought, ‘What if I put all this time and energy into this house and it’s horrible?’” Hiring Dzurec, president of Santa Fe’s Autotroph Design, to help streamline the process also helped to put things in perspective. “It was a successful and enjoyable collaboration because I didn’t need him to push his vision,” Fischer says. “I was manifesting mine. My main concern was with the energy involved in putting together a good plan that would make sense to subcontractors.” Dzurec concurs. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, the architect has the vision and the owner doesn’t know what he’s doing,’ but it’s very much a team-oriented process. If you speak the same language, there should not be a whole lot of compromise.” In almost every aspect the pair made it work. Fischer relented on a few things—namely the root cellar—but he adamantly refused to use wood framing, drywall, or stucco. Instead, the home’s concept is based on a series of carefully chosen materials whose unique mix of industrial and natural properties help achieve the right balance between urban and rural: Brazilian cherry wood doors, steel paneling that will rust and patina over time, rammed earth for the south side of the house, and poured concrete for the north and the
tower loft. “Concrete always gets me excited whenever I see it,” Fischer says. “It’s such a fascinating urban material, but also one that is full of character. I had to convince my concrete contractor that he didn’t have to vibrate everything to make it even or smooth. I like the impression of the plywood, the mark of the snap ties.” He feels the same way about rammed earth, but finding an experienced contractor proved more difficult than anticipated. When one of the few in the region quoted a price beyond Fischer’s budget, he and Lee traveled to Phoenix to take a workshop in the process, eventually doing the work themselves at a tenth of the cost. The result is strikingly beautiful, full of subtle colors and textures that one could not imagine possible with any other method or material. Metal, wood, concrete, and earth: simple but confident materials that satisfy Fischer’s criteria in a way that is not only sophisticated but also comfortable and efficient. “I have always felt that the most important rooms in the house are the kitchen and bathroom. I like those places to be big and luxurious,” Fischer says. Because he and Lee enjoy entertaining, they designed their kitchen to open to the living room, which features a fireplace designed by metal fabricator Peter Joseph in which the couple can also cook. (Joseph crafted all the home’s awnings as well.) Two-foot-thick walls and radiant heat keep things cozy in the winter, while large windows and a roll-up door on the south side of the living room allow cooling summer breezes to flow throughout the home. And the total square footage is just over 1300, meeting Fischer’s requirement for a low maintenance, energy-efficient space. With its interplay of rustic materials and spare industrial design, the home is Fischer’s vision made reality. At the same time, this bold modernist statement is very much connected to its environs, crafted in part from the earth on which it sits, once a portion of a small ranch belonging to storied Santa Fe couple Keith and Letta Wofford. (Fischer and Lee also intend to work the land— they keep a large coop of chickens, maintain a grey water catchment and cistern system, and are busy planning this season’s plantings.) Ultimately, the house is not so much a ruin but a record, like an archeological find or a beloved heirloom that is preserved and passed down as an embodiment of one’s ties to family and community. Maybe it is that connection that Fischer references when he says about the final result: “I feel deeply satisfied. I feel happy and I feel comfortable here.” >
It was important to Fischer to be able to see as much of the outdoors as possible from inside the home. When up, the customized rolling door from Overhead Door Company of Santa Fe creates a seamless indoor/outdoor space. When down, it still lets in plenty of light and provides clear views to the south end of the property. Right: The kitchen, with its counter bar designed and built by Fischer, opens onto the living/dining area.
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Brazilian cherry doors with forged iron hardware are set on rollers to save space and provide visual interest against the cinderblock interior wall. Below: Modern and rustic elements also mix in the homeâ€™s furnishings, which include found and salvaged objects, pieces sourced from Santa Fe Modern Home and Design Warehouse, and an 18th-century French farm table.
Small but efficient, the kitchen was designed for ease of use. Right: Boris in a moment of repose on the stairs leading to the loft. Like the upstairs floors and the rolling doors downstairs, they are also crafted from Brazilian cherry. A print by German artist Jonathan Meese entitled Armer Ritter hangs on the stairwell wall.
Lee with the Victrola that serves at the only source of music upstairs. An artist who shows at Santa Fe’s Eight Modern gallery, her painting Exterior 20 (Austria-New Mexico) hangs on the wall that divides the sleeping area and the closet. Instead of throwing them out, Fischer used the ¾” plywood forms from the concrete and rammed earth work to construct the dividing wall. Left: Fischer has always loved sleeping outside and is currently in the process of building a bed on wheels he can roll onto the rooftop deck that adjoins the loft. He and Dzurec briefly toyed with a one-level home, but in the end decided to go with the loft. Besides, says Fischer, “We can take Boris up there with us and a skunk isn’t going to come lick us in the face.” The vintage lockers used for storage inside the closet are an eBay find.
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Fischer left the homeâ€™s poured concrete floors unstained and simply sealed them with a clear masonry sealer. The rammed earth walls are finished with linseed oil on the interior but left unfinished on the exterior. The red overhead lights are salvaged molds for railway track supports and the yellow lights are designed for heavy truck loading bays. Opposite: Lee and Fischer first met during a panel discussion at the Center for Contemporary Arts. They later bonded over launching fireworks off their chests while lying on the ground. But it was their collaborative post-apocalyptic motocross landscape collage involving lots of ketchup that sealed the deal. All their limbs survived both experiences intact.
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The compelling interplay between the home’s various textures and forms— the subtle striations in the rammed earth, the weathered steel panel siding, the sheen of the Quonset hut that serves as combination studio/workshop— are fully revealed in this exterior shot. Although muscular in its structure, Fischer also wanted to keep the home open and light-filled. The corner windows designed to help achieve this airiness initially presented a problem, but structural engineer Bill Druc solved it by designing rebar grids as reinforcements against breakage from the weight of the concrete. Opposite: The upstairs rooftop deck, accessed through the bedroom, extends the outdoor living space. The decking material is made from a durable, eco-friendly product called Cumaru, sourced in Santa Fe from Plaza Hardwoods.
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ince the venerable Tamarind Lithography Workshop moved from Los Angeles to Albuquerque in 1970 to become the Tamarind Institute of the University of New Mexico’s College of Fine Arts, New Mexico and the Southwest have held a distinctive place of leadership in the printmaking industry. The auspicious move occurred when artist June Wayne decided to retire as the workshop’s director, her mission well on its way to fruition: to resuscitate the fine art of printmaking in the United States. Specifically, Wayne sought to make lithography the viable medium for artists and collectors that it had been for centuries in Europe. Explains current Tamarind director Marjorie Devon, “Lithography is probably the most complicated of all the mediums: It is difficult to control and it requires large, expensive equipment.” In order to achieve her goal, Wayne structured a multi-faceted plan around interlocking goals. Chief among them was Tamarind’s primary purpose: to train master printers, thereby making the medium accessible to artists who could work collaboratively with those printers at their shops. Today, Tamarind Institute is the only organization in the world that offers a systematic program of training and certifying master printers. Wayne opened the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles in 1960. It operated with funds from the Ford Foundation for ten years, until the persuasive—some would say demanding—artist and educator Clinton Adams, who worked closely with Wayne, became dean of UNM. (He would direct the Albuquerque-based Institute until Devon replaced him in 1985.) Thankfully for New Mexico, it was clear to Adams that the University could support Wayne’s vision, which included the aim of educating collectors and curators about buying and storing prints. (Wayne even designed and built a coffee table that served as a print storage system. When she died at the age of 93 in 2011, that coffee table was in her home.) Although Wayne had no formal association with Tamarind once it came under the auspices of UNM, she always had plenty
Tamarind Institute regularly invites artists to create lithographs, providing the artists with the opportunity to collaborate with a master printer. Here, artist Nicola Lopez, a native New Mexican now living in Brooklyn, discusses a series of proofs with Master Printer Bill Lagattuta (in black shirt and glasses) and his assistants before choosing the final image.
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of opinions and advice for the Institute. She embraced the feminist movement, which her career with Tamarind anticipated to an extraordinary degree, and taught a series of seminars entitled “Joan of Art” to young women artists beginning around 1971. For the rest of her life, she continued to push the limits of many art media, collaborating with French tapestry weavers, teaching classes, and founding the Los Angeles Council of Women in the Arts in 2002. It is critical that the term lithography be understood as a method of producing original works of art in numbered editions. It should not be confused with the photographic reproductions, or “posters,” of original artworks that can be bought inexpensively at museum gift shops and other venues. Numerous techniques fall under the umbrella term of printmaking, and lithography specifically indicates an original drawing made with grease-based material on a special kind of stone. Etchings and engravings are a very different kind of print made from incised lines; different also are monotypes, unique prints that can be reworked and printed again. Jennifer Lynch, owner of Lynch Pin Press in Taos, credits her own versatility as an artist to her printmaking background. “You have to learn process, know materials, and have a strong sense of craftsmanship,” she says. “Every art student should take printmaking; it requires ingenuity.” In the mid-20th century when Abstract Expressionism—with its Modernist emphasis on muscular, action-based marks on the canvas—was king, printmaking in general, never a thriving movement in the United States, was on the verge of extinction. Adams zeroed in on this moment in his 1997 article titled “An Informed Energy: Lithography and Tamarind,” stating that “Tamarind’s founder, the artist June Wayne . . . likened lithography’s plight to that of the whooping crane: ‘In all the world there were only 36 cranes left, and in the United States there were no master printers able to work with the creative spectrum of our artists.’” Nor were the artists particularly willing to work with printers: Robert Rauschenberg famously stated that he did not understand how, in the modern era, an artist could be persuaded to do something as antiquated as “writing on rocks.” Ironically, Rauschenberg is renowned today for his prolific output of printed images. Initial resistance was eventually replaced with enthusiasm as a younger generation of energetic artists, willing to try something trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 73
Jennifer Lynch inks photo polymer etching, aquatint, and relief plates, which she combines to produce one of her printed artworks.
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new, discovered a penchant for printmaking. Ed Ruscha noted that they “sell like hotcakes,” and prices for fine-art prints escalated as the demand grew. The printmaking revival in the U.S. was in full swing by the 1970s, thanks largely to the efforts of two ambitious and passionate women: June Wayne at Tamarind on the west coast and Tatyana Grosman at Universal Limited Art Editions on Long Island. These two keystones of print workshops gloried in the experimental, working with the spontaneity of Abstract Expressionism in the new, graphical arena of Pop Art. In many ways the antithesis of gestural painting, prints, created in layers, offered artists a new vocabulary. “To this day,” says Devon, “artists who haven’t made a lot of prints find that having to construct an image in a new way changes their work.” Wayne’s passion was, continues Devon, truly remarkable. “What she envisioned affected all of contemporary art by presenting new options to artists, with the whole concept of collaboration. Wayne was incredibly important to the extraordinary growth of American printmaking in the last five decades. Tamarind continues as the guardian of the old-style process. There are hardly any workshops left in this country that use stones.” It is noteworthy that women led the print revival. Perhaps the collaborative nature of printmaking reflects a basic feminine tendency to work within a community for the good of all. Based on her observations from over 30 years in the field, Devon notes that aside from technical training and practice, “The master printer is someone who is not only highly skilled in a wide variety of techniques, but also somebody who has superb interpersonal skills. In collaboration, there has to be chemistry between the master printer and the artist. In order to share the appropriate expressive tools, [printers must] almost read their artists’ minds.” Lynch, who taught printmaking at the College of Santa Fe (now the Santa Fe University of Art and Design) and UNM’s Taos campus, isn’t sure why, but notes that “most of the artists who take classes with me are women. Maybe it’s because women are multi-taskers.” Still, the fact remains that many master printers are male—hardly surprising in an art world that has favored men. Nonetheless, even this cheerless remnant of sexism seems to be giving way to more equality-based statistics: Of the members of Tamarind’s 2010–2011 Printer Training Program, four out of seven participants were women. These days, women and men arrive from around the world to train as master printers at Tamarind; in turn, they open and run print shops all over the globe. Regionally, the following printers received their primary training at Tamarind: Robert Arber of Arber & Son Editions in Marfa, Texas; Bud Shark at Shark’s Ink in Boulder County, Colorado; and Jack Lemon of Santa Fe’s Landfall Press. (Arber and Lemon have master-printer certificates.) Michael Costello took over Hand Graphics in Santa Fe from Ron Adams, who trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 75
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The spacious offices of Arber & Sons Editions in Marfa, Texas. Top: Landfall Pressâ€™s Jack Lemon and Anna Booth check a print. The large press (opposite), which Landfall acquired from a shop in Las Vegas, New Mexico, was built in France in 1870. Originally powered by steam, this direct transfer press was used to produce fine art posters, and rumor has it Toulouse-Lautrec was a customer. Lemon and Campbell are currently in the process of restoring it to showroom specs.
trained at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles, which was established by Tamarind master Ken Tyler. Jennifer Lynch worked at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in New York (Blackburn, a MacArthur “genius” grant winner, was the master printer at U.L.A.E.). Lynch recalls that when she visited New Mexico before moving here in 1992, she made a pilgrimage to Tamarind Institute. “It’s like going to Mecca. The place is weighted with experience; it was so innovative. I find it amazing how many people are here [in New Mexico] in this field.” She counts herself lucky to work with Taos-based artists Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, and, prior to his recent passing, Ken Price. Now, as more printers become their own publishers, each project they take on has its own flavor, allowing for an intimacy based on their artists’ individual talents. Arber equates printmaking to “a dance between a technician and an artist where sometimes the artist leads, and sometimes the technician.” Marfa, known to art-world cognoscenti as the home of Minimalist artist Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation, hosts residency programs. Artists arrive in this remote Texas town—previously notorious as the backdrop for the 1956 movie hit Giant—and find little to distract them from artmaking. Many of these visiting artists collaborate with Arber & Son Editions on the 30 x 30cm Project, named for the physical dimensions of the printed pages used at the press. Arber employs various techniques in order to capture the artist’s intent, from lithography to relief printing to digital prints. Typically, a portfolio from 30 x 30cm consists of two editions of up to 40 numbered copies in an exquisite, hand-built archival box constructed by Arber & Son. Artists who have worked with Arber in Marfa include John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman, and Richard Prince. For Shark, the master printer makes “on-the-spot decisions [with] the artists during every aspect of the collaborative process— from how a plate can be made to the appropriate paper to be used for a particular image.” Although Shark did not receive a master-level certificate from Tamarind, he studied with the Workshop’s first technical director, Garo Antreasian. “My time at Tamarind was crucial,” Shark recalls. “It was my first exposure to a professional print shop where artists and printers collaborated to make lithographs. What was happening there inspired me and I became aware of the great potential of the collaborative relationship.” After graduating from UNM in 1970, Shark moved with his wife to London, where he was hired to revive the lithography studio at Editions Alecto, working with David Hockney and several other young British artists there. Later, at Petersburg Press, he worked with Henry Moore and James Rosenquist. The couple moved to the Boulder foothills to raise a son, and Shark opened his press in trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 77
Mark Spencer (above) and Woody Gwyn (opposite) paint images on Plexiglas plates in preparation for their monotypes being printed at Hand Graphics by master printer Michael Costello (above and opposite). Achieved by drawing or painting on smooth, non-absorbent surfaces and then transferring the works onto paper, monotypes are one-of-a-kind prints. Sometimes, there is enough ink leftover to produce another, â€œghostâ€? image, although they differ substantially from the original.
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1976. Since then, he says, he’s “built many long-term collaborative relationships . . . I am always curious about what will result from our collaborations and often surprised by them.” Printers Jack Lemon, founder, and Steven Campbell, director, of the celebrated Landfall Press in Santa Fe believe that the press exists to serve the artist, with the magic of collaboration often resulting in transcendence. Lemon founded Landfall Press in that seminal year for printing in New Mexico, 1970; the Press was the first publisher to add wrapped, three-dimensional collage elements to the prints of environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Since Christo was initially known for his wrapped objects, this was groundbreaking work in the arena of printing, traditionally held to be a two-dimensional medium on flat paper. Pursuing this habit of innovation in later years, Landmark Press published clay artist Robert Arneson’s Brick Suite, each portfolio accompanied by a cast ceramic brick embossed with the artist’s name. Terry Allen’s Juarez Suite included a record album of the artist’s music and narratives related to the prints. For Lemon and Campbell, “The process of printmaking demands technical execution and flexibility from both artist and printer.” Landmark’s reputation for excellence is unparalleled, particularly in the litho process. Costello of Hand Graphics (whose prominent clients include Lynda Benglis, Robert Colescott, and Nathan Oliveira) articulates the sense of transcendence that an artist and printer can find together: “I have often been asked, ‘Why make prints at all, going through all these very technical and difficult steps, when one can easily make a painting directly on the canvas or paper?’ I have given many different answers to that question: that it is energizing and freeing to work in collaboration with a master printer, that the results garnered in printmaking cannot be achieved any other way, that there is a special luminescent quality to ink pressed into beautiful paper, and all these answers are true. I always knew, however, that when I gave those answers, I wasn’t quite telling the whole story. The imprinted memory of the image prepared by the artist on the surface of the plate, also simply called the print, holds a meaning greater than the meaning of the unprinted template: The very action of imprinting increases the print’s meaning.” Since the early East and West Coast pioneers, the roster of artists who have collaborated to make fine-art prints is inexhaustible. It is odder, in fact, for an established artist not to make a suite of prints today, no matter how conceptual his or her work. It’s been a productive half-century since Wayne cautioned that “this remarkable medium of expression [might] die in its youth without having been asked to reveal its untapped powers for new aesthetic expression.” R trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 79
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BY GUSSIE FAUNTLEROY | PHOTOS BY ROBERT RECK
Soul of Santa Fe Like the city itself, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi reflects many cultural influences in its architecture and art
ven in architecture, it seems, God works in mysterious ways. If money had not run out during construction of the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in downtown Santa Fe in the 1860s, a towering pair of 160-foot-tall, multi-tiered Baroque wooden belfries, topped with domed cupolas, would have dominated the downtown skyline—and may have toppled under their own weight. Engineering studies of the cathedral’s truncated, never-completed stone towers have suggested that they would not have been able to support the soaring steeples, notes the cathedral’s former rector, Monsignor Jerome J. Martínez y Alire, who served for 12 years before recently transferring to Pojoaque. But Providence may also have 84
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given Santa Fe another unintended gift when Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy ran short of funds to build the lofty belfries and other elements of the French Romanesque cathedral, including a large domed cupola designed to loom above the sanctuary. As it is, with its stately squared-off towers and earth-toned, golden-brown sandstone construction, the cathedral has for the past 125 years been a gently commanding presence in downtown Santa Fe. It blends in comfortably with its low-rise, flat-topped adobe neighbors—and with the Spanish Colonial, Mexican, Pueblo, and EuropeanAmerican cultures out of which Santa Fe has grown. Sometimes described as a hodge-podge of influences and styles in its architecture and art, the cathedral today
stands as a reflection of the gloriously eclectic mix of peoples and cultures that history and circumstance have gathered here. In part because of the quality and antiquity of its artifacts and art, in 2005 the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi received the papal honor of being elevated to the status of Cathedral Basilica. Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the honor, given to only a few churches around the world, as recognition of the cathedral’s vital role in the spiritual life of its parishioners and its importance in the history of the Catholic Church in the Southwest.
Mud “hut” origins That 400-year history parallels the history of Santa Fe, beginning with the city’s found-
ing in 1610. That year saw the building of the first structure on the site of the present-day cathedral, at the east end of San Francisco Street. It was a small adobe church built by order of the early Spanish Franciscan mission priests. In written correspondence in the mid-1620s, Fray Alonso Benavides, newly arrived from Mexico City, referred to the little church as a jacál, a shanty or hut. We probably wouldn’t have called it that. Most likely the priest’s choice of words was a pretext for tearing down the church and replacing it with a larger one. When Benavides arrived in Santa Fe in 1625 he brought from Mexico City a beautifully carved statue of Mary, originally called Our Lady’s Assumption, or Our Lady of the Rosary. Carbon dating of the olive wood has suggested it was carved in the 1400s. The figure’s name later was changed to La Conquistadora, a title given by the Spanish to early images of Mary in the New World. Today she is also known as Our Lady of Peace. The larger adobe church, built in 1629, contained an honored spot for La Conquistadora. When that church was destroyed by fire during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the statue was carried to safety with Franciscans and other Spaniards who fled the area and remained in exile for more than a decade. With the city’s Spanish reconquest in 1693, Our Lady of Peace returned as well. She was given her own chapel in the third adobe parish church on the same site, built in 1714. By the end of the 18th century the 1714 adobe church had substantially deteriorated and was rebuilt in 1808. But the La Conquistadora Chapel was kept in place through that restoration and remained when the stone cathedral was built in the 1860s. It stands today as the cathedral’s north transept, the oldest Marian chapel in the United States. With thick adobe walls, vigas, and corbels carved to resemble the waist-cord of a Franciscan habit, the chapel provides a direct link between later architectural influences and traditional Spanish Colonial and indigenous Northern New Mexican building styles. These earlier influences are also reflected in the chapel’s magnificent Mexican Baroque
The cathedral’s Romanesque Revival interior, featuring that style’s characteristic round arches separated by Corinthian columns. Opposite: The round window above the large rose window is decorated with a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit.
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St. Francis of Assisi sculpture. Above right: Archbishop Lamy and St. Francis Cathedral as he originally intended it to be built. Below right: The old adobe Cathedral before the rebuild.
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BELOW: PHOTO COURTESY PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS PHOTO ARCHIVES (NMHM/DCA), UNATTRIBUTED, NEGATIVE 010005
The cathedral’s exterior is built from yellow limestone blocks that were quarried near present-day Lamy, New Mexico.
altar screen, or reredos, restored and painted in gold leaf for the 400th anniversary of the Catholic Church in Santa Fe in 2010. A central nicho in the altar screen is home to Our Lady of Peace. Beneath her stands a statue of Jesus the Nazarene, carved in the mid1800s in the Mora, New Mexico, area by José Benito Ortega. A large painting, The Three Temptations of Christ (1710) by master Mexican Baroque painter Pascual Perez, hangs on the chapel’s west wall. This and two other of his paintings were cut into several pieces, rolled up, and carried north from Puebla, Mexico, by ox cart on the rugged Camino Real. The pieces were carefully stitched back together on arrival in Santa Fe. In preparation for the 400th anniversary, the Perez paintings were painstakingly cleaned under the direction of Santa Fean Siiri Sanchez.
Centuries of soot from candle smoke was removed, one cotton ball at a time.
European style When the cornerstone for the present cathedral was laid in 1869, French-born Archbishop Lamy had chosen the Romanesque style of the parish church that characterized his home region of Clermont-Ferrand. The façade of the cathedral in Santa Fe is also similar to that of a 12th-century Basilica Church in Vézelay, France, according to Santa Fe sculptor and retired architect Donna Quasthoff. Round arches, thick stone walls, harmonious proportions, square towers, and massive pillars topped with carved capitals characterize this style, to which Lamy hoped to add Spanish Baroque belfries and cupola similar to those
he admired on churches in Mexico. Sandstone for the cathedral was quarried near the present-day town of Lamy and hauled by cart to Santa Fe, well before the railroad connected the two towns in 1880. Italian stonemasons and local workers laid the stone under the direction of French architects. Slowly, the cathedral walls rose around the outside of the ten-foot-thick adobe walls of the earlier church, which remained in place until the stone cathedral was finished. The old church’s adobe bricks were then removed and used as part of the cathedral’s front terrace and other buildings. The Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi was blessed on March 7, 1886. European tradition and craftsmanship characterize the cathedral’s stained glass windows, including the magnificent rose trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 87
José Benito Ortega’s statue of Jesus the Nazarene with the altar screen representing the 14 saints of the Americas in the background. Right: The altar screen depicting the life of St. Joseph in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
window above the main doors. The lower windows and rose window were produced by the French company of Felix Gaudin in Clermont-Ferrand and installed in the early 1880s. For the 400th anniversary of the parish, under the leadership of the current Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, all 24 of the cathedral’s stained glass windows were restored and cleaned.
The citizens provide Even in the 1860s, building a stone cathedral was an extraordinarily expensive proposal. Construction funds were collected through required tithing of parishioners— who were not always happy about having to donate—and from prominent Santa Fe residents, including Jewish merchants. 88
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Lamy’s gratitude for the merchants’ assistance is cited as the reason for the inscription representing Yahweh, the Hebrew name of God, carved at the top of the stone arch over the cathedral’s front doors. Church officials point out that the inscription is within a triangle, a Christian symbol of the Holy Trinity. Among local business owners providing support for the church at the time of Lamy’s 1851 arrival in Santa Fe was the infamous gambling hall/brothel owner and entrepreneur, Maria Gertrudis Barceló, known as Doña Tules. When Barceló died in 1852, Lamy made a gesture of thanks for her significant financial donations by allowing her to be buried under the north transept of the adobe church that preceded the stone
cathedral. “Sinners and saints are buried there,” quips Monsignor Jerome, who adds that the archbishop did not officiate at Doña Tules’s funeral, delegating the duty to another church official.
Modern interlude, return to tradition In the mid-1960s, the cathedral received a major makeover in response to the call by Vatican Council II for a return to more “meaningful simplicity” in liturgy and other aspects of religious life. The 1714 adobe St. Joseph’s Chapel in the south transept, which had been retained along with the La Conquistadora Chapel, was torn down. The cathedral’s interior walls were painted white and the entire space given a spare, modern look. The new aesthetics may have matched
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the Vatican’s ideal but they clashed with the cathedral’s Romanesque architecture and did not sit well with the majority of parishioners. The situation was remedied twenty years later in conjunction with the cathedral’s centennial anniversary in 1886. Archbishop Robert F. Sanchez, the archdiocese’s first Santa Fe-born archbishop, hired architect John McHugh to draw up renovation plans. McHugh worked with renowned New Mexico architect John Gaw Meem in the 1940s and 1950s and designed the Santa Fe Opera in 1955. His plans, along with suggestions by respected historian, author, and poet Fray Angelico Chavez, returned the cathedral to its Romanesque beauty and incorporated many of northern New Mexico’s rich artistic traditions. Central to these renovations was a pair of massive new front doors. Twenty basrelief bronze plaques sculpted by Donna Quasthoff and mounted on the door panels tell the history of the Spanish and Catholic presence in New Mexico and the history of Santa Fe. Quasthoff found inspiration for the plaques in 12th-century French sculptor Gislebertus, whose expressive style she had seen and admired as part of a volunteer team excavating a medieval church in Autun, France. Also new for the centennial was a threestory-tall reredos behind the main altar, representing 14 saints of the Americas. The altar screen features mahogany woodwork by Taos artists Robert Lavadie and Paul Martínez and depictions of the saints by icon artist Robert Lentz. A carved wooden statue of St. Francis, originally in the 1714 adobe church, occupies the central nicho. Other well-known present-day Northern New Mexico Spanish Colonial artists are represented in the cathedral’s artwork as well. Marie Romero Cash, a native Santa Fe santera—a female artist who creates images of saints—was commissioned in 1997 to paint the Stations of the Cross that hang along the walls of the nave. The retablos (painted images of saints) are set in frames carved by local artist Roberto Montoya, who also did much of the other woodwork in the cathedral. The altar screen in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, depicting the life of St. Joseph, was carved by Roberto 90
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Pieta in the 1970s after it was vandalized in the Vatican Museum. Beyond its richness in architecture and art, and along with its central role in the faith of its parishioners, the Cathedral Basilica serves the larger spiritual and cultural life of Santa Fe. Periodic ecumenical services bring together religions from around the world, and often include Pueblo dances. The Santa Fe Opera has held performances in the sanctuary, which is a regular venue for the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. “I really believe the cathedral is the heart of Santa Fe. Even if people are not Catholic, they feel part of it,” reflects Monsignor Jerome. “It’s a treasury of traditions, culture, and faith.” R
Montoya and painted by santera Arlene Cisneros Sena of Santa Fe, whose work has earned numerous awards at Spanish Market over the years.
Many voices, one heart Just as Santa Fe’s population and its art world constitute a complex cultural mix, the artwork in and around the cathedral represents a wide range of traditional and contemporary styles. Internationally known Jemez Pueblo sculptor Estella Loretto created the monumental bronze figure of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha that stands in front of the cathedral. Kateri (1656–1680) was a Mohawk woman who in October will become the first Native American to be canonized as a saint. Also on the terrace is a traditional bronze statue of Archbishop Lamy unveiled in 1915, artist Betty Sabo’s monumental figure of Saint Francis, and Saint Francis of Assisi Dancing on Water, a bronze fountain in the form of a whimsical winged Saint Francis prancing on his toes, which was created by German-born Santa Fe artist Monika Kaden. By contrast, Gib Singleton’s Stations of the Cross, 14 life-sized bronze statues in the cathedral garden, present a starkly compelling vision of the suffering of Jesus. Singleton, an internationally known Santa Fe-based artist, designed the bronze cross on the pastoral staff carried by Pope Benedict XVI, and helped restore Michelangelo’s
The Three Temptations of Christ (1710) by master Mexican Baroque painter Pascual Perez hangs on the west wall of the La Conquistadora Chapel. Above: The stained glass rose window and windows featuring the Twelve Apostles in the lateral nave are some of the cathedral’s most distinctive features.
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Manitou Galleries ince arriving in the Southwest, Star York’s body of work has reflected the cultural diversity and history of the area. She is also inspired by the native wildlife and mythology and the mysteries of ancient sacred sites. Star says, “This is a place that requires a curious, open mind and respectful patience for it to reveal all its aesthetic and spiritual complexities. It is richly rewarding when time and care are given.”
“When a character emerges from a work I am sculpting, I feel touched at a deeply intimate, subconscious level. It is this essence in a work of art that makes it intensely personal and entirely universal at the same time. I’m much more comfortable with animals. I trust the emotion of animals and horses. I understand where they are coming from and their behavior is honest.” Star’s work can be viewed in Santa Fe at both Manitou Galleries locations: on Canyon Road and one block off the Santa Fe Plaza. 123 W Palace Avenue, 505-986-0440 225 Canyon Road, 505-986-9833 ManitouGalleries.com Advertisement 92
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Star York’s Bull Vessel and Fawn Vessel (inset)
KAREN MELFI collection www.karenmelficollection.com 'ER]SR6SEHÂˆ7ERXE*I2I[1I\MGS Âˆ
Photography by Wendy McEahern
Hand Built Ceramic Angels by Lisa Smith
BY RIC LUM | PHOTOS BY LEE CLOCKMAN
Ron Davis bends time, space, and form
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COURTESY OF RON DAVIS
he drive from Santa Fe to Arroyo Hondo, the home of Ron and Barbara Davis, is one of the most scenic in New Mexico. The highway winds upward through towering, stratified canyon walls, eventually easing into a long, gentle ascent to the Taos plateau, with Wheeler Peak shimmering in the distance. Here, one can easily feel unmoored. There is all that sky, for one, and that great section of scarred earth with its dizzying drop into the Rio Grande Gorge. The feeling is not unlike the experience of contemplating the bold delineation and mind-bending abstraction of a Ron Davis painting or sculpture. Imagining this spectacular landscape in terms of Davis’s artwork, one is reminded of the complex geometry of the Platonic solids and their association with the four classical elements: earth (the cube or hexahedron), air (the octahedron), water (the icosahedron), and fire (the tetrahedron). The fifth solid, ether—or the human imagination—is associated with the dodecahedron, representing the orderly arrangement of the cosmos, or creation itself. It is fitting, then, that after spending much of his life in California, Ron Davis eventually chose New Mexico for his home. He purchased the land in 1990 and soon thereafter began a collaboration with architect Dennis Holloway. A longtime admirer of the Navajo hogan, Davis found within its native geometry similar practical and spiritual applications for his own live/work space. Together, Davis and Holloway evolved a compound comprised of six hogan-style buildings of between five and twelve sides each. The studio and gallery are the largest at eleven and twelve sides respectively. Included in the compound is a store and exhibition space made up of two shipping containers bridged by trusses and framed by adobe. All the doors to the buildings face east—in the traditional way— toward the mountains. Davis is no stranger to wide open spaces. Born in 1937 in Santa Monica, California, he was raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he eventually attended the University of Wyoming (1955–1956) and later worked as Roll Your Own (Zig-Zag) (1963), acrylic on canvas, Optical Series a sheet metal fabricator for several years. In
TOP: COURTESY OF RON DAVIS; BOTTOM: STEPHEN PACE
“A Painting’s Just Gotta Look Better than the Wallpaper,” his essay for the 40-work retrospective Ronald Davis: Abstractions 1962–2002 at the Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown, Ohio, Davis wrote: “I really had no aspiration to be an artist. It was my third choice. I wanted to be a racer [racecar driver] . . . [but] I realized I might get killed doing this. That would have been okay at the time, but racing is a rich man’s sport, and I couldn’t afford it. So I switched to painting. Later I found out that being an artist is much more dangerous— and just as expensive.” Davis enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute in 1960—which he describes as “therapy”—at the same time deferring conscription in the military. Attending the Art Institute from 1960 to 1964, he fell under the influence of the protean muscular abstract paintings of Clyfford Still and the Bay Area figurative works of David Park and Richard Diebenkorn. As a young artist, Davis felt he didn’t have anything to express, nor the commitment to do so. “There were issues,” he wrote in his essay, “of abstract content and style problems.” His main concern “was how to make a picture, not how to look at one.”
Opening of Ron Davis’s first one-man show at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles in October 1965. On the wall is Big Blue from the Monochromatic Shaped series (1965), Liquatex acrylic on canvas. Wilder is shown at left, kissing a visitor. Davis is in the middle with glasses and mustache.
Six-Ninths Red (1966), molded polyester resin, fiberglass, and wood, Slab Series. Included in Davis’s first one-man show in New York, Six Slabs, at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in October 1966.
Fred Martin, president of the Art Institute at that time, commented that Davis was “a pain in the ass, but a worthwhile one.” During his tenure at the school, Davis began painting as an Abstract Expressionist. Rather than emulate, his strategy became “to do a Mondrian in the style of Jackson Pollock and a Pollock in the style of Mondrian.” Davis’s work took on a harder, more geometric edge around 1963, perhaps because of the influence of Frank Stella, and he began to explore various optical illusions garnered from sources as diverse as Persian miniatures, early Christian mosaics, Paul Klee, late Kandinsky, scientific illustration, and commercial art. He even began to exhibit locally and in 1963 received first place in the painting and drawing annual at California’s Richmond Art Center, juried by Tony DeLap. At the time, the Richmond Art Center was under the energetic direction of Rudy Turk, whose relationship with visionary art dealer Nicholas Wilder would become important in the development of Davis’s career. After a semester or two of law school, Nicholas Wilder knew he no longer wanted to be a lawyer and instead began studying art history. Wilder also instituted a contemporary exhibition program at the trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 95
Davis’s home and studio in Arroyo Hondo. Above left: Acrylic paintings on PVC and other media (2009–2010). Above right: Davis inside his Hondo Spirit Hogan, made from wood (pine), dye, and spar varnish, and installed on the Hondo Mesa, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico in 1991. 96
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Lanyon Gallery in the Old Stanford Barn, exhibiting artists Tom Holland, Robert Hudson, John McCracken, Dan Flavin, Robert Smithson, Agnes Martin, and the first show of Bruce Nauman’s cast body parts in fiberglass and rubber. Wilder saw Ron Davis’s work at the Richmond Art Center drawing and painting annual and arranged a studio visit in the spring of 1964, inviting Davis to be in the Summer Invitational group show at the Lanyon Gallery with his piece Roll Your Own (Zig-Zag). Based on this success, in 1964 Nicholas Wilder put together a limited partnership of Stanford friends, and with $6,000 they headed for Los Angeles to secure a space for a new gallery. On April 1, 1965, the Nicholas Wilder Gallery opened with a show of Edward Avedisian. Davis subsequently moved to Los Angeles, and in October 1965 received his first one-man show at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery. The show featured the Monochromatic Shaped series, one-color isometric panels with a one-point perspective plane, extending the concept of painting as object to painting as illusion of the plane in space—quite literally, “on the wall.” In 1966 Davis began what is regarded as one of the most astonishing runs in American painting. He spent six years working on his famous Slab Series, resulting in 11 paintings that incorporate twopoint perspective into a nine-square grid. Polyester resins, pigments, and dyes were substituted for traditional paints, while fiberglass cloths and mats replaced canvas. Davis had to work quickly; the liquid resin cured and hardened in its wax mold within 30 minutes. Next came 29 large geometric forms— the famous dodecagons, two of which, Black Tear and Vector, were featured in the Getty Research Institute’s 2011 exhibition, Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in LA Painting and Sculpture, 1945–1980. In her essay, “Ronald Davis: Objects and Illusions” in the exhibition catalog for Ronald Davis Dodecagons: 1968–1969, art historian Barbara Rose called the dodecagons “a series of powerful hallucinatory contradictions,” a synthesis of spatial illusion with geometric volume and sophisticated color. In a review in the June 28, 1968, issue, trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 97
BOTTOM: COURTESY OF RON DAVIS
Ron Davis’s studio with Dupin Cycloid (2009), pixel dust on ceramic tile and a lacquer box, on the floor. Below: Black Tear (1969), at left, and Vector (1968) at the Getty Research Institute’s 2011 exhibition, Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in LA Painting and Sculpture, 1945-1980.
Time magazine said of these constructs: “What makes the dodecagon distinctively different is that it is shown as though seen from far, far above. The effect is achieved by using a bird’s eye perspective, a method that relies on the vanishing of three points instead of one.” Although, as the review points out, three-point perspective was known, it was rarely used before the 20th century. But airplanes and skyscrapers helped change all that. Davis’s work captures that mid-air feeling: Looking at a dodecagon is much like having the ground fall away from beneath one’s feet. By 1972, ensconced in his Frank Gehrydesigned, 5,000-square-foot Malibu studio near Zuma Beach, Davis was living the life of a successful artist. “I showed a lot, sold a lot, and consumed a lot,” he says. But by the late 1980s he’d had enough, and he left the freeways of Los Angeles for the quieter surroundings of Northern New Mexico. “Ultimately, my success was really my personal failure, my original goal being to be a starving artist,” he writes again in his essay. “Dealing with success has been so much harder than making paintings. If I’ve made any contribution at all, it is that counter to the glacial movement of serious 20thcentury painting since Cézanne towards flatness, I reintroduced the theorems of
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Ron Davis with Nine-Ninths Aqua (1966), molded polyester resin, fiberglass, and wood, Slab Series
three-dimensional Renaissance mathematical perspective into my made objects—my constructions. This is my legacy, my contribution to the art history books. With this, I stumbled into a style of painting that can excavate walls, shift the point of view of a Looker in a post-Einsteinian relativity within the context of a terrifying, existential, overpopulated nuclear world, where the observed is . . . relative to the Looker.” Like Marcel Duchamp, Davis reintroduced the illusion of objects into painting. “The objects themselves remained abstract and non-referential, although that’s usually up to the surrealist viewer. The struggle between object and the pictorial remains central to my work.” Hence, none of the labels that usually describe non-representational art—Pop, Op, or Abstract Expressionist—apply. Instead, Davis’s work enters the realm of what Rose early on named Abstract Illusionism, whose subject is color, optics, space, and two- and three-dimensional form. His recent work continues to push the envelope of form and space: giclée on enhanced matte paper prints; sculptural boxes and objects made by the fusion of pixel dust (literally, the dust that collects on a computer screen) to a variety of brushed aluminum shapes; and bright acrylics applied to 20-inch-square pieces of expanded PVC whose colors and shapes vibrate and shift in relationship to both each other and the viewer’s eye. The paintings mark a major structural departure from previous work, where Davis relied on traditional drafting and illustration methods to create the illusions and depictions of three-dimensional objects. Now, using computer programs such as RenderMan, form-Z, and CINEMA 4D, Davis sketches out the shapes and shadows in these programs, projects the images onto his choice of surface, and applies paint accordingly. In 1941 Duchamp released Boîte-en-valise (Box in a Valise) as a “portable museum” that allowed him to carry around miniature facsimiles of his life’s work in a traveling box. Is it too much to ask that, perhaps, we can look forward to a Davis-inspired valise, issued on the occasion of the artist’s 90th birthday and the promised retrospective at the Harwood in June 2027? What a present—for all of us—that would be. R trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 99
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Storytelling Through Beads and Regalia Of Cherokee and Choctaw descent, Jerry Ingram was born and raised in Battiest, Oklahoma and now resides in Ilfield, New Mexico, just east of Pecos. He began his art career at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and later graduated from Oklahoma State Technical University with a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Art. After 20 years, he turned to wax carving and bead- and quill-working. While Ingram found very little in the way of items decorated with beads and quills in his own tribeâ€™s history, he did find a plethora of Plains and Plateau examples. His interest in authentic replication inspired the traditional techniques that he uses today, creating pieces of great beauty and cultural history.
Pueblo of Pojoaque Poeh Cultural Center & Museum 78 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 505-455-5045 poehmuseum.com
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Jerry Ingram, War Bonnet, beads and mixed media
BY WESLEY PULKKA | PHOTOS BY KATE RUSSELL
Lyrical Abstractions Lilly Fenichel’s non-objective explorations of the natural world
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he life and art of Lilly Fenichel, 85, is like a visual poem—at once epic and lyrical—in which she is both author and heroine. Fenichel’s breathtaking body of work dramatically illustrates her commitment to the creative arts, her unbridled passion for nature, and a lifetime of fulfilling relationships with other eminent members of the Abstract Expressionist movement. In her comfortable adobe home and large industrial-style studio just southwest of downtown Albuquerque, vaulted ceilings showcase radiant paintings on tall white walls, mixed media sculptures, and architectural models of installation designs. Fenichel’s richly varied artistic works represent years of exploration into the nature of materials and techniques, as well as her foundation as a prominent member of the avant-garde in San Francisco and Los Angeles. “I’ve never felt comfortable with the ‘Abstract Expressionist’ label. My work has always been non-objective,” she says during a recent visit. “That’s what I studied in San Francisco with Ed Corbett and Hassell Smith. Clyfford [Still] saw himself as a non-objective artist—as opposed Lilly Fenichel to being an Abstract Expressionist—and that’s also how I see my painting.” Fenichel’s sensitivity to “the nature of nature” is beautifully expressed in The Skies (1974), which explores the tonal values of cloud formations and other atmospheric effects. On a more intimate level, her controversial 2003 series Just You, Just Me investigates human sexuality. Fenichel says some female viewers were shocked by the revealing nature of the paintings, but dismisses critics by pointing out that her series is no more or less sexually explicit than Georgia O’Keeffe’s flowers. Her new work involves a controlled pouring of paint onto a pure white polypropylene surface. The resulting image develops over time as the colors blend and separate in unique ways. To create a final image free of dust and other impurities, an elevated screen is placed over the drying paint to filter out any airborne particles. Fenichel and studio assistant David Rogge coordinate the painstaking process of preparation and execution to produce each image. Fiercely independent almost to a fault, Fenichel has been tempered by adversity and annealed in the crucible of life experience. During her first ten years, she lived as if in a Viennese fairytale, spending summers in the Alps in the company of European intellectuals. However, these ideal surroundings were somewhat tarnished by the rocky relationship of her parents. Then, at the age of 12, Fenichel’s childhood ended abruptly when Nazi Germany occupied and annexed Austria in 1938. Fenichel’s family was compelled to flee or be consumed by the Holocaust. The first leg of their journey brought them to England, where Fenichel, her father, and her siblings awaited papers and passage to America. (Her mother went elsewhere.) Lilly and her remaining family trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 105
ultimately settled in Los Angeles where she eased into the American culture and became what she laughingly describes as “a California beach bunny.” According to Fenichel, “After the cold winters in Europe, I was in heaven in sunny California.” Learning American cultural idiosyncrasies was sometimes difficult, but Fenichel adapted and prevailed. Her formal studies in art and design began with summer scholarships at the Chouinard Art Institute, continued with design classes at Los Angeles City College, and were capped by a two-year Fine Arts scholarship at the San Francisco Art Institute. It was while in San Francisco that she connected with the American avant-garde near the high point of Abstract Expressionism. Over the years, Fenichel moved seamlessly among members of the Hollywood film industry and the founders of Abstract Expressionism. She counts many eminent artists among her friends and mentors, including Edward Corbett, Larry Bell, Bea Mandelman, Louis Ribak, Charles Maddox, Bill Gersh, Elmer Bischoff, Hassel Smith, and David Park. While in Hollywood, 106 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
Fenichel worked as a photographic stylist, art director, and costume designer—all practiced peripherally to her solitary life as a studio artist. Then, in the late 1950s, she was introduced to New Mexico. “When Ed Corbett was fired by the new president of the San Francisco Art Institute, he moved to Taos,” Fenichel says. “My curiosity about the romantic stories of the American West, with Indians and vast landscapes, inspired me to take a bus ride to visit him. It was during that first two-week stay that I fell in love with New Mexico. The mountains around Taos reminded me of the Alps, and I was hooked.” More than 20 years later, Fenichel moved to New Mexico to put all of her energy into the studio. From her years in California, she was already acquainted with multimedia artist Larry Bell and his wife, Janet Webb, and she reconnected with them when she moved to Talpa, a village in Taos County. “Lilly is one of the most seriously dedicated artists that I know,” Bell says. “I met her when she was working as a designer in the movie industry. There was a lot of social interaction between the movie people and
the community of studio artists. All you needed to hang out was a good sense of humor, and Lilly always had a great sense of humor.” In 1985 Fenichel moved to Albuquerque at the suggestion of longtime friend and artist Charles Maddox, a pioneer in computeraided design and a professor at the University of New Mexico. Maddox and his wife found Fenichel a studio at 500 Second Street. Since her move to Albuquerque, Fenichel has received two grants from the PollockKrasner Foundation and an Artist’s Grant from the Peter and Madeleine Martin Foundation for the Creative Arts. Her works have been shown in museums and galleries in New York, California, Texas, and New Mexico. In 2004 the Harwood Museum in Taos featured Fenichel’s solo exhibition Just You, Just Me. “Throughout my career, my work has alternated between a freedom of imagery and metaphor and a very personal response to nature,” Fenichel says. “It is the process and the paint that move me from one work to the next. Making art is my life. I work in the studio every day.” R
COURTESY OF DAVID RICHARD CONTEMPORARY
Peach on a Yellow Dish (2009), oil. Left: Spindle (2010), oil on synthetic paper.
BY JON CARVER | PHOTOS BY KATE RUSSELL
John Wenger’s paintings bridge his exterior and interior life
journey to visit painter, artist, and educator John Wenger in his studio is a trip. You pass through winding mountain roads, rock formations, and windblown little New Mexico towns until you climb up into high pine country that ends in stupendous views of the plains below. The piñon and juniper that leopard-spot the landscape somehow bring to mind Albrecht Altdorfer’s hallucinatory Battle of Issus, a 16th-century German masterpiece that, in a single image, manages to capture a space every bit as vast as this desert expanse. John Wenger lives out in the middle of this open plain, hiding in plain sight, on the old ranch lands among the winding dirt roads and the stick corrals. The artist’s studio space and home are located in a seamless world of color and form slung between four mountain ranges. Wenger and his art—a hermit and his hermeneutics— reside in that now here nowhere, the delicious solitude ongoing, on a distant plain rising to meet you. The painter is tall and wiry, intellectually intense, with a quick 108 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
sense of irony and humor overlaying an essentially compassionate nature. He has a ludic quality of the type often ascribed to kindly wizards in children’s stories, tempered with an air of ruggedness, and an immensely imaginative mind. He grew up in Oregon in a house full of oil paintings, most of them made by his uncle (who was an art professor at the local university) but also by other family members. His first studio was his bedroom closet, where he made tiny paintings at the age of 12. The determination to become an artist at a very young age held him in good stead. Those who choose art as a path prior to being able to truly grasp the full implications of that choice will tend to continue to put art first, even once they have gained knowledge of art worlds, gallery systems, markets, auction houses, and all the other impingements upon artistic freedom and authentic creativity. To carry the innocence of childhood intact into adult life is, in and of itself, a tremendous achievement. Wenger has done this. His work incorporates play and discovery,
activities in which the viewer is generously invited to participate. The surfaces of his paintings are richly worked, layered, and complex, finished only when they have achieved a tantalizingly deep mystery. His is a concise, but expressive, figurative style not unlike that of certain Ukiyoe masters. Recent imagery reveals an elegant cartoon linearity vaguely reminiscent of the late works of Philip Guston, a senior mentor and colleague at the American Academy in Rome (the two men crossed paths during the time Wenger spent there on his Prix de Rome). In the work of both artists, certain seductive painterly means— primarily gorgeous colors and sensual surfaces—are employed to bring home subject matter that upon close inspection turns out to be politically, philosophically, and aesthetically more profound than any initial perusal might suggest. “There is no painting without seduction,” says the artist, absently pulling at the white stubble on his chin, “but seduction alone can never be enough.” Fathom, a ten-foot-tall deep-seascape in oils on linen, sparkles on the studio wall.
COURTESY OF JOHN WENGER
Wheat Ration Cypher (no date), oil on panel. Left: Sparks In Tinder (2008), oil on linen.
Awash in periwinkle, lapis blue, and aqua, it does indeed seduce. The linear description of circling ripples of water descending to the ocean floor, spiraling around the central pipe of a burst oil well, and the fish and sea life caught up in the maelstrom is perfectly realized. Wenger’s work nets even more illusionistic space than Altdorfer and with more succinct means. The carefully clotted surface of seductive color is overlaid with what is best described as linearly expressed abstract figuration. These are pictures of places and things, men and women, children and machines, rocks and water and whirling energies. Surfaces are abraded and attacked. Forms chaotically collide until new building blocks emerge. Allegories arrive out of active imagining rather than direct observation of reality. Wenger’s practice of simplified naturalism employs a true under-
standing of illusionistic drawing principles that are applied to the images, arising gesturally upon the canvas under his watchful eye. They disappear just as quickly, until the pieces of past and present coalesce at a curiously mysterious, poetic balance of form, gesture, expression, and drawing. After 30 years as a professor of painting at UNM, where he often took his students on month-long, plein-air painting trips into the wilderness (and along the way became the director of the D. H. Lawrence Ranch Summer Art Workshops Program for twenty years), Wenger has earned the solitude and long stretches of studio time which painters long for. It seems that besides hours of creating within his modest studio, Wenger truly thrives on being outside—far from so-called civilization—to camp, draw, and paint. Every fall he loads up a variety of friends, family, and fellow artists into his big bus and hosts a long weekend of camping and creating called the Neo-Rio Festival up near Questa. He even convinced the Bureau of Land Management to sponsor their first artist in residency program. While in the wilderness, Wenger gathers the raw materials of his trade. Friends describe him as painting fast and furiously on large pieces of archival paper that he has prepped for the journey. These images are his most abstract and gestural. Some will be left trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 109
John Wenger. Left: Fathom (no date), oil on linen.
as they are, others will be brought back to the studio to be covered over or carved into in the process of finding the figurative forms so intrinsic to Wenger’s approach. Another painting, hanging above a large table covered in all varieties of cactus, depicts a large green head set in the center of a dark ground surrounded by various mundane and impossible objects. Within all that tenebrism lies the slashing and scrapings of a thousand of what Wenger calls “solutions” on his way to the finished picture. Titled Sparks in Tender, this image examines the rarified moment just before major social strife or warfare breaks out, seemingly asking, How do the actions of the political actors bring us to the gravest of human conflicts? He explains that this isn’t so much painting with a political message as it is a way for him to gather information. In the act of painting it, he came to a greater understanding of his comprehension of such events. Most importantly, he is excited about the information he gains and the new knowledge he is led to by the response of others. We return to Fathom. Wenger speaks about the necessity of painting “at the speed of thought.” Figures and forms arise instantaneously upon his sumptuously worked canvases, only to be erased away. Whole pictures arise and disappear undocumented until the painter arrives at what he describes as “performative objects.” “The question isn’t what do you want the artwork to say,” says Wenger. “The question is what is the artwork asking for. The requestperfomative aspect of imagist painting is a tradition that remains unbroken for at least the past 35,000 years.” What Wenger wants to know, in creating Fathom, is not necessarily what happened with the BP oil disaster. “It’s not about a specific event,” he says with a soothsayer’s grin. “The painting anticipates more oil disasters, and will always be about the next one.” This is why he lives so remotely, to have the time and space to participate in that ancient and ever new action that is painting. To create the “performative objects” that bring tomorrow into being. R 110 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
CANYON ROAD S A N TA
A MAGICAL HALF-MILE Nestled into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Canyon Road is a magical halfmile in the Historic District of Santa Fe. Stroll this picturesque WUDLOWRH[SHULHQFHÂżQHDUWJUHDW shopping, and exquisite dining.
YOU ARE INVITED Over 100 Galleries, Artist Â‡ Studios, Jewelers, Boutiques & Restaurants. Six world-class restaurants, Â‡ bars, and cafes offer meals throughout the day and evening, with indoor and out door seating. Friday nights, May through Â‡ October, many gallery openings VKRZFDVHÂżQHDUWIURPSP October 20, 2012, 10 am, Â‡ watch artists at work through out the day in Paint-Out! December 24, 2011, 6 pm, Â‡ celebrate the holidays during the Luminaria Walk. )HEUXDU\WRSP Â‡VDYRUÂżQHIRRGDQGDUWLQWKH ARTfeast Edible Art Tour. 100 Galleries, Boutiques & Restaurants
CANYON ROAD S A N TA
RICK STEVENS Perpetual Unfolding | June 22 – July 8, 2012
CHARLOTTE FOUST Beyond Form | August 10 – 26, 2012
RICK STEVENS Perceiving The One, 2012, oil on canvas, 48 × 48 inches
CHARLOTTE FOUST Nordic Blue, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 57 × 45 inches
Hunter Kirkland Contemporary 200 – B Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501 phone 505.984.2111 fax 505.984.8111 www.hunterkirklandcontemporary.com
Jacqueline’s Place is your one-stop shopping experience for clothing and accessories for women and girls and museum-quality Native American jewelry.
Come to Caffe Greco on historic Canyon Road for Italian coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and Señor Murphy’s candy. 233 Canyon Road Jacqueline’s Place 505.820.6542 Caffe Greco 505.820.7996
Rush Cole’s VIVA SANTA FE!, oil on canvas, 48'' x 72''
anta Fe artist Rush Cole spent nine months researching and painting the history of New Mexico’s capital city, the oldest in America. Her montage, titled Rush Cole’s VIVA SANTA FE!, covers 400 years of civic history and contains more than 50 individual pictorial elements. Three major cultures are represented by pueblo buffalo dancers, a Spanish horse and rider, and a cowboy bull rider, with the historic plaza as a backdrop. This and other art by Rush Cole are on exhibit at Jewel Mark’s charming new home at the entrance of world-famous Canyon Road in Santa Fe. Jewel Mark 233 Canyon Road, Suite 1, Santa Fe, NM 505-820-6304 jewelmark.com
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in collaboration with King Galleries of Scottsdale – through October 2012
Top, L to R: Glen Nipshank, Tonita Roybal, Alan E. Lasiloo, Chris Youngblood, Diego Romero. Bottom: Samuel Manymules, William A. Pacheco, Margaret Tafoya, Tony Da, Maria Martinez, Helen Shupla, Jason Garcia & Santiago Romero.
Native American Ceramic Arts 419 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | 505.982.2145 | robertnicholsgallery.com
Robert Nichols Gallery len Nipshank creates vessels of clay that are organic, bold, and sculptural. Of Bigstone Cree “First Nations” ancestry from far northern Alberta, Canada, Glen studied art in Alberta and in Vancouver, BC, and became well known for his paintings. He later came to the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where his interest turned to pottery. Glen incorporates images from the land, animals, and stories of his heritage. Robert Nichols was first introduced to Native American pottery while on an archeological project at Mesa Verde National Park. It became a passion while he was stationed in the Washington, DC, area, where historic Southwestern Indian pottery could be found in many shops. In 1980 the gallery opened on Canyon Road, focusing on older pottery. It has gradually changed to showcase work by innovative living Native artists, many of whom have pieces in museums and private collections across the United States and Europe.
419 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 505-982-2145 robertnicholsgallery.com
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Christopher Thomson, Chinlone garden orbs and Pajo sculpture, hand forged steel
La Mesa/Christopher Thomson Ironworks Studio and Gallery hristopher Thomson is a nationally recognized local artist and blacksmith. His work is available at La Mesa of Santa Fe, a contemporary gallery, and at Christopher Thomson Ironworks Studio and Gallery. The great circles of his Chinlones weave orbs of triangles and pentagons in timeless symmetry. A Chinlone from this new sculpture series or a tall, graceful Pajo sculpture is a perfect addition to any garden setting.
La Mesa of Santa Fe 225 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 505-984-1688 lamesaofsantafe.com
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Christopher Thomson Ironworks Studio and Gallery P.O. Box 578, Ribera, NM 575-421-2645 christopherthomsonironworks.com
Hand-forged Steel Bistro Table & Swivel Bar Stools by Christopher Thomson Painting by Diana Pardue Ceramic Vase is by Jarrett West
Christopher Thomson Ironworks Studio & Gallery by appointment off of I-25 between Santa Fe & Las Vegas, NM 575.421.2645 christopherthomsonironworks.com
La Mesa of Santa Fe 225 Canyon Road Santa Fe, NM 505.984.1688 lamesaofsantafe.com EXCEPTIONAL HANDCRAFTED ITEMS SINCE 1982
Photo by Kate Russell
KAREN MELFI collection www.karenmelficollection.com
Photography by Wendy McEahern
Iron, Titanium, Gold & Diamond Jewelry
Doug Dawson s a founding painter of the Denver Art Students’ League, Doug Dawson might be said to live by the motto, “Never stop teaching, never stop learning.” In masterful command of oil and pastel mediums, Dawson has been a top-selling painter at Ventana Fine Art for 30 years. Unafraid of innovation and experimentation within limits he defines for himself, Dawson has kept his work fresh, exciting, and hard to resist. His works reside in 25 museums, and he has been honored with 23 significant awards, acknowledging and affirming what viewers recognize without hesitation—Doug Dawson is a great painter.
Ventana Fine Art 400 Canyon Road 505-983-8815 ventanafineart.com
Doug Dawson, Moored, pastel, 24" x 32"
he first artist to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the West Coast Pastel Society, third living artist to be elected to the Pastel Hall of Fame, author of five instructional books on fine-art painting, and master painter in two mediums, Albert Handell paints intuitively and with consistently enthusiastic responses from all who see his works. His compositions are paragons of design, with principles of rhythm and balance, dominance and subordination, and astute use of local and arbitrary color applied in “The Quiet Master’s” unique set of signature stylistic elements. Whether in oil or in pastel, Handell paintings satisfy aesthetically, emotionally, and analytically.
Albert Handell, Los Arboles, mixed media pastel, 16" x 20"
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Ventana Fine Art 400 Canyon Road 505-983-8815 ventanafineart.com
MARY SILVERWOOD 1932 - 2011
18" x 24"
Friday, June 29, 2012 s 5 to 7 pm
ew Mexico resident Mary Silverwood was beloved by art collectors across the country for her dazzling pastel paintings of landmarks such as Shiprock, Mesa Verde, the Sandias, and Chaco Canyon, as well as intimate encounters on the banks of the Rio Grande, at the edge of an arroyo, in the red rocks of Gallup, or mountain forests of Taos. Lauded by The Pastel Journal for her technique and her vision, Silverwood’s powerful design and saturated colors transform the paintings into masterpieces that cross the borders of representation and abstraction. As critics observe, she edited the everyday world so that viewers could see its complexity of colors and shapes in a new and extraordinary light. Premier Silverwood estate paintings are now available, with a broad selection during the Silverwood Retrospective opening June 29 at Ventana Fine Art. Don’t miss this opportunity to own a legend.
CANYON ROAD S A N TA
VENTANA FINE ART 400 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501
DR Contemporary DR Contemporary is the exclusive gallery of artist David Rothermel, whose paintings reveal his deep connection to the land and light of the desert. The gallery will be exhibiting his new non-objective series entitled Portals this summer. These panels reflect a return to formal abstraction principles and focus on relationships between form, color, and texture. 616½ Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 575-642-4981 drcontemporary.com Above: David Rothermel’s La Luz, acrylic on panel, 72"x 80"
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GF Contemporary ascal was born in St. Rafael, France, and settled in Santa Fe in 1997. Prior to that time, he had gained a reputation in Europe as a promising young sculptor. Pascal creates a range of abstract meditations that seem to arise directly from the material itself, rather than from a conscious plan. He has an extraordinary rapport with his materials, concocting his own varnishes and resins as well as creating bronze-like patinas on non-metallic surfaces. He works with a variety of precious woods to create sculptures that express the texture, aroma, and strength of each. Of his work, he says, “To give birth to a sculpture or series of sculptures that will offer the opportunity for the viewer to participate in a conscious and sub-conscious dialogue with it . . . results in the powerful experience of inspiration, realization, motivation, self-inquiry, and infused creativity.”
707 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 505-983-3707 gfcontemporary.com Pascal, Bloc 125
GF Contemporary orn in 1966 in Manchester, England, and currently living in Santa Fe, Nigel Conway’s artistic path and acclaimed style has made him a sought-after artist by collectors both nationally and internationally. His self-taught style combines playfulness and his deep connection with the subjects he paints; notably his abstract figurative paintings with their captivating big eyes and lips. Recently the New Mexico State Art Collection acquired four of his paintings. Repetitions, variations, and the rhythms and rhymes of everyday life correspond to the pictorial poetry that Nigel sees and is inspired by in his works. “The thing about painting for me,” he says, “is that I feel compelled to do it every day and to new levels.”
707 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 505-983-3707 gfcontemporary.com
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Nigel Conway, Bitchin Old Skool Puzzle
G E R O N I MO geronimorestaurant.com 724 Canyon Rd. Santa Fe, NM 505.982.1500
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cyclical tides, 108 x 127 inches
D U B L I N
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BY JAN ERNST ADLMANN
Igniting Debate T
he prickly ethical question raised by the Harwood Museum of Art’s exhibition of Agnes Martin’s earliest works had some critics and viewers crying foul. If Martin were alive today, she would have been livid. Others, however, aligned themselves with the opinion of art historian and critic Richard Tobin, who also wrote the show’s catalog essay. In Ann Landi’s March 14, 2011, Wall Street Journal article, “Saved from the Artist’s Fire,” he flatly states, “The museum’s responsibility is not to the artist. The museum’s responsibility is to educate.” And quite an education this has been. No viewer with even a modicum of familiarity with the tropes and clichés of mid-20th-century Modernism, especially those of the halcyon era of Abstract Expressionism, could 130 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
Agnes Martin: Before the Grid unveiled Abstract Expressionist icon’s early work
fail to come away from the experience without conflicted thoughts, not simply about the ethics of the whole affair, but also about the phenomenon, not unheard of, in which an artist determines to destroy all traces of their pictorial evolution. If Martin had had her way, everything before her pristine grid paintings would be to us tabula rasa, for she famously sought to hunt down, retrieve, and torch all her early work. Organized by curators Tiffany Bell and Jina Brenneman, the show brought together a mere handful of Martin’s earliest works, created mostly from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Seen together, they vividly illustrated the course of the artist’s apparently arduous experimentation with all genres. Both representational and abstract, these paintings com-
prised portraits, still lifes, landscapes, and a series of biomorphic and geometric abstractions that point towards the rarified “grid works” of her maturity, which miraculously conflated Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism into what Bell and Brenneman call Martin’s “singular genre.” “The exhibition shows that before Martin arrived at the simplicity and directness of her mature, non-objective work,” observes Bell, “she painted for many years in a range of styles and techniques, addressing content—the vast New Mexico landscape, primordial and biomorphic forms, and hovering, atmospheric geometric shapes— that suggests a search for a way to convey an essential or universal truth.” It is not inconceivable that had Martin
© 2012 AGNES MARTIN / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK.
© 2012 AGNES MARTIN / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK.
Photograph of artist with work. Opposite: Mid-Winter (c. 1954), oil on canvas
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succeeded in her well-documented efforts to ferret out and destroy all traces of this revelatory body of work, today’s viewer would be much poorer when contemplating the radiant works for which she would subsequently become famous. Certainly, several successful modern artists have gone to the trouble to scavenge and destroy all traces of their development, invariably with no real explanation for such immolation. In one notable instance and precisely in Martin’s milieu, the great Bay Area figurative abstractionist David Park legendarily torched a huge pile of his early works on a San Francisco hillside. The will to be born anew, to be seen ab ovo, is understandable but ultimately lam132 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
entable, especially when it comes to artists of Martin’s repute. With the Harwood’s astonishing project, however, contemporary art lovers have the opportunity to contemplate Agnes Martin’s mature works through new and irrevocably altered lenses. For the purposes of this brief review, one can pass over with little discussion the very earliest pieces in the show, such as a couple of totally competent, attractive, late 1940s New Mexico watercolor landscapes, which surely will strike most viewers as pure Taos Society of Artists productions. These works, and a few self-portraits, show the very young artist learning the ropes. They are so innocuous, one has to wonder why Martin would seek to destroy them.
When the artist took a brief respite from the New York art scene to visit Taos in the 1950s, the work she produced “raises some issues,” Ann Landi observes in “Saved from the Artist’s Fire.” These early works, Landi points out, are decidedly retardataire, and show Martin wrestling with imagery that had long since been left in the dust by her Abstract Expressionist compatriots: vaguely geometric forms and oozy (as Landi puts it) biomorphism, although it is possible that the artist was influenced by some of the Taos artists’ interest in Surrealism. Works like The Bluebird from 1954 reveal Martin juggling free-floating geometric shapes that echo, for this viewer at least, nothing so much as the vaguely “moderne”
© 2012 AGNES MARTIN / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK.
The Islands (c. 1961), acrylic and graphite on linen
© 2012 AGNES MARTIN / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK.
The Spring (1957), oil on canvas
ornament of countless Formica dinette sets. More accomplished are the biomorphic works, many of which suggest earlier influences, like Kandinsky, Gorky, Miro, Arp, and, strikingly, William Baziotes, perhaps the foremost biomorphist among the Abstract Expressionists. The best of this lot are the ethereal 1954 Dream of Night Sailing and the masterful The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden from 1953, a tour de force in many respects and, at 48 x 72 inches, the largest painting by far that escaped the artist’s torch. The pallid palette that characterizes many of these surviving works resonates as decidedly feminine, even delicate. The Expulsion, save for one startling slash of vermillion, is rendered in pale pinks, tans, and ambers,
and feels like a co-mingling of the cavorting imagery of Gorky and Miro but with the reticent palette of Marie Laurencin. It is a compelling mixture. Depicted in semi-figurative fashion, The Expulsion impresses with its jangling, jagged drawing and the pell-mell motion of the ill-fated couple. There is about the entire affair a sense that Martin was kinetically invested in the theme, even empathizing with the protagonists. In no other work on view at the Harwood was there such a palpable feeling of the artist energized. Nor was there another example in which she seemed to have so fully absorbed the lessons of a handful of pivotal works, namely Picasso’s biomorphic Night Fishing at Antibes from his Cubist period, and Gorky’s turbulent geometric-
cum-biomorphic abstraction Liver is the Cock’s Comb. The Expulsion is a work of considerable panache, but it was a style she would not pursue in subsequent works, and one cannot help but wonder if the artist Agnes Martin eventually became was not in some way a reaction against this cacophony of gesture. Certainly, she could have gone the way of a Gorky, whose works were nothing if not vivid demonstrations of life’s endless travails—so much so that art critic John Russell suggested the artist “allowed art to eat him alive.” Instead, it seems Agnes Martin forged a new path entirely, eventually retreating into the melancholy and the solace that would become her grid. R trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 133
ART SANTA FE
/ INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR
J U LY 1 2 - 1 5 , 2 0 1 2
S A N TA F E C O N V E N T I O N C E N T E R , S A N TA F E , N E W M E X I C O OPENING
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JULY 13, 11- 6 PM; JULY 14, 11-6 PM; JULY 15, 11- 6 PM / TEL 505.988.8883 / WWW.ARTSANTAFE.COM
ART SANTA FE
SATURDAY, JULY 14 / ART Santa Fe Presents keynote speaker
acclaimed art critic & art historian
presents ALL TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE LENSIC BOX OFFICE 505.988.1234 IMAGES FROM TOP LEFT, 1ST ROW: Shirley Klinghoffer, Director’s Choice, New Mexico; Robert Turner, Robert Turner - Photographs, California 2ND ROW: Mohammad Zia Forogh, Galleria Kabul, Afghanistan; Ken Asahina, Gallery SUDOH, Japan; Richard Dana, Cohn Drennan Contemporary, Texas 3RD ROW: Yayoi Kusama, Gallery EDEL, Japan; Hugo Garcia Urrutia, DECORAZONgallery, New York & Texas; Paola Rascon Tello, Amor por Juarez, Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas
Discover and Discover and Celebrate Celebrate tthe he Remarkable Remarkable Women Women of of Taos Taos Early on, the American W West est and Southwest, and special places like T Taos, aos, New Mexico, were sought out by those of adventurous spirit—particularly strong, creative women. T Two wo such s iconic women who sought and found freedom in Taos T aos were art artists Agnes Martin Wee are and Beatrice Mandelman. W celebrating the centennials of their births in 2012—along with New Mexico’s centennial of statehood. Too celebrate tthem and dozens of T other remarkable women, both current, historic and cur rent, Taos Taos will have a series of special events in 2012.
Visit www www.Taos.org .T Taos.org to Win Trip, aT rip, see Specials and to view a schedule of events for Remarkable Remarkablee W Women omen off T Taos aos & Northern New Mexico. Mexico.
www.Taos.org www .T Taos.org
PATRICIA PATRICIA MICHAELS MICHAELS Photo by Jennifer Esperanza
C CORINA ORINA SANTISTEVAN SANTISTEVAN Photo by Robbie Robbie Steinbach
MILLICENT MILLICENT ROGERS ROGERS Courtesy Courtesy of the Millicent Rogers Rogers Museum. M useum. P Photo hoto by by Lo L Louise uis i eD Dahl-Wolfe ahl-Wolfe
THE TAOS HUM
BY LYN BLEILER
Remarkable Artists, Remarkable Characters
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ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF PAUL O’CONNOR
he buzz has been building around Paul O’Connor’s much-anticipated Taos Portraits book, which documents a unique group of artists and other talents who, for various reasons, have made Taos their home—including artists Agnes Martin, Bea Mandelman, and Rachel Brown, who are also being honored in the city’s year-long Remarkable Women of Taos celebration. And who, in doing so, have perpetuated Taos’s reputation for attracting “interesting” folks. Taos Portraits began with legendary Sunday night poker games, first in Venice, California, then moving, along with some of the players, to Taos, New Mexico. In the late 1980s, photographer Paul O’Connor (a transplant from Malibu) received a highly coveted initiation into the exclusive boys’ club with players Jim Wagner, Larry Bell, Gus Foster, Kevin Cannon, Ed Thomas, Paul Pascarella, Barney Vorhees, and Ken O’Neil. At some point, O’Connor recalls with a smile, he looked around the room at these fascinating faces, grabbed his Toyo View 4 x 5 camera, and got busy. “The guys around the poker table were my first subjects,” he says. Thus began O’Connor’s portrait series that has grown to include 60 Taos talents—mostly artists—and entertaining stories, as well. The result, thanks to editing by Bill Whaley, bona fide Taos character and former publisher of Taos’s Horsefly newspaper, and the support of friends along the way, is a stunning book of black and white photos peppered with personal essays by and about the subjects. For instance, artist Ken Price, who passed away this February, shares his version (of which he claims there are four) of a raucous Las Vegas road trip in the late 1960s to celebrate artist Larry Bell’s acquiring funds to purchase “The Tank,” a plating
machine for depositing extremely thin films of metals or non metallic materials such as quartz on to any surface. With shades of Hunter Thompson, the tale includes, among other things, the legendary Desert Inn, agents from the Treasury Department, and the FBI. Adopting a more thoughtful tone, Bell in turn reflects on his 50-year friendship with Price that began back in the early Ferus Gallery days in Los Angeles. On meeting artist Bill Gersh for the first time, painter Mimi Saltzman, who moved from New York City to Taos in 1972, writes, “. . . he wore old fashioned cowboy clothes from 1890—and was way way drunk and seductive . . . ” Gersh’s long-time friend Larry Audette writes, “Bill set his spectrum wider than the rest of us. His scope was so large, so multi-dimensional, that his friends came to rely on him as a fountain of creativity and encouragement. When he left [died], the echoing emptiness we felt was deeper and more mysterious than any of us could have imagined.” O’Connor’s book is a veritable time capsule in the continuum of Taos’ rich history as a mecca for alternative lifestyles and creative souls. It builds on a tradition established by the late Mildred Tolbert, a gifted photographer who captured the Taos Moderns and others on film in the 1940s and 1950s. As photographer Gus Foster writes, “The collected work in this book, besides providing the insight into a very interesting group of individuals, has given us a fine record of the diversity and creativity of the cultural world of Taos over the last 20-plus years. Of the 60 people portrayed, more than a third are no longer living, so Taos Portraits is equally important as an historical document for this community.” ___________ The official Taos Portraits book release party took place June 1 at the opening reception of the Taos Portraits exhibition at the Millicent Rogers Museum. The exhibition will run through Sunday, July 15. A related exhibit will take place at the Hulse Warman Gallery. The Harwood will feature several exhibits by “remarkable women,” with a showing of Agnes Martin’s works through July 17 and Bea Mandelman’s collages from July 7 to October 14. For more information: taosportraits.com; taos.org/women; hulsewarmangallery.com; harwoodmuseum.org.
Larry Bell. Opposite top: Bill Gersh. Below: Sculptor Maye Torres will be honored during the Remarkable Women of Taos celebration.
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here were so many things But Ellison and Elton take I didn’t expect when I “back to the land” much further moved 1100 miles southforward. Their philosophy is not east from San Francisco to the just about seeds and soil, about Southwest. I didn’t expect that getting dirty and growing good I’d learn how to grow a garden food. It is also an aesthetic in the desert. I didn’t expect that approach, a romantic vision of a six years into my experience, I’d certain way of being. You can see have six chickens and a stretch it in the old Plaza post office now limo of a daschund-chihuahua converted to art studio where mix known as a chiweenie. I Elton, a graduate of the The Art never anticipated that I’d be on Institute of Chicago, builds a first name basis with most of organic sculptures. the farmers and ranchers from Their Aliss-Chalmers tractor whom I get groceries on my in Technicolor orange is the most weekly pilgrimage to the farmiconic symbol of their unique ers’ market. way of doing things. From 1914 I certainly didn’t expect that to the early 1980s, the name nestled in the ancient badlands of Aliss-Chalmers was synonymous Chimayo I would be learning with farming tractors. Today they TEXT AND PHOTOS BY GABRIELLA MARKS about classic European defen are the very definition of old sive architecture, discovering our school: Instead of the lumbering natural tendency to form communities, and witnessing the emercombine behemoths of industrial farming, they are human-sized, gence of new traditions that echo and celebrate old ones. with all moving parts accessible and exposed to make them easy to New Mexico is known for blindingly blue skies, mountain horirepair by the mechanically inclined. They’d look perfectly at home zons, and visibility clear to Colorado—it’s utterly breathtaking how in front of an antique store, yet they are fully functional, useful, and far you can see in this land. And yet the landscape shelters mysterin high demand these days for small farms like Rancho Manzana. ies—hidden and notoriously private communities beyond the main Ellison’s love for the Aliss-Chalmers extends beyond the simple highways that take patience, curiosity, and a GPS to discover. To satisfaction of using a perfectly good tool. He wants to move away drink from the well-worn metaphor of the spring in the desert, you’d from reliance on fossil fuels and convert the tractor to a new kind be amazed at some of the oases concealed behind scraggly coyote of hybrid, fitting it with a solar battery that will both drive the engine fences down rambling washboard dirt roads. and provide a mobile power source for other tools on remote areas On your first visit to Rancho Manzana, the dramatic mesas of the of the farm. Chimayo badlands give little hint as to the fertile fields and lush The return to antique tools and methods brings another, richer orchards of Rancho Manzana. The contrast is breathtaking: Just component back to working the land: the need for, and celebrathree minutes from the parched pink cliffs that border the Juan tion of, working together. As Ellison puts it, you simply can’t do it Medina highway, you’re suddenly surrounded by tranquil green. alone. There are times in the farming calendar when you need Jody Kent-Apple purchased the property from the renowned Ortega your neighbors and friends to help out on the big jobs—tilling the rug-weaving family more than 20 years ago and has painstakingly fields, sowing the seeds, reaping the harvest. According to Ellison, restored the fields and the buildings, which occupy the southern working together—for instance, when the Channing brothers and boundary of the historic Chimayo Plaza del Cerro. Dating from the their team of mules from Gemini Farms helped him plant this early Spanish settlers of the 1700s, the Plaza was essentially a town season’s potatoes—is not only a more fulfilling way to get things square—an area of land bordered by a connected series of builddone, it is often the only way to accomplish all of the tasks that ings—that served as residence, social space, farming land, and defenbring produce to market. sive protection for the families that lived there. Community is also the primary motivation at the heart of Elton and Today, Rancho Manzana is a bed-and-breakfast surrounded by Ellison’s plans to begin a dinner series this summer at Rancho Manorchards, birdsong, and fertile fields sown for harvest. A few years zana. For their version of Farm to Table, they are expanding the ago Brett Ellison and Alexis Elton, inspired by their experience “kitchen garden” to grow a bounty of produce—a greater variety of working with nearby Gemini Farms, joined Kent-Apple at Rancho vegetables and herbs than the crops they bring to market—in order Manzana to revive the agricultural heritage of the Plaza. The couto create and host locally-sourced dinner evenings at the Rancho. ple are a new breed of farmers, members of a movement that has “We’re looking to form a new bond in the customer-to-grower diabeen gaining momentum for years, based on small-scale, sustainlogue.” says Elton. “These dinners will be an intimate space for eduable farming practices. cating and supporting one another, farmer to mouth. Through this
Back to the Future of Farming
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Farming teaches us that out of little, comes much: Each of these potato “seeds,” neatly planted in long rows, will yield many offspring, and the garlic plantings will eventually produce nearly seven different varieties. Another lesson learned: Farming is 90 percent fixing things. Reuse and recycle is the name of the game, and it’s amazing how, with a little maintenance and care, even old farm gear does the job as well as new. The human element is just as important. Assistance from friends and neighbors is always appreciated, as is the hard work of mule team Jack and Jill.
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Traditions both old and new are indelibly woven into the fabric of daily life at Rancho Manzana. Irrigation is provided via New Mexicoâ€™s timehonored community-operated acequia system, and tractor work on a vintage Aliss-Chalmers proves that everything old can be new again.
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The kind of dinner memories are made of: amazing food, grown within eyesight of the dinner table, surrounded by blooming wisteria vines and good friends on a summer evening. Dishes include: oven-baked winter squash with garlic and parsley, achiote shrimp on homemade tostadas, slowcooked goat stew, and capirotada with pistachios and dried fruits—a fancy bread pudding to die for.
we would like to think that we are creating awareness of what it means to support local agriculture.” Given her background in art, Elton also wants these evenings to appeal to all of the senses, to the eyes as well as to the palate, and therefore will include art exhibits as part of the event. It’s a compelling idea, to bring people together to enjoy good food and each other, to experience first-hand the land their food comes from, to taste delicious recipes made from just-picked produce, and to appreciate artwork inspired by the land. Such evenings took place in the Plaza centuries ago. No doubt Ellison and Elton are growing more than the corn and chile that were the predominant crops in bygone days—and the art is more abstract than the rugs the Ortegas wove there for generations—but given that the spirit is the same, generations of Plaza residents would feel right at home tonight at Rancho Manzana. R trendmagazineglobal.com Summer 2012 » Trend 143
Cardona-Hine Gallery 505-689-2253 cardonahinegallery.com
Hand Artes Gallery 505-689-2443 handartesgallery.com
on the High Road
Bark Tapestry #2
Hand Artes Gallery
My bark assemblages are similar to quilts the woven wire between each piece akin to stitching.
The inherent dignity of my American Indian cannot be touched by the trickster in the background.
These are my Nature Tapestries. 137 CR 75 Truchas, NM 505-689-2443 handartesgallery.com
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82 CR 75 Truchas, NM 505-689-2253 cardonahinegallery.com
Presents Gala & Auction Saturday, October 6, 2012 Stieren Orchestra Hall at The Santa Fe Opera Over 50 renowned artists from New Mexico and around the world have transformed violins into stunning works of art. On October 6th, you will have an opportunity to own these one-of-a-kind works at our Gala & Auction. The proceeds will benefit the musicians of The Santa Fe Symphony, as well as the numerous childrenâ€™s programs the Symphony supports in New Mexico.
Silver and 22k Gold Wearable Pendant
Visit our website for a complete list of artists & their bios, photos of the violins, Gala reservations and bidding information. www.paintedviolinssantafe.org 505-983-3530 email email@example.com
THE Billy Schenck
YMPHONY...bringing great music to life
The Revolution A retrospective of the Occupy Santa Fe movement, from the heady first days of its inception to the continued efforts by dedicated participants to change the paradigm of participatory government. Its bold new assertion is that we don’t need Wall Street or a Corporate America—and we don’t need politicians to build a better society.
From Campsite to Workgroup BY DARRYL LORENZO WELLINGTON
very morning they prepared coffee and flung new sticks on the flickering campfire. Every afternoon they hauled huge jugs of water from nearby St. Elizabeth Shelter, making sure to accomplish their task before nightfall, when they bedded down for the freeze. That was how the denizens of Occupy Santa Fe lived from late November 2011 to mid-January 2012, the three months that the local movement maintained a presence at Railyard Park. The humble campsite of 20 or so tents was an oasis of social activism and bare necessity existence, surrounded by boutique businesses, upscale galleries, expensive homes, and the many staples of downtown Santa’s Fe’s tourist economy. In other words: the project stuck out like a sore thumb. But the several dozen campers were committed to symbolically “taking back” democratic rights by occupying public space and living like paupers. The encampment survived the difficulties inevitably involved in maintaining a community social organization, open to all who identified with the movement, and surviving outdoors throughout the months of bitter winter cold. It stood up for and often literally fed Santa Fe’s poor, disenfranchised, and the luckless losers in the housing market fluctuations of an expensive city. By the time it closed, the Occupy Santa Fe camp had realized the distinct accomplishment of being one of the longest running physical occupations in the USA. This most visible manifestation of the movement was only one of many ongoing actions sanctioned by the Santa Fe General Assembly. The decision-making body of Occupy Wall Street movements coast to coast, general assembly (GA) policies reflect the belief that by collective action, 99 percent of Americans can create a nonviolent social and political movement, leveraging pure idealism and sheer numbers to nullify the influence of billion-dollar corporations and the 1 percent of Americans who own 40 percent of the national wealth. Its membership includes all professions and all income brackets, including anyone in the 1 percent, assuming they concur that corporate influence has grown crassly injudicious. Its specific traditions were adopted from the original Occupy Wall 148 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
Street encampment at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, and include the “mic check” (a practice developed in New York to resist a ban on sound systems by having the crowd become a human microphone), various silent hand signals like “twinkling,” whereby the crowd wiggles their fingers to signal agreement with what is being said without drowning out the general assembly speakers with applause, and, most essentially, a mandate that all GA-approved decisions be passed by consensus. The belief in consensus decision making has deep roots in American political and religious history. In an Occupy Santa Fe group assembly, which can number 12 or 1200, everyone counts in the tally and every decision must pass by a near unanimity of 90 percent. The 90 percent mandate heavily invests the group in drawing from personal experiences, individual backgrounds, and areas of focus, using a step-by-step process to ask questions and engage in a discussion that seeks through collective reasoning to achieve collective wisdom. For the most part, general assemblies revolve around specific plans of action, resolutions, protests, and marches, asking in the name of the movement: What do we need? How can we get it? What is being proposed and why? How can we carry out the proposal if a consensus is reached? A failed proposal can be revised and reintroduced at a later date. A proposal that has passed or appears to be on the brink of passage can still be blocked, or vetoed, by a minority of one individual. The hand signal for the block is a pair of crisscrossed wrists creating an X, which expresses vehement disagreement, even belief a course of action is a betrayal of the principles of the 99 percent. A block will not necessarily stop a proposal from becoming adopted, but it will give the floor to the unhappy minority and set in motion a subsequent round of debate, again using consensus to resolve the dilemma. While its general assembly is the brain of Occupy Santa Fe, the movement’s arms and legs are a variety of work groups. A work group is a subset of activists working on a specific agenda with sanctioned goals. Given that consensus decision making is both an education in real democracy and a painstaking discipline, a facil-
Will Be Occupied itation work group concentrates on insuring justice and equity in the decision-making process. An outreach and inclusivity work group seeks to encourage participation beyond racial, cultural, and gender lines, while a direct action work group concentrates on tactics involved in rallies, staged interventions, flash mobs, and nonviolent anti-home-foreclosure actions. The Occupy Santa Fe camp closed in January, finally overburdened by the needs of the many disenfranchised who had made a temporary roost there, but during its heyday, Santa Fe’s homeless and its wealthiest citizens shared a dialogue, a meeting space, and a vote. What remains is a membership of around 60 dedicated activists who
comprise the work groups and continue planning and conducting actions—sometimes well publicized, sometimes not—working outside of bureaucratic channels, though possibly with the same goals, in a spirit of civic indignation which connects Occupy to the Abolitionists, the Suffragists, the Civil Rights Movement, and ACT UP. On the opening day of this year’s state legislature, Occupy movements and sympathetic activists throughout the state gathered in solidarity, linked hands, and encircled the Roundhouse, chanting Occupy slogans. The protestors easily numbered a thousand. The action barely received a blip in the media, but we knew we were there, and the spirit was with us.
Redefining the Art and Architecture of Democracy BY CHRISTIAN LEAHY
t’s just shy of midnight and I am burrowing deep into my sleeping bag at Zuccotti Park when I wake up to the fact that I have never participated in democracy before. Not really. Behind me, the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street is discussing a proposal to incorporate the Spokes Council model into its governing structure. Many feel this move would enable decisions to be made more efficiently, and provide more just representation to historically marginalized peoples and communities. Others balk: Occupy was only a month old and most were having their first taste of direct democracy. I was riveted. Part of me was deep in this meta-conversation about sovereignty and empowerment in downtown Manhattan and part of me was home in Northern New Mexico, imagining nothing less than the restoration of its fragmented communities to wholeness. Fast forward through the winter to early spring. After weeks of contentious work group meetings, people storming away from the movement, divisiveness over strategy and tactics, and full-out mudslinging in the press and on Facebook, I’m beginning to think the most radical act the 99 percent could pull off is to sustain a conversation with each other. Clearly the euphoria of Occupy Santa Fe’s early days—the wonder, the possibility, the unfamiliar joy of sharing our stories with strangers and taking a stand together—had given way to a grittier moment and an uncomfortable developmental process. What would it take to lay down our individual agendas? Could
we stop defending and recruiting others to our view? Could we begin to attune to the deeper needs of our community? Could we learn the art of democracy together? It’s no wonder we are uncertain and clumsy in this. As a culture, our participation in direct democracy has been limited, even if we have been faithfully casting ballots, canvassing our neighborhoods, writing letters to the editor, or participating in campaigns with our fellow citizens to protect the values and resources we hold dear. On the other hand, we have two things going for us: what Paul Hawken calls “humanity’s immune response to resist and heal the effects of political corruption, economic disease, and ecological degradation,” and a natural impulse to cooperate. Hawken, an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author of Blessed Unrest, charts global movements. He explains that from a biological standpoint, the movement is bound to fail. “But failure is only one way to look at it. When a cell dies in your body, is that failure? Not really. It is life. No life without death. Biology iterates rapidly. So does this ‘movement.’ It is seen as fragile when it should be seen as living.” In that aliveness, movements today are responding to concentrated power with concentrated community, transitioning, Hawken says “from me to we, from a world created by privilege to a world created by community. The first seems orderly but causes social and ecological messes. The second is messy but creates social and ecological order.” Many have been working with the consensus process, with its continued on page 152
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The Occupy Timeline PHOTOS BY LISA LAW The following includes a few milestones that define Occupy Santa Fe and reach beyond the City Different to engage and even help shape the national dialogue on critical issues.
December 7, 2011: Mic Checking PNM and the Environmental Improvement Board Members of Occupy Santa Fe (OSF) allied with young people from United World College and Earth Care Youth Allies for Sustainability to register their dissent concerning PNM, the state’s largest utility, and Governor Susanna Martinez’s bid to reverse a carbon emissions cap approved by the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) during former Governor Bill Richardson’s administration. Upon taking office in January 2011, Martinez dismissed the previous members of the EIB and vowed to roll back regulatory plans proposed by New Energy Economy in a visionary gambit to cut CO2 releases by 3 percent a year beginning in 2013. At the public hearing, the people unplugged demanded clean energy, clean water, clean air, and cor-
porate responsibility. Martinez’s EIB did not heed the call. December 9, 2011: Launch of Santa Fe Solidarity Initiative Something has been rotten in the housing market for years, but it was not until the U.S. economy began to tank in 2008 that the stink was finally pinpointed. The clandestine machinations included the peddling of securities backed by risky mortgages and then betting on their failure (Goldman Sachs), and selling home loans out from under owners who were in arrears—even long-term homeowners—without legal right or the proper paperwork to do so (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Deutsche Bank). Even worse, some banks sold the homes of long-term owners to new buyers at a frac-
Occupy rally at Bank of America
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tion of the value, all the while making false promises of loan modification programs that never materialized. Ironic, considering many of these same institutions were “bailed out” by the American taxpayers. Yet who bailed out the homeowners? The biggest fraud yet may be the effort on the part of the federal government and the banks to stave off thousands of costly lawsuits by offering homeowners pennies on the dollar as restitution. As a result, nearly 200,000 homeowners have now been forced into foreclosure, robbed of both their equity and a place to call home. Santa Fe Solidarity, an initiative that has emerged from Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Our Homes, seeks to address this foreclosure crisis. Its mission is to shine a light on a broken, corrupt system, to prevent further weakening of the middle class by lending practices that destroy the very foundation upon which it lives and works, and to demand changes to predatory lending laws and the return of homes to their rightful owners. Early January 2012: The 99 Pledge The Supreme Court’s January 2012 ruling in Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Committee lifted the floodgates for corporate expenditures in candidate elections. OSFer
and green homes designer Alan Hoffman believes “one can make the argument that the Occupy movement grew out of the anger and frustration” about the landmark decision. His response? To spearhead the 99 Pledge to overturn Citizen’s United and “get the money out of politics.” First adopted by Occupy Santa Fe and then made available nationally, the 99 Pledge campaign identifies which candidates are willing to go on record and commit to leveling the playing field in electoral politics and to create equal access to the political process and erase undue influence by limiting all contributions in elections to what most citizens conceivably can afford—$99. New Mexico State Representative Brian Egolf and Senator Eric Griego were among the first to sign. January 13, 2012: Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples Pledge In an effort to educate its members on the told and untold history of indigenous peoples and the effects of white supremacy and racism, OSF adopted this pledge in support of decolonization and the full transformation of our society and civilization to one
that is just, democratic, inclusive, respectful, and honors the Earth and all beings. The goal is to consult, partner, and work with others to help create healed and decolonized societies by unlearning the effects of colonization and initiating efforts to eradicate all systems and forms of violence and oppression. OSF honors the ground upon which we stand as the ancestral land of many Pueblo and other First Nations’ Peoples and recognizes the sovereignty of the remaining 19 pueblos of New Mexico, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the Navajo Nation, and the Ute Mountain Tribe. January 17, 2012: Occupy the Roundhouse On the opening day of the 2012 New Mexico Legislative Session, a coalition including labor unions, We Are People Here, Move On, Somos un Pueblo Unido, and Occupy members from around the state arrived by the Rail Runner Express, marched to the Roundhouse, and encircled it. Standing arm-and-arm and more than 1000 strong, the coalition put the legislature on notice, chanting, “Whose House?
Our House!” Although the nightly news outlets focused on the mic check of the Governor, the real story may lie in what OSFer Carmen Stone calls “the community that came together around common ground to join forces and reclaim our democracy.” The day marked the first statewide General Assembly, and served as a launch point for a coordinated effort to track common-interest bills and apply political pressure on specific issues critical to the Occupy movement. January 25, 2012: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? Funded by Koch Industries and over 300 corporations, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is behind dozens of initiatives that are destructive to the working class, the poor, and the environment. The epitome, says prominent civil rights attorney Jeff Hass, “of business buying legislators.” While ALEC wined and dined New Mexico lawmakers, OSF protested outside and dropped a banner from the hotel’s roof, proclaiming “ALEC Buys Legislators.” Inside, an OSF contingent distributed “menus” parodying ALEC initiatives,
Occupy Santa Fe, numerous other statewide Occupy groups, and a coalition of labor unions and advocacy organizations encircle the Roundhouse to reclaim the democratic process at the opening day of the 2012 New Mexico State Legislative Session. Right: ALEC protest event at the El Dorado Hotel, January 25, 2012.
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and attempted to mic check the dinner. ALEC members responded violently, shoving people out of the room. The media was rife with misinformation, but the facts about ALEC could not be obscured. OSF was one of the first Occupies to recognize the importance of protesting its power. Weeks later, the national Occupy mobilized 50 actions targeting the Council and as of this writing, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and McDonald’s have cut their ties with ALEC.
disarmament, clean up, peace, and justice. The coalition, known as Nuke Free Now, has issued a global call to action for August 3–6, in recognition of Hiroshima Day, to “transform the nuclear narrative in the public consciousness and inspire a lifeaffirming future.” In addition to supporting groups around the world to organize their own events that raise awareness of the true costs of the nuclear weapons August 3–6, 2012: Nuke Free and energy industries, Nuke Free Now/Hiroshima Commemoration Now is hosting a four-day event Protesters at the US Uncut demonstration on Zafarano Street on April 15, Day Global Call to Action in Northern New Mexico that will Heralded by some OSFers as “our Wall 2012. US Uncut is a grassroots movement taking direct action against cor- include workshops, speakers, porate tax cheats and unnecessary public service cuts across the country. Street,” the Los Alamos National Laba procession to LANL, and a oratory (LANL) is still in the business of mak- Hiroshima and Nagasaki. OSF has teamed hunger strike beginning July 16. ing nuclear weapons more than 60 years up with Pax Christi, Concerned Citizens for after the first atomic bombs were created by Nuclear Safety, and Nuclear Watch New Mex- For more information or to get involved, log the Manhattan Project and dropped on ico, among others, to advocate for nuclear onto occupysantafenm.org
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roots in the Iroquois Confederacy (which also influenced the U.S. Constitution), and alternative forms of community decision making for decades, even centuries. What could we learn from them about creating order out of messiness and failure? Iku Fujimatsu and Moe Zimmerberg have been immersed in democratic education by building a culture of cooperation with a generation of young people at The Tutorial School. “The first thing kids say when they come here is that they feel accepted,” says Fujimatsu. “They develop a deep sense that they belong to something and that brings out the basic goodness in each young person. They want to work together. They want to contribute and protect this community we have created together.” Zimmerberg elaborates on what it takes to sustain cultural continuity for the long term: “A core group of people to go through personal transformation. It’s a contradiction, really. A paradox. But consensus works best with empowered individuals.” How could we, the members of Occupy Santa Fe, begin to embody that contradiction? Certainly we need to cultivate the aptitude for listening, especially to dissenting or minority voices. Then ensure that a diversity of peoples, perspectives, and voices get to sit at the proverbial table. Finally, we may consider adopting some form of ceremony, which can help create decisions that reach beyond short-term fixes to long-term visions and understandings of the full impact of our actions. 152 Trend » Summer 2012 trendmagazineglobal.com
Zenobia Barlow, executive director of the Center for Ecoliteracy, has collaborated with Okanagan educator Jeanette Armstrong to incorporate a ceremonial, indigenous decision-making process into all aspects of the organization. Known as the Four Societies process, the community begins in ceremony and is guided to a profound sense of interdependence. From there, “It is the responsibility of each community member to . . . turn toward the ‘other’ [and ask]: What can I do to accommodate your view?” Amalia Montoya, active in (Un)Occupy Albuquerque, offers another seed of possibility: “Direct democracy is raising consciousness in this country about shared power and making right relationship. The consensus process challenges privilege. We are now looking at how to share power. That is profound.” No matter what shape the Occupy movement takes in the months ahead—whether it remains whole, advancing a breadth of interconnected issues and the idea of interconnectedness itself, or splinters into diverse groups, moving parallel to each other, that commit to different agendas and directions—one thing is certain: there is a place at the center, a still point in the midst of all the issues and actions. Let’s design an architecture there, an architecture that supports each of us to turn toward the other, share power, and practice the art of true democracy for the sake of our community’s wholeness. R
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