Contemporary works with traditional roots are on view at King Galleries.
SANTA FE, NM
Defined: Refined is an apt title for any exhibition of traditional and contemporary Native art, especially one preceding and during the 2018 Santa Fe Indian Market which began in 1922.
King Galleries in Santa Fe will host the exhibition beginning August 17. Charles King explains, “While the art may be defined as pottery, paintings or bronze, it is the artists who have refined it with their individual and cultural background to create works of art that surprise, inspire and defy our expectations. It is a unique opportunity to look beyond just the techniques to the stories each artist is telling and a look into the extraordinary future of Native arts.”
Preceding the exhibition, on August 16, the gallery will feature new paintings by Jarrod Da and Marla Allison as well as bronzes by Tammy Garcia and Autumn Borts.
The clay artists are Nathan Youngblood, Tammy Garcia, Les Namingha, Susan Folwell, Juan de la Cruz, Al Qoyawayma, Virgil Ortiz, Steve Lucas and Daniel Begay. King notes. “The gallery is pleased to include younger artists Juan de la Cruz and Daniel Begay for the first time.”
Daniel Begay (Diné/santa Clara) was brought up at Santa Clara Pueblo where he learned pottery making from his Diné father, Harrison Begay Jr., and his Santa Clara mother Marie. He experienced the rich traditions of Santa Clara and combines that with the influences
1. Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti), Tahu 2180 Tile Set, 2018, native clay, native slips and wild spinach
of his Diné heritage. His deeply cut pots are coil built and traditionally fired. They are a fine example of the refining of tradition.
Juan de la Cruz follows another, earlier, Santa Clara tradition, that of polychrome pottery. He is the son of Lois Gutierrez and Derek de la Cruz whose work is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Juan gathers colored clays from around the Southwest to create the decoration of his pictorial pots. The decoration includes traditional representational hunting scenes, stylized animals and geometric designs.
Across the Rio Grande Valley at Cochiti Pueblo, Virgil Ortiz grew up in a creative environment, the son of noted potter Seferina Ortiz and the grandson of Laurencita Herrera. The storytelling tradition of Cochiti has influenced his work in clay as well as his highly acclaimed fashion design.
The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 which he calls “the First American Revolution—had never been taught in American schools nor is it in our history books. My mission is, and has been for nearly two decades, to continue to create a narrative of the revolt by utilizing the various mediums I work with, and make it more interesting and relevant to the next generation. It reflects the impact I want to have on the world around me through art and education.”
Tahu 2180, Tile Set, 2018, presents a character from his own story of the 1680 revolt, “Blind Archers: Tahu’s Journey.” “Tahu” is a name of respect for older Pueblo women in Keres and other Pueblo languages. In his story “she is purposefully blinded by the invaders for her combat skills and spiritual visions. Unwilling to accept this unjust punishment, she acuminates her skills with a bow and arrow and enlists an army of Blind Archers.”
Tradition and innovation are defined and redefined in this exhibition of contemporary Pueblo art.
2. Daniel Begay (Diné/Santa Clara), 2018, native clay, native clay slips, traditionally fired pot
3. Tammy Garcia (SantaClara), Seeded Woman II, 2018, bronze, ed. of 35
4. Juan de la Cruz (Santa Clara), Mountain Lions, 2018, native clay, native clay slips, traditionally fired storage jar