H. Joe Wal­drum,

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tem­pos -

de­pict­ing the icono­graphic im­ages of New Mex­ico and re­veal­ing their ab­stract qual­i­ties and vis­ual im­pact in a new way. You see how he re­ally stud­ied the sub­ject, re­fined it, and ex­pressed its essence in a unique and im­pres­sive way.” Go­ing be­yond that, Red­ding stated: “Wal­drum’s Po­laroids deftly as­sert the po­ten­tial to func­tion du­ally as his­toric doc­u­ments and artis­tic ob­jects.”

Wal­drum’s method of work­ing se­ri­ally demon­strates how closely he scru­ti­nized his sub­jects. Seen from a va­ri­ety of van­tage points — some­times no more than one step to the left or right — many of the artist’s im­ages take on an un­in­tended filmic qual­ity when seen to­gether. “I love the cin­e­matic feel of Joe’s work,” Red­ding said. In part, that was her vi­sion for the in­stal­la­tion process. Mounted sideby-side in cus­tom frames con­ceived by Tom An­treasian, cu­ra­tor of ex­hi­bi­tions for the Al­bu­querque Mu­seum, the diminu­tive pho­to­graphs are dis­played in con­tin­u­ous, lin­ear strips at both venues. “The look of this show will be ex­tremely min­i­mal for our large north gallery, very avant­garde,” An­treasian said. “We’ve never done an in­stal­la­tion quite like this.”

Wal­drum’s foray into SX-70 pho­tog­ra­phy be­gan in the late ’70s as a ref­er­ence tool for his paint­ings and prints. The story goes that a sum­mer ex­cur­sion to Taos was com­ing to a close. He was pre­par­ing to re­turn by plane to his stu­dio in New York and had lit­tle time left to ac­com­plish all that he had in­tended — in­clud­ing mak­ing sketches of the church at Las Tram­pas, which he would re­fer to for a ma­jor paint­ing. “In a mad dash to beat the clock, Wal­drum de­cided to use a Po­laroid cam­era; the only prob­lem was he didn’t own one,” Red­ding said.

“So he hopped in his car, drove to a Safe­way gro­cery store, and bought a Po­laroid and four boxes of film. Driv­ing like a mad­man, he made it back at the church just as the sun was set­ting and ex­posed all 40 sheets of film doc­u­ment­ing the San José de Gar­cia Church.” Back in his New York stu­dio, Wal­drum re­al­ized that these lit­tle im­ages were

Left to right, Canoncito at Apache Canyon; H. Joe Wal­drum’s stu­dio, Taos;

Guadalupe Church, Santa Fe

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