Thoroughly modern master
In 1975, the governor of New Mexico designated April 7 as Emil Bisttram Day, honoring the eightyyear-old Taos artist who was a co-founder of the Transcendental Painting Group and influential in establishing the small town as a center of modernism. “True art is not spontaneous,” Bisttram said in an interview that year. “There’s nothing ‘free’ about art. One has to set limitations. Otherwise, all is chaos in art and in life as well.” That sense of order and harmony can be seen in all of the artist’s compositions, whether landscapes, figurative work, or abstract pieces. Addison Rowe Gallery celebrates the iconic Taoseño with an exhibition that spans his 50-year career. Emil Bisttram Day 2015 opens on Friday, April 10. On the cover is Untitled Abstraction , circa 1940; courtesy Addison Rowe Gallery.