New Mexico Renderings

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - For a di­rect link to the ex­hibit­ing gallery go to www.west­ernart­col­lec­tor.com

Works from four artists

Iconic views and hid­den gems from through­out the Land of En­chant­ment will be on dis­play dur­ing the land­scape ex­hi­bi­tion Re-imag­in­ing New Mexico at Ger­ald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe. The four-artist show, run­ning June 28 through Au­gust 3, will fea­ture land­marks done in a va­ri­ety of medi­ums in­clud­ing wa­ter­col­ors, wood­block prints and oils by Mike Glier, Leon Loughridge, James Mcel­hin­ney and Don Stin­son.

Glier is an artist who lives out­side of New Mexico but re­turns to the state of­ten to record its beauty. Over the past few years, rather than making ex­act in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the lands, he has tried to use his senses to record his ex­pe­ri­ence of the place. Com­mu­ni­cated in the work is not only what he sees, but also what he hears, feels on his skin and smells to create

what he calls “mul­ti­sen­sory” paint­ings.

His small-scale Morn­ing Sun: Santa Fe Canyon, New Mexico was com­posed from two sketches Glier made while on two sep­a­rate walks. “The first walk was in Santa Fe Canyon near the Audubon Cen­ter. Sit­ting on a hill next to a ges­tur­ing pine, in the early morn­ing with a clear view of the moun­tains, I was struck by the vol­ume of space de­fined by the canyon be­fore of me. The cir­cu­lar marks in the sky and the arcs on the ground in Morn­ing Sun are the re­sult of my en­thu­si­asm for this vol­ume of light and air,” Glier says. “A few weeks later, I took a morn­ing walk on a ranch near Taos. I was sit­ting qui­etly in a copse, when a pack of coy­otes ap­peared in the field be­fore me and be­gan hunt­ing mice. I made a few sketches of them as they went about their morn­ing busi­ness. Like many artists now and in the past, it’s my job to de­scribe the nat­u­ral world as fully as I can and through this act of per­cep­tion rep­re­sent our pro­found de­pen­dence on its health and well-be­ing.”

Mcel­hin­ney’s art­work “pays homage to his­toric ex­pe­di­tionary artists who vis­ited New Mexico al­most two cen­turies ago. Paint­ing in sketch­books, us­ing the open page spread as my can­vas al­lows me to be completely mo­bile. Like the drafts­men and painters who ac­com­pa­nied ex­plor­ers like Fre­mont, Sit­g­reaves and Pow­ell, my stu­dio could fit in a ruck­sack or sad­dle­bag. Think of it like a 19th-cen­tury equiv­a­lent of an iphone, loaded with draw­ing, photo and map­ping apps. Most peo­ple as­sume that art in­spired by New Mexico be­gan with the Taos School and later, with artists like John Sloan, Stu­art Davis and Ge­or­gia O’ke­effe. In a way, I’m set­ting the start date much ear­lier, back to the 1840s.”

The Rio Grande River in­spired some of his new sketches, in­clud­ing Rio Grande Gorge and White Rock Late Light. “Run­ning south from San Luis Val­ley to Pi­lar, the Rio Grande Gorge fits the bill, as a dis­tinct episode in its life story. White Rock Canyon stands out in similar ways. Pass­ing be­low Otowi Peak, to­ward the reser­voir be­hind Co­chiti Dam, the river hews a path through mil­lions of years of ge­o­log­i­cal his­tory,” says the artist. “Ex­posed rock in the canyon wall evokes the fore-edge of a codex, with the river as its book­worm. Filling the chasm at the end of the day, shadows deepen against the fail­ing light, mark­ing the pas­sage of time.”

For this ex­hi­bi­tion, Loughridge chose three his­toric sites to ex­plore, two he had known since child­hood and a third he re­cently vis­ited. Hav­ing been told South­west­ern his­tory by family through­out his life, “the lore and land­scape [of New Mexico] have set roots within me far more per­va­sive than an­ces­tral roots,” he says.

Loughridge’s wood­block print Pe­cos Burn­ing was in­spired by the his­tory of the Pe­cos Pue­blo and Mis­sion site as it re­lates to com­merce and the In­dian Re­volt of 1680. “The Pue­blo be­ing a cen­ter of trade for cen­turies, prob­a­bly un­der­stood the value of trade re­la­tion­ships bet­ter than many of the more iso­lated Pue­blo sites,” he shares. “The Pue­blo and mis­sion have be­come an im­por­tant his­toric site to­day and in a sense, is once again com­ing back to life.” Stin­son says, “I have been in­spired to look be­yond the pastoral tra­di­tion by the late, New Mexico-based cul­tural ge­og­ra­pher J.B. Jack­son’s idea of land­scape as a ‘field of per­pet­ual con­flict and com­pro­mise.’ My pieces for this ex­hibit reimag­ine New Mexico as a land­scape where the in­fra­struc­ture of our global econ­omy ex­ists in beau­ti­ful con­fronta­tion with the ver­nac­u­lar rem­nants of more lo­cal­ized cul­tures.”

The sign for a long-gone road­side mo­tel and eatery in Vaughn, New Mexico, in­spired his paint­ing Ranch House Café. “The star­burst el­e­ment in the sign re­minded me of our mid-20th­cen­tury idea of space as the new fron­tier, and pro­vided a com­pelling con­trast to the rail­road cross­ing and the open range be­yond.”

Don Stin­son, Ranch House Café, wa­ter­color on Arches pa­per, 13½ x 14½”

James Mcel­hin­ney, White Rock Late Light, March 7, 2019, Aqueous me­dia on pa­per. 4 x 9”

Mike Glier, Morn­ing Sun: Santa Fe Canyon, New Mexico, oil on hard­board, 11 x 14”

Leon Loughridge, Pe­cos Burn­ing, wood­block print, 7 x 9”

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