Art & Antiques’ complete guide to the summer season of fairs, museum exhibitions and gallery shows in the Southwest’s art capital.
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Santa Fe doesn’t lack color. Mother Nature lavishes her paintbox on the landscapes of the Southwest, and countless artists have made the pilgrimage to Santa Fe and stayed, transfixed by the beauty of the hues. “At sunset at certain times of year, you can see every color there is. It’s magical,” says Carmen Vendelin, a curator at the New Mexico Museum of Art.
So perhaps it’s a bit surprising that the art world of Santa Fe hasn’t attempted to unite under the umbrella theme of color until now. The Summer of Color, formally proclaimed by Santa Fe mayor Javier Gonzalez in February, grew out of happenstance. A few of main museums in town coincidentally pursued exhibitions for 2015 that revolved around a single hue—red, turquoise, cobalt. Once city arts leaders spotted the pattern, the Summer of Color idea gained traction. While not every gallery, entity, event, and institution are explicitly joining in, it occurs anyway, by default. Pick a month, any month, and something colorful is going on in Santa Fe, from cool November, when the Santa Fe Art Auction takes place, to the busy, dizzy heights of July.
Santa Fe hosts several art and antiques fairs during the summer. Chief among them is the 15th edition of Art Santa Fe, an international contemporary art fair scheduled for July 9 to 12 at the Santa Fe Convention Center at 201 W. Marcy. (Art & Antiques is the lead sponsor of its Opening Night Gala.) Conde Contemporary, a Miami gallery that specializes in contemporary Cuban art, will bring Los Pioneros, a spooky, unforgettable kinetic sculpture by Aurora Molina, who left the island for the U.S. at age 16. Six small mechanized figures wearing school uniforms and unaccountably aged faces evoke the daily rituals of the pioneros—Cuban schoolchildren who pledged to grow up to be good Communists. Art Santa Fe will also feature an installation of the Puzzle Project, a nine-years-and-counting endeavor by Japanese artist Takashi Inaba that explores connection and disconnection, order and disorder. Inaba sends canvas puzzle pieces to individual artists around the world and invites them to do what they wish with them. None of them learn what their fellow artists are up to until the pieces are shipped back, assembled into a whole, and photographed. Don Bacigalupi, founding president of the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago, will give the keynote speech.
Art Santa Fe will once again participate in the Santa Fe Art Trifecta, a trio of arts events that cover 10 days in mid-July. Overlapping Art Santa Fe will be the 12th annual International Folk Art Market, held at Milner Plaza from July 10 through 12 and presented by the International Folk Art Alliance. More than 150 artists from 57 countries have been chosen to attend. In a nod to the Summer of Color theme, the market has embraced the color green.
SITE Santa Fe, the third member of the trifecta, will unveil two exhibitions on July 18. “20 Years/20 Shows: Summer” celebrates the institution’s anniversary by showcasing selected artists from its two-decade exhibition history. Narrowing the 600-odd candidates down to fewer than two dozen was easier than it might seem, as director and chief curator Irene Hofmann tells it. “It began with us looking at artists who had a very significant engagement with us early in their career. From there, it was thinking of the artists we most wanted to revisit,” she says, while noting that they also sought to capture the diversity, range, and eras of SITE Santa Fe. The summer grouping will feature creations by Janine Antoni, Amy Cutler, Ann Hamilton, Harmony Hammond, and Dario Robleto, and four of the five will work with collaborators. At least one project called for an expert that isn’t typically needed for an art installation. Amy Cutler’s presentation involves taking the visions in her paintings and realizing them in three dimensions. A hairdresser assisted with scenes of women depicted pulling things with their tresses. Wall text in all the “20 Years/20 Shows” displays make note of the artists’ previous appearances at SITE Santa Fe. “We remind our audience of what was shown here as a way of making links to the past, jogging their memories of the work and providing context for what we are now seeing,” says Hofmann.
Opening concurrently is “Unsuspected Possibilities: Leonardo Drew, Sarah Oppenheimer, Marie Watt,” which juxtaposes the work of three artists in intriguing ways. Curator Janet Dees engineered the show, which demanded some actual, no-kidding engineering: Oppenheimer’s contributions required cutting holes in two of the building’s walls. “20 Years/20 Shows: Summer” lasts until October 4, while “Unsuspected Possibilities” continues through January 3, 2016.
The 31st edition of the Annual Ethnographic Art Show is scheduled for August 13 through 15 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. More than 100 dealers of art, antiques, jewelry, and other precious objects by tribes and groups the world over will appear. Throckmorton Fine Art of New York will bring a 9.5-inch marble Buddha head dating to the Tang dynasty and still dusted with the earth from which it emerged. “We leave some on to show it was buried,” Throckmorton says. Following directly will be the 37th edition of the Annual Antique Indian Art Show, happening at the same venue from August 16 through 18. A broad range of museum-quality Native American beadwork, pottery, jewelry, textiles and more from tribes across North America will be on display.
Objects of Art Santa Fe, an impressively eclectic fair that includes more than 70 exhibitors, will be held August 12 through 15 at El Museo in the downtown Railyard district. Look for the late 19th–early 20th-century oversized checker board at the booth of J Compton Gallery of Wimberley, Tex. The pleasing red-and-black board, found in the New York area, retains its original painted surface and is flanked by trays intended to hold game pieces. “It’s got wonderful graphic appeal and is sturdy enough to survive another century of checker tournaments,” says gallery owner Jean Compton. The Antique American Indian Art show happens almost directly afterwards in the same place, from August 18 through August 20. Among the exhibitors will be AE Tribal Antiques of Laguna Niguel, Calif., which will bring a circa-1880 Nez Perce rifle scabbard in fine condition with handsome beadwork.
And then there are the markets, which should not be missed. The Spanish Colonial Arts Society will present its Summer Market from July 25–26 at Santa Fe Plaza, a downtown landmark, and its surrounding streets. More than 250 artists will exhibit. Last year’s delights included Luz del Cielo, an alluring tinwork pendant lamp in medieval Moorish-Spanish style by Cleo Romero and The Dance, an elegant unpainted bulto in juniper wood, stone, and copper by Carlos Barela, grandson of the legendary wood sculptor Patrocinio Barela. In the following month in the same place, the Santa Fe Indian Market will happen from August 22–23. Hosted by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), it is the largest cultural event in the southwest, showcasing more than 1,100 Native American artists and drawing more than 150,000 visitors. Among the works on show will be Cliff Fragua’s Medicine of the Bear, a traditional ursine figure richly rendered in marble, calcite, turquoise, shell, and parrot feathers, as well as Nancy Youngblood’s compelling straight ribbed 64-section black melon bowl, made in 2009.
The Red that Colored the World, on view at the Museum of International Folk Art from May 17 through September 13, was one of the museum shows that was underway before Santa Fe announced the Summer of Color theme. The museum’s efforts were sparked a few years ago when its director received a book about the history of cochineal, a red dye derived from insects. “Quite a few of our living artists use cochineal,” says curator Nicolasa Chavez, “and she [the director] thought it would be an exciting exhibit, seeing that we’re an international museum with an international collection. It was a wonderful opportunity to look at our pieces right here.”
The Red that Colored the World allowed Chavez to cast a wide net—manuscripts, paintings, clothing, textiles, and furniture from pre-Columbian times to today. Indigenous Americans in what is now Mexico and Peru valued cochineal as far back as 200, and farmed the insects for the dyestuff. The Spaniards realized its value and brought it back to the Old World, where the painter El Greco became a fan. His circa 1608–14 oil on canvas El Salvador, from his Apostles series, appears in the exhibit. “He was definitely one of the early painters to use it,” says Chavez, who notes that El Greco studied Tintoretto, who also used cochineal. While noting that El Greco wouldn’t have relied solely on cochineal for his reds, she says it “provided an extra richness, a more scarlety hue.” In El Salvador, the pinkish raiment of Christ “really looks as if it’s illuminated from behind. It’s one of the qualities cochineal is known for having.”
Synthetic reds displaced cochineal in the 19th century, but it didn’t fade entirely from the scene. Orlando Dugi, a self-taught fashion designer who has Navajo ancestry, employed the dye for an evening gown in his Red Collection. Cochineal confronted him with a learning curve; it took him three months to complete the garment, and one month of that was consumed by the process of dyeing eight yards each of satin and silk organza. Chavez and her colleagues learned about Dugi’s dress through word-of-mouth, and asked if it would be ready in time for the show. “The dress caps off the show and brings it full circle,” she says. “It starts with native use [of cochineal] and ends with a Native artist making contemporary use of it.”
The “Colors of the Southwest” exhibition, which opened at the New Mexico Museum of Art on March 6 and continues through September 20, gave Carmen Vendelin a near-perfect opportunity to immerse herself in the collection. “I only started at the museum last July, so it gave me an excuse to go through all the painting racks,” she says. “I probably could have chosen 400 favorites to put up for this,” she says, laughing. Vendelin whittled the lineup down to fewer than 100, with an emphasis on modernism. Chosen were Billy Schenck’s cinematic 1993 oil-on-canvas Coming Down from the Mountain, depicting a cowboy on horseback gazing upon a wildly colorful sunset, and Fleur Long’s 1982 watercolor Ranchos de Taos Church. Vendelin selected Long’s depiction of the oft-painted church, a mecca for artists, because “it’s so iconic, and it had strong colors. It was really representative.”
Carolyn Kastner, curator at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, saw the Summer of Color theme as an opportunity to present “Georgia O’Keeffe: Line, Color, Composition,” which opened on May 8 and continues through September 13. “We wanted to create a colorful, beautiful show that demonstrates how conceptual she is in her work,” Kastner says. “You simply don’t see the skill involved in it. She makes it look easy, and making it look easy is part of her skill, too.” About 60 paintings, drawings, and photographs are in the exhibit, which spans O’Keeffe’s career from 1916 to the 1960s. It includes eight sets of works that show the preparatory drawings and the finished painting that resulted; they testify to a remarkable consistency in the artist’s vision over time. “Her first drawing is often so close to the painting,” she says. “The scale and range of the composition will stay mainly the same. Where she does deviate in the final, finished work, it’s usually to accommodate something that’s new to her.”
Pelvis Series, Red with Yellow, from 1945, is especially intriguing because it shows O’Keeffe consciously moving away from the colors in nature. For this painting, based on what she saw when she held a rodent’s hipbone to her eye and looked through its ball joint at the sky, the artist initially chose a palette that was true to life—blue sky, white bone. In addition to changing the hues simply because she’s the artist and can do that if she wishes, she also chose a scale that doesn’t exist in nature. Kastner explains that the hipbone O’Keeffe looked through was maybe 2 1/2 inches in length and the aperture was less than an inch, but she rendered Pelvis Series, Red with Yellow, at 36 1/8 inches by 48 1/8 inches. “It’d be a humongous dinosaur bone if it was real,” she says.
Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory, a 1938 oil on canvas, shows how the best people to break the rules of are the ones who know them inside and out. O’Keeffe commits the compositional sin of dividing the canvas in half by placing the skull in the dead center, and drops the morning glory in off-center, beneath the arch of the right horn.
The symphony of whites O’Keeffe lays down, tinged with lavenders and greys to create a trompe l’oeil effect, makes it sing. “You realize a reverie of color all coming together before your eyes. She’s thought through every inch of that surface,” Kastner says. “When you see it in person, it’s so powerful.”
Running concurrently with “Georgia O’Keeffe: Line, Color, Composition” is a show of new photography acquisitions that opened in March and closes on September 13. It features 26 images, including a 1918 Alfred Stieglitz gelatin silver print that depicts O’Keeffe painting a watercolor. It’s one of only two known photographs that show her in the act of making art. This is probably not a case of male photographers showing indifference or disrespect for a female peer; it’s entirely likely that O’Keeffe wasn’t all that open to interrupting her labors to strike a pose. Kastner notes that O’Keeffe’s homes included studios that were easily sealed off from the rest of the property, and she once wrote a letter chastising her sister for entering her studio while she worked and warning her not to do it again or she’d allow no more visits.
The Karan Ruhlen Gallery, at 225 Canyon Road, is keeping sculptor Bret Price and painter Kevin Tolman extra busy this summer. Art by each appears in three shows at the gallery scheduled between May and August, including a two-man show that ran from June 5–20. The Nature of Color, a group exhibition that’s part of the city’s Summer of Color motif, takes place from August 21 through August 31. It will feature six sculptures by Price (five indoor plus one outdoor) and six canvases by Tolman. Price, who works in California and Ohio, contributes vibrant abstracts such as More Than Enough, a bright orange steel work that stands almost 17 inches tall. The colorful coil is cooled into stillness yet seems to be full of energy, caught in the act of unfurling itself. Albuquerque, N.M.-based Tolman works in different sizes, but Ruhlen’s clients have an undeniable appetite for his larger paintings. Night Zigzag/Zuni, an acrylic mixed media on canvas, combines many of his prevailing themes: a strong background color (“He loves red,” Ruhlen says), significant size (this measures 60 inches by 60 inches), and forms that encroach from the edges of the canvas, such as the patch of yellow ochre at the upper right and the oval of black at the middle left.
“Chromatic Contrasts,” which opened in May at Addison Rowe Gallery at 229 East Marcy Street and ends on August 7, showcases three artists: Beatrice Mandelman, Raymond Jonson, and John De Puy, the last living member of the Taos Modernist group. The gallery represents Du Puy as well as the estates of Mandelman and Jonson, both of whom influenced him. Matthew Rowe of Addison Rowe reports that the 88-year-old “still paints every day” but was happy to leave the assembly and the hanging of the show to Rowe and his colleagues.
Among the 35 to 40 works in “Chromatic Contrasts” is a Jonson painting from the famed series of the same name, the acrylic-on-masonite Chromatic Contrasts No. 34 (Polymer No. 4 1965). By that point in his career, Jonson was thoroughly enchanted with acrylics, which dried fast, held their colors, were so much brighter than watercolors, and worked in an airbrush to boot. The only thing that’s actually painted in Chromatic Contrasts No. 34 is the black and tan background; everything else is laid in with a technique that’s most accurately described as paint collage, a term that Jonson, an avowed collage-hater, would never abide. He would pour acrylic paint onto a sheet of glass, let it dry, then cut the dried paint into shapes and place them on the masonite.
Beatrice Mandelman was equally inventive in the mid-20th century, first laying down colorful thick brush strokes, splashes, and drips, and then adding white paint. Rowe says that her large early 1970s acrylic on canvas, White Cloud, was “very subtle within the mode she worked in. With others, almost no color comes in.” The power of John Du Puy’s Winter Scene, a 2001 oil on canvas based on a vista in New Mexico, is unmistakable. “There’s a sense of being overwhelmed and inspired by the landscape,” Rowe says.
Nedra Matteucci Galleries’ much-anticipated summer exhibit debuts on August 15 and ends on August 30. Titled “Matteucci Contemporaries—An All Artist Show,” it will grace the display spaces and the garden at 1075 Paseo de Peralta with at least 60 new works, including still lifes by Martin Mooney and Laura Robb; Southwestern landscapes by Walt Gonske and Chris Morel; and sculptures by Glenna Goodacre and Michael Naranjo.
A standout among the works on display will be Bachelor With Gifts, a 36 ½ inch tall bronze figure made in 2008 by Native American artist Doug Hyde. Like many of his bronzes, Bachelor With Gifts testifies to Hyde’s masterful use of multiple colored patinas on a single piece, from the bachelor’s red-brown shoes to the faint copper green of his shirt to the colorfully patterned bag at his feet. “Doug Hyde has been an innovative leader among Native American artists in working with a more colored patina process that can accentuate and highly differentiate aspects of a bronze,” says Matteucci. The bronze is available in an edition of 12. William Berra’s contributions include Cloud Study May 5th, a magnificent 42-by-52-inch oil-on-linen completed earlier this year. Part of an ongoing series, Berra’s deft brushwork captures cloud that seemingly shifts from light to dark before our eyes.
Herb Mignery’s 10 ½ -inch-tall 2013 bronze His Destiny Foretold, produced in an edition of 30, depicts an encounter that its bovine subject cannot hope to comprehend. The buffalo steps on a discarded wagon wheel, a piece of detrius that heralds of the arrival of the settlers who would ultimately doom the buffalo to near-extinction. Considerably jollier is Juarez Night, a 30-inch-by-15-inch oil-on-panel finished in 2015 that shows a relaxed figure leaning against a wall, holding a rifle in one hand and a cigarette in the other. John Moyers took obvious pleasure in painting the subject. “I am very interested in the history of Mexico from Colonial times up until the Mexican Revolution,” he says. “It does not hurt that the sombreros and clothes they wore at the time are really fun to paint.
Ann Hosfeld of the New Concept Gallery at 610 Canyon Road will showcase her own work alongside that of Reg Loving in Nature Diversified, which runs from July 3 through August 3. About a dozen works from each will fill three rooms of the gallery. Among the Hosfelds in the show will be Una Pianta Rossa, a 2014 acrylic on canvas of a plant that she photographed in Mexico (she works from composited photos in her studio). Here, it was the red shapes that commanded her interest. “A lot of my work in the past has been very subtle, with lavenders and greys,” she says. “I wanted to get into brighter colors.” Loving’s offerings include Algodones #7, painted in 2013 as part of a series named for the small town that it features, which lies between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
The next exhibition at New Concept will be “Kathleen Doyle Cook: Intensity in Abstraction,” on view August 7–31. The one-woman show will feature up to 15 of Cook’s bold acrylics-on-canvas, among them Ideas of Happiness, a 48-inch-by-36-inch work completed earlier this year. “They’re very painterly, totally non-objective, occasionally inspired by landscapes,” Hosfeld says. “She calls it ‘sensory landscape.’”
Painter Chris Richter will receive the honor of a solo show at Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art in July, his second at the gallery, which is located at 558 Canyon Road. “Chris Richter” opens on July 3 and closes on August 1 and features 15 oils on linen created in 2014 and 2015, including the beguiling monochromatic Smoke Screen. August brings the gallery’s ninth annual Contemporary Native American Group Show, running from August 7–September 5. A total of 50 works by six painters, jewelers, and a ceramicist who have Native American ancestry appear in the 2015 show. Contributions from the estate of Harry Fonseca include Stone Poem 2.15.96, an energetic acrylic on canvas Fonseca painted a decade before his death.
The Barry Ellsworth Gallery at 215 East Palace Ave., will unveil “Far Reaches: New Works by Elise Ansel, Claire McArdle, and Kathryn Stedham” on July 3, closing the show on September 12. Ansel draws inspiration from Old Masters to create what Ellsworth calls “gestural abstract paintings.” Sculptor McArdle creates images of female and equine forms from Italian stone, often imparting texture by leaving expanses of it rough and unpolished. “She’s drawn to classicism and grace, but does a modern interpretation of that,” he says. Evening Approaches II and other forceful landscapes painted earlier this year by Kathryn Stedham complete the show. “She’s really a colorist with very sophisticated brushwork,” says Ellsworth, who notes that Stedham’s passions for rock-climbing and Zen Buddhism infuse her art.
Evoke Gallery’s Kathrine Erickson will never forget the experience of seeing Lynn Boggess’ work for the first time. “I ended up standing in front of a very large painting and I didn’t realize it was of anything,” she says. “I loved the way he moved the paint. As I stepped back from the painting, I realized it was a landscape. I was hooked. I couldn’t get it out of my head.” She pursued the West Virginia plein air painter for five years until she says she “wore him down” and he joined her roster in 2009. “Reflections of Summer: Lynn Boggess,” taking place from July 31–August 22, will be the artist’s fourth solo show at the gallery, which is located at 550 South Guadalupe Street. It will contain 15 to 20 works painted in 2014 and 2015 and titled with the dates when he created them. All the oils-on-canvas in this show will picture West Virginia, and many were painted on his own 120-acre-plus property; he keeps a studio deep in the woods. He works exclusively with knives and masonry trowels, and claims that he does not own a paintbrush.
LewAllen Galleries is readying a strong summer slate. Located at 1613 Paseo de Peralta, it has three solo exhibitions planned, two of which share the same running dates. Botanica: New Paintings, which takes place from June 26–July 26, showcases LewAllen stalwart John Fincher as he turns away from his close-up explorations of cactus pads, tree limbs, and other Southwestern details to paint in a more traditional botanical style. The 30 works in the show include Havisham Rose, a 2015 oil on paper that bridges his former approach and his current one, albeit in a subtler version of his color palette. “It’s a very dramatic image of just the blossom,” says gallery director Ken Marvel. “It’s like a gorgeous Renaissance painting of a human being, except it’s a rose.”
Running concurrently with the Fincher exhibition will be Nature-Nurture: New Paintings, Brent Godfrey’s first solo show at LewAllen. It will feature more than 25 intriguing works along the lines of Upstart, a 2015 image of a small girl in sunglasses planting a gloved hand on the face of a deer that threatens to steal her spotlight. “It’s that quirk that gets you to thinking and really creates significance for the work far beyond the level at which you regard it,” Marvel says.
Woody Gwyn: New Paintings opens at the gallery on July 31 and ends on September 7. Gwyn favors the challenge of egg tempera, which requires him to mix his own paints. The time-honored medium imbues works such as El Creston (2014) with vivid, luminous greens that oils and acrylics can’t match. The unusual canvas shape that Gywn favors—8 inches tall by 30 inches long—imbues a cinematic quality to his art, but that’s not why he chooses it. “He tends to see landscapes in elongated, vista-like arrangements and paints them in almost epic ways,” Marvel says. “If you asked him why [he uses long, skinny canvases], he’d say ‘That’s just the way I see things.’”
Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, at 554 S. Guadalupe, has two group shows planned for the summer months. The July show, scheduled for July 1–31 and not yet named at press time, will feature at least 10 artists from around the world, including South Africa, Japan, Korea, Venezuela, Canada, and Cuba. Paintings, sculptures, and an installation will be among the works. The August group show is dubbed “Heat Wave” for its obvious tilt to the warmer end of the color spectrum. Works by Ed Moses will headline the exhibition.
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, located at 435 S. Guadalupe St., hosts “ZB Kids teamLab Future Park,” an exhibition aimed at children. ZB Kids, a new division of the gallery, and a Japanese company, teamLab, collaborated on the show, which opened in June and continues through July 24. The interactive video and new media exhibit includes five attractions, including the Sketch Aquarium, which allows visitors to draw a sea creature, scan it, and see their creation swimming in the digital waters of the 17-foot-long, eight-foot-four-inch screen in as little as 10 seconds.
“Impacts! II: Chinese Dragonfly” opens at Zane Bennett on August 21 and continues through September 18. The lineup of six contemporary Chinese artists is entirely different from the previous “Impacts!” show. Among the new names is Bi Rong Rong, recruited by the gallery’s director, Shinji Ochiai. Her work ranges from installations to watercolors, and she draws her inspirations from locations; a key example is Manchester CMYK 01/14, a riotous 2014 pencil and watercolor on paper done in Manchester, England.
The Monroe Gallery of Photography at 112 Don Gaspar offers a timely and moving display in “The Road to Civil Rights: From Selma to Ferguson.” It features 50 images by almost two dozen photojournalists who documented pivotal moments in the history of civil rights struggles, from Martin Luther King’s Selma March to last year’s protests in Ferguson, Missouri. The exhibit opens on July 3 and ends on September 27.
If you find Robert Buelteman’s art electrifying, you’re more perceptive than you know. “Life and Shadow: Re-imagining Nature,” opening June 26 and ending on July 25, is his first solo show at the Gerald Peters Gallery since 2007, and it’s been worth the wait. Not quite works on paper and not quite photographs, Buelteman likes to call his camera-free images “chromogenic development prints.” Evan Feldman, director of contemporary art at the gallery, explains his working method: He starts by gathering plants in his garden or on a hike, then subjects them to a process that involves an open-frame easel, a piece of sheet metal bathed in liquid silicone, and a quick, fierce hit of electricity—tens of thousands of volts for a fraction of a second. “There is precedent there, both for applying electricity to a form and putting an object right on the negative. He has combined them and developed his own method,” Feldman says. After the initial shock, Buelteman uses a strobe light or a fiber optic cable to, as Feldman explains it, “paint light onto certain areas.” His technique yields beguiling pieces such as Woodland Forest Floor from 2013, a trio of flora limned in lustrous blue against a black backdrop and offered in an edition of 25.
On view at the Morning Star Gallery at 513 Canyon Road will be “Our World: Figural Imagery in Plains Art,” an exhibition of art, beadwork, pipes, clothing, and weaponry from the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Osage, and Northern and Southern Plains groups of Native Americans that runs from August 10 through September 5. One memorable piece in “Our World” is a Lakota deerskin pipe bag, meant to hold tobacco. Dating to circa 1870, its beadwork depicts a pair of white pipes with red bowls. The show also contains a ledger drawing, so called because it was rendered in a ledger book, from around 1875 by an Oglala Lakota warrior named Sitting Bull (a different individual who had the same name as the better-known chief). Using colored pencils, he depicts an event from his own past, when he performed what’s called a “brave heart run”— he deliberately galloped past a line of armed Pawnee to draw their fire and make them spend the single bullet in their guns, leaving them vulnerable while they reloaded. Director Henry Monahan notes that ledger drawings are a hot subcategory of late.
And for contemporary Native American art, visit the Allan Houser Gallery, at 125 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 112, which will present “Innovation and Exploration: The Ongoing Influence of Allan Houser” from August 1–31. The show will feature roughly 60 pieces of art created by the Native American master between the 1950s and his death in 1994. Several of the drawings, paintings, sculptures, and experimental works resonate with the themes of innovation and exploration. The gallery, which is located near the Plaza, will also host an open house on August 23, during the Santa Fe Indian Market.