Gina Adams considers herself an Indigenous-hybrid artist involved in a variety of craft-based work rooted in her heritage. Yet her commitment to art-making is equally matched by the extensive research she conducts in libraries, museums, and databases. Its Honor Is Hereby Pledged: Gina Adams is the product of Adams’s deep-dive into American history. It is a stunning collection of works intent on truth-telling, making it all the more relevant and poignant.
“Having your crew is essential,” says Paul who relocated to Portland for college and stayed after graduating. “When you walk outside and don’t see people who look like you, it makes you feel helpless. It’s a lonely feeling.” She goes on to say that the people of color who supported her during the creation and release of Mother of My Children were invaluable for their love and understanding. The “party” Paul’s new album refers to is a bittersweet one, the unavoidable and contrasting beauty and despair of life, born of a worldview that’s inextricably linked with her Native upbringing, friends, and family.
I love print. I love words on a physical page held in my hands. I love the texture of paper and the smell of old books. I love interesting editorial design that creates an experience greater than the sum of its parts. If you’ve ever been to Southwest Contemporary’s offices, you may have seen my collection of independent magazines from around the world, which is always growing (here’s an open invitation to come say hi and take a look!).
Erin Mickelson’s book-based artwork plays with translation, in every sense of the word. In LIMINAL betwixt/between, her series of work displayed in form & concept’s Superscript show in 2018, text is translated to sound, sound to image, and image fed into an algorithm, chopped up, and assembled into new images. Her collaborating artists are Twitter bots and long-dead authors, and her process a visible part of the product. In everything she makes, there’s a degree of absurdity and flux: how many times can you translate something and still call it the same thing?
The evolution of the art of printmaking is practically a human inheritance of knowledge from which we all benefit. We experience printmaking in our daily lives, from the clothes we wear and the books we read to poster advertisements for performances we attend and the money we spend. Printmaking is a three-thousand-year-old art form that reveals within itself an intimacy probably only found in the throes of a fight: gouging, biting, scraping, pressure, scarred surfaces, trenches dug. Years of battling the grain to carve images into wood leave the artists’ hands bent and curved like tree roots, maybe even burned from caustic processes that can scar the hand in the effort of creating visual landscapes.
Unlike most other traditional printmaking technologies, the invention of lithography can be traced to a specific person and time. Like most artists before and since, German actor and playwright Johann […]
As ABQ Zine Fest 9 approaches, we take a look at how print media has endured and the spaces that are building culture through the celebration of zines, books, and comics.
IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts showcases its student printmakers from the ‘60s and ‘70s in their explorations of form and psyche.
Globular figures seem to wiggle, tumble, float, or crawl across pieces of thick, white paper. Two particularly large sheets of paper cascade down from the ceiling at the center of the gallery. Sometimes they’re partially covered by a layer of clear film. About thirty smaller iterations occupy the walls. Here and there: a curled hand wearing what could be an elbow-length glove; firm, flexed ballet feet; sturdy legs in the air; and extra-long legs with powerful thighs...
To Survive on This Shore is the product of five years of research and travel across the U.S. The show pairs Dugan’s photographic portraits with Fabbre’s interviews with transgender and gender-nonconforming adults, all aged fifty or older. I’m drawn immediately to Duchess Milan, 69, Los Angeles, CA (2017). “I just know I’m me,” begins the text beside the photo. “I identify as Duchess.”
Wilson began CIPX in 2012 with the support of the New Mexico Museum of Art and has photographed internationally, adding to the prolific body of work. Over time, the project and Wilson’s intentions have evolved. Today, he speaks about the ritual of portraiture and questions how it fits into contemporary culture. Some traditions that were once a rite of passage for families and individuals have become part of the past.
Shimano is worried that the culture of making is diminishing as technology becomes more omnipresent. She has noticed the decline in drawing skills as well as even everyday life skills among incoming students in the classes she teaches. We spoke of this phenomenon and the potential consequences which range from physical abilities in art-making to the power of having personal experiences that are unmediated by any device.
Zuni potter Timothy Edaakie considers himself something of a revivalist in the world of natural pottery. While conventional ceramicists opt for the speed and convenience of modern throwing and firing methods, everything about Edaakie’s meticulous approach is slow, spiritual, and aimed at celebrating the seminal work his ancestors pioneered. As 2019’s Rollin and Mary Ella King Native artist fellow, Edaakie traveled from his home on the Zuni Reservation to Santa Fe this fall to live, work, and speak at the School for Advanced Research. Specifically, he plans on re-creating two Zuni pieces from SAR’s collection using clay and other materials collected from Zuni land during his fellowship: an A:shiwi olla jar and a traditional stew bowl.
Claire Kahn’s design sensibilities are applied across a staggering range of media. From architecture to water features (she was the project designer and a choreographer on the team that designed the Bellagio fountain, among many notable others) to jewelry, she seeks to discover, distill, and express the essence of her subjects. Her upcoming jewelry exhibition at Patina Gallery, Signs of Life, explores the twelve months of the year through pieces composed of their birthstones and crocheted beads.
Virginia Dwan, best known in the Southwest for her support of land art and artists, as well as the Dwan Light Sanctuary in Montezuma, New Mexico, boasts a career that reaches far beyond the desert. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dwan got her start in Los Angeles with the Virginia Dwan Gallery, which eventually expanded to New York, where she represented artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Yves Klein, Sol LeWitt, Edward Kienholz, and many, many more. Dwan, the heiress of manufacturing conglomerate 3M, was able to take risks on challenging art. She played a major role in supporting some of the most definitive earthworks, such as Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson, The Lightning Fields by Walter De Maria, Double Negative by Michael Heizer, and the still-in-progress Star Axis by Charles Ross. She is still a passionate supporter of the arts and speaks fondly of working with artists and being a part of the creative process.
We took a seat at the table in the center of the warehouse-turned-home (turned-“work, brainstorming, and studio space”) where artists Cannupa Hanska Luger and Ginger Dunnill live in Glorieta, New Mexico. Taped to the kitchen cabinet was a wall-size paper schedule of impending deadlines for numerous projects. Every line was filled out, and notes were made in black marker, even in the margins. “Welcome to my life,” Dunnill laughed as, never skipping a beat, she outlined their individual projects—while the couple’s two children ran in one door and out the other...
The tone of my studio visit with Santa Fe artist Ted Larsen was set early when he declared that he would likely be both circumspect and like a blowtorch when talking about his thoughts on his studio practice, life, and work. Now fifty-five, the trained painter has been showing his art since before he graduated college. By the time he was twenty-two, he had already exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, making big strides early on in a career that has now spanned decades.
This month we embrace our new name and traverse the southwest from Silver City, New Mexico, to Scottsdale, Arizona. In our features, we visit the studio of Santa Fe artist Ted Larsen, whose work we are honored to present as this issue’s cover art. Briana Olson takes us on a day tour of some of Albuquerque’s incredible murals. Rachel Preston Prinz gives us the lowdown on the art, architecture, and natural glories in and around Silver City, New Mexico. Maggie Grimason goes deep with artists Ginger Dunnill and Cannupa Hanska Luger at their Glorieta, New Mexico home, to talk about their individual and collaborative practices spanning art, life, community, and family.
Have a beer with Matie Fricker, owner of the only queer-woman-owned sex shop in Albuquerque: Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center.
Sashiko greets me as I enter the gallery for Shizu Saldamando’s show, held at SMOCA as part of southwestNET’s series showcasing mid-career Mexican and U.S. artists from the Southwest. Hushed and intimate, each work seems to demand all of one’s attention, a bid made more poignant by Saldamando’s insistence on portraying friends and family and, according to the wall text, “refus[ing] any notions of subjugation” in the artist-subject relationship. A multifaceted artist of Mexican American and Japanese American heritage, Saldamando focuses on “often-overlooked communities of color: punks, queers, activists, and artists.”
Rapheal Begay is a Diné photographer and curator from Window Rock, Arizona, (the capital of the Navajo Nation) currently showing his work at Trapdoor Projects, near downtown Albuquerque. The medium is photography, but the methods are strikingly conceptual, requiring viewers to finish the work in their minds. His work evokes memories of family, as well as harshly beautiful landscapes and the animals who populate them—especially sheep—in the Navajo Nation.
New Mexico Dance Project is a newcomer powerhouse on the Santa Fe dance scene. Husband and wife team Erik Sampson and Scarlett Wynne founded the company in New Mexico six months ago. Since then, they have been teaching workshops for students, creating new works nonstop, and performing with the intention to become an integrated part of the community.
It should be on everyone’s bucket list. Silver City. It sounds like a romantic vestige of another time. I didn’t realize how much so until I turned off the highway and onto a deliciously winding drive through the Black Range and into the Gila National Forest and Pinos Altos Mountains.
Some amount of personal suffering is expected to be felt by those who create music, but it’s rare for musicians to fuel their work with it as adeptly as Lightning Cult’s Mike Marchant. Now living in Santa Fe, the former Denver musician was hailed as one of the city’s most promising songwriters until a devastating cancer diagnosis stopped him in his tracks in 2012. Marchant survived but experienced significant memory loss related to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. A crippling self-destructive period followed. The Lightning Cult project represents Marchant’s return to music-making and reveals an artist transformed through tragedy and tenacity.
About the pain. I’ll first describe it clinically, as if I were a camera. I began to sweat everywhere after a flash of heat lit my skin (the whole organ). I lost the ability or will to control the movement of my eyes, which rolled around the room. My eyes also streamed tears, though my face lacked the grimaces and spasms which normally accompany them. Finally, I moaned.
Quietly, a new foundation has come into being in Santa Fe that promises to have a significant impact on art history and art-making, not just in the Southwest, but internationally. The Holt/Smithson Foundation (HSF) was literally willed into existence by artist Nancy Holt—creator of the massive concrete art installation, Sun Tunnels, in the Utah desert— who lived in Santa Fe the last two decades of her life, until her death in 2014.
Genetic diversity is important in plants for the same reason it’s important in humans and animals: a shallower gene pool means more vulnerability to disease and mutation and less adaptability to environmental change. Throughout human history, farmers have benefitted from plants’ ability to evolve over time by carefully selecting seeds from their harvest to plant for next year based on drought tolerance, disease resistance, productivity, or other desirable traits. This long partnership between growers and seeds has created countless unique plant phenotypes, many of which are now extinct or going that way.
Welcome to the next chapter of The Magazine! In July, the beginning of The Magazine’s 28th year, I launched a new business: Southwest Contemporary. (If you missed this launch, sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page!) Southwest Contemporary is a new art media company that will serve as an umbrella over The Magazine while also carving out room for this company to evolve and grow.
Sama Alshaibi, a Tucson, Arizona–based photographer, is a Palestinian-Iraqi who originally came to the United States as a refugee from Iraq. Her mother’s family are also refugees from Jaffa, a historic port city that was fought over and ultimately became part of Israel in 1948. The families that lived there were forced to leave quickly, and many left behind family keepsakes such as family photo albums. Alshaibi’s family have few photographs from their time in Palestine.
Dorielle Caimi’s paintings have been described as absurd, humorous, truthful, and empowered. Those adjectives adequately describe Dorielle the painter, too, though I would add that she is extremely funny, smart as a whip, and masterful in her execution and rendering of the female figure. Both articulate and open in speaking about her work, Dorielle effectively integrates her emotional and physical experiences into her studio practice. Balancing expressive and brutally honest portrayals of the female form with jarring pop-surrealist color, animal characters, and cartoonish elements, she offers viewers something vibrant and complex.
"What Endures is, and is not, a question. It’s not incidental that I’m focused on the elemental details of my surroundings, that I want to take apart the anthropogenic landscape, break it down into its simplest ingredients. This act is central to Nina Elder’s process—and to the subjects of the featured work, which spans from 2011 to the present."
Denver artist Jonathan Saiz believes in the value of shock and surprise, as evidenced in two overlapping solo exhibitions. One is #WhatisUtopia, in which ten thousand miniature squares come together in a mosaic-like column given its own space at the Denver Art Museum. The second exhibition, at K Contemporary, is darker in tone, shocking you to attention with foreboding images.
"Several unfinished works in the show are naturally among the most heartbreaking. Unfinished . . . is a rare capsule of work created at the intersection of talent and years of great development. There is an adolescent fearlessness in these paintings, and Stewart allows viewers to see the remarkable efforts of a young artist making use of her rapidly expanding world. Unlike most eighteen-year-olds, the perspective Stewart applied to her work made magical use of a young life evidencing wisdom beyond her years."
Mira Burack’s artwork on view at 516 Arts in Albuquerque evokes themes of rest, comfort, and home—with a dark underside.