The thirty-five featured artists have opted to use the disarming power of humor, parody, and satire to counter, transcend, and transform the oppression they have suffered.
Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020 in NMSU’s new art building fills its elegant spaces with imposing artwork, mostly photographs and installation work.These exhibitions put a spotlight on the idea of motherhood as a powerful but almost invisible force in life.
Di Wae Powa: They Came Back, an exhibition which opened in the fall of 2019 at the Poeh Cultural Center, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), is a step towards reconciling a muddy and violent history of colonialism in the Southwest.
In Nari Ward: We the People at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Harlem-based mixed-media artist subtly yet powerfully confronts America’s sordid legacy of racism and discrimination as well as overall American identity in his show of sculptural pieces constructed from discarded materials.
The exhibition, H. Joe Waldrum: Retrospective, at Rio Bravo Fine Art is a first-of-its-kind overview of works from the H. Joe Waldrum Trust, which inherited a majority of his pieces after his estate closed in 2014. The exhibition, curated by Eduardo Alicea-Moreno—director and president of Rio Bravo Fine Art, the Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, gallery Waldrum founded shortly before his unexpected death in 2003—showcases the depth and breadth of Waldrum’s high-volume career.
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.”
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.
"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.
Thirty miles north of Ciudad Juárez, at an immigrant detention center in Chaparral, New Mexico, Johana Medina Leon, transgendered and from El Salvador, complains of chest pains. Days later, and a day after James Drake’s opening, Que Linda La Brisa, Leon dies on a hospital bed at Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.
The Dream Life of Objects is a big show. A selection of work that spans decades and media fills the entirety of the CCA Tank Garage Gallery. This solo show is described by the artist, Judy Tuwaletstiwa, as a “visual poem,” where pieces are asked and allowed to interact with and inform one another. Tuwaletstiwa invites us to experience her work as an “introspective” instead of a retrospective...
Looking at a torn vagina in Judy Chicago’s Creation of the World: Needlepoint 1 (1985), I remember watching my ex-partner give birth to both of our boys at home. She had a tear that had to be sewn. I watched, and that is the extent of my experience with childbirth. I know, however, that men—which I’ll define as cis-gendered, penis-possessing humans—have a lot of opinions about what goes in and out of vaginas...
One of the most influential members of the Bauhaus movement of the early twentieth century, herbert bayer (who preferred his name spelled in all lowercase and favored a unitary, stylized, and all-lowercase alphabet) believed in the seamless integration of fine art, decorative art, architecture, and graphic design...
In a video interview installed in Returning the Gaze, painter Jordan Casteel says her encounters with portraiture in museums and galleries have typically involved “dead white people” in staid poses. Her large-scale oils on canvas subvert that trope in a number of ways...