In recognition of the Museum of Art’s new Vladem Contemporary, Pie Projects Contemporary Art is pleased to present work by five artists who led the initial advance of contemporary art in New Mexico. Eugene Newmann, John Connell, Sam Scott, Richard Hogan, and Zachariah Rieke were there at the beginning and helped kick-start Santa Fe’s artistic renaissance in the 1970s & 80s.
Except for John Connell, who died in 2009, all continue to produce as accomplished masters. What links these artists is not just a moment of time in a particular place, but a shared attitude toward the physicality of painting – how its rough material substance can be sublimated to higher expression.
Their raw approach did not ingratiate itself to lovers of golden aspens and honey-toned adobes with red chile ristras and turquoise trim, the imagery most expected to see in Santa Fe’s galleries at the time. They were deemed outlaws of art, and their works continue to present challenges. Striving to keep faith with the history of art, they paint for the museums, not the marketplace. Their aim is to create objects of integrity, paintings that are essentially metaphoric projections of what it means to be an incarnate human being, a physical body infused with spiritual aspiration and unrest.