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.
"I like bright. Refreshing is usually my thing. I also love anything with coconut in it, which is why I ordered this one. My favorite drink is a piña colada, always and forever. Which is funny, because it’s like a guilty pleasure, but so many bartenders love it."
The work that Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) and Apache artist Ian Kuali’i makes today is largely born out of a longstanding connection to the landscapes he has lived and worked in, as well as a sense that these different places each hold unique lessons for their inhabitants. As the Ronald and Susan Dubin Native Artist Fellow at the School for Advanced Research, Kuali’i is putting his talent to work to create intricate works of hand-cut paper, as well as an expansive earthwork on a slice of the center’s undeveloped acreage.