A Tribute To R.C. Gorman

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Michael McCormick’s Annual Indian Market Celebration has become a tradition in Taos.

A Tribute to R.C. Gorman is the theme for this year’s celebration and along with the late Master’s work, the Gallery will honor the Native Artists they show continuously, along with the rare Gorman pieces they’ve acquired over the years.

Gorman was a Native American artist from the Navajo Nation. Born in Arizona, his father Carl Gorman, was himself a noted Navajo painter and teacher who was a code talker during WWII. Gorman grew up in a traditional Navajo Hogan and began drawing at the age of three.

RC Gorman, Self Portrait, Ceramic plate one of a kind, 13 inch diameter

While tending sheep in Canyon de Chelly with his aunts, he would draw on the rocks and in the sand, making sculptures from the muddy clay that was beneath his feet. From these humble beginnings, he went on to achieve fame and critical acclaim for his work in several mediums.

He was called the Picasso of American Indian Art by the New York Times, and in 1973, he was the only living artist shown in the “Masterworks of the American Indian” show held at  the Metropolitan Museum in New York. One of his pieces was selected for the cover of the exhibit’s catalog. Harvard University recognized him for “notable contributions to American art and Native American culture” in 1986.

RC Gorman Sculpture detail 3

His famous friends and collectors included Elizabeth Taylor, Gregory Peck, Jackie Onassis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. Fellow artist, Andy Warhol, did a silk-screen  portrait of Gorman, that hung in the hallway of his home. Gorman’s personal art collection was extraordinary.

When I was pregnant with my youngest daughter Genevieve, R.C. (a long time friend of my ex-husband, Sonny Boy Robinson), invited me to swim in his pool. I took him up on the offer. As much as I enjoyed those leisurely and private afternoons in the water, overlooked by bronze horses amongst lush foliage, tea with R.C. post swim, looking at his art collection, remain the highlight of that summer for me.

navajo-r-c-gorman-fire-dancer

A lover of great cuisine and good wine, authoring four cookbooks, (with accompanying drawings) called Nudes and Food, Gorman was a true Bon Vivant, and he’ll always be remembered fondly and with great respect in Taos.

On September 18, 2005, Gorman fell at his home and was taken to Holy Cross Hospital in Taos. On September 26, he died at age 74. On November 3rd of that year, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson ordered flags flown at half-mast in his honor

Gorman and Michael were good friends, and Michael has long been a champion of ensuring the Navajo artist’s place in the annals of art history.

RC Gorman, Whispers, lithograph, 37.5x36.5, 93 of 225

McCormick Gallery artists, Malcolm Furlow, Timothy Tate Nevaquaya, Bill Baker, Michael Archuleta and Jen Weddle will all be in attendance for this beautiful show tomorrow afternoon, and Michael well known for his fabulous Indian Market celebrations.

These rare and unique ceramics, sculpture and lithographs are well worth seeing – R.C. Gorman’s purported first and last Ceramic pieces, will be on display. A few of them are represented here, in these photographs.

RC Gorman, Untitled, Ceramic white Oval Plate, one of a kind

The Gallery will also feature work by Fritz Scholder, Frank Howell, Randy Lee White, Carl Gorman, CJ Wells and others.

Iron Horse featuring Robby Romero and Robert Mirabal, will perform live, and the Bent St. Deli will cater the event tomorrow, Saturday, August 22nd from 4-8pm.

For more information, please visit the Gallery’s site linked below.

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Photographs care of Michael McCormick.

 

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