As Summer comes to an end and the cool evenings herald Autumn’s return to the Mountains, there’s no better time to celebrate Art in Taos.
This coming September 9th, two of taoStyle’s favourite galleries will host openings for three incredible local artists.
“This is the second to last show in a series of seven at Magpie this season. ” Says Georgia. “We are wrapping up the summer with a bang. These two guest artists are of the highest caliber. Their work is both masterful and magical. I am honored to be hosting this two-woman show.”
“It is conjunction with Reto Messmer’s solo exhibit next door at Envision Gallery,” she continues, “so it will be an inspirational evening at Overland Ranch.”
To say the least.
Maye Torres has been featured here on taoStyle, her roots here go deeper than most – she counts Padre Martinez as an ancestor – and her personal journey as an artist is epic. In her artist’s statement for this show, Maye says that for her, “drawing is elemental and primal. ”
“It is a form of meditation and medication. It is a method of creating illusion on a two-dimensional surface and above all a means of communicating ideas that words cannot express. I have been drawing since I can remember, with pencil, crayon, mud; on the walls, on school notebooks, engraved on school desks. Exploration and experimentation is central to my creative process.”
The drawings Maye has included in this show have two separate origins. The larger drawings, are selected from a group of 22 drawings that resulted from a grant sponsored by Hatchfund. The drawings were chosen reflect our high-tech society with classic figures chosen from famous artists of the past. An Ingres inspired drawing of a woman with branches for horns, with an electronic device, stares directly at the viewer. Rembrandt inspired Adam and Eve, under the tree of life, struggle for the remote control. This juxtaposition of new and old deftly captures the struggle to remain human in a technocentric world.
The smaller drawings are an exploration of the circle, the sacred circle and everyday circles – from simple objects to iconic objects, including a buffalo nickel or an Oreo cookie. In these explorations through drawing Maye comes full circle as an artist.
Gretchen Ewert’s work is the result of many years of making art. She has been the recipient of a National Endowment and a Pollock Krasner Fellowship (for drawing).
Her work is in in several museums including the Harwood Museum of Taos, the Albuquerque Museum, The New York Museum of Art and Design and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
“I am continuing with animal themed ceramic sculpture.” She says in her statement for this show. ” I can’t remember when I got the idea to make animal vessels, but certainly before I made art, I saw them.”
“I’m following an artisan’s path thousands of years old bridging the animate physical world, it’s powerful draw with magic fantasy.”
Gretchen’s sculptures are hand formed, pinched out of earthenware clay slabs and finished with underglazes, slips and non ceramic artist materials like paints, powders and metallic leafs including real gold.
While the women showing at Magpie explore the mythical and magical undercurrents in the natural (and unnatural) world, Swiss born, long-time Taos resident, Reto Messmer’s show next door at Envision is a paen to the Industrial Age.
He recently completed a series of sepia oil paintings that he has been working on and these paintings will be the focus in his premier solo show of the year. Reto grew up in an artistic household, where he was mentored by his sculptor father. He holds a degree in art history and linguistics from the University of Zurich.
Reto emigrated to America in 1994 and has lived and made art in El Rito, NM, ever since. He is known for his bold sculptures made of metal, animal skulls and bones.
Reto is also a highly sought after muralist and decorative painter trained in fine European restoration techniques.
Known for the fanciful and fantastic sculptures he crafts from steel and bone, his paintings are equally engaging, capturing the world as it was before technology, but after the advent of the steam engine.
Copying from old photographs found in books and boxes, Messmer’s renderings are a stark reminder of our need as species to remember the past as we hurtle into an unknown future.
Messmer says of this collection: “Some time ago I came across a tiny photo in a New Yorker Magazine, shot by a magnum photographer in 1941 with the title ” Hausa Chieftains Demonstrate Their Superb Horsemanship in a ‘Fantasia’.” I saw it and just needed to paint it, in oil and on a big scale – not merely trying to copy it , but to try to capture its spirit and magic . It took me three years, and it turned out to be the first in the series of Sepia Paintings that I‘m still working on with many more in my head.”
For more information about this unique event, please visit both websites listed below this post.
Images (Maye Torres, Gretchen Ewert, Retto Messmer) thanks to Magpie and Envision Galleries