Taos: 1960’s – Present

Ken Price, Larry Bell, Lynda Beglis, Sasha Von Dorp, Hank Saxe, Ron Davis, Matthew Thomas, Debbie Long, Ron Cooper, Paul O’Connor and Kevin Cannon all have one thing in common.

Paul O’Connor, (he of the award-winning book, Taos Portraits), has photographed them all, and now they will all be together in an upcoming show in Manhattan,  Paul included.

Paul has been making wall hanging sculptures of wood and metal since the early 90’s.  These works are showing  with Vivian Horan, the esteemed NYC Gallerist and Dealer who is putting on this important, timely show.

Vivian Horan had expressed interest to Paul in a group show of Taos artists. She of course was familiar with several but Paul willingly filled in a few blanks, and the show grew from an idea to a reality in a New York minute!

As the Art World desperately seeks substance and staying power in an increasingly conceptual and contrived environment, the artists working in Taos, in a seeming vacuum, continue to create relevant work; work that makes sense out of the chaos we are reminded of daily.

The late Ken Price, Larry Bell (who comes and goes from Taos to Venice still), Ron Davis and Ron Cooper of course all part of the Los Angeles/Taos Post Modern Old Guard, here since Dennis Hopper’s heyday, ever since Hopper presumably invited them to come and check out the desolate landscape, a place where they could work in self-imposed isolation, in that mysterious aforementioned vacuum.

It served them all well. Others followed. All of them, including Hank Saxe, Linda Benglis and O’Connor continue to keep studios here.

As my old and dear friend Kevin Cannon (whom I profiled in Paul’s book, Taos Portraits),  always reminds me, we are so very privileged and downright lucky, to live here, let alone make art here.

Kevin (who is a native New Yorker), has been here a long time. I met him here in 1979 and he’d already been here for a while. He was doing then what he does now,

And let’s not forget that J Matthew Thomas, who is such a vital part of the art community here in Taos – revitalising Art in Taos , in fact, with the Paseo Festival, Pecha Kucha, nights, his involvement with the Harwood Museum –  is also an artist himself first and foremost.

Debbie Long and Sasha Von Dorp are a great inclusion here, a nod to the community of younger artists who are thriving here also, in their studios and workshops, flooded with the mythical light and the spirit of the land itself, the grounding force that feeds the very need to create.

As younger generations of artists continue to discover Taos, it’s important to remember the ones who broke ground, who used that light and that energy to create works of art with wings to take them to faraway places; bringing with them the light and the energy we take for granted here.

This show marks a milestone.

For more information on this show please visit the Vivian Horan Gallery site linked below this post.




UPDATE: This show is gearing up to be something big! Agnes Martin, Dennis Hopper, Jack Smith (who was profiled here last week), and now, the fabulously talented Mark Baseman as well!



All portraits (including the selfie second from the bottom), by Paul O’Connor.