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Harwood Museum of Art
Taos, NM
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Harwood Museum of Art
238 Ledoux Street,
Taos, New Mexico 87571
ph 575.758.9826 | fx 575.758.1475
info@harwoodmuseum.org
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www.harwoodmuseum.org

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Exhibitions

LYNDA BENGLIS: BIRD’S NEST

BIRDS OF APPETITE: ALCHEMY & APPARITION WORKS BY IZUMI YOKOYAMA AND TASHA OSTRANDER

The Legacy of Helene Wurlitzer: Works From the Harwood Collection

Events

LYNDA BENGLIS: BIRD’S NEST
Saturday, February 9 - Sunday, May 12, 2019
Gallery: Caroline Lee and Bob Ellis Gallery

Known for her exploration of metaphorical and biomorphic shapes, Lynda Benglis is deeply concerned with the physicality of form and how it affects the viewer, using a wide range of materials to render dynamic impressions of mass and surface: soft becomes hard, hard becomes soft, and gestures are frozen.

In collaboration with Hank Saxe and Cynthia Patterson The Harwood is pleased to present Lynda Benglis’s Bird’s Nest, a project of Benefit Print Project. Benefit Print Project publishes editions and unique projects in all media. In order to connect audiences and support the creative programing of other institutions and organizations, the internationally acclaimed artists with whom Benefit Print Project collaborates are invited to donate signed and numbered proofs to recipients selected by them and Benefit Print Project's co-directors.

The brightly colored surfaces of the Bird’s Nest evoke the iconic poured works that Lynda Benglis famously made in the late sixties with, at first, Dayglo pigmented latex and then pigmented polyurethane foam. Although Benglis has shown her ceramic works to great acclaim for more than two decades in significant exhibitions at institutions like the Hepworth Wakefield, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Storm King Art Center, this is the first project that she has done in the medium to hang on the wall. There, the sculptures join their place alongside Benglis’s celebrated wax paintings, knotted forms, and pleated metal pieces.

Benglis is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, among other commendations. Her work has been acquired by numerous private collectors, as well as institutions, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Walker Art Center, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

BIRDS OF APPETITE: ALCHEMY & APPARITION WORKS BY IZUMI YOKOYAMA AND TASHA OSTRANDER
Saturday, February 9 - Sunday, May 12, 2019
Gallery: Peter & Madeleine Martin Gallery

Birds of Appetite: Alchemy & Apparition presents work by Izumi Yokoyama and Tasha Ostrander. Yokoyama’s pen & ink drawings and installation and Ostrander’s digital Light Jet prints are drawn from stand-alone series by each artist. Yet their selections for this collaborative project are based upon shared concerns that converge in common themes. Those themes—palpable, stark, and magical—infuse the congruent motifs and visions that animate Birds of Appetite at the same time as convey their unique and personal routes to that congruence.

The common themes in the works of Yokoyama and Ostrander in Birds of Appetite are nature and transformation. Nature embraces all life forms and all environs. It is at once the matrix of matter and dynamic crucible of all change—transformation. It is the locus of the quick and the dead.

The scavenger birds that serve as the foil for Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s introduction to Zen is a metaphor as well for Birds of Appetite: Alchemy & Apparition. Proceeding from very different perspectives, the imagery of each artist quietly subverts the immediate and palpable perception that “life and death are two” with a vision of nature as the denouement of life with death, the transformation of matter—an alchemy of the spirit.

Tasha Ostrander pursues this vision in her Chemical Spirit series of landscapes and portraits: “As an artist, I find source materials and content in our environmental surroundings, looking for the border where harmony and disruption meet, and where we can offer remedy to imbalance. In the Chemical Spirit Landscape series I have visually layered an oily and pervasive substance upon the landscape to alter the appearance, symbolizing an invasive spirit or stain that co- exists with wild environments”

Izumi Yokoyama’s Mugen – Infinitude and Dreamer on the Mesa series share this fundamental role of nature as a crucible of matter. Her intricate ink pen drawings in both series represent significant and transformative phases in life. As a Japanese artist living in Taos, the aesthetic ties of her work to the metaphor of Zen and the birds of appetite are informed as well by her cultural context: " At the Hiroshima peace memorial, I saw the black rained walls and clothes. Since I was a child, I was intrigued and obsessed by black rain. I am connecting the line to the empty holes of stars in the night sky as the lines are falling from the holes...”.

While the term “magic realism” denotes a Surrealist offshoot from the 1940s featuring the insertion of fantastic elements in ‘factual’ Latin American literature, it aptly describes the art of both artists here where their probing of the sensible world through surreal, dreamlike depiction yields profound insights into modern life—fragile mythic narratives of discontinuity and harmony.

What makes Birds of Appetite so engaging is the sheer beauty of the imagery by Yokoyama and Ostrander. What makes it so potent is their capacity to imbue those images with compelling visual conceits on nature and transformation.

Guest curated by Dr. Richard Tobin.

The Legacy of Helene Wurlitzer: Works From the Harwood Collection
November 3, 2018 - May 5, 2019
Galleries: George E. Foster, Jr. Gallery of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, Ellis-Clark Taos Moderns Gallery, and Mandelman-Ribak Gallery

Opening: Saturday, November 3rd, Reception: 3-5 pm

Established in 1954, The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico is the oldest artist residency program west of the Mississippi. For over sixty years, the program has brought hundreds of visual artists, writers and composers to Taos. Many have left an imprint on Taos. The Harwood honors The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico with a Fall 2018 exhibition in the Mandelman-Ribak Gallery. The exhibition shares the stories of many of the resident artists who have left their mark on Taos, with a focus on the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation alumni with works in the Harwood’s permanent collection.

Through grants to painters, poets, sculptors, writers, playwrights, screenwriters, composers, photographers and filmmakers, of national and international origin, many resident artists fell in love with Taos and remained in the area after their residency had ended. Since the 1950’s with the first grantee, Agnes Martin, the number of artists who have been introduced to Taos by The Wurlitzer has grown, with contributions by Takayama, Stroh, and Dasburg to name just a few.

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