At this special event, Thais Mather will read excerpts from writings that span two years of her creative process, which culminated in the body of work for Reckless Abandon.
“I’m really contemplating humanity: how culture began, where we are now, and where that might evolve,” says Mather. Reckless Abandon comprises hundreds of artworks that will fill form & concept’s ground floor, tracing thousands of years of natural and human history.
Reckless Abandon opens at form & concept on Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm, and runs through February 18, 2018.
“I think people are getting these catastrophic feelings, that this is the end,” says Thais Mather. “I don’t believe in that. I think this is a beginning.” The feminist artist’s new exhibition, Reckless Abandon, comes at a time of cultural, political and environmental upheaval. It’s an ideal moment to examine human history from a revolutionary stance—and present urgent questions that can reveal a new path forward. Through a monumental art installation and an interconnected series of performances and events, Mather will challenge viewers to abandon patriarchal structures in favor of a transcendent vision for humanity. Reckless Abandon opens at form & concept on Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm, and runs through February 18, 2018.
Thais Mather’sReckless Abandon opens TONIGHT from 5-7 pm—with a reading from 2-3 pm on Saturday—and the artist has been hard at work installing the show and engaging the press in a conversation about art, history and feminism. Watch the latest clip from our video preview series above, and check out links to press about Reckless Abandon below.
It’s not every day that a gallery as spacious as the Railyard’s form & concept opens up an entire floor to just one artist, but Santa Fe’s Thais Mather has a massive body of multi-disciplinary work and a whole hell of a lot to say. With Reckless Abandon, Mather examines the ideas of humanity, feminism, activism, the end of days and so much more through visual works, collaborative performance pieces and readings.
Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal North wrote an awesome preview of the exhibition. A little excerpt:
[Mather’s] mixed-media work, inspired by mankind’s evolution over time, with its art and symbols, ranges from resembling something that could have been made by cave people to more modern conceptual pieces. All of it, she says, is meant to encourage the audience to reflect on what’s worth holding on to and what’s not.
“There’s a point we’re coming to as Americans that our privileges are going to run out,” said Mather. “It just doesn’t matter any more. It’s a globalized world, and there’s going to have to be some complete reimagining with how the culture functions and how the global culture functions if we really plan to survive.”
Kathryn Davis interviewed Thais among the artworks of Reckless Abandon for her media platform ArtBeat Santa Fe:
Emily Van Cleve of Santa Fe Arts Journal wrote up the show earlier this week in an article aptly title A Vision for Humanity. Here’s a blurb:
Mather describes the process of making art as her product. “The show was birthed as an exploration of material and self, with the self as material and the material as self,” she adds. “I pushed the limits of what I knew but tried not to manipulate any material beyond what it was teaching me. So I worked with clay and let the clay converse with me. I worked in watercolor and we talked and didn’t fight. I just spent time and got lost and found in the process.”
It’s no mistake that Laila Farcas-Ionescu’s launch party for the Pussy Bites Back jewelry line falls just before the anniversary of last year’s presidential election. The series is filled with imagery of fierce felines, in reference to the Pussyhat phenomenon and the political scandal that incited it. Still, Farcas-Ionescu would rather look forward than back. “It’s more than just a visceral reaction to the political situation, it’s a symbol of empowerment,” Farcas-Ionescu says. “At this party, everyone will have the chance to release some pent-up energy with a good, long roar.” The Pussy Bites Back launch party is on Saturday, October 28 from 5-7 pm. Ionescu will unveil rings, earrings, bracelets and pendants from the new series, along with a powerful manifesto and some fun surprises.
“There’s something cathartic about Laila’s new line that inspired us,” says Clara Holiday, Sales Director at form & concept. “The work has a serious bite to it, but there’s also a genuine sense of humor there that’s been missing from much of the national discourse over the past year.” The launch party lands on the Friday before Halloween, and though it’s not a costume party, cat-inspired decorations, hors d’oeuvres and performers will create a festive atmosphere. Ionescu will hand out free Pussy Bites Back merch, including stickers and temporary tattoos with a bold, hot pink logo of a snarling cat. She’ll also display her Pussy Bites Back manifesto, which you can preview above.
Farcas-Ionescu employs a palette of hot pink, gold and silver in the Pussy Bites Back line. Snarling cat heads and gleaming claws feature prominently. It’s a departure from Ionescu’s collaborative work with her husband, Ion. Under the moniker Ionescu Designs, the duo creates opulent jewelry with 18 and 22 karat gold, platinum, high quality pearls and a multitude of precious and semi-precious gems. The New York Times Style Magazine has hailed them as “style-makers,” and they’ve received a number of other accolades and awards, including the first place AGTA award for “Evening Wear” and the 2014 “Fashion Forward” award among many others.
Originally from Transylvania, Farcas-Ionescu arrived in the New York City by way of Romania in the 1970’s. In addition to her work with fine jewelry, she is also a sculptor with degrees in fine art from Hunter College and the Pratt Institute. Now a resident of Santa Fe, she continues to weave fantastical and deeply personal stories and characters into her sculptures and jewelry.
“Laila is a world-class artist and designer, and this launch party is definitely up to her standards of fabulous,” says Holiday. “She has a few tricks up her sleeve that are sure to surprise and delight our visitors.”
The high season is coming to a close in Santa Fe, but form & concept has an action-packed autumn in the works. We’re throwing a David Bowie costume party, hosting a musical tribute to Lou Harrison, and launching Laila Farcas-Ionescu’s fierce new feline-themed jewelry line. Korean ceramicist Wookjae Maeng and local feminist artist Thais Mather debut solo shows, and artists from around the world reflect on gun violence prevention in a powerful group show. A crew of maverick jewelers presents wearable artworks in the form & concept shop, and our represented artists gather for a holiday art making workshop (with hot cider and cookies) in our atrium. In a fitting finale for 2017, artists from a number of past form & concept shows reconvene for an invitational small works exhibition in our stairwell. Learn more about all of our upcoming exhibitions and events below, and watch our event page for updates.
For one wild evening in October, the InterPlanetary Project will ride David Bowie’s star-dusted coattails to the outer reaches of the imagination. The InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party lands at form & concept on the weekend of InterPlanetary’s fall event series. Hosted by Creative Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Institute, the party is a free, RSVP-only event with a cash bar by Santa Fe Spirits and interstellar hors d’oeuvres by form & concept. Guests who wear David Bowie-themed costumes will be entered into a raffle for fun prizes.
October 27 – December 23 Opening Reception: Friday, October 27, 5-7 pm
It’s easy to forget that the world is experiencing a crisis in biodiversity, one that some scientists have called a “sixth extinction.” Humanity has grown ever more isolated from the rest of the animal kingdom, hiding away in climate controlled boxes and behind glowing screens. In his new solo exhibition at form & concept, Korean ceramicist Wookjae Maeng ushers animals out of the wild and into the spotlight. His detailed porcelain sculptures of deer, rhinos, lions, bighorn sheep and other creatures bring viewers back in touch with beings that are often pushed to the margins.
Image: Wookjae Maeng, Grey adaptation-Rhino, porcelain, wood, 8.7 x 11.5 x 11.8 in.
Pussy Bites Back Jewelry Line
Saturday, October 28th, 5-7 pm
It’s no mistake that Laila Farcas-Ionescu’s launch party for the Pussy Bites Back jewelry line falls just before the anniversary of last year’s presidential election. The series is filled with imagery of fierce felines, in reference to the Pussyhat phenomenon and the political scandal that incited it. Still, Ionescu would rather look forward than back. “It’s more than just a visceral reaction to the political situation, it’s a symbol of empowerment,” Farcas-Ionescu says. “At this party, everyone will have the chance to release some pent-up energy with a good, long roar.” Ionescu will unveil rings, earrings, bracelets and pendants from the new series, along with a powerful manifesto and some fun surprises.
November 7 – 17 Reception & Live Auction: Friday, November 17th, 4 – 7 PM
Decommissioned firearms aren’t the most pliable artistic medium, but that hasn’t stopped faculty and students at Santa Fe Community College from reshaping them into stunning artworks. They’ve been hard at work bending, slicing, shredding and melting old guns into sculptures, jewelry and even apparel. This fall, the art will appear at a special reception, live auction and silent auction in support of in support of art and welding scholarships at SFCC and the 501(c)3 non-partisan organization New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, along with juried works by artists from across the world that reflect on gun violence prevention.
November 24th, 2017 – February 18th, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm Reading: Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm Performance: Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm- $5-$10 suggested donation
“I think people are getting these catastrophic feelings, that this is the end,” says Thais Mather. “I don’t believe in that. I think this is a beginning.” The feminist artist’s new exhibition, Reckless Abandon, comes at a time of cultural, political and environmental upheaval. It’s an ideal moment to examine human history from a revolutionary stance—and present urgent questions that can reveal a new path forward. Through a monumental art installation and an interconnected series of performances and events, Mather will challenge viewers to abandon patriarchal structures in favor of a transcendent vision for humanity.
November 24 – December 23
Opening Reception: Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together,” said Vincent Van Gogh. form & concept takes this thought to its logical conclusion in MICROCOSM, a holiday exhibition of small works by contributors to the gallery’s previous exhibitions. Over 20 artists, craftspeople and designers return with diminutive and dynamic offerings that measure 8 x 10 inches or smaller. The show fills the gallery’s stairwell and atrium, forming a charming microcosm of the space’s history—and representing a new chapter in each contributor’s story.
Nicola Heindl, Bunny Tobias, Charles Greeley, Mandy Cano Villalobos, Vanessa Michel, Susan Beiner, Wesley Anderegg, Priscilla Dobler, Jason Villegas, Garth Amundson + Pierre Gour, Jonathan Nelson, Lisa Klakulak, Katie Craney, Rena Detrixhe, Robert Ebendorf, Matthew Mullins, Aleta Braun, Heidi Brandow, Mark Newport, Ryan Singer, Brian Fleetwood
November 24, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, November 24, 5-7 pm
Smitten Forum is an annual gathering of visionary makers from the metals and jewelry field. A new group of artists is selected each year by Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz, and meets for one intensive week to make work and share inspiration. The next gathering takes place in Abiquiu, New Mexico, coinciding with the debut of the Smitten Forum exhibition at form & concept in Santa Fe. The show includes artwork by all of this year’s Smitten Forum participants, a tribute to the crackling energy of this ever-growing creative community.
These days, the most popular holiday gifts are seamless slabs of glass and metal, but unique and hand-hewn objects are making a serious comeback. The makers who exhibit artworks and jewelry at form & concept are living proof of this phenomenon, and they’ll gather this holiday season to celebrate the traditional tools and techniques that bolster their contemporary creativity. The public is invited to sip cider, munch on gingerbread cookies and engage with form & concept artists at the Holiday Makers Workshop. form & concept will offer a special 10% holiday discount during the event. The Holiday Makers Workshop also features the debut of the first-ever form & concept annual, a free publication that includes a first look at the gallery’s 2018 schedule, artist profiles and more.
West Coast composer Lou Harrison’s 100th birthday party has been a yearlong, global affair. The Harrison House in Joshua Tree, California live streamed a 24-hour celebration, Bill Alves and Brett Campbell published a sweeping new biography, and renowned musicians have played tribute concerts from New York City to San Francisco. Harrison passed away in 2003 at age 85, but his influence as a composer, instrument builder, environmentalist, pacifist and gay rights activist is as resonant as ever. This autumn, the party rolls into Santa Fe at an event presented by Albuquerque percussion ensemble Gamelan Encantada and LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit Equality NM. In Honor of Lou features a concert of Harrison’s works for gamelan instruments, along with a screening of the biographical film Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create. All proceeds from the event will benefit Equality NM.
Judy Chicago appeared at form & concept on February 10 for a presentation on her work by Chad Alligood, curator of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The event was sponsored by the Women’s International Study Center and their Fellowship Program, which brought Alligood to Santa Fe to work on an essay about Chicago’s life for a forthcoming monograph from the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
After Alligood’s engaging talk, Chicago ascended the stage for a Q&A session featuring written questions from the audience. Check out the Youtube playlist above to hear her answers to each question, and scroll down for her most quotable moments from the evening.
On responding to criticism.
I simply never have, I just kept working. I got interviewed with Eleanor Antin […] and she was telling this story about how when she got bad reviews she would write these long missives, or call up the critics and yell at him. It was usually a him. I was speechless. ‘Really? It never crossed my mind!’ I just kept working.
On art fairs.
John Baldessari said, ‘For an artist, going to art fairs is like watching your parents have sex.’ […] It sounds like a great quote, but then I was reading Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton, and every art fair she went to John Baldessari was there. So I guess he didn’t take his own advice, but I took it. I’ve only been to one or two art fairs, but we walked through Frieze that year, and I was just horrified by the work. I mean derivative, boring. It was a lot of young work. So I really changed my attitude. […] If I were young now, I think I would stay out of the market until I had found my own voice.
On changing her name to Judy Chicago.
My favorite was when somebody said I changed my name to Judy Chicago so my initials would be J.C. But my maiden name was Judy Cohen, so I don’t see quite how that worked.
On the next steps for the feminist movement.
Why shouldn’t little boys study women’s history the way girls have to study men’s history? Why do we have to have the ghetto classes? Similarly in museums, why can’t I see Alice Neel next to Lucien Freud. That institutional change hasn’t happened yet. […] We have to see, after having the thrill of being with all these like-minded people in public space, if young people now being the hard work of making change.
NOTICE: All of our seating is full for this free event, but the gallery will broadcast the presentation on Facebook Live. The Women’s International Study Center (WISC) and form & concept present a WISC Fellowship Presentation on Judy Chicago by Chad Alligood, curator of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Throughout the month of February, Alligood will be in residence at WISC to draft an essay for an upcoming monograph on Chicago from the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Alligood will recount a fascinating chapter of Chicago’s life, and conduct a Q&A with the legendary feminist artist. The event is at form & concept on Friday, February 10th at 5:00 pm, with a reception to follow.
“This is war, and we’re strong, and we’re here,” Lucy Madeline told Honey Harris on KBAC Radio this morning. “We’re going to fight this, even if the odds feel like they’re against us.” Madeline appeared with our director, Frank Rose, to promote the debut performance of the Victory Grrrls collective. The interdisciplinary group, comprising Madeline, Niomi Fawn and Thais Mather, will take part in a weekend of feminist action at form & concept.
On Friday, February 10, legendary feminist artist Judy Chicago will appear at a special presentation on her artwork by Chad Alligood, curator of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. All available seats are reserved for this free event, but you can tune in to our Facebook Live broadcast at 5:00 pm MST. The following afternoon, Victory Grrrls will occupy form & concept’s atrium for three powerful performance art pieces. Here’s Emily Van Cleve’s take on Saturday’s event from Santa Fe Arts Journal:
The upcoming visit of feminist artist and art educator Judy Chicago to form & concept has inspired Niomi Fawn, Thais Mather and Lucy Madeline, a.k.a. “Victory Grrrls,” to present their first performance piece at the gallery.
“It felt like we’d finally found our tribe,” says Mather about last year’s founding of Victory Grrrls, whose name was inspired by a World War II campaign poster and the 1990’s underground feminist punk rock movement Riot grrrl. “This is the prime time to be doing what we know is our calling: to be feminist activists.”
Read the rest of the article for more information on Niomi, Thais and Lucy’s performances, and make sure to mark your calendar for the event on Saturday, February 11 at 3:00 pm. Click here to learn more about the Victory Grrrls performance, and hereto learn more about the Judy Chicago presentation.