Reckless Abandon’s Evolution.

Thais Mather- 200,000- Reckless Abandon Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, 200,000, stoneware, 3 x 3 in. each.

Thais Mather’s Reckless Abandon is not an exhibition that you would call “on view,” in a passive sense. In fact, it’s a show that views you in many cases. It unfolds and evolves, pulling viewers and other artists into its orbit in compelling ways. For example, gallery visitors are free to interact with the ceramic masks in Mather’s installation 200,000During the opening reception, there were audible gasps in the crowd as people reached across the platform and plucked faces from the vast field of sculptures. If a visitor decided to acquire a mask, they were allowed to take it with them that evening, leaving a gap in the grid. In this sense, the arrangement of artworks in Reckless Abandon has changed every day since it debuted late last month.

The exhibition will transform yet again on Friday, December 15, when Mather unites feminist and activist artists for a series of performances among the artworks. Todd Ryan White, David Mcmaster, Tim Reed, Ekalos Reed and Niomi Fawn will each add their artistic voices to the show. “I feel like the concept of the male genius artist presenting his solo magnum opus is a Greenbergian farce,” Mather explains. “Everything you create is influenced by other artists, by your mentors, by your relationships, by the music and literature you adore.”

Thais Mather- Thaumaturge- Reckless Abandon Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, Thaumaturge (detail), shou sugi ban, 16 x 21 x 8 in.

This new paradigm could also redefine the role of the storytellers who have reflected on Reckless Abandon since its opening. Perhaps they too should be considered collaborators, directing channels of the show’s conceptual river in fresh directions. In her review of Reckless Abandon for Pasatiempo, Iris McLister analyzed the show’s sweeping scale and individualized impact:

Feminist and universal, political and primitive, ancient and hyper-contemporary. Alchemical. These are just a handful of words that aptly describe artist Thais Mather’s exhibition Reckless Abandon, now on view at Form & Concept. Though the entirety of the gallery’s cavernous downstairs is filled with her work, the art’s intentionality never seems compromised by its quantity. During a recent tour of the show, Mather said, “I want to make art that will last. It feels really important to me to have the discipline to make things that endure.”

Comprising sculpture, drawing, video art, printmaking, and more, Reckless Abandon could feel sprawling, but instead it’s immersive and intimate. Describing a central theme for the show, Mather wrote in her artist statement, “I’m really contemplating humanity: how culture began, where we are now, and where that might evolve.”

McLister also touched on the show’s highly collaborative ethos:

Mather is transparent about relying on the knowledge and help of others in making this show a reality. Friends and peers, including local artists Sandra Wang, Ron Pokrasso, and Chris Collins, were instrumental in helping Mather learn and execute new techniques. This must partially inform why she doesn’t like what she has called the “farce of the solo show.” For her, the experience of art — whether making it or viewing it — is most rewarding when it’s collaborative in nature.

Thais Mather- My Own Two Eyes- Reckless Abandon Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, My Own Two Eyes (detail), porcelain, 1 x 1 in. each.

Mather spoke with John Shannon of KSFR about the importance of empowering her audience:

I’m trying really hard… to not give too much information, because I really think that what viewers perceive in the work is a really valuable asset to the work itself. The one thing that I will say about it is that I deeply researched feminism, and that’s where my background comes from in terms of the theoretical aspect of what I’m interested in.

Kathryn Davis also interviewed Thais, for THE Magazine‘s online feature about Reckless Abandon. She talked about her hopes for the ultimate impact of her work:

 I find social change important in work, trying to change and challenge my audience and myself… We are learning, we are failing, and sometimes we get it right. Mostly I hope we can think about the rest of the world—not just humanity, but the planet. 200,000 years is a short time within a four-billion-year-old process. I just keep looking and asking, and knowing very little in return. It feels good, so I just keep doing it.

On a similar note, Eliza Lutz of Matron Records talked about the show’s ability to inspire across mediums and disciplines in the record label’s December newsletter:

Though Matron Records is clearly an entity with music front and center, we are constantly exploring the many ties between various disciplines and perspectives, ranging in everything from sound and design to performance art and printmaking to storytelling and feminism. Reckless Abandon, the multi-discipline exhibition by Mather featuring hundreds of artworks, navigates the space between these ideas, dismantling traditional & patriarchal art narratives to create a show that re-imagines human history and what it might become.

[…]

Given the current political climate, with a recent resurgence of the #MeToo campaign setting the tone for a radical cultural shift in many male-dominated fields, Reckless Abandon could not come at a better time. The immense body of work and interconnected series of performances and events tackle the full weight of the past and present while still offering a magic and radical vision for the future. “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.”

Join us for Reckless Abandon: Performance this Friday, and return on Saturday for an improvisational performance by Tara Khozein and Rhonda Taylor in the exhibition.

Learn more about this event.
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Thais Mather- Mine and Thine- Reckless Abandon Show- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, Mine and Thine, shou sugi ban, 20 x 63 x 10 in.

Opening | Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon

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“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.

Reckless Abandon Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook

Learn more about this exhibition.

Part of the proceeds from Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon will benefit the ACLU of New Mexico and the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter

Summer Artist Talk: Elana Schwartz

Sculptor Elana Schwartz continues form & concept’s Summer Artist Talks series. She will speak about her artwork on Saturday, July 8, 2-3 pm. The talk takes place during form & concept’s One-Year Anniversary Exhibition, featuring new artwork from all of the gallery’s represented artists.

Biography

Elana Schwartz is a wood sculptor from New Mexico. She has been drawn to the use of statuary as a conduit between the physical and metaphysical; concrete objects transcend the inherent limitations of the physical and provide a channel through which hidden meaning is unlocked. Wood is the perfect medium to explore concepts of the cyclical nature of life, containing within each piece a living history and future all its own. The recreation of wood into sculpture captures the transformative spirit of our own life cycles, and has the capacity to make any space sacred.

Click here to browse Elana’s artwork.

Full Schedule

Summer Artist Talks Schedule

In its first year, form & concept has emphasized powerful and diverse storytelling through its exhibition schedule and programs. The gallery’s roster of represented artists has been steadily growing, making for a dynamic One-Year Anniversary Exhibition (May 26-October 22, 2017). The majority of form & concept’s represented artists will speak, along with several guest artists.

Matthew Mullins & Wesley Anderegg | 5/27/17, 2-3 pm
Heidi Brandow | 6/3/17, 2-3 pm
Heather Bradley | 6/10/17, 2-3 pm
NoiseFold | 6/17/17, 2-3 pm*
Rebecca Rutstein | 7/1/17, 2-3 pm
Elana Schwartz | 7/8/17, 2-3 pm
Debra Baxter | 7/15/17, 2-3 pm
Jared Weiss | 7/22/17, 2-3 pm*
Armond Lara | 8/20/17, 2-3 pm
Broken Boxes Artists & Curators Panel Discussion | 8/20/17, 3-4 pm*

*Guest artists. All other participants are form & concept represented artists.

Summer Artist Talk: Heidi Brandow

Multi-disciplinary artist Heidi Brandow continues form & concept’s Summer Artist Talks series. She will speak about her artwork on Saturday, June 3, 2-3 pm. The talk takes place during form & concept’s One-Year Anniversary Exhibition, featuring new artwork from all of the gallery’s represented artists.

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Biography

“Heidi K. Brandow likes to explore the juxtaposition of things that are familiar and safe with those that might make us feel less comfortable, reflecting the mix of the positive and negative that appears in everyone’s life.” says the Albuquerque Journal North. Brandow is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is commonly filled with whimsical characters and monsters that are often combined with words of poetry, stories, and personal reflections. Hailing from a long line of Native Hawaiian singers, musicians and performers on her mother’s side and Diné storytellers and medicine people on her father’s side, she finds that her pursuit of an artistic career came natural. Drawing her inspiration from everyday life, Brandow’s work concerns discovering, defining, and redefining personal identity by questioning authority and deconstructing mainstream assumptions of Native Americans. Brandow’s work engages personal, cultural, and historical experiences while incorporating perspectives of critical theory.

Brandow is a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chatanooga, Tennessee, and the Luciano Benetton Collection in Italy. She is a featured artist in the School of Advanced Research (SAR) publication “Art in Our Lives: Native Artist Women in Dialogue. Heidi K. Brandow is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA and has studied design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Browse Heidi’s artwork.

Summer Artist Talks Schedule

In its first year, form & concept has emphasized powerful and diverse storytelling through its exhibition schedule and programs. The gallery’s roster of represented artists has been steadily growing, making for a dynamic One-Year Anniversary Exhibition (May 26-October 22, 2017). The majority of form & concept’s represented artists will speak, along with several guest artists.

Matthew Mullins & Wesley Anderegg | 5/27/17, 2-3 pm
Heidi Brandow | 6/3/17, 2-3 pm
Heather Bradley | 6/10/17, 2-3 pm
NoiseFold | 6/17/17, 2-3 pm*
Rebecca Rutstein | 7/1/17, 2-3 pm
Elana Schwartz | 7/8/17, 2-3 pm
Debra Baxter | 7/15/17, 2-3 pm
Jared Weiss | 7/22/17, 2-3 pm*
Armond Lara | 8/20/17, 2-3 pm
Broken Boxes Artists & Curators Panel Discussion | 8/20/17, 3-4 pm*

*Guest artists. All other participants are form & concept represented artists.