Closing Reception: Matthew Mullins | The Sun In Our Bones

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Join Matthew Mullins at a closing reception for his solo exhibition The Sun In Our Bones. His work will span form & concept’s ground floor, the second exhibition in the gallery’s two-year history to devote an entire level to a single artist. The title of the exhibition is a reference to an unconventional material Mullins has incorporated into some of his cosmic paintings: pigment made from burnt animal bones. “The calcium and phosphorous in those bones, and our own, are made in stars,” Mullins says. “It’s truly all connected.”

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This Saturday: Matthew Mullins Artist Talk

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This Saturday, Matthew Mullins hosts an artist talk for his solo exhibition The Sun In Our Bones. When Mullins began working on the monumental show last year, he was shooting for the stars. “I thought about this spectrum of very earthy and grounded to the cosmos,” says Mullins. “How do you encompass that staggering span, and pull someone all the way through it?” The exhibition is on view through November 17, 2018. Scroll down to see selections from the exhibition, and click here to browse all of the artwork online.

 

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Matthew Mullins, Source of the Rio Nambe, oil on canvas

 

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Matthew Mullins, Dome, 19th century engraving with gold leaf
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Matthew Mullins, Chama River, archival pigment print

Press Roundup: Matthew Mullins | The Sun In Our Bones

Tonight, Santa Fe artist Matthew Mullins presents his solo exhibition The Sun in Our Bones. Mullins’s work is inspired by the intrinsic links between humans and the natural world. He has a lot of ground to cover, which is why we’ve dedicated our entire ground floor to showcase his paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

We visited Matthew’s studio to talk about his process and inspiration for his show. “I want people to look beyond what’s right in front of us,” says Mullins. “And make them aware of our own cosmic origins.” Check out the video above to learn more about his artistic practice.

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Mullins also gave Megan Bennett of the Albuquerque Journal a tour of his studio. Here’s an excerpt:

Mullins thinks of the patterns as a representation of the human experience of being out there nature.

“If you’re in one of these places or in nature just staring off into the trees, I feel the mind kind of wanders a little bit,” he said. “Like you’re looking at the landscape, but other thoughts come in. You lose it, and then you see the landscape.

“So I like the representational qualities with the landscape, as well as the abstract patterns. The brain can go from experiencing the depth and light of the landscape to the flatness and rhythm of the abstraction. The brain toddles back and forth, and it creates a more dynamic experience that’s kind of uncontrollable.”

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Mullins was also the subject of Emily Van Cleve’s article in the Santa Fe Arts Journal. Check out this quote:

An award-winning professional artist who moved to Santa Fe in 2011, Mullins has been working on the pieces in “The Sun in our Bodies” for the past two years.

“My work draws upon my fascination with visual perception and the forces of nature,” he says. “By integrating human-made constructs with natural environments, I’m composing a relationship that is often deconstructed or forgotten in today’s society.

The press doesn’t stop there! The Santa Fe Reporter brought Mullins in for their 3 Questions Column. Here’s what he had to say about The Sun in Our Bone’s overarching theme:

The theme is trying to make art that can connect the viewer with nature and the cosmos. A lot of pieces in the show are about how the materials in our own body are made of the stars, and how the elements that give us life and the ability to have consciousness come from the stars. I’m really trying to drive that point home. The title of the show, The Sun in Our Bones, comes from a poem by poem by Nayyirah Waheed, and really conveys what I’m trying to do with art.

The Sun in Our Bones opens September 28th at 5 PM and runs through November 17th. Mullins will conduct an Artist Talk on the 20th of October.

 

Opening: Matthew Mullins | The Sun In Our Bones

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Santa Fe artist Matthew Mullins presents a solo exhibition of paintings, photographs and sculptures, inspired by the intrinsic links between humans and the natural world. Known for his mixed-media paintings that visually connect landscapes with human-made, geometric patterns, Mullins broadens his practice to encompass photography and sculpture. With this expanded artistic palette, he draws viewers across time and space—from a windswept patch of grass to the swirling cosmos.

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Preview: Matthew Mullins | The Sun In Our Bones

Matthew Mullins- The Sun In Our Bones- Oil on Canvas- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Matthew Mullins is an avid hiker and distance runner, and lately he’s been leaving artwork behind on his adventures through New Mexico’s high desert. He’ll install pinhole cameras in remote areas, note their coordinates, and return for them weeks or months later. The final images reflect the shifting path of the sun and other natural phenomena—that is, if Mullins can retrieve them. Weather and wild animals have destroyed several cameras, and others have vanished without a trace. Despite the occasional lost artwork, Mullins says his far-flung creative process is worth the risk.

“With these pinhole photos, I’m presenting different ways to look at nature and different ways of seeing time,” the Santa Fe artist explains. “The incredibly long exposures require the cameras to be in remote locations, which always involves leaps of faith.” In his solo exhibition The Sun in Our Bones, opening Friday, September 28 from 5 to 7 pm, Mullins presents photographs, paintings and sculptures inspired by the intrinsic links between humans and the natural world. An artist talk follows on October 20, and a closing reception takes place on November 17.

Matthew Mullins- Orphan Mesa- Oil on Canvas- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

When Mullins began working on The Sun in Our Bones last year, he was shooting for the stars. “I thought about making a series of artwork within a spectrum of very earthy and grounded to cosmic. I wanted to paint nature and natural processes from the subatomic world to the stars” says Mullins. “How do you encompass that staggering span, and pull someone all the way through it?” The Santa Fe artist has been working on a series of highly unconventional landscape paintings since moving to New Mexico from Berkeley, California in 2011. The works depict scenes from nature, often in a monochrome palette, with geometric patterns inspired by human-made designs cutting through them. A concurrent series of watercolor paintings features mandala patterns dotted with countless stars.

Branching out even further, the artist started experimenting with several new mediums. He gathered dry, twisted pieces of juniper wood on his outdoor excursions and brought them back to his studio, cleaning them, burnishing them and covering them with shiny graphite to accentuate their lines and textures. Through the pinhole photography series, Mullins found a method for depicting a temporal experience of landscape. “I really wanted to track time in a different way and also show the movement of our planet around the sun.  I didn’t think I could really get that in my paintings,” he says. “I love the idea of having these pinhole cameras out in the world. They’re working right now, so I’m making art 24/7.”

The Sun in Our Bones will span form & concept’s ground floor, the second show in the gallery’s two-year history (after Thais Mather’s Reckless Abandon in November 2017) to devote an entire level to a single artist. The title of the exhibition is a reference to an unconventional material Mullins has incorporated into some of his cosmic paintings: pigment made from burnt animal bones. “The calcium and phosphorous in those bones, and our own, are made in stars,” Mullins says. “It’s truly all connected.”

Matthew Mullins- Obsidian Ridge- Pinhole Photograph- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

For Mullins, the exhibition is a culmination of 15 years of work as a professional artist. Originally from the Bay Area of California, he received his MFA from University of California Berkeley. There, he began his career with his Artifacts & Archives paintings, a series of photo-realistic watercolors that replicate the archival environments and materials he had access to during his graduate studies.

Mullins received the prestigious Eisner Prize for Visual Art in 2010, a year before relocating to New Mexico. Following the move, he was inspired by the desolate, sweeping landscapes of the Desert Southwest to shift from an illustrative style to semi-abstraction. Through his latest work, Mullins has sought to show the connection between human consciousness and the natural world. “Humans are part of the natural world,” says Mullins. “But we often become so focused on our individuality that we lose track of that greater connection. My work is about reintegrating with nature and finding unity in that relationship.”

Learn more about this exhibition.
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Curator’s Selection: Matthew Mullins | Inner Orbit

For the second entry in our new Curator’s Selection video series (check out the first one here), form & concept gallery director Frank Rose discussed an artwork by Matthew Mullins from the group exhibition Inner Orbit. Matt’s mixed-media painting The Sun Is In Our Bones is an anchor of the show, which explores personal and cultural visions of outer space, and it’s also an introduction to his next body of work. In late September, he’ll debut a solo exhibition called The Sun In Our Bones that will span our ground floor. Learn more about the painting in the video above, then click over to the exhibition page to discover how it connects with the themes of the forthcoming show.

Matthew Mullins- The Sun Is In Our Bones- Mixed-Media Painting- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Here is Matt’s meditation on his painting The Sun Is In Our Bones:

The Sun Is In Our Bones is a meditation on the cosmic origins of the elements that comprise our bodies. The elements in our bodies such as carbon, calcium and iron were forged by the extreme forces that exist inside stars, supernovae and other cosmic events. It’s fascinating to think about the journey our bodies’ atomic ingredients have had, and that all of those individual atoms are now working together to form you and me. These elements that have existed for eons are engaged in a mysterious dance that allows us to maintain our complicated biological processes and even consciousness, empathy and love.

The black paint in this piece is made from burnt cow bones. The atoms of calcium and phosphorus from those bones, just like in our bones, were created in the stars. So, the material used in this painting was actually created in space and once provided life to other beings. The title The Sun In Our Bones is not only poetic, it can be taken somewhat literally. The bare linen that the stars seem to be growing into represents yet-to-be-created space. The handprints on the sides are traced from my hands and my wife’s hands, and represent the evolution of human consciousness from the elemental, raw ingredients created inside the stars.

Crystalline and Constellate are meditations on the subatomic world within our bodies. These paintings are nearly photo-realistic depictions of a matrix of atoms being lit up with a laser beam. The source photos that I painted from were taken with an electron microscope. I am awestruck by the intelligent orderliness, but also the mysterious fluidity, of the world experienced at this scale. Our own bodies look similar when viewed from a small enough vantage point.

Click here to browse the complete Inner Orbit exhibition on our website. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival.

Artist Talk: Wesley Anderegg | ARIZONA

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Join Wesley Anderegg for this artist talk on Saturday, March 31 from 2 to 3 pm. His solo exhibition ARIZONA opens on Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm and runs through May 19, 2018.

The mosaical visual memoir that makes up Anderegg’s ARIZONA exhibition started as a happy accident. “I had a bunch of these ceramic squares made, and they were just sitting there,” he says. Anderegg is known for his sculptural depictions of somewhat impish figures who are often in comical conflict or cartoonish peril. The fresh stack of ceramic tiles inspired him to play around with more complex 2D compositions. “I got this idea to make these markers of my time in Arizona, the dusty palette and everything,” he says. “It’s just memories of my childhood, all the crazy crap we used to do.”

Learn more about this exhibition.

Events

Opening Reception: Friday, March 30, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 31, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook

Opening: Wesley Anderegg | ARIZONA

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“Everybody that lives in New Mexico goes to Arizona every once in awhile,” says Wesley Anderegg. “That’s the only reason Arizona exists, is to drive through to go to California.” It’s a particularly sacrilegious statement for a born-and-raised Arizonan, but Anderegg hasn’t lived there for decades. He’s also never directly revisited his wild childhood through his figurative ceramics—until now. “As you get older, you kind of get reminiscing,” says the California-based artist. “It’s like, oh man, I’m on the downslope these days. Time to look back.”

In a new series of diminutive ceramic tiles, Anderegg flattens his tragicomic sculptural figures with a playful nod to Pop Art paintings and comic book panels. The painted compositions evoke Anderegg’s experience growing up in the sun-drenched and lawless Sonoran Desert. Wesley Anderegg: ARIZONA debuts at form & concept on Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm. Anderegg recognizes the humor of mounting a show called ARIZONA one state to the east, but it’s a simple matter of personal preference. “I thought about actually having it in Arizona, but I like you guys better,” he says with a grin.

Wesley Anderegg: ARIZONA debuts at form & concept on Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm, with an artist talk on Saturday, March 31 from 2 to 3 pm. The show runs through May 19, 2018.

Learn more about this exhibition.

Events

Opening Reception: Friday, March 30, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 31, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook

Preview: Wesley Anderegg | Arizona

“Everybody that lives in New Mexico goes to Arizona every once in a while,” says Wesley Anderegg. “That’s the only reason Arizona exists, is to drive through to go to California.” It’s a particularly sacrilegious statement for a born-and-raised Arizonan, but Anderegg hasn’t lived there for decades. He’s also never directly revisited his wild childhood through his figurative ceramics—until now. “As you get older, you kind of get reminiscing,” says the California-based artist. “It’s like, oh man, I’m on the downslope these days. Time to look back.” In a new series of diminutive ceramic tiles, Anderegg flattens his tragicomic sculptural figures with a playful nod to Pop Art paintings and comic book panels. The painted compositions evoke Anderegg’s experience growing up in the sun-drenched and lawless Sonoran Desert. Wesley Anderegg: ARIZONA debuts at form & concept on Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm, with an artist talk on Saturday, March 31 from 2 to 3 pm.

As Anderegg tells it, his mosaical visual memoir started as a happy accident. “I had a bunch of these ceramic squares made, and they were just sitting there,” he says. Anderegg is known for his sculptural depictions of somewhat impish figures who are often in comical conflict or cartoonish peril. He also has an ongoing series of figurative paintings on circular platters, but the fresh stack of ceramic tiles inspired him to play around with more complex 2D compositions. “I got this idea to make these markers of my time in Arizona, the dusty palette and everything,” he says. “It’s just memories of my childhood, all the crazy crap we used to do.”

The works document all sorts delightful mischief: there’s an inner tube voyage down a lazy river, and a romantic rendezvous in the bed of a pickup truck. Rakish cowboys sip cold cans of Coors, bug-eyed jackrabbits scurry across sizzling highways, and strangely human cacti flash spiny, gaping smiles. “You can see this evolution of techniques through the series,” Anderegg says. “The first desert scenes were glazed, while the last ones are dry with a matte surface.” It’s as though the artist had to ease into this gritty universe of memories, slowly bringing the Arizona of his youth into focus. “One thing that’s the same in all of them is the sky, which is glazed with these really cool blues,” he says. “I had to get that desert sky just right.”

Anderegg’s tiles measure just under 12 x 12 inches each, and they’ll span form & concept’s stairwell and catwalk spaces for the solo exhibition. Though the series represents a new direction for the artist, form & concept director Frank Rose sees a clear link between old and new. “Every figure that Wes makes represents a little part of him and his story,” Rose says. “Arizona is a more direct expression of that—even the desert creatures in the paintings have these bold personalities that evoke personal allegories.” Anderegg recognizes the humor of mounting a show called ARIZONA one state to the east, but it’s a simple matter of personal preference. “I thought about actually having it in Arizona, but I like you guys better,” he says with a grin.

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Artist News | March 2018

Heidi Brandow- Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Heidi Brandow, Low Tide, mixed media painting, 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 in.

Heidi Brandow has received two fellowships in the past few months. Story Maps is an initiative by Santa Fe Art Institute that mentors young, local, creative leaders of color in community engagement. Heidi also received an Artist in Business Leadership fellowship from the First Peoples Fund. Read a snippet from their mission statement below:

“When an individual artist is uplifted and supported, they impact their families, communities and the benefits can ripple out regionally and nationally. This inspires artists to fully honor their cultural creativity and frees them to embrace their Native identity and voice.”

Debra Baxter- Sculpture- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Debra Baxter, Breastplate (Reveal), bronze, quartz crystal, 18 x 11 x 3 in.

“Baxter is an artist for one refreshingly honest reason. ‘If I didn’t make art, I would lose my mind.'” That’s the first line of Elysian’s recent profile on Debra Baxter. The article, much like Debra’s work, is a vulnerable and powerful examination of what it means to be a female artist. Read the full interview here. Debra’s Aqua Aura Knuckles appear on the cover of The Magazine’s February/March relaunch issue. Here’s an excerpt from Jenn Shapland’s cover story about Debra and her work:

Debra Baxter has just chucked something across her studio. A five-pointed throwing star sticks firmly into the opposite wall. She’s about to throw another, but first she shows it to me. It’s elegant lace made of metal. The tips have been sharpened.

Matthew Mullins- Painting- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Matthew Mullins, Chicoma, acrylic ink and watercolor on paper, 58 x 38 in.

Matthew Mullins will appear in the New American Paintings Special Alumni Issue this March. Pick up a copy to see his painting Chicoma in print. Matthew’s Ursa Major graced the cover of Pasatiempo in December, for their 2017 Writing Competition issue.

Rebecca Rutstein- Painting- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Rebecca Rutstein, Slanted and Enchanted, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 60 in.

Rebecca Rutstein is taking Pennsylvania museums by storm! The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently acquired a 2017 painting by Rutstein for their public collection. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, which is the nation’s oldest art museum and art school, added two of her artworks to their collection.

Wesley Anderegg- Painting on Ceramic Tile- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Wesley Anderegg, Big Strawberry, ceramic, 11.25 x 11.25 x 1.5 in.

Wesley Anderegg‘s solo exhibition ARIZONA is coming up at form & concept. The opening reception is Friday, March 30 from 5 to 7 pm, and Wes will conduct an artist talk on Saturday, March 31 from 2 to 3 pm. Wes also appears with Ryan Meyers in the two-man exhibition About Face, opening in Bakersville, NC this April.

Click here to browse the complete form & concept collection.