form & concept presents the second annual MICROCOSM group exhibition. The gallery invited all-star artists from its 2018 shows to make works measuring 8 x 10 inches or smaller. It’s form & concept’s final statement of the year, reflecting the variety of mediums and messages that graced the walls. MICROCOSM will feature far-flung creators who work in clay, glass, fiber, precious metals, and camera film—among many other materials.
Readers of Santa Fe Reporter voted us “Best Gallery” in the publication’s annual Best of Santa Fe contest! Thanks to everyone who helped boost form & concept from last year’s #2 slot, all the way to #1. Here’s what SFR had to say about the gallery:
Paintings? Check. Music? Check. Video, sculpture, dance and pretty much any kind of contemporary awesomeness you can imagine in the Railyard Arts District? Check, check, check and check.
Click here to read more, and come celebrate with us at the form & concept Annual Exhibition 2018, opening this Friday, July 27 from 5 to 7 pm. The reception overlaps with SFR‘s annual block party, which is a short walk away in (and around) the Railyard Market Pavilion from 5 to 9 pm.
form & concept has two events lined up for the weekend, and they’re not to be missed! Tonight is the closing reception for Debra Baxter’s solo exhibition Tooth & Nail (Friday, 6/15, 5-7 pm). On Saturday, we’re hosting Nathan Wheeler for an experimental music and performance piece among the artworks of Inner Orbit (Saturday, 6/16, 7-8:30 pm). Alex De Vore of Santa Fe Reporter chose Nathan’s event as a calendar pick this week. Here’s an excerpt:
Ever heard of an EMF meter? They’re those gadgets that detect electromagnetic fields or, in some cases, psychic energy and possibly ghosts. Spooky, right? But don’t be scared; New York-based multi-disciplinary artist and dancer Nathan Wheeler plans to use them for a non-spooky event.
Paul Weideman covered the performance in this week’s Pasatiempo. Here’s an excerpt:
Wheeler embarks on a communal experience with living people and perhaps with some more ethereal collaborators. One of his chief tools in this process is an instrument that can sense electromagnetic fields (EMFs). “We’ll all be sitting in a space, but basically what I’m doing is using ghost-detection circuits [EMF meters] to read the different sort of invisible energies that are in the space,” said the artist, who is known for his improvisational music and dance performances. “These circuits do things like detect electromagnetic interference and static electricity, but they also are supposed to detect ghosts.”
Learn more about both events in this blog post. We’ll see you this weekend!
The Santa Fe Railyard is the place to be this weekend! The CURRENTS New Media Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with a massive exhibition at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Institute hosts the inaugural Interplanetary Festival at the Railyard Plaza and other venues. Both festivals have partnered with numerous organizations around Santa Fe to present exhibitions and events that bring together art, science and technology. Check out Iris McLister’s article in this week’s Santa Fe Reporter to get it all straight, and make sure to stop by form & concept for two events on Thursday & Saturday. More details below!
Young Masters | NMSA
Thursday, June 7th, 6 – 7:30 pm
New Mexico School for the Arts will soon break ground on renovations for their new Railyard location, and they’re wasting no time injecting fresh creative energy into the arts district. The arts high school presents a special performance series at form & concept, hosted by faculty members and showcasing outstanding student musicians, creative writers and poets. Featured artists include Keenan McDonald, Myriah Duda, Adam Griffo, Acacia Burnham, Jada Baca and Lila Baca.
Saturday, June 9th, 2 PM
Join Inner Orbit artists Matthew Mullins and Drew Lenihan for this interactive tour. They’ll engage with Frank Rose and Jordan Eddy of form & concept in a conversation about the show’s themes. Inner Orbit spotlights contemporary artists from across the United States who meld fine art and craft mediums with technology for deeply personal looks at the firmament. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival.
Image: Marcus Zuñiga, lines, mural, led string lights, marker.
We’re in the final stretch of voting for Best of Santa Fe 2018! form & concept was nominated by Santa Fe Reporter‘s readers in the Best Gallery category. We were in the running last year, and won second place. This year we’re going for the gold! If you like what we’ve been up to, make sure to cast your vote before the contest closes at midnight on May 31. You can vote in one click below.
Tonight (Friday, 4/27) from 5-7 pm, form & concept hosts an opening reception for two sculpture shows: Tooth & Nail by Debra Baxter, and Minimal Tension by Matthew Szösz. Both solo exhibitions have received some great coverage in local press over the past few months. Baxter was the cover artist for The Magazine‘s February issue, and the subject of a feature article by Jenn Shapland. Here’s an excerpt:
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. Baxter’s work occupies several unlikely but generative intersections: between the fierce and the sentimental, between museum pieces and ready-to-wear jewelry. Since her early pieces in alabaster, Baxter has tried to find a way to use sculpture to harness a woman’s voice, her source both of power and of vulnerability.
Tooth & Nail also scored a shout-out in this week’s Santa Fe Reporter. Here’s a tidbit from Alex De Vore’s calendar pick:
Sculptor Debra Baxter’s propensity for crafting armor and weaponry-adjacent pieces from metal, stone and wood belies the subtly elegant touches rampant throughout her work. […] Representational this is not; intriguing and borderline dangerous it is. Good luck not getting sucked in.
Matthew Szösz is in town this weekend for the opening, and will also conduct an artist talk on Saturday, April 28 from 2-3 pm. His exhibition of glass sculptures, Minimal Tension, got a spotlight in this week’s Pasatiempo. Michael Abatemarco writes:
Matthew Szösz’s sculptures are dynamic works in glass made using a variety of tools and techniques. Minimal Tension, an exhibition that draws from two ongoing series, Inflatables and Ropework, opens Friday, April 27.
The show was also featured in Santa Fe Arts Journal‘s email newsletter, in a write-up by Emily Van Cleve:
For Szösz, setting up just one glass art experiment is an involved process, with preparation taking anywhere from a half a day to four weeks. Sometimes the sculpture works out fine, but it also can shatter into a million pieces.
Preview both shows on our exhibition page, and make sure to stop by for the opening reception tonight and Matthew’s artist talk tomorrow!
THE TARA & RHONDA SHOW! Fully Clothed and Highly Introverted makes its Santa Fe debut at form & concept tonight. Come to the gallery at 7 pm for an evening of improvisational performance with New Mexico musicians Tara Khozein and Rhonda Taylor. Make sure to bring a $5-$25 donation in support of the artists.
Khozein and Taylor have performed together once before, for the one-night sound exhibition Lyric Concrete at Radical Abacus in 2015. Here’s an excerpt from Alex De Vore’s write-up on the event for Santa Fe Reporter:
“Often in contemporary classical, it’ll just say that it’s for ‘voice’ or ‘female voice,’ and these newer compositions will focus on what they call extended techniques or mumbles and grumbles or things you could say that metal vocalists have been doing for years,” Khozein says, displaying her self-described crazy eyes. “I’ve been trying not to use the word ‘weird’ to describe this music, because that just seems a little apologetic.”
[…] Let’s get down to brass tacks here, you guys. What is the overall selling point, especially in a town where everyone hates what they don’t know? The selling point is that it’s important to experience some things that exist outside the norm. And while McKissick and Khozein readily admit that Lyric Concrete won’t be for everyone, they’ve both promised a tangible emotional response to the performances.
The same goes for Khozein and Taylor’s daring performance at form & concept tonight! Come hear how both artists have evolved since their last collaboration, and support performing arts in Santa Fe.
Thais Mather’s Reckless 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.
Alex De Vore of Santa Fe Reporter talked to Thais for this week’s Three Questions feature. From his intro:
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.”
Click here to learn more about Reckless Abandon, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook for updates. We’ll see you tonight from 5-7 pm! Our shows Smitten Forum and MICROCOSM Small Works Invitational also debut this evening.
Neon has been in use an artistic medium for decades, but there’s something about it that seems perpetually of the “now.” Its glow makes it feel like a living thing, and the low hum it gives off could be friendly or threatening. The blue-green quality of neon light conjures a feeling of Americana and a gritty futurist sensation at the same time. Jaque Fragua bends this culturally loaded medium to his will in a series of provocative sculptures that illuminate the walls and windows of form & concept. Fragua’s neon creations parody the kitsch of curio shops and critique the appropriation of Native American aesthetics with biting wit. Crave reported on Fragua’s early influences in a profile last year:
From humble beginnings and a large family, Fragua grew up in an adobe house on Jemez Pueblo, about an hour northwest of Albuquerque. He began painting ceremonial objects for dances and cultural rituals in his youth. As an adolescent, he attended high school in Denver, and got into graffiti (along with some trouble). Formal training at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe followed.
Pre-Internet, the mainstream public didn’t know what was happening on reservations or in contemporary Native culture; Fragua saw an opportunity to use his experiences as the basis for his body of work. “I felt like the art I was interested in making could be a conduit for dialogue and to spread that awareness,” he says.
Fragua discussed the experience of moving through the world as a Native artist with Santa Fe Reporter in 2015:
The reality is that it is twice as oppressive as being just a Native person. I feel like there’s so much pressure on young Native people to rise to a certain occasion or level of being or just adulthood…I don’t know what it is, but there’s all this pressure to be something that I don’t feel like we’re necessarily meant to be. It might be capturing the American Dream, or go to college and get your master’s in oil engineering, and there’s these things that our parents or the generation before have been trained or conditioned to do for so many years. Now, I feel like because we’re in a current state of society [where] people are having difficulty deciding what exactly they want to do, with that comes more pressure.
VICE‘s Creators Project touched on Fragua’s recent activist work in an article late last year:
The artistic abilities Fragua honed with graffiti eventually pushed him toward activist endeavors. “I came into the social justice sector by accident. A friend of mine asked me to help him make a banner for a specific Native organization fighting for water rights in Northern Arizona. This was 2007. Since then, I have been creating art every year for different indigenous campaigns and struggles, separate from the art I create for myself.” This past summer, Fragua traveled to North Dakota to help fight the Dakota Access Pipeline. “Part of my role there was to educate about art as a visual communication through non-violent direct action. The banner was created for an action that was deployed the morning after I arrived,” says Fragua.
Visit Jaque Fragua’s artist page to learn more about his work.
A menagerie of golden-eyed, ceramic creatures has arrived at form & concept for Wookjae Maeng’s solo exhibition BALANCE this Friday. The animals were accompanied by a small media circus this week. BALANCE was prominently featured in Santa Fe Reporter‘s calendar section, and Emily Van Cleve covered the show in Santa Fe Arts Journal. Here’s an excerpt from her write-up:
“The theme of my work is to represent the complex, ambiguous and uncomfortable relationship between man and animal,” says Wookjae Maeng, a South Korean artist whose porcelain wall hangings and pedestal pieces of deer, rhinos, lions, bighorn sheep and other creatures are on display in form & concept’s show “Balance” that opens on October 27.
Some animals are presented like hunting trophies, while other sculptures highlight the invisibility of the animal world to the human eye. All of Maeng’s animals have golden eyes that confront the viewer.
Click here to read the full piece, which includes a quote from our director Frank. This Friday, Pasatiempo covered the show in its Exhibitionism section. Here’s a snippet of Michael Abatemarco’s write-up:
Maeng’s wall-mounted portraits of deer, rhinos, lions, and bighorn sheep, beautifully rendered in porcelain, call our attention to animals brought to the brink of extinction and crises in biodiversity. Hung in a trophy-like manner, they also underscore the separation between humankind and the rest of the animal kingdom.