At this holiday event, Thais Mather unites a number of to-be-announced feminist artists for a series of performances among the artworks of the Reckless Abandon exhibition. The gallery will accept a sliding scale donation of $5-$10 in support of the artists.
Reckless Abandon is Mather’s first major show in Santa Fe, though she hesitates to call it a solo exhibition—at least in a traditional sense. “I feel like the concept of the male genius artist, presenting his solo magnum opus is a Greenbergian farce. Everything you create is influenced by other artists, by your mentors, by your relationships, by the music and literature you adore.” she says.
Mather considers the participating performers—and gallery visitors—to be collaborators when they cross the show’s threshold. The exhibition will evolve through these contributions and interactions, inspiring community members to return multiple times and experience new surprises. Inspired by the art movement called magical realism, Mather aims to weave moments of transformation into everyday life.
“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. MICROCOSM opens on Friday, November 24 from 5-7 pm, in conjunction with the exhibitions Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon and Smitten Forum.
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
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.” 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.
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. Wookjae Maeng: BALANCE opens on Friday, October 27 from 5-7 pm.
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 Sunday, October 15 from 5-7 pm, 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.
form & concept gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico collaborates with Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and the non-partisan 501(c)3 organization New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) for this special exhibition. Silent and live auctions at the reception will feature artwork made from decommissioned firearms by faculty and students of SFCC’s Art Department, along with works reflecting on gun violence prevention by artists and jewelers from across the United States. Proceeds will benefit art and welding scholarships at SFCC, NMPGV and the participating artists. The Guns to Art Benefit Show will be on view from November 7 to 17, 2017, with a reception and live auction on Friday, November 17, 2017 from 4-7 pm. An online and in-gallery silent auction featuring a selection of the works will run for the duration of the exhibition, and end on the evening of the reception.
Artists are invited to enter up to three works, the submission form and a 250-word artist statement describing how each submission reflects on gun violence prevention. Please provide a high resolution image of each work. Entries can be artworks or jewelry of any size or medium, and don’t need to incorporate decommissioned gun parts to be considered. The submission deadline is October 9, after which a jury selected by form & concept will choose the works and notify the artists by October 20. Upon notification, the artists will receive a contract that they must sign, scan and email back to form & concept (firstname.lastname@example.org) before shipping their work. Selected artists are expected to cover the costs of shipping their work to the gallery, and to enclose a return shipping label from FedEx or UPS in the case of a work not selling.
The works will appear in an online and in-gallery silent auction that begins November 7 ends at the conclusion of the Guns to Art Benefit Show on November 17. Works that do not appear in the silent auction will be on the block in a live auction at the event. Participating artists will be notified before the Guns to Art Benefit Show opens whether their work will be in the silent or live auctions. 50% of each sale will go to the participating artist, 25% will go to NMPGV and the SFCC Art Department’s scholarship program, and 25% will go to form & concept gallery.
-Deadline for submissions is Monday, October 9 at 11:59 pm.
-Submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
-Artists must fill out the official submission form in order to be considered.
-Artists are invited to submit up to three works of art or jewelry. Please provide a high resolution image of each work. File size should be no larger than 6 MB per file, JPGs preferred.
-Entries can be artworks or jewelry of any size or medium, and do NOT need to incorporate decommissioned gun parts to be considered.
-Submissions should reflect on gun violence prevention. A 250-word artist statement must accompany the work(s), describing how the work(s) fit with the theme. Please provide only one artist statement, even if you submit multiple works.
-Artists will be notified if their work is selected by the jury by October 20, and will be expected to sign and return form & concept’s contract (firstname.lastname@example.org) before shipping the artwork.
-Artists are expected to cover the shipping costs of their work, and provide a FedEx or UPS shipping label for return shipping in case of an unsold work. Selected artworks may be hand-delivered to the gallery.
-50% of each sale will go to the artist, 25% will go to New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence and the Santa Fe Community College Art Department’s scholarship program, and 25% will go to form & concept gallery.
-Work should arrive at form & concept gallery by no later than November 3 at 5:00 pm.
-The Guns to Art Benefit Show will be on view from November 7 to 17, 2017, with a reception and live auction on November 17, 2017 from 4-7 pm.
-An online and in-gallery silent auction featuring a display of selected works will run for the duration of the exhibition, and end on the evening of the reception.
Submission Deadline: Monday, October 9, 2017, 11:59 pm Selected Artists Notified: Friday, October 20, 2017 Artwork Arrival Deadline: Friday, November 3, 2017, 5:00 pm Exhibition Dates: November 7-17, 2017 Reception & Live Auction: Friday, November 17, 2017, 4-7 pm
This summer, Rebecca Rutstein mounted a solo exhibition at form & concept called Fault Lines. The smallest paintings in the show measured 36 x 36 inches, and the largest canvas was 7.5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. In a series of paintings and prints that just arrived at the gallery, the Philadelphia artist works in a more intimate scale. Many of the pieces are no taller than 10 inches. However, her subject matter—and vivid color palette—remains as vast as an ocean or mountain range.
In Rutstein’s case, we mean this quite literally. A series of long, narrow images reflects the undulating topography of the Pacific Ocean floor, drawn from her recent residencies at sea. Other works evoke rivers, volcanoes or continents, markers of the artist’s far-flung travels that have inspired her to envision geologic forms and phenomena as a highly personal symbol system. The work’s titles hint at events in her personal life that metaphorically align with the natural forces she studies. “The stories I tell about geology are always interwoven with my own personal psychology,” she tells us. “I’m [also] exploring formal abstract ideas.” Scroll down to browse Rutstein’s work, and check out our studio visit blog post for a video, interview and more.
Click here to view all of Rebecca Rutstein’s artwork in the form & concept collection.
“Indigenous people are artists. We look at the world in a different way and we see beauty in everything. We’re tied to the mediums that we’re using. We’re putting our hands in clay and we’re stripping willows to make things. We’re sewing regalia. We’re touching these objects of our ancestors and we’re talking to our ancestors.”
– Cara Romero
Broken Boxes, an exhibition curated by Ginger Dunnill and Cannupa Hanska Luger, features Douglas Miles and 40 other creators from around the world who are affecting change in their work. All of the participants have appeared on Dunnill’s Broken Boxes Podcast.
There will be a catalog realease event at form & concept on Friday, September 29 from 5-7 pm. Click here to learn more, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook.
Over the first 16 months of form & concept, we’ve discovered that a gallery’s network grows like tree roots. Word passes from one artist, journalist, collector or curator to the next, forming a big, beautiful tangle that miraculously connects back to us. When it comes to picking new artwork for our exhibitions and the form & concept shop, we’ll tap our network of artists and trace the roots of their influences in search of something that speaks to us.
Case in point: Santa Fe artist Brian Fleetwood, who has exhibited his wearable sculptures in the shop since we opened, introduced us to Tania Larsson. He was one of Larsson’s professors at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and though their work is markedly different, they share a proclivity for nature-inspired materials and forms that clearly links them. Scroll down to see artwork and read bios from Fleetwood and Larson.
Tania Larsson is of Gwich’in and Swedish descent and she was born and raised in France. At the age of fifteen, she moved to Canada with her family with the goal of reconnecting to her culture and her land. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus in digital arts and jewelry at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Tania is a founding member of Dene Nahjo, a non-profit organization that focuses on cultural revitalization projects. She constantly seeks out opportunities to learn traditional practices such as tanning hides on the land, making tools and sewing. To create her intricate jewelry works, she combines her traditional skills and contemporary arts education.
Brian Fleetwood is a Santa Fe-based jewelry artist whose work is addresses the connections between knowledge and the act of making, and the ways we can use making as a way of knowing. His work explores scientific themes, especially relating to biology and ecology, systems, and taxonomy. Brian holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently teaching at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Seattle-based artist Matthew Szösz approaches materials with an innate impulse to alter, build and investigate. Using glass as his primary medium, he creates performance-based experiments that bring the material into a state of flux. His completed sculptures capture the dynamic lines of molten glass. Szösz harbors an enduring fascination for the “state change” of glass from solid to liquid (and back again), but producing the necessary conditions to successfully reshape the medium is a delicate process. A sculpture can shatter if just one of many variables tips in the wrong direction. “You can never really force glass,” he told us. “If it’s not happy, it just breaks and that’s that.”
Szösz says 75 to 80% of his artworks break, though working through the process is the real reward for him. He sets up the conditions for a state change, but nature is the ultimate decider. We spoke to Szösz about his path to becoming a glass artist and his penchant for unbridled experimentation:
You started working with glass in graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design. What did you do before that?
I got my undergraduate education in furniture design, but within the first couple of years after I graduated, I started working for glass sculptors in non-glass roles. I was a mold maker and a hardware person and a tool maker, and I just kept getting traded from one glass artist to another. I spent about 8 years between undergraduate and graduate making other peoples’ glass.
I went to grad school kind of late. I was in my early 30’s. But that period between was actually really helpful. It gave me an idea of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I was ready to put a lot of work into it.
What else did you learn from those years before graduate school?
Working with multiple people, I really got a chance to see how artists structured their various practices so that they could keep making art. All of them had different ways of going about that: contract work and gallery work and teaching. It really gave me a chance to see a lot of different options.
What was it about glass that drew you to work with the material?
The thing that’s kept me with it is that it’s incredibly versatile material. It has a lot of different behaviors, and a lot of different states. You’re always working with it when it’s in state change, changing from a liquid to a solid. It’s a very strange material, there’s a lot of problem-solving with it, and it has a very good idea of what it likes to do and what it doesn’t like to do. I spend a lot of my time just experimenting with it.
There’s an element of performance to your art making. What’s more important, the process or the finished object?
I make objects, and I’m invested in making quality objects, with a very strong craft background. But the things that I really enjoy are the moments when things work or don’t work, and the experimenting that I do trying out new things and seeing if they fail. There’s a certain amount of suspense and surprise. When it actually does work, you get the idea that you’re working as a team with the material, kind of a partnership rather than just imposing your idea on something else. There’s a response from the material that’s not necessarily predictable.
How is working with glass different from your previous design work with wood, metal and other materials?
It’s definitely different from ceramics or woodworking or metalworking in that there is an enormous number of variables, from the base chemistry to the temperature. Everything’s in the air at once.
There’s a lot of times where I’ll make something, and make it the same way 3 or 4 times, and get different results, just because of differences in temperature or circumstance. Sometimes the humidity in the room affects it. It’s a lot more like working with a partner than working with a material. A lot of them do fail, even with processes that I’ve been doing for almost ten years now.
Is that frustrating? Gratifying?
I used to have a professor that said “no surprise for the artist, no surprise for the audience.” I think that’s very true. If I wasn’t being surprised, I would get bored and probably stop playing around with it. That surprise, and that thing where you create something that’s independent of you a little bit, where it’s as much a product of the material and circumstance that you set up as well as your own vision, that’s the thing that’s kind of exciting for me.
What type of glass do you use in your sculptures?
Typically I use window glass for them. There’s two reasons for that. One is that it’s free, usually. I just use recycled windows. Then there are certain things about the material that I really like. It adds in a couple of behaviors that add extra variables, which are usually good.
Window glass is different from blowing glass or casting glass or fusing glass that you usually see in glass pieces. It’s got a very narrow range of malleability, temperature-wise. Blowing glass is engineered to give you a very long window of time to work with it. It stays stretchy and elastic but doesn’t get gloopy. Window glass is made to go through machinery and cool off as quickly as possible so you can maximize your output. I heat it up, pull it out and it freezes very quickly. It also doesn’t deal with heat very well, especially the older glass, especially the salvage windows. You’ll get a bunch of different glass types from old windows, and most of the glass is not as well honed. The chemistry is not as fine-tuned.
How do you create the inflated glass sculptures that are on view at form & concept?
You can think of them as a series of envelopes that are connected. There are these chambers that are created flat inside the glass and share this common area. I do that by putting one piece of glass over the other with a ceramic paper. When you heat it up to fusing, it all heats up and fuses together, and that ceramic paper creates areas that don’t fuse. Somewhere in there I’ll add a little brass tube, and that puts the air inside of it. They’re a little bit like pool inflatables, but there is more of a limit in the shapes that you make because the glass starts out flat.
Do you envision the sculptures in three dimensions as you’re building them out of flat pieces of glass?
I typically start out with an idea of what it’s going to look like when it’s three-dimensional. I can get pretty close most of the time with that. The best ones are still the ones that are most surprising, though. I want to get the most material-influenced shapes. I’m looking to end up with these things that I don’t think of when I’m starting out.
Click here to browse all of Szösz’s artwork in the form & concept collection.