SUMMER SHOW 2021
Susan Aaron-Taylor, Wesley Anderegg, Debra Baxter, Heidi Brandow, Nikesha Breeze, Mira Burack, C. Alex Clark, Jodi Colella, Michael Dickey, Anne Farrell, Armond Lara, Wookjae Maeng, Thais Mather, Jacks McNamara, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Matthew Mullins, Mark Newport, Tom Osgood, Holly Roberts, Joyce Stolaroff, Todd Ryan White
June 25–July 31, 2021
(June 2021) “In the great staring and head-scratching that results among those emerging blinking from Zoom calls, the plant world receives and recovers us,” writes Carolyn Riman from her Silver City, New Mexico studio. Riman’s lush new series of 11 paintings, Plant People, anchors this year’s Summer Show at form & concept. The annual exhibition features new work by all of the gallery’s artists, a diverse display epitomized by Riman’s tender portraits of Southwestern plant life. Like Riman, the rest of the gang gets back to nature in this wild tangle of art, craft and design objects. Summer Show 2021 opens with a Reception on Friday, June 25 from 5–7pm during the Railyard Arts District’s Last Friday Art Walk.
“In contemplating the expressions of a plant, I feel privileged to a more inclusive way of sensing,” Riman writes. “Magnification ensues.” Plant People marks Riman’s debut at form & concept, and like many new series in the Summer Show, it took shape during the Covid-19 pandemic. The imposed isolation of the global crisis inspired Riman to reconnect with a specific type of social network: the plant world. Her paintings on panel and paper are made with earth minerals, distilling the green-and-brown palette of the New Mexico borderlands. With titles like Chismosos (which means “gossips”) and Distant Relative (Loose Genealogy), they serve to personify flora—and bring humanity closer to the plant world.
“Carolyn sunk her toes into the soil and thought deeply about lessons that other organisms have to teach us,” says Director Jordan Eddy. “Plants possess wisdom about time, creativity, community, life and death, and it’s all apart from the acute anxiety and relentless motion of human society.” The rest of the Summer Show aligns with this observant and ponderous ethos, from Tom Osgood’s sculptural tableau inspired by the ocean floor to a book art installation by Doreen Wittenbols that evokes a flower garden. Matthew Mullins debuts a series of Southwestern landscape paintings in a mosaic-inspired style, and Anne Farrell presents a maquette of her immersive Tidy House installation surrounded by a 3D-printed sculptural forest.
Nikesha Breeze’s Sanctuary of Wound, a large-scale installation that debuted in her spring solo exhibition Four Sites of Return, will remain in the gallery’s atrium as part of the Summer Show. The centerpiece of this sacred space is an exquisite wood-and-etched-copper boat called The Arc of Return, which sits on a bed of soil. New Mexico-based artist Rosemary Meza-DesPlas travels Groundswell, a monumental mixed-media wall installation, from its inaugural showing in New York City to Santa Fe for the exhibition. Inspired by the transformative activism of Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March, the series of seventeen works depicts nude, femme figures on the march.
“As New Mexico’s vaccination rates climb and restrictions lift, I hope these works can stand as a reminder of the natural worlds we returned to when everything stopped,” says Eddy. “These strange oases were sites of immense grief and struggle, but also vital serenity and joy."