New year, new exhibits

A new year means new exhibits, and the RMAC has kicked off January with two shows. Coincidentally, both deal with paper.

The first, Derek Chan: Causation, was curated by Roswell Artist-in-Residence Derek Chan (the RAiRs always curate their own shows), and features a compelling selection of marbled, painted, and collaged works on paper, as well as a slideshow installation. Large in scale, they comment on the cosmos, culture, and spirituality, among other things. It's a thoughtful installation, so I recommend checking it out if you're in the area; it will be up until late February. It's in the Marshall Winston Gallery, the space dedicated to RAiR artists.

The second exhibit, One Time Only: The Monotype and Monoprint, is a show I curated that takes a look at the RMAC's own remarkable works on paper collection; it's in Horgan Gallery, the space we typically use for prints, photographs, and the like. It will be up until the end of March.

The concept behind One Time Only is to show off the versatility of the medium. In the world of printmaking, monotypes and monoprints are basically hybrids. Monotypes are printed paintings, so they don't require the technical training demanded by most printing processes, while monoprints combine conventional printmaking methods with painting, drawing, and other techniques to create one-of-a-kind pieces. The variety you can get with these two techniques is pretty remarkable, and I wanted to showcase that creative flexibility through an eclectic selection of pieces.

Let's check out a few of the works:

This is the earliest piece in the show, Taos, N.M., painted in 1936 by Joseph Fleck (1892-1977). Originally from what is now Austria, Fleck was trained in the European academic tradition. He came to the Southwest in 1925 after seeing a show by the Taos artists in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was living at the time. Usually he worked in a pretty tight style, but this piece has a looser, more gestural feel to it. This is a fairly small work, about 8" x 11" unframed.

This undated, Untitled Landscape is the work of Robert Pelegrin (1949-2007); scale-wise it's similar to the Fleck monotype. Pelegrin is best known for his monochromatic landscapes, which have an almost photographic quality to them. Intriguingly, "real" as these scenes may appear, they are derived from the artist's memory and imagination, as opposed to actual places. 

Most of the prints featured in this show were created in the 1980s, including this one, also called Untitled. This is a work by Eugene Newmann, a notable abstract New Mexico artist. The bold red streaking across the page is the most notable element at first glance, but there are subtle explorations in green, gray and purple when you see this work in person. The frame for this piece measures 22" x 28", so it's larger than the other two I've shown you so far.

This colorful piece is called Pursuit, and was made by Bill Bomar (1919-1990) in 1990. Bomar used relief cutout shapes in a lot of his print work, giving them a distinctive appearance. This is the largest piece in the show; the frame measures 32" x 40" to give you an idea of its scale.

In short, there's plenty happening at the Museum, so if you're in the area, come on by; we'd love to see you!