Artist series imagines photographer as sole survivor

12/30/2016 by Jackie Jadrnak for Albuquerque Journal North

SANTA FE, N.M. — Some of the influences on Will Wilson’s series AIR (Auto Immune Response) are apparent: the hogans from his Navajo heritage coupled with today’s technology and the environmental degradation that has taken place over the centuries of European intrusion.
But at least one might come as a surprise: “The Omega Man,” a 1971 movie in which Charlton Heston plays the only survivor with immunity to the biological warfare that occurred between the U.S. and Russia.

“He was the only guy in L.A.,” said Wilson. “I had a lot of influence from … the post-apocalyptic movies I grew up with.”

So the AIR series, now on exhibit at Peters Projects through Feb. 18, grew from him thinking about how a lone survivor would make it in the world – but also about how Native Americans suffer disproportionately from certain diseases such as diabetes, which results from dietary and economic changes, he said. “We’re like the canaries in a coal mine,” Wilson said.

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Christine Nofchissey McHorse

9/18/2016 by Jon Carver for Art Ltd. Magazine

Continuing through November 5, 2016

Christine Nofchissey McHorse works with earth in concert with her Dine and Tewa ancestry. She uses thin coil-built walls based upon unchanged, centuries-old techniques that her ancestors, the original Minimalists, employed to ensure the long stability of Tewa culture. McHorse brings tradition forward through elegant, blackened, micaceous clay vessels that curl, flute, and spiral as naturally as nautili. They are the imaginary love children of a merger between Maria “Pots” Martinez and the florid Francesco Borromini. 

Fans of tradition will recognize radical variations on established forms like the double-spouted wedding vase, while those in search of rarified contemporaneity will feel like they’ve encountered a new Noguchi, a bolder Brancusi, or a subtly distilled Bourgeois. McHorse walks a fine line between formalist sensuality and eroticism, a hallmark of Bourgeois’ oeuvre. The sense of fecundity among this group of works is overwhelming, but tempered by a rigorous attention to abstract sculptural substance and space. The rich exploration of the vase as both a fixed and flowing form, as both container, and the active space around which the container accretes, demonstrates a formidable, multi-dimensional, and monumentally abstract imagination at play. 

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Ligia Bouton: "The Cage Went in Search of a Bird" at Peters Projects

09/01/2016 by Jordan Eddy for Art Ltd. Magazine

Bouton's first solo show at Peters Projects hangs one foyer away from Kiki Smith's display of monumental tapestries, "Woven Tales." Smith collaborated with Magnolia Editions to digitally recreate collaged images as gigantic cotton Jacquard hangings. Bouton's show could slide right into Smith's rigorously woven oeuvre. Diverse materials mingle in novel ways to form a narrative that treads the line between history and fantasy. In "The Cage Went in Search of a Bird," Bouton employs fabric, collage, blown and kiln-formed glass, photographs, videos and other media, to tell a tale of two writers, the fictions that surrounded them, and the hard realities they faced. Literary giants Charlotte Bronte and Franz Kafka are the show's protagonists. Bronte died in 1855 and Kafka was born in 1883, but Bouton twists their timelines together with a shared biographical detail: both were diagnosed with tuberculosis. The widespread disease had cast a dark enchantment over the 19th-century psyche. Doctors dreamed up bizarre remedies designed to cleanse the body and soul, and artists and writers were often misdiagnosed due to their eccentric habits. Both Bronte and Kafka died young (at 38 and 40, respectively), and the former likely succumbed to typhus or dehydration rather than tuberculosis. Bouton imagines the two as pen pals who could share in their writerly passion as well as their physical suffering. Inkjet prints on aluminum pair excerpts from their letters, and a video installation calls visitors to exhale into a glass plate shaped like a ghostly face to activate clips of actors reciting the writers' words. "One suffers in silence as long as one has strength to," writes Bronte. "And when that strength fails one speaks without measuring one's words too much." 

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Native Identity in the Contemporary World

09/01/2016 by Western Art & Architecture

Peters Projects, a Santa Fe gallery offering current contemporary artwork, is pleased to present Earth: Untitled, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Patrick Dean Hubbell. The show will run from August 5 to 27.

There will be an opening reception August 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. and on August 13 Hubbell and director of Southwestern Association for Indian Affairs, Dallin Maybee, will hold a Q&A at 11 a.m. Additionally, Hubbell will be at Peters Projects on August 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a special meet and greet.

Hubbell is a Diné (Navajo) painter of the Tóahani (Near to Water Clan). He was born for Dibe'lizhini (Black Sheep), and his maternal grandfather is Kinyaa'aani (Towering House People) and paternal grandfather is Hona'ghaahnii (One Who Walks Around Clan). He is originally from Navajo, New Mexico, located near the Northeast region of the Arizona/New Mexico border of the Navajo nation. Hubbell attended Arizona State University where he received his Bachelors of Fine Art in Painting and Drawing and also minored in American Indian Studies.


6/27/16 by Chelsea Weathers for Artfourm

In a talk she gave at the gallery on May 14, Kiki Smith cited the medieval French Apocalypse Tapestry and the weavings of the “hippie movement” as examples of the long tradition to which the eleven tapestries in this show belong. “Woven Tales” displays a mythical world wherein human and animal forms entwine with natural phenomena: A woman floats in the heavens among the stars; a man sinks below the earth amid tree roots, fossils, and ants. Smith made each tapestry in collaboration with Magnolia Editions, a studio that specializes in producing textiles with contemporary artists. To produce these works, a computer scanned Smith’s large mixed-media collages to scale (each tapestry is more than nine feet tall) and then a digitally programmed jacquard loom wove a draft of each composition. Some tapestries underwent a dozen or more iterations before Smith declared the works finished. As she became more adept at the process, her designs became more delicate and subtle. For instance, Earth, 2012, is a rather stiffly framed composition with bright and contrasting colors, while Sojourn, 2015, features a carefully rendered depth of field and soft, naturalistic colors.

Ultimately, each tapestry is otherworldly in its own way: A pair of eagles flies across a violent lightning storm; rays of light (or energy) connect a female form to a congregation of animals; and human eyes emerge from tree trunks as the viewer takes time to look closely. Using a marriage of digital and analog techniques, Smith has created a body of work that follows but modernizes the tradition of textile production—a practice that spans almost the entire history of humanity.

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CRITIC'S PICKS: Santa Fe/Albuquerque

05/01/16 by Jon Carver for Art Ltd. 

Internationally renowned sculptor and conceptualist Kiki Smith returns to Santa Fe via Peters Projects’ new curatorial program under director Eileen Braziel. Her exhibition consists of nine Jaquard loom weavings fabricated to the artist’s designs by Magnolia Editions, an Oakland, CA based fine art printmaking studio, limited edition book publisher, and probably the nation’s premier source for connecting artists to digitized industrial looms. The list of significant artists who have worked with Magnolia is staggering, and includes figures like Chuck Close, Joan Brown, Alex Katz, Hung Liu, Ed Moses, Nancy Spero and Leon Golub. Kiki Smith’s weavings sees the artist seduced by the color and imagemaking capacities of the medium to produce mystical, Blake-ian images that don’t shy away from beauty. Smith’s messages in these pieces are no less poignant or pointed than those of her sculptural work and they continue to envelop concepts of shamanism, animism and the human body. But the weavings foreground elegance and sincerity, thereby softening the shock values. Oddly enough, it is perhaps in these tapestries that Smith’s skills as a draftswoman-painter-printmaker come through the most. Like great cards in a 21st-century environmentalist’s Tarot, these woven pictures warm the walls and reward study with symbols and stories from a world where the personal is political indeed, but it is also the pastoral. “Woven Tales” at Peters Projects opens May 13, 2016.

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Looming large: Artist Kiki Smith

05/13/16 by Michael Abatemarco for Santa Fe New Mexico - Pasatiempo

New York-based Kiki Smith saw the Apocalypse Tapestry, a set of late-14th-century French tapestries depicting scenes from the Book of Revelation, as a young adult on a formative visit to Angers. Medieval tapestries like the Apocalypse Tapestry are hung unframed but contain borders, delineating compositions that conflate moments from myth or history into a single, cohesive scene. The narrative and allegorical imagery of these historic textiles inspired a set of contemporary tapestries by Smith, an artist with an international reputation, particularly renowned for her sculpture. Her exhibit Woven Tales opens at Peters Projects on Friday, May 13. She took an approach similar to artists of the past in her own work, filling it with emblematic imagery and referencing the compositional components of historic weavings. “A lot of tapestries have these decorative and architectural borders,” Smith told Pasatiempo. “If you look at a large-scale tapestry, it’s not just a picture. There is, quite often, this decorative space. It’s rare that you don’t see it. It works as a framing device. I try to keep some of the allegorical elements, narrative elements, and decorative elements.”

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‘Outside-In’ utilizes site-specific installations and collaborations

01/22/16 by Jackie Jadrnak for Albuquerque Journal North

When she helped coordinate a project of Chinese dissident Ai Wei-Wei with Navajo artist Bert Benally in a remote canyon in western New Mexico in 2014, Eileen Braziel became increasingly fascinated by land art, and by what happens when the worldviews of Native and non-Native artists come together.

Now, after coming to Peters Projects not quite two months ago as director and curator, Braziel is bringing a series of exhibitions to the gallery from artists who will be coming to the state to collaborate with Native individuals for new art that will be inspired by, or actually be installed on, New Mexico lands.

The year-long thematic program, which opened last weekend with an exhibition of works by Canadian artist Kent Monkman (Cree/Irish), is titled “Outside-In.” The title could be interpreted as non-Native artists looking in on Native cultures, non-mainstream Native artists being incorporated into the established art world, or even arts projects and objects from the outdoors being brought inside the gallery doors.

“We’re trying to be as open as possible to what comes out of this,” Braziel said. With cross-cultural sharing, the result can be a brand new type of communication, even something that could challenge art critiques of the future, she said.

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Modern mashups: artwork by Kent Monkman

01/15/16 by Michael Abatemarco for Santa Fe New Mexico - Pasatiempo

Visitors to SITE Santa Fe during the contemporary art space’s last biennial, Unsettled Landscapes,may recall Cree Nation artist Kent Monkman’s Bête Noire, a full-scale diorama depicting an Indian chief wearing a headdress, sitting astride a motorcycle beside a flattened, Cubist depiction of a slaughtered bison. The incongruous image conflates modernism and 19th-century depictions of indigenous peoples. The bison itself was based on the work of Pablo Picasso,  whose Cubist imagery finds its way into several of Monkman’s paintings as well as his installation art. But Monkman is critical of the artist who had a reputation as a womanizer and struck a macho attitude. Monkman uses Picasso as a counterpoint to his own performance-art alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, an indigenous drag queen Monkman created to explore themes of cultural exchange, appropriation, and gender. “I wanted to talk in my work about colonized sexuality,” Monkman told Pasatiempo. “I call it colonized sexuality because we had men that lived as women in our cultures and the Europeans, when they came, they didn’t understand that. There was just a male-female binary. They couldn’t comprehend that there could be gender fluidity and an acceptance of that in indigenous cultures.”

Monkman’s show Failure of Modernity, opening Friday, Jan. 15, at Peters Projects, includes the flattened bison from the SITE installation but not the full diorama. Monkman’s take on modernism is that much in European art was lost during the modernist period, but far more was lost to indigenous cultures. “My perspective is that it was a failure for indigenous people because, in some cases, we’re losing our languages, we were put into boarding schools. It’s been a failure for the rest of the world, too, because when you lose indigenous cultures, you lose a lot of knowledge: traditional knowledge about how to live off the land, traditional plants, that sort of stuff. Once these things disappear, they’re gone forever.” 

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