Frontier Carnival: The Rendezvous makes immortals of those on the margins

6/12/17 - Alicia Inez Guzmán for Santa Fe Reporter

When I first taught the art of Kent Monkman at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, the air in the classroom was thick with discomfort. Cavorting cowboys wearing assless chaps romped across vast Bierstadt-esque landscapes with stereotypical Indians by their sides. It was not what we had seen up until that point: triumphant settlers, roving expeditionaries in the vein of Lewis and Clark, and marauding Indians. This was a “Landscape in the Americas” class, and most of what we’d spoken about and critiqued was the inextricable relationship between envisioning pristine landscapes and the aspirations of Manifest Destiny, the fantasies and projections of imperialism cloaked in the beauty of landscape painting.

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A jarring experience: ceramic artist Daniel Johnston

6/2/17 - by Michael Abatamarco for Santa Fe New Mexican - Pasatiempo

Ceramic artist Daniel Johnston brings a large-scale pottery installation to Peters Projects where it opens to the public on Friday, June 2, with a 5 p.m. reception. Johnston is at the center of a growing large-pot movement in his home state of North Carolina. His massive pots can each take up to 100 pounds of clay to make and hold 35 to 40 gallons apiece. Johnston picked up techniques from master potters in the Thai village of Phon Bok, where he learned efficient ways of producing large pots and jars using processes that are mostly unknown in the U.S.


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A Curated Section Brings Body Politics to Volta NY

3/4/17 - by Jillian Steinhauer for Hyperallergic

The showstopper — of both the section and the entire fair — is Kent Monkman, presented here by Peters Projects. The queer artist of Cree and Irish descent continues to address the very serious subject of historical erasure and representation without barely a hint of self-seriousness. In Monkman’s hands, humor is a real weapon, a means of pointing out the absurdity of the white, colonial, European tradition, and by extension its dangerousness. When he paints an elaborate pastoral scene of homoerotic Native American men riding on horseback near white people who are pouring alcohol onto a flame atop a man’s head (“Baptism by Fire,” 2017), he puts you in a specific position — of having no idea what’s going on. It makes you wonder if everything you’ve ever seen in a history painting is just the invention of someone else’s imagination. A similar phenomenon is at work in his new series, Fate is a Cruel Mistress (2017), which casts Monkman’s alter-ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, as the protagonist in a number of famous Biblical scenes involving women: Judith cutting off Holofernes’s head and others. Decked in headdresses and heels, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle reminds us that we only understand stories as extensions of who tells them.

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Dark matter: James Marshall's sculptures

3/3/17 - by Michael Abatamarco for Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo

In the theory of evolution, fossils or organisms that show the intermediate state between ancestral species and their descendants are known as transitional forms. But they are not necessarily evolutionary mistakes that didn’t quite work out. Every species is potentially a mere link on an evolutionary chain, even our own. Evolution is a liminal state, not a fixed state, and is always in flux.

It isn’t hard to relate evolutionary models to artistic processes, a difference being that in the practice of making art, one has a director, a maker who may or may not know the outcome of a project before he or she begins. There is a transformation that occurs both materially and aesthetically in studio practice. Even the most reductive of artworks often involves a build-up or bringing together of materials, adding something that wasn’t already there that, more often than not, changes the nature of whatever the material was before it became art. One can talk about James Marshall’s monolithic ceramic sculpture, currently on view at Peters Projects, as hybrid forms, but to do so implies a division of equal measure: half this, half that. Rather, each sculpture is singular, whole and complete in itself, the result of a cohesion of forms. “It’s a way to express what I call bringing two into one,” Marshall, whose show is titled Black Interfusion, told Pasatiempo.

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Inupiaq artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs opens solo exhibition at Peters Projects

2/24/17 - ArtDaily

SANTA FE, NM.- Peters Projects presents Inupiaq artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs and her solo exhibition Remnant running through May 6th 2017. 

Peters Projects exhibits Kelliher-Combs' SITE Santa Fe commissioned works entitled Remnant. The series consists of shadow boxes with objects from the natural world, items from Alaskan wildlife, such as bones, organs, and feathers. “Remnant can have multiple meanings, but the idea is that something left behind is maybe found, unearthed, discovered,” she said in an interview with the Santa Fe New Mexican’s Pasatiempo. “I take these pieces of natural material and they’re embedded under this synthetic skin, this membrane that’s containing them, and that’s reminiscent of real skin or hide. It’s a commentary on this Western concept of making things out of synthetic materials because it’s supposed to be better and last longer, but look at what’s happened as a result of that: plastics are around for millennia, choking our oceans and waterways and killing our wildlife. A lot of it is a commentary on how our environment is changing rapidly. Living in a place like this (Alaska), there are complicated issues about wildlife management, sports hunting, subsistence hunting, indigenous rights, access to food, and things like that. I’m thinking about those things alongside the changing environment and the sense of place.” Kelliher-Combs considers humanity equally affected by their self-imposed impact on the Alaskan environment and wildlife. “There’s always this distinction between man and nature, but man is part of nature,” she said. 

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These 20 Artists Are Shaping the Future of Ceramics

2/23/17 - by Casey Lesser for Artsy

“It feels like a collaborator,” Porter Lara says of clay. “I rarely end up in the place I think I’m going because the clay has its own ideas. I like the feeling of being led by the material.” She harvests her own clay from a site near Albuquerque, makes her vessels from coils, burnishes them with a stone once the clay dries, and fires the works in a pit in her front yard.

Her latest conceptual works address the threatening ubiquity of plastic bottles, which she sees as contemporary artifacts. Currently featured in a solo show at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., this series originated when Porter Lara encountered numerous two-liter bottles along the U.S.-Mexico border. “I wasn’t a ceramist, so in the beginning the vessels were rather ‘organic,’ which led to the question of whether it is possible to locate a dividing line between nature, humans, and technology,” she explains. She’s now working to create these works at a much larger scale for a solo show at Peters Projects in Santa Fe this fall.

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Review: Kukuli Velarde: Plunder Me Baby

2/1/17 - by Alicia Inez Guzmán for THE Magazine

Is it possible for an artist to exhaust the format of the self-portrait? Or are we better off asking the opposite question: are artists’ reflections on their own likeness ever enough to fully describe depth of character, change over time, or one’s psyche? Kukuli Velarde compulsively and almost exclusively makes her own face and form the object of her art. We look at her and then her art only to realize they are one and the same. It is through this doubling that we come to confront the history of colonialism in Velarde’s native Peru. The self-portrait goes beyond likeness to become a profound survey of her own mixed-race body. Like many Latin Americans, she is the sum of indigenous and Spanish bloodlines, a veritable mix of oppressed and oppressor. 

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Philadelphia artist Doug Herren's first exhibition in Santa Fe on view at Peters Projects

1/6/17- Art Daily

SANTA FE, NM.- Peters Projects is presenting Philadelphia artist Doug Herren in his first exhibition in Santa Fe titled Infra-Structure: Vessels, Sculptures, Tables December 16, 2016 – February 11, 2017. 

Herren is known for his brightly painted large-scale ceramic sculptures that are hybrids of industrial equipment and traditional wheel-thrown pottery. Many of the sculptures appear to be constructed from machine parts or iron works that have been reconfigured with bolts or rivets and repainted to look anew. 

The refurbished objects seem functional but their scale, antique steampunk character, and disjointedness deem otherwise. In addition to their eye-catching colors, they have other playful characteristics. The totemic structures create a sense that many of the parts are moveable – elements could potentially spin or be re-stacked and re-assembled. 

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