Fina art

Ideas made real

203 Fine Art shows 'Non-Objective Taos' as satellite event to Fall Arts

By Tamra Testerman
Posted 9/20/18

203 Fine Art Gallery owner Eric Andrews said he is on a mission to educate the community and art collectors who visit the area about "a large amount of quality contemporary art and …

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Fina art

Ideas made real

203 Fine Art shows 'Non-Objective Taos' as satellite event to Fall Arts


203 Fine Art Gallery owner Eric Andrews said he is on a mission to educate the community and art collectors who visit the area about "a large amount of quality contemporary art and artists in Taos who offer something other than traditional landscapes and Western art."

His gallery at 1335 Gusdorf Road is hosting an exhibition in support of that mission that "showcases paintings and sculpture by a select group of nonrepresentational Taos artists. These include Tracy Olson, Bob Parker, Hank Saxe, Jan Sessler and Brian Shields. An opening reception for the show titled "Non-Objective Taos" will be held Saturday (Sept. 22), 5-8 p.m. at the gallery. Nonalcoholic libations and light snacks will be available.

Andrews said, "The impetus for the show began in 2016 when we were discussing the lack of nonrepresentational art in the Taos Fall Arts Festival with the president Paul Figueroa. And now, we are having this exhibition to showcase the nonrepresentational art and artists of Taos, in conjunction with Fall Arts, as a satellite show. As in 2016, we invite a group of contemporary artists who are not represented in Taos galleries to show at our gallery, with an attempt to include known and unknown artists to showcase to the Taos community, to expose these modern and abstract artists to a representational market."

Taos artist Bob Parker works in painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing and photography. He said his work is "non-objective, hard-edge geometric abstraction, and there are not specific themes. My work is about the use of color, light and pattern."

He finds inspiration from the artists that came before, "historical artist influences, the (Taos) Moderns, and the minimalists of the '60s through to current days." His advice to aspiring artists is "always to go into to the studio every day even if it is to sit and just look." The show at 203 represents for Parker "an opportunity to celebrate my work and receive feedback from viewers."

Artist Jan Sessler said she "works in collage, sculpture, printmaking, painting and even photography. I work with paper, pencil, acrylics, etching inks, cement, earth, sand and digital files. My subject and inspiration usually relate to transformation of the material world while exploring my inner life and intuition." Sessler said moving to Taos has been a transformative experience for her.

"Finding my way to Taos 25 years ago shifted my life completely and gave me a chance to focus on making art," Sessler said. "I am very grateful to have landed here and for the years I studied painting, life drawing and printmaking at (University of New Mexico) with talented, insightful instructors and a wonderful community of artists. More recently, I became inspired to work in cement creating sculpture after spending time in Mexico where I had the chance to watch skilled craftsmen pour concrete and create beautiful plaster finishes."

Tracy Olson uses "acrylic paint, inks, varnish, gesso and graphite, and sometimes text from old books." She describes her subject and the reoccurring themes in her work as "nonsubject matter … as a result of painting instinctually and spontaneously … abstract shapes." The themes that seem to occur and reoccur in her work are pieces that "look like seeds flying in the wind, or moon phases or other celestial objects." Olson said she moved to Taos for medical reasons, and it changed her "mindset and art."

"I moved to Taos because I have a serious lung condition and I needed to live in the clean dry air and be closer to Denver for care," she said. "They (doctors) told me to expect a short life, so I came here to have the life I wanted and it changed my mindset and my art. There was a real beauty in the vastness. I could see the milky way, stars and planets, so black and white became the main colors of my palette and my art."

Olson said she is excited and honored to show her work at 203. "I've admired their space and art for many years," she said. "My best friend bought a sculpture from 203 about eight years ago, and I told her how much it would mean to show my work in this gallery … I'm here … and I'm thrilled."

Taos artist Brian Shields works in oil, graphite, ink, conté crayon and gouache on canvas and paper. He said, "My work results from my life from coming of age surrounded by art in Barcelona, Paris and New York, to my work teaching art, to guiding wilderness expeditions, to a lifelong dedication to environmental and social justice, to founding and directing Amigos Bravos, to dealing with cancer. My current paintings are a culmination of all those experiences." The show at the 203 represents "the next step," for Shields and he is looking forward to the exhibit.

Hank Saxe said he works with "ceramic materials, both natural and synthesized." He added that he has done "little work in any other medium in the last few years except sketching with a pen on paper, occasionally with tempera made from egg yolk, earth pigment, and coal dust on paper."

He describes his influences, which include a keen interest in geology. "Alongside that (geology) I have examined the world through the lens of mapping as a tool for interpretation and a means of description ... There is a tautology at play in the process of working with clay to represent land forms. To a great degree, the behavior of materials in small scale follows the same rules as materials do in the large geographic scale."

Saxe is looking forward to the show because it is a chance for him "to show some things that I've made that I like and that the gallerists like, with some other people that I like and whose work I like, too. What's not to like about that?"

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