June 2, 2017
In "Passages," Albuquerque artist Harriette Tsosie returns to her painting roots. After a ten year hiatus studying and creating work in encuastic (pigmented wax), Tsosie is exhibiting new work in acrylic on canvas or panel. Her acrylic technique was developed under tutelage by noted New York painter Jules Kirschenbaum, with whom she studied extensively in the 1960s. Kirschenbaum is categorized as a "magical realist" and Tsosie embraces this aspect by incorporating Native American themes and beliefs. In the exhibition, she links each painting and scroll to passages from beloved poems. The artwork and poetry cover wide ranging topics and genres, but reference her time-honored themes of place, language and genetics, which she sees as the building blocks of identity.
Also on exhibit is the work of Pilar potter Carl Gray Witkop. Inspired by pre-Columbian Mayan pottery, Witkop began experimenting with Native American pottery techniques in 1967. Early influences were potter Hal Reiger and Pueblo potters Popovi Da and Blue Corn. After studying anthropology and archaeology at Colorado State University, Witkop became a full time artist. His innovative work incorporates horsehair and feathers in the firing process.
On Saturday, June 10th, both artists will speak about their work. Albuquerque poet Scott Wiggerman will read work inspired by Tsosie's "Pleiades" scroll and one of his poems which inspired Tsosie's "Truganini" painting. The Artful Saturday, a feature of Weyrich Gallery's shows, will run from 3:30 - 4:30PM and is offered free of charge to the public.
May 5, 2017
Poppy Receding investigates the sincere absurdity of processing loss with decorative memorials, themselves transitory tokens of grief. Based in a fiercely personal, yet oddly abstract pain, the series considers the story-infused space of morning--colorful, obsessive layers behave like memory extracts. Each mark suggests a rapidly-fading inscription.
Conflating the mysterious Mojave Desert deaths of her sister Cindy Adams (1972) and musician Gram Parsons (1973), Adams asks what it means to "know" someone through location-tied story; to "understand" events via clues, just as she "knew" both individuals through family narrative. What does it mean to assuage loss with monuments, letters and stories? Do gifts for the dead resolve our perplexity?
To engage this, Adams uses transparent layers to suggest memory, story cycles, and the deluge of tokens posthumously offered to Cindy and Gram. She deconstructs and reframes the language of the Mojave Desert, the visual vocabulary of memorial shrines, and iconography from Cindy and Gram's clothing, whirling them colored attempts to mediate the space of grief with flowers, cards, and condolences-into a sensitive system of overlaid shapes. The desert they lovely represents and consumes them.
Each intimate piece earnestly embraces our candy-attempts to mediate the space of grief with flowers, cards, and condolences-the physical trappings of a cultural process of mourning, often our only recourse in grappling with the unexplained. Poppy Receding is itself a fragile, momentary monument to the passage of imprints, the trace of Cindy and Gram, and to our moment, an undeniable passage of its own.