Harmony Hammond: Alcove 12.2
New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
(SANTA FE, NM MAY 2, 2012)—Alcove 12.2, the second in a series of nine Alcove Shows highlighting artists working in New Mexico today, opens on Friday, May 4, 2012 at the New Mexico Museum of Art. Each Alcove show will last five weeks and feature five New Mexico artists at various career stages. Over-all, forty-five artists working in all media will be on view until the cycle of exhibitions ends April 2013.
The artists exhibiting in Alcove 12.2 are: Robert Ellis, Steve Fitch, Harmony Hammond, August Muth and Terri Rolland.
Recently celebrating his 90th birthday, Robert Ellis’ career as an artist spans some 60 years. Ellis studied in Mexico City after serving in World War II and then received his MFA from the University of Southern California. After nearly a decade as curator of education at the Pasadena Museum, Ellis moved to New Mexico to teach at the University of New Mexico. He was Faculty at the University of New Mexico for over 20 years and also served as director of the UNM University Art Museum and as director of the Harwood Museum in Taos. Robert Ellis lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ellis makes spare abstract work. His works in Alcove 12.2 include a constructed painting made from oil and fence boards. Using this construction as an inspiration Ellis has been making a series of small constructed panels using wood lath and oil paint as well as a series of large collages on canvas utilizing paper printed with wooden texture.
Photographer Steve Fitch received a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico in 1978 and since that time has participated in a number of important photographic projects, published many books and taught at the Princeton University, the University of Colorado, Boulder. Fitch is currently faculty at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Before moving to New Mexico, Fitch studied anthropology at the University of California Berkeley. This early interest in anthropology is evident in his approach to his subject matter. Having spent decades documenting the American vernacular landscape, particularly in the Southwest and the high plains, Fitch collects images and sets up comparisons that highlight similarities and differences.
Harmony Hammond lives and works in the village of Galisteo, New Mexico. An artist, writer and independent curator, Hammond was a pioneer of the feminist art movement. Alcove 12.2 will feature five paintings from a series entitled Cinch and Lace. These highly textured, minimal oil paintings were completed this year. Hammond’s work is included in many public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Art Institute of Chicago; the New Mexico Museum of Art; and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford. Hammond has also been awarded numerous fellowships including John Simon Guggenheim, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb, Joan Mitchell, Andrea Frank, Puffin, Rockefeller and Pollock-Krasner Foundations, Art Matters, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
August Muth was born in 1955 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and studied art and physics at the University of New Mexico. His love of both science and art inspired him in 1980 to study holography at the Museum of Holography in SoHo. Later, he established his own holographic studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he currently lives and works. August is an internationally exhibiting artist and pioneer in his field, for more than 25 years he has worked to expand the understanding of light as a medium.
Terri Rolland studied at the Tyler School of Art in Rome and received her BFA from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. Rolland spent the summer of 1990 camping alone in the Southwestern desert. The stillness and stark beauty of the landscape had a profound impact on her and she moved to New Mexico full time the following year. Working with a high level of skill, and drawing on her intuition and the light and landscape of New Mexico, Rolland makes playful abstract paintings. The paintings in Alcoves 12.2 are brightly colored and painted on a series of small wooden panels that are combined into larger compositions. Using an acrylic gouache and clay as a medium, her paintings are saturated with color and display a velvety flat surface.
The Alcove Show format can be traced to founding of the New Mexico Museum of Art in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico. Small one-person exhibitions were held in the gallery alcoves through the 1950s with the express intent of promoting artists and work that was contemporary to the time. The shows were briefly resumed in the mid-1980s, and again in the early 1990s. Many of the artworks and artists who exhibited at those times form the historic core of the museum’s permanent collection.