Harwood show worth a lingering visit - Albuquerque Journal

Harwood show worth a lingering visit

The Harwood Art Center is hosting its annual “Surface: Emerging Artists of New Mexico” exhibition with 11 artists in the main gallery, while Ruby Troup’s beautiful solo installation titled “Point of Interest” resides in the front gallery through July 25.

Troup was selected for a solo show from last year’s emerging artists exhibition. There are hints of Louise Nevelson’s wooden assemblages from the 1950s and 1960s and Kurt Schwitters’ early 20th century constructions. Troup’s theme also touches upon Tom Robbins’ iconic and intriguing novel “Another Roadside Attraction.”

However, Troup truly owns her constructivist style and technique. Each object reflects the refined execution of a master artist. Her work also embraces a palette of hues and materials far beyond Nevelson’s and Schwitters’ predominately wood-based black-and-white efforts.

My favorite piece incorporates a plastic pink flamingo reminiscent of the ubiquitous East Coast summer yard art from my 1950s childhood. Though Troup lampoons the roadside sleaze of low-stakes commerce she also enjoys elevating it to a sophisticated art form.

The main gallery hosts many approaches to making art. Photographer Keith Scott offers cosmically inspired nocturnal landscape scenes that subtly transcend vernacular and even professional night shots. Scott’s images capture the night soul of New Mexico much as Ansel Adams did so many years ago.

CB Bryan submits wonderful painterly bas relief assemblages to the fray based upon her “Datrig” project inspired by rigging loads on tracks and boats. A clear favorite is “Forward Follow Utility Truck (pile up painting #1)” the most conventional of the trio of truck and trailer inspired paintings.

All three are reminiscent of Beijing artist Lin Lecheng’s analytical drawings of canal work boats that he showed at Tsinghau University in 2015.

Bryan never saw that show, but the two artists have similar sensibilities until Bryan’s excitingly relaxed color choices and brushwork are considered. Bryan can burn the rubber off the tire and scare the bird off the wire.

Dynamism exudes from Kirsten Angerbauer’s “Revision no.1” a triangle-based complex in plywood and charcoal that jumps off the wall demanding notice. The charcoal cascades down the wall, forming a small pile on the floor. It is reminiscent of Cornelia Parker’s burned-churches series. Angerbauer is a sculptor to watch.

Costumes have been a part of many artists’ output for a long time. In “How I Felt,” Marlena Livingston created a wearable wool sculpture that echoes human anatomy. Her composition includes the brain, spinal column, heart, lungs and other internal organs. Her mental health-oriented presentation includes two photographs of the piece worn by a person. She also exhibits several votive objects. Two thumbs up.

Eric Romero is a highly skilled figurative painter with the patience to get things right. His three beautifully executed untitled oil paintings on canvas present three nude people whose identities are hidden, as heads and lower limbs end beyond the format. His concerns include the transcendent qualities of the New Mexico culture that tends to accept and integrate people from all origins and ethnicities.

Romero’s paintings are intended to transcend race, gender and sexuality. His work belongs in a larger market where it could support him.

The winner of next year’s solo exhibition is fiber artist Dante Betsch who seeks to break down cultural stereotypes and conservative stigmas. Fiber art already has an international impact and is rapidly expanding as a global medium. I encourage Betsch to peruse the catalogs of the 10 “Lucerne to Beijing International Fiber Arts Biennials” that have taken place in China over the past 20 years.

There are many more treasures in these two installations well worth a lingering visit. For the first time in my memory, the Harwood is very well air conditioned. You might want to bring a light sweater. Don’t miss these shows.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Milne Stadium named for a long-time superintendent and visionary
Arts
Friday night lights have illuminated the ... Friday night lights have illuminated the city's first high school stadium for decades. ...
2
On canvas and on skin
Arts
Native artist/tattooist creates fantasy world of ... Native artist/tattooist creates fantasy world of eerie surrealism
3
Jonathan Franzen dreams big, goes deep with 'Crossroads'
Arts
Jonathan Franzen dreams big. His newest ... Jonathan Franzen dreams big. His newest novel, "Crossroads," arrives with an audible thud on readers ...
4
Jewish Book Fest authors draw on history and hope
Arts
Eight authors give virtual talks about ... Eight authors give virtual talks about their books in the 2021 Fall Je ...
5
Soprano finds role of Violetta 'a challenge' as Opera ...
Arts
Singing makes Sarah Asmar bubble.The Connecticut-based ... Singing makes Sarah Asmar bubble.The Connecticut-based soprano will sing the role of t ...
6
Exhibit uses art to reclaim stories and memories of ...
Arts
With the pandemic still raging and ... With the pandemic still raging and election results still disputed, maps have acquired a central pre ...
7
Pansies bring winter color to barrel containers
Arts
Q. I have two half barrels ... Q. I have two half barrels at the entrance to my patio home that get sun until around 2 p.m. during ...
8
ALT brings Simon's 'The Odd Couple' to the stage
Arts
Oscar is a slob. Felix is ... Oscar is a slob. Felix is fastidious. What more can you say about "The Odd Couple?"

9
UNM professor, tuba player Richard Antoine White's journey takes ...
Arts
Rats gnawed at Richard Antoine White's ... Rats gnawed at Richard Antoine White's tiny body when he was a baby. ...