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The more the merrier in the art world?

Larry Newman of Santa Fe looks at some art displayed in a booth at last week’s Indigenous Fine Art Market held at the Railyard. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Larry Newman of Santa Fe looks at some art displayed in a booth at last week’s Indigenous Fine Art Market held at the Railyard. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE, N.M. — A few days before Indian Market there’s a middle-aged guy under the portal of the Palace of the Governors, his beautiful jewelry before him on a blanket – you know, the Picture Postcard Indian – wearing Oakley wraparounds and a Washington Redskins cap. A nice one – fitted.

Pure T.C. Cannon.

But things change and maybe it’s a generational thing, because we’ve seen Washington NFL-team bumper stickers for decades all over the Southwest.

For some reason, over at the first day of the inaugural Indigenous Fine Art Market (IFAM) at the Railyard, New York Yankees caps are in vogue – the Manifest Destiny imperialist franchise of baseball, if there ever were one. (Same thing in West Bank and Gaza, even post-911. Why the Yankees?!)

Very festive, funky, youngish vibe down at IFAM and there are a ton of booths, lively visitors and vendors, and onstage in the park two young Seminole dudes DJin’ with mics and Mac laptop hip-hoppin’ all LOUD and bein’ all with gangsta’ rap, yo’. Very weird in a way and for sure challenging our traditional notions of Native American music, as they say in museum catalogues.

Meridel Rubenstein created “Albuquerque Leaf, New Mexico,” 2011, archival pigment inks on Canson 100 rag paper, 16.75 x 16.75 inches. (Courtesy of David Richard Gallery)

Meridel Rubenstein created “Albuquerque Leaf, New Mexico,” 2011, archival pigment inks on Canson 100 rag paper, 16.75 x 16.75 inches. (Courtesy of David Richard Gallery)

It’s always interesting watching cultures bump into one other and this was all good. (Footnote: Traditional Native American music is nothing if not danceable. Native American hip-hop is not. More about the spoken word, it seems.)

IFAM is billed as somewhat “alternative” to the traditional Indian Market on the Plaza, but why it had come into being (“politics,” as they say) and to what effect are still unknown.

As General Custer himself would posthumously aver, never split your forces; so why, in tight economic times, have two competing markets on two sides of town?

In fact, during the past weekend, complaint was heard from the Plaza that IFAM may have hurt biz there.

Bet not. Maybe two markets, on separate turfs, addressing slightly different clientele/constituencies, might actually be better than one. The more the merrier and all that?

David Richard Gallery

Around the corner from IFAM and also in the Railyard, Fenichel, Botts and Rubinstein sounds like a tough criminal law firm, but it’s really a superb show at David Richard Gallery.

Gregory Botts presents some attractive pale blue, bluer and bluest landscapes in a series of Madrid (New Mexico) landscapes. Cool, quick, thinly painted, nicely composed with hints of Matisse and Milton Avery.

Meridel Rubinstein has been fooling around with photographs since way before it became so easy in the digital age.

“Bangal” by Lilly Fenichel is oil on polypropylene, 2010, 39 x 37 inches. (Courtesy of David Richard Gallery)

“Bangal” by Lilly Fenichel is oil on polypropylene, 2010, 39 x 37 inches. (Courtesy of David Richard Gallery)

Her cut-ups, collages and cubist-oriented works, from traditional photos to photo-based installations, have always had a socio-political edge, if not point, and this is the case now with a three-part exploration of planetary socio-ecological imbalances, “Eden Turned on its Side.” Arcadia Redux? seems to be the question addressed in this blizzard of constructed images ranging from “Photosynthesis,” dramatic deep color specimens of flora and fauna on black ground, to a “Volcano Cycle” examining the destructive regeneration of Indonesian volcanoes, and finally something about the destruction of Iraq and its ancient marshes in the south, purportedly in the neighborhood of the mytho-historical Eden.

Finally, a trio of eye-popping oil on polypropylene color on whiter-than-white “spills” greet you at Lilly Fenichel’s retrospective, REWIND<>REPLAY: 1950-2014. They announce that Fenichel may have saved some of her best work for now and stepped into her own visual Garden of Paradise. Perseverance furthers, it is said, and, after six decades of work, she remains very much at the table and proves the point with these three sublime color-combos – “Bangal,” “Forbidden Fruit II” (speaking of Eden) and “Schiele’s Hand.”

Beginning at the beginning of her career, with the brooding 1950 AE oil/canvas “Ochre, Red, Blue,” this compact exhibition allows us to appreciate the work of an artist of keen clinical/critical intelligence – intellectual, emotional and probably spiritual – responding to her own nature and the culture of her time.

Comment, criticism, complaint, compliment? Write: collins@newmex.com.

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