“Red is the color of the interior of our bodies,” says Anish Kapoor (b. 1954) “Red is the center. I have a feeling that the darkness it reveals is a much deeper and darker darkness than that of blue or black.”
For nearly four decades, Kapoor has been captivated by the color red, creating intense pigments out of an array of mediums. The Bombay-born artist describes it as the color of the earth, blood, and body.
Renowned for his sculptures, Kapoor’s biomorphic forms blur the boundaries between architecture and art. Massive in scale and made with diverse mediums— including mirrors, granite, marble, wax, and PVC—Kapoor’s work often undulates throughout their environment.
Untitled 1and Untitled 6 embody this motif, seeming to sink inwards and downwards. Both etchings are striking studies in the relationship between yellow and red.
“Yellow is the passionate part of red,” Kapoor explains. “That’s how I understood yellow… next to the red.”
“That’s the thing about printmakers,” Kylee Aragon says. “They’re never satisfied. There’s this constant push to make a print that isn’t like your last.”
Before joining the Zane Bennett staff, Aragon served as the interim gallery director of Albuquerque’s nonprofit lithography center Tamarind Institute. To curate Stitched Ink, Aragon studied the Zane Bennett collection, selecting works that reflected the dynamism of textiles.
Scroll below to view works from the exhibition and learn more about Aragon’s curatorial process.
I’m fascinated by the relationship between printmakers and artists. I’ve seen how they work together and push one another. They’re always experimenting, I think because prints aren’t three-dimensional. They’re trying to create that feeling on a flat surface.
You see it so much in Louise Nevelson’s work. She’s draping lace over prints and then printing on top of the it. She’s trying to invoke this sense of fabric. Because it’s just paper. We all know what paper feels and looks like. But to make paper look like something else is such a difficult thing to do. Printmaking is in itself so difficult. To be problem-solving and trying to get that result is so fascinating.
Yes. It’s a science, but it’s an art. Plus, there’s this collaborative element. There isn’t a singular author, it’s all these different brains are coming together and working in different ways.
June Wayne, the mother of lithography, says you can’t have one without the other. You have to have them both: the printmaker and the printer. And you see so much of that in Kiss Cross. Those two artists coming together to collaborate. It isn’t a whole piece without them both.
There’s a dynamism to fiber that these printmakers are bringing to their prints. It has different volumes, it flows. Can you take that and translate that into a two dimensional space?
It’s something Christo is so brilliant at conveying. He could have so easily done models, and that could have been his main way of making these. But he chose print. And I’m really interested in why. It seems like such a strange place to go.
It reminds me of Lesley Dill. The way she brings in fabric is really interesting. It’s a delicate and really poetic way of doing it. They’re all written words and she brings in her literature major into everything she’s doing. And all of her quotes are just so lovely. What she’s pulling from is so delicate, like the materials. She’s not using thick fabric. It’s always a little transparent and has an ephemeral aspect to it. It looks like it could almost break.
I think it’s great you’ve taken the time to really look at this collection that’s been building for 10 years. These prints didn’t all arrive here at the same time, they’re from different parts of Zane Bennett’s history. You really were able to find this thread through the collection.
I found that really important. Wrapped Flower is from 65, and then we have this Christo from 2015. Just seeing the way the work has transformed is kind of like telling the story of Zane Bennett.
I don’t like to see things from just one era, especially when dealing with a collection like this. It’s art history. They’re all referencing each other and have seen each other’s works. I’m really pleased and I had such a cool collection to work with.
What do you hope that viewers come away with from seeing this exhibition?
I want people to be excited about works on paper. There’s always a conversation about prints. “Why prints? Why not a painting? I want something original.” But these are original works. And seeing the craft that goes into them – they’re not easy to make. And seeing those hand sewn elements or really delicate bits in a print just shows the time. Prints are having a revival. The conversation is shifting. It’s fine art, it’s not just a piece of paper.
“There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen,” said Helen Frankenthaler (b. 1928) “Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about.”
For over six decades, Frankenthaler went against the rules, pioneering new techniques which launched the second generation of Color Field painting.
Her poured works were created by diluting paints to the delicate consistency of watercolors. The opaque stains spread into the fibers of the canvas, creating vivid veils of color—simultaneously bright yet soft abstract representations of real or imaginary landscapes.
“What concerns me when I work, is not whether the picture is a landscape, or whether it’s pastoral, or whether somebody will see a sunset in it,” Frankenthaler explains. “What concerns me is – did I make a beautiful picture?”
Curator Kylee Aragon, who served as the interim gallery director of Albuquerque’s nonprofit lithography center Tamarind Institute before joining Zane Bennett’s staff, selected work from Zane Bennett’s formidable collection of masterworks on paper, highlighting iconic artists who have used highly tactile printmaking techniques to reflect the textures, patterns, and colors of textiles.
To preview works in the exhibition, click here. Scroll below for more information.
Zane Bennett moved to a fully online model in 2016, after more than a decade as a brick-and-mortar gallery. In its stead came a new gallery, form & concept, but they’ll officially split exhibition space for the first time this evening.
Stitched Ink coincides with the reception for form & concept’s fiber art show Nika Feldman: Spirits in the Material World. The exhibition is Zane Bennett’s first formal, in-gallery display since 2015, and launches a curatorial program of seasonal exhibitions.
“We all know what paper feels like, but to make paper look like something else is a hard thing to do,” Aragon says. “When you’re making a print inspired by a textile, how do you create that sense of dimensionality and flowing movement on a two-dimensional surface?”
To answer these questions, Aragon selected works on paper that alchemically reflect the dynamism of textiles. Stitched Ink features thirteen pieces by six premier artists in our collection and is on view through March 23.
El Anatsui, Blue Variation, pigment print with hand collage and copper wire, 25 x 32 x 4
“Art is regarded as life and life is not a static thing,” says El Anatsui (b. 1944.) “[Art] should come in a form that you can play around with and manipulate and change as the location demands.”
El Anatsui rose to prominence in the 90s, subverting the notion that metal is a stiff, rigid medium by manipulating the material into soft, pliable forms that arch and curve throughout their environment.
The Ghanian artist’s Blue Variation exemplifies this creed, as the print curves upon itself, revealing an undulating fringe of silver.
Woven with recycled aluminum and copper wire, Anatsui’s iconic garment-like sculptures have been exhibited internationally, with a recent installation on the facade of the Carnegie Museum. In 2015, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice Biennale. He is the first Ghanian to receive the Praemium Imperiale.
Composed of hand-collaged paper elements and linked, like his prolific bottle cap sculptures, with copper wire, Blue Variation is notable for its unfixed orientation. Each distinct side can be experienced from multiple points of view.
“I want to paint the now,” says Alex Katz (b. 1927) “That’s the immediate presence. And that’s what consciousness is.”
Katz rose to prominence in New York City in the 1950s. Adverse to abstraction, Katz invented new ways to paint the human figure. “When you start with realistic,” Katz explains. “It’s like opening Pandora’s box.”
His cinematic framing combined with crisp brushstrokes distinguished Katz as an artist apart from the passing fads or trends of the art world.
Katz is featured in the permanent collections of several prominent collections, including the MoMA, the Whitney, and the Smithsonian. He is represented by numerous international galleries.
In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Design.
Alex Katz cannot be classified into any particular art movement. Not quite Pop Art, not quite New Realism, Katz has blazed a trail entirely his own.
In 1986, Frank Stella embarked on an epic endeavor: adapting Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby-Dick into a body of work. He spent twelve years capturing the essence of the novel, resulting in four series with over 200 artworks that correspond with every twist and turn of the plot. The first series, The Waves, comprises thirteen vibrant, mixed-media prints that detail Captain Ahab’s obsessive quest. Behold four vibrant prints from the series, available individually or as a set. Each print is named for a chapter from the book, so we’ve provided chapter synopses below.
In Ahab, abstracted whale tails and a blood-red background
mark Ishmael’s first sighting of the doomed captain.
Frank Stella Ahab
serigraph, lithograph, linocut, hand coloring, and collage
Hark! captures the quiet reverence the seamen have for
their captain—and the sounds of a calm ocean.
Frank Stella Hark!
serigraph, lithograph, linocut, hand coloring, and collage
A Squeeze of the Hand offers a tour through the Pequod’s
“blubber-room,” hence the exuberant mish-mash of colors and forms.
“Meaning is in us already, waiting to wake up,” said Lesley Dill (b. 1950). “I feel grateful for waking up through words.” The New York artist works in a wide variety of media—sculpture, performance, printmaking, drawing, and photography—but each work explores the power of language. In Dill’s 2005 lithograph collage, Woman With Hindi Healing Dress, a figure wears a swirling skirt covered in cascading Hindi text. Even if you can’t read the language, the threaded compositional elements and serene palette communicate everything you need to know. This is an artwork imbued with the spirit of a healer.
Can you find Zane Bennett Contemporary Art? Using aerial photos sourced from Google Earth, Lu Xinjian (b. 1977) meticulously depicted the streets of Santa Fe in acrylic on linen. City DNA SantaFe is part of a larger series by the Chinese artist, where he reduces far-flung metropolises into densely patterned abstractions. Lu Xinjian hasn’t visited many of the places that appear in the expansive City DNA series. He completes each immense painting in his studio in China, traveling the globe through his brush and imagination. From Beijing to New York City to Amsterdam, Lu Xinjian precisely and energetically captures each city’s visual rhythm.
Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.
Lovers of beautiful books, rejoice! Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is now an official seller of TASCHEN Books, the revolutionary German imprint that deserves its own art museum. TASCHEN has collaborated with the likes of David Hockney, Christo & Jeanne-Claude and Beatriz Milhazes to produce limited edition books that are true works of art. We’re particularly excited about their new title Murals of Tibet, an epic chronicle of some of the greatest treasures of Buddhist culture and Tibetan heritage.
For more than a decade, photographer Thomas Laird traveled the length, breadth, and far-flung corners of Tibet’s plateau to capture the land’s spectacular Buddhist murals. Deploying new multi-image digital photography, Laird compiled the world’s first archive of these artworks, some walls as wide as 10 meters, in life-size resolution. In recognition of this World Heritage landmark and preservation of Tibetan culture, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has signed all copies of this Collector’s Edition. As pictured, Murals of Tibetcomes with a stand designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect and humanitarian pioneer Shigeru Ban.
Click the images below to view more books from TASCHEN, now available from Zane Bennett Contemporary Art. Browse all of our TASCHEN titles and other books in our online shop.
I have been a board member of Creative Santa Fe for several years and I believe passionately in the mission of this organization. I want you to know about some very exciting new projects happening in 2018. In addition to addressing Santa Fe’s urgent affordable housing crisis with the Siler Yard Arts + Creativity Center, a low income, 60 unit, live-work space for artists, we are launching a new initiative called the Disruptive Futures Dialogues Series.
This series will be a year-long community engagement in partnership with organizations throughout the city and the region to envision the future of Santa Fe. We will focus on the key question: What do we want Santa Fe, and the world, to look like for Future Generations, and how do we get there from here?
Each dialogue will address a critical issue our city faces which also reflects global issues, including: affordable housing, job creation, the upcoming mayoral election, the environment, film & technology, nuclear weapons, and cyber connectivity. We recognize that progress can only be made by breaking down silos, bringing diverse voices to the conversation, and finding what connects rather than separates us. It is our goal that at the end of this year of engagements and dialogues that we will have a clear action plan to continue working on key initiatives and building ongoing partnerships to strengthen our economy and help build a sustainable future for our city.
Your interest and support is vital for Creative Santa Fe to become a leader in connecting our community, creating city-wide conversations, and effecting positive change throughout the city. We hope you will support Creative Santa Fe with a year-end gift to help us continue on our path to ensure that Santa Fe is a healthy, vibrant, and thriving city for generations to come.
To donate and/or to be on our mailing list, click here, mail a check to PO Box 2388 Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87504, or call Executive Director, Cyndi Conn at 505-288-3538.
Thank you in advance for your support and belief in Creative Santa Fe.
Wishing you the very best for the holidays and the new year,
“All our projects are like fabulous expeditions,” said Christo (b.1935). “The story of each project is unique. Our projects have no precedent.” It’s a bold statement to make, but hard to deny when you look at the staggering output of Christo and his late, great partner Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009). Starting in the early 1960’s, they set out to wrap the world in flowing cloth. They’ve managed to cover quite a lot of ground since then, from Central Park to the Reichstag. Three new prints in our collection depict wrapped objects that are not monumental in size—but just as culturally significant. Wrapped Telephone shows an L.M. Ericsson design that’s iconic of early 20th century communication. Wrapped Motorcycle/Sidecar and Wrapped Automobile capture two symbols of freewheeling American innnovation. Both of the new prints come with complimentary gifts, pictured below. It’s a unique opportunity to “unwrap” a Christo this holiday season.