C U R R E N T & U P C O M I N G S H O W S
“Prints are having a revival,” says curator Kylee Aragon. “And the conversation is shifting. It’s not just a piece of paper—it’s fine art.” This May, Zane Bennett presents Under the Influence, an exhibition that captures the zeitgeist of printmaking in the 1960’s and 1970’s and its enduring influence on artists and printmakers in the modern day.
Cirrus, Gemini GEL, and Tamarind Institute began working with art world giants in the 60’s. Together, they revitalized a dying art form. Print workshops became hubs to push the boundaries of medium; artists experimented with new concepts, expanded their oeuvre, and invented new techniques. Their efforts re-established printmaking as an accessible fine art medium and sparked a new enthusiasm for the discipline.
P A S T S H O W S
“If you touch something, you leave a charge on it,” says El Anatsui. “And anybody else touching it connects with you, in a way.” Woven with recycled aluminum and copper wire, Anatsui's iconic garment-like sculptures subvert the notion that metal is a rigid material by manipulating it into pliable forms that arch and curve throughout their environment.
This motif extends to Anatsui’s printmaking. The stencils and pigment prints featured in EL ANATSUI contour off the page—either physically curling upon themselves or creating trompe l'oeil dimensionality through patterns, shapes and pearlescent sheens. Some are printed on sheets of aluminium, while others feature hand-cut, hand-painted, or hand-woven elements that leave a charge of subversive invention straight from the artist’s hands.
Created in collaboration with the Benefit Print Project, this sophisticated series of prints utilizes new technologies. Co-founded by Thomas Lollar and Paul Limperopulos in 2010, it has published artists such as El Anatsui, Lynda Benglis, Shirin Neshat, and Mickalene Thomas.
Zane Bennett presents Stitched Ink, an exhibition of fine art prints by legends such as Christo, Judy Chicago, Louise Nevelson, and Donald Sultan. 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 works on paper that alchemically reflect the dynamism of textiles. Stitched Ink opens Friday, January 25 from 5 to 7 pm, coinciding 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.
By popular demand, we've refreshed our collection of Flower aquatints by Donald Sultan (b. 1951). The painter and printmaker emerged as a master of the New Image movement in the 1970's, producing elegant, minimalist imagery with industrial materials that were decidedly postminimalist. Abstracted blooms are a recurring motif in his work. The new aquatints in our collection offer prime examples of Sultan's style, characterized by stark, black forms amid vibrant fields of color.
"Painting is about the beauty of space and the power of containment," said Sam Francis (1923-1994). The artist is best known for abstract, mural-sized canvases on which thin washes, drips and splatters of primary colors float within vast areas of white space—a format emphasized in his iconic series of “Edge Paintings.” The monumentality of his paintings places them within the tradition of Abstract Expressionist pictures, which fill the viewer’s field of vision with a direct experience of color and movement.
Francis' 1970's color lithograph Cut Throat is the newest addition to the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection.
Birds have been a source of fascination for Jim Dine (b. 1935) ever since he was a child. It started on a trip to the zoo, when he had a memorable encounter with a talking raven in a cage. "My father said, 'His name is Jimmy.' I was completely enchanted and mystified by this because that's my name. And the bird said to me, 'Hi, my name is Jimmy,'" Dine later recalled.
In the mid-1990's, when Dine was living in Berlin, he had a vivid dream about a raven. It inspired him to seek out a menagerie of taxidermied birds, which would become frequent subject matter in the years to come. In 2001, Dine published a book of black-and-white photographs of the reanimated creatures. Some of the images feature the ink-splattered hands of the master printmaker, gently stroking the figurines.
Sun's Night Glow, a lithograph by Dine that's new to the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection, shows a black raven on an electric field of yellow. To Dine, birds represent a strange beauty that lingers in the shadowy corners of his psyche. They're magical figures that spirit him away from the quotidian world represented in his imagery of bathrobes and tools
"It's a way of opening things up for abstraction," Frank Stella (b. 1936) told The Guardian in an interview about his Moby Dick series. He spent 15 years exploring Herman Melville's novel through abstract lithographs, sculptures and installations. Each piece in the series, which hails from the 80's and 90's, takes its title from a chapter of the book.
Stella's aim was to subvert Cubism—and the movements that descended from it—by adding liquidity to its vocabulary of rigid planes. "Once the planes begin to bend and curve and deform then you get into what happens in Moby Dick," Stella said. What better place to break the grid than the topsy-turvy world of the high seas?
There are three works on paper from Stella's Moby Dick series in the Zane Bennett collection. The exuberantly colorful prints capture a spirit of frenetic spontaneity, but the tale of their creation is strikingly deliberate. Each work is a master class in various printmaking techniques; silkscreen, lithography and linocut are employed to produce densely layered imagery. Stella worked with a number of New York printmaking studios to create the works, and added unique flourishes to each piece with hand-coloring and collage elements.
Known collectively as The Waves, these prints are aesthetically remote from Stella's iconic Black Paintings, but both series aim to disrupt and revolutionize abstract image making.
This show highlights the striking, complex, and unique contemporary work from Asia in our collection.
New Acquisitions available through Zane Bennett on display through February.
Featuring 15 years of drawings, paintings and sculptures by Navajo artist, Armond Lara. Lara is well-known for his wooden marionettes depicting Koshare, the Navajo mischief-maker, with masks as artists such as Dali, Man Ray, and Frida Kahlo. This exhibition also features his paintings and drawings which often incorporate handmade paper, found objects, and mixed-media including traditional Navajo beadwork that has been sewn onto the canvas.
Paladino was born in Paduli (Campania), Italy and studied art when minimalism and conceptualism dominated the international art scene. By the 1980s, he was a principal figure of the Transavantgarde movement, and his contemporaries include artists Sandro Chia and Francesco Clemente. His European fame came from a multi-country exhibit that showed in Basel and Amsterdam, while Anna Noisei and Marian Goodman established his name in the United States. As a result of these shows, Paladino’s work became instantly desirable and collectible. In recent years, he has had the largest retrospective ever curated by an Italian museum; was tapped as an Honorary Member of the Royal Arts Academy in London; presented the film ‘El Quixote’ at the Venice Film Festival; collaborated with architect Renzo Piano; produced several large-scale commissions for Italian cultural institutions; and was granted an honorary architecture degree from the University of Lugano. Paladino’s work is influenced by the human condition and executed in a variety of mediums including painting, drawings, ceramics, stonework, and prints.
Creating Shape devotes itself to Karen Yank, represented at Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, known for her successful public projects in New Mexico and beyond. The show features her metal sculptures, highlighting different metals intertwined together to reflect a beauty that can only be found in the organic. These works celebrate both the material and natural beauty of our landscape, and the communication created when these two worlds collide in an artistic meditation.
ZBCA will unveil for the first time our latest acquisitions, including works by Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Helen Frankenthaler, Jim Dine, Rufino Tamayo, Bernar Venet, and Robert Motherwell among others.
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce Message from La Habana, an exhibition of contemporary art by Cuban artists, the second part of a two part series on Latin American art. The opening is at the gallery, 435 South Guadalupe Street, across from the rail station, from 5:00‐7:00 pm to coincide with the Railyard Arts District Last Friday Art Walk.
Cuban artists today have the extraordinary good fortune of being their society’s super stars. In a society isolated from the industrialized world with travel restrictions for the average citizen, artists in Cuba make up an elite group that are allowed to travel abroad and make a living from their art by selling to collectors and curators who live outside their heavily controlled political world. The Cuban regime considers their artists to be the cultural wealth of the country, and therefore they are allowed to travel and represent Cuba on educational and cultural endeavors.
That being said, how do Cuban artists deal with the repressive and restrictive political mandates? Artists use metaphor and dualistic imagery to convey their criticism of the current political situation. The generation that came of age in the 1980s dealt with censorship by leaving Cuba and going to Mexico, Spain and the US. The generation of artists that came of age in the 1990s, (the focus of this exhibition) was called the “Bad Weed” because despite their difficult situation, they thrived and continued to work in Cuba. These artists dared to confront the repressive regime with wit and humor.
Roberto Diago, comes from a family of artists. He sees the artist as a thermometer, reading the temperature of the culture, sandwiched between the official platform and normalcy. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were no art materials with which to paint. Diago went to the streets to feel the pulse of the people; he uses found materials to create works of art that confront the hypocrisies he saw. He brings attention to racism in Cuba and the marginalizing of homosexuals; he hopes that people see his paintings and installations and through their experience of the artwork, feel validated in their struggles for equality. Diago sees art as the ultimate refuge for hope in the face of the exclusionary and precarious existence still facing black people today.
One of the major themes that this generation of artists continually returns to is that of the Island: Cuba as an island, isolated from the rest of the world, politically, geographically and psychologically. Sandra Ramos deals with memory, history and migration. Her paintings of women inside bottles that float in the ocean remind us of Cuba’s isolation from cultural interchange with outside cultures. Ibrahim Miranda deals with “the damned circumstance of water all around” by creating maps that morph into the shape of a mental landscape, defining a state of mind. He creates his own cartography as an extended concept of the island, using world cities such as London and Paris individually, which become their own frame of reference.
Another theme that these artists address is consensual reality. Glenda León focuses on the tendency to consider the daily as extraordinary which raises questions about the order of things and demands that we reorder what is real. The reality of the political status quo can be commented on through a repetition of rhetoric. José A. Vincench uses this format when he paints portraits of political figures on aspirin, inferring that a particular prominent politico is actually a headache.
All of these artists have the desire to bridge the gap between Cuba and the outside world. Alexandre Arrechea’s bridge being held by hands is a message that Cuba is ready to join the rest of the world. As Ramos says, “It is as if everyone is waiting for a future where Cuba is free to be part of the world.”