Season of Artfulness: Martin, 203, O’Connor, Merimee Emerge

By: Bill Whaley
15 September, 2016

Agnes (Again!)

Local favorite, artist Agnes Martin emerges tonight “Before the Grid” on screen at the TCA in a premier, directed by Kathleen Brennan and Jina Brenneman at 7 pm. After Agnes withdraws for the evening, the audience can have at the directors with a Q & A. Buy tickets now and show up at 6 p.m. to say hello. (Highlight: Jim Wagner on the lady of his dreams!)

Always Modern

Attend the quasi-official kick-off for this Fall’s Art “party” and visit the post premier(s) after Agnes and Arte de Descartes Friday at 203 Fine Art, September 16th, 5 – 8 pm. The show of Non-Objective Taos Artists features Shaun Richel, Mimi Chen Ting, Marcia Oliver, Lisa Burge and Peter Chinni. The 203 press release hints at presenting representatives of the Salon des Refuses, who ignore the Grand Fall Arts Country Fair Show while the greater community waits for the explosion of Entertainment and Art promised by “El Paseo.”

“Call Paul”

At middle-age photographer Paul O’Connor has emerged from beneath the hood behind the camera and presented himself as a fully-fledged artist in the current show at Bareiss Gallery, where the cognoscenti flock to pick-up one or more of twenty-five pieces presented for the viewer’s delight.

Having spent decades as a custom builder, photographer of objects and souls, and apprenticed once to the chief curmudgeon, Ron Davis, a man who has looked long and lovingly at works by Cool School mentors Cooper, Bell, and Price, so the California-born New Mexico dreamer has shocked the fans with his fine new hard-edged work, modestly priced and mostly sold. He freely acknowledges the influence and legacy of the above but tropes on the tradition of light and surface, geometric and bi-morphic forms to make his own work.

O’Connor points out the flat surfaced four and six sided plywood and metal inlay surfaces, achieve difference and a coherent whole by trusting in the ancient vanishing point or “black hole,” a serendipitous discovery that occurred “when a knot fell out” of the wood material while he was working. Sure, he said, I always admired Ken Price’s “holes” (and the finish inside).

The enthusiastic artist referred to “Dzogchen,” the pre-Buddhist Sage (like Bon) who has been incorporated into Tibetan Buddha practice and expresses the force wherein light and sound disappear into the infinite spaciousness, yet, later, reappear from primordial black holes. Heidegger, too, conceived of art as “emerging” from the earth into the world only to “withdraw,” while the work captured the “essential strife” of earth and world, work that preserves the unity of motion and rest.

“Call Paul” at 575-779-6737 for a private-public tour of the exhibit. You can follow his progress and see how a “circle” becomes a “diamond”  in the transformative  Hexagons and Quadrilaterals. This artist’s “minimalist” methods lead him toward his own version of very cool abstract expression.

A Literary Must

On Saturday, the 17th at SOMOS, the delightful Merimee Moffit will read at 7 pm from “Free Love/Free Fall” her wondorous road story, where the reader learns what you didn’t know about the way a “girl” becomes a “Woman” among the sixties zeitgeist of Hippies and Seekers. The writing itself is full of detailed description and fast-moving rhythmic sentences, a candid marvel of time recaptured and events redescribed. If you weren’t there, Merimee was and she survived to take you on this historic and timeless journey of experience.

I have yet to finish either John Nichols new book, The Annual Big Arsenic Fishing Contest! or Merimee’s Free Love: Free Love lyrical tale but they both are fast paced and entertaining.  Even as John’s hyperbolic prose accelerates and Merimee provides subtle insights that prove poetic both are love stories.

It’s the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” as John Keats said in “To Autumn.”



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