Art Connections: Taos to New York (via L.A.)

By: Bill Whaley
7 May, 2018

The recent opening at Vivian Horan Fine Art at 35 East 67th Street in New York, Thursday April 26, called TAOS: 1960’S-PRESENT, included 16 Taos artists, who currently live and work here or RIP, their spirits still present as reminders that life is short and art long. Included in the exhibition were: Marc Baseman, Larry Bell, Lynda Benglis, Kevin Cannon, Walter Chappell, Ron Cooper, Ronald Davis, Dennis Hopper, Debbie Long, Agnes Martin, Paul O’Connor, Ken Price, Hank Saxe, Jack Richard Smith, J. Matthew Thomas, and Sasha Raphael vom Dorp. (Photo above: Paul O’Connor)

(For an account of the opening see Lynne Robinson’s at: or the web site: for a tour of objets d’art.)

The art world including aficionados, collectors, and cooperating dealers, apparently took notice of the fine work. An unusually crowded opening, according to those who were there, also resulted in sales: one of Hank Saxe’s pieces sold prior to the opening; and according to reports, Baseman, Cannon, O’Connor, and Matt Thomas (several pieces!) all sold work.

The show had its origins in the person of photographer/artist Paul O’Connor, who began showing with  Vivian Horan in New York last year. One thing led to another and Taos: 1960s—Present was the result. A press release in the Taos News announced the show for the benefit of New York/Taos subscribers while access to a Santa Fe art dealer’s email list of New Yorkers bolstered interest. The show will be up through June 22.

The presence above of nationally and internationally known artists gave the Vivian Horan show a patina of glamor and brought extra attention to the art of the younger contemporaries, some of whom served as assistants for the long-established artists mentioned. The show demonstrates an air of cooperation and mutual admiration among the generations. One sees how LA artists have moved through Taos and some Taos artists have surfed in their wake all the way to Vivian Horan’s doorstep. But then, as Lynne notes in her story, several Taos et al artists began in New York. Hey, you can go home again. (I am reminded of the late Charlie Strong’s endless tales about “connections” per LA, New York, Taos, San Francisco, Oakland, Denver, et al.) BTW: You can see Hank Saxe’s work in a show at Peters Projects in Santa Fe through May 25, a show which demonstrates the consummate experience of a life devoted to the components of clay…and its worth going to see.

Here at home in Taos on Saturday, Cinco de Mayo, Magpie’s Georgia Gersh opened up the gallery for Peter Parks new abstract work in both oil and watercolor. The show will hang through May 30. The work represents an artist’s mature strength and refined language in the bold expressive colors on canvas, which contrasts with the delicate sensibility expressed in his water colors. The latter, reasonably priced, should appeal to local buyers. Georgia keeps the spirit alive at Magpie: it’s always a pleasure to be confronted by the Bill Gersh we all feared and loved, whose work at Magpie continues working on the sensibility. Ms. Gersh represents some 80 Taos artists and Magpie functions as a kind of boutique museum for Taos friends.

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