From September 24, 2016, to January 8, 2017, the EPMA will present a recent exciting body of work by James Drake, an artist with El Paso connections who has several works in the EPMA collection, and who has garnered international acclaim and is now based in Santa Fe. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, James Drake: Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash) is the culmination of two years of active creation revisiting and reinventing imagery from throughout the artist’s forty-year career. In 2012, Drake committed himself to drawing every day. The resulting 1,000+ drawings are tacked together directly on the wall to make up wall-sized “chapters,” so that the work can be appreciated as monumental compositional ensembles and also individually sheet by sheet. The artist’s diverse images range from wild animals to scientific formulae and from personal portraits to art historical figures, a variety that is complemented by his array of drawing materials as well as by his diversity of stylistic approaches and poetic or deadpan moods.
Click below to listen to the artist and the exhibition:
Wayne Hilton's Hermosos Huesos
Through January 8, 2017
Dede Rogers Special Events Gallery
Area artist Wayne Hilton has now devoted several years to the conception and realization of his vibrant series of calavera catrina figures, entitled Hermosos Huesos, many of them inspired by the prints of the late nineteenth-century Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, whose imagery was key to the initial popularization of the calavera figure in Mexico. One of the works in the present exhibition, The Bride, debuted at EPMA in fall 2013 for that year’s Día de Los Muertos celebrations. Now she joins her sisters in an exhibition featuring thirteen works of the now completed series. Using primarily found objects and recycled materials, Hilton intends through the variety of elements he incorporates in his Hermosos Huesos to evoke curiosity and familiarity for viewers. Three years and over five thousand hours of intricate detailing have been devoted to these sculptural, mixed-media works, representing a commitment to both artistic expression and execution. The central figure in each work is inspired by La Calavera Catrina, Posada’s most recognized illustration portraying the elegant female skeleton. Embracing themes of political satire, religion, sensationalized news, cultural mores, and sexuality, Hilton’s Hermosos Huesos draw on the narratives Posada himself expressed in his more than twenty thousand illustrations. Individually and collectively, the pieces in this series are intended to surprise, delight, intrigue, and question our concept of the afterlife.
Female Saints and Heroes
Through November 6, 2016
Dorrance and Olga Roderick Gallery
Anonymous (Mexican, 19th century)
Saint Hedwig, early 19th century
Oil on tin, 13 ¾” x 10”
Gift of Dr. Steven McKnight in honor of Frank and Sara McKnight
Collection of El Paso Museum of Art
The upcoming retablo exhibition focuses on an uncommon retablo subject, the representation of female saints. The El Paso Museum of Art has become the second largest repository of 19th-century Mexican retablos in the United States, with a collection of 900. Out of the entire retablo collection only 5% showcase female saints as the main subject. Though the subject matter is considered hard to find in retablo art, it is an important theme present in the Museum’s collection. Female Saints and Heroes celebrates the piety, wisdom, and physical suffering of female saints and also highlights their influence on the lives of 19th-century Mexican women.
The existing EPMA retablo collection has come from a variety of sources, but most importantly thanks to gifts from the following major patrons: Nancy Hamilton, Dorrance and Olga Roderick, Frank and Sara McKnight, as well as the McKnight couple’s children, Dr. Steven McKnight, Elizabeth McKnight Manning, and Nancy McKnight Howell. This retablo exhibition celebrating an uncommon category of retablo art represents a continuation of this generosity within one of the most important realms of our institution’s collection and collecting mission.
Modern Stone Totems
Through December 2016
Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery
Modern Stone Totems is a new exhibition of abstract yet figuratively suggestive sculptures installed in early December in the recently named Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery. Variously composed of different types of granite, limestone, marble, and onyx, and dating from 1971 to 1990, the four totem-like modernist stone sculptures entered the EPMA collection as gifts or purchases from 1971 to 2011. The unique surfaces and forms of each piece invite individual study, while their installation together in the space of the Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery proposes a dialogue between the works’ muted colors and between their evocative silhouettes.