The top 5 most influencial NM artists

Posted in Art and Criticism on July 19, 2013 – 9:03 pm
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A few years back I was asked by a NM publication: Who were the most important New Mexican artists of the last 100 years? I ran across the list today and thought I’d share.

My first artist of importance isn’t an individual at all:

1. The Taos Society of Artists was formed in 1915-

They were significant because they were the first formally trained artists to establish themselves in NM working in the western (European) art tradition.

Although dismissed by many as mid-level academic painters (I obviously am not among them) these artists established the first foothold for artists in our state (and were quite the Bohemians in their day). Without them there is no art colony at Taos or Santa Fe, no Museum of Fine Arts, and no art market. These artists promoted the American West and brought our culture, landscape, and lore to the greater public.

2.Andrew Dasburg-

Dasburg brought Modernism to NM and made us a major center of Modernism in the Western Hemisphere (others being New York and San Francisco).

He literally opened the door for modern art in NM.

3. Dennis Hopper-

Hopper brought the counter-culture revolution to NM and NM to the US.

He started an influx of film-makers, artists, writers, etc. to NM that continues to shape our artistic tradition. Larry Bell, Ken Price, Ron Davis, and several others brought Minimalism from the west coast.

4. Fritz Scholder-

Scholder helped usher Native American Visual Arts into the modern era.

His influence continues through the generations of students he taught at the IAIA…and the subsequent generations that they influenced.

5. Georgia O’Keefe-

She is NM…difficult, spiritual, and austere.

O’Keefe continues to be the artist most associated with the Zen of the American West.

 

 


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