Santa Fe, NM
This story was featured in the June 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art June 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art June 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
At the opening reception for her solo show on June 7, Teruko Wilde expects a mellow mood to prevail as guests regard the more than 20 canvases she has on display at Beals & Abbate Fine Art. “I love nature, and I’m always appreciative of the morning and the night,” says Wilde, explaining the inspiration behind her works depicting expansive landscapes and skies, often tinged with the vibrant tones of dawn and dusk. “So I hope that when people see them, they will experience the same peaceful, tranquil feelings that I do.”
The great Southwest has been Wilde’s favored subject ever since she moved to Taos in 1986 to pursue art full time, after a string of earlier careers that included schoolteacher, art magazine publisher, and commercial illustrator. To her paintings she brings highly refined sensibilities and skills that were first nurtured in her native Japan and then expanded through studies in her teens and early 20s at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio’s Columbus College of Art and Design.
The result is a highly personal style that defies easy labeling. Even as they evoke serene feelings, the paintings themselves can appear to be actively in flux. Rendered in oils with both a brush and a palette knife, images of earth and sky blend together in colors that seem to flow of their own will across the canvas. “My work is impressionistic, representational, abstract, all at the same time,” says Wilde with a laugh when asked to describe her approach. “I don’t fit in anywhere.”
“Teruko’s work moves naturally between literal representation and abstraction,” says gallery co-owner Bobby Beals, offering his own take on the artist’s particular style and appeal. “The result can evoke a powerful emotional response in the viewer.”
Though many of the works on display are large-scale, such as the 44-by-52-inch LATE SUMMER SOUTHWEST, the show also includes some pieces as small as 8 by 10 and 9 by 12 inches. “We believe that everybody should be able to collect art,” says Beals, explaining his gallery’s desire to include a few more-accessible works priced between $750 and $1,500 among larger canvases that will fetch up to $12,000.
The title of the show, Appreciation, was the brainchild of Beals himself, after Wilde demurred when he asked her to come up with one. The artist admits she was puzzled at first by his choice but eventually found that it made good sense to her. “All of my paintings,” she explains, “are extensions of my personal appreciation for nature.”
Beals agrees. But he has another motive behind the title. “These latest paintings from Teruko make up a really strong body of work,” he says. “They’re well-thought-out pieces that she has painted over the past year, and so many people have been waiting to see them. Teruko herself deserves that kind of appreciation.” —Norman Kolpas
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