Show Preview | Canyon Road Contemporary: Realizing Humanity

Santa Fe, NM, June 8-18

Pablo Perea, La Cosecha (The Harvest), mixed media, 30 x 40.

Figurative art takes center stage in Canyon Road Contemporary Art’s first Realizing Humanity Show. The show features three diverse artists whose work focuses on the human figure: Lance Green, Mark Horst, and Pablo Perea. The show opens with an artists’ reception on June 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. and continues through June 18.

Albuquerque artist Mark Horst takes a painterly approach in his provocative figurative work. “It’s not portraiture in the recognizable sense. I want to evoke something deeper,” he says. “I’m interested in the distortions of photography.” Horst uses photographs as a basis for his oil paintings depicting faces, bodies in motion, couples embracing, and bodies at rest. “I paint the figure as an invitation to explore the world and ourselves—our light, our shadows, and our incompleteness,” he explains. “I try to create images that invite reflection and exploration in the viewer.”

Santa Fe artist Pablo Perea was born in Cuba, and his colorful mixed-media canvases show the influence of such Cuban painters as Servando Cabrera Moreno and Victor Manuel. “For the past 20 years, my entire body of work has focused on female figures,” says Perea. One female figure, to be exact: He uses the image of the same woman in each of his vibrant paintings. “I created a completely new person,” he says, “and I use her as a symbol of all human beings. She’s you, me, and everyone out there.”

For the Realizing Humanity Show, Perea has amassed expressive canvases in which his female creation has special meaning. “She will be a little different in each painting,” he notes, “each one telling stories of my family—from my newborn son to my grandparents.”

Colorado’s Lance Green paints highly expressionistic canvases frequently depicting human figures in tension with abstract shapes. “It’s about struggle and release—but the figures emerge victorious,” he explains. “Almost every painting is a kind of self-portrait yet universally applicable.” Green takes a multilayered approach, painting canvases and then painting over them multiple times. “I ruin five paintings before I come up with a good one,” he says. “There’s always a lot of chaos in the under-paintings.”

For 30 years, Canyon Road Contemporary Art has presented artists working in painting, sculpture, mixed media and fused glass. More than 15 artists from around the world exhibit at the gallery. “All of our artists began their careers as recently as the 1980s,” notes gallery owner and director Nancy Leeson. She says she chose this show’s featured artists for “their deeply human connection” to their work. “I just had to group them together,” she explains. “Each artist has his own unique way of defining that human connection. For all of them, their stories are inescapably a part of their work.” —Mark Mussari

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Featured in the June 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase a copy:
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