Show Preview | Axton & Kander

Santa Fe, NM
Ventana Fine Art, July 6-25

John Axton, The Truth, oil, 18 x 24.

John Axton, The Truth, oil, 18 x 24.

This story was featured in the July 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

In their latest bodies of work, on view this month in a two-person show at Ventana Fine Art, artists John Axton and Tamar Kander continue to plumb the depths of memory, imagination, and the subconscious. Some 15 new paintings by each artist are unveiled during an opening reception at the gallery on Friday, July 6, at 5 p.m. Aptly titled Other Worlds, the show is a complementary pairing of two artists whose robust careers span more than four decades.

Axton, a longtime devotee of minimalism, left behind a career in illustration in the mid-1970s to paint full time. Today, his atmospheric oil paintings call to mind sprawling horizons, multihued skies, and ocean waves, but the Santa Fe, NM, artist views his abstracted works as reflections of the subconscious or spiritual self. “A lot of times, I’ll be literal in my titles, suggesting a place where I’ve actually been, but it’s probably not a literal interpretation of the place,” he says. “It’s a composite of a lot of influences.” Although gray tones often dominate his ethereal imagery, Axton adds that “there’s a lot more color than meets the eye in my work. You can look closely and see many layers of color.”

Place, landscape, music, and weather are leading themes in Kander’s nonobjective, mixed-media paintings. Like Axton, she looks inward for inspiration, but she also occasionally collages tangible, autobiographical items into her pieces. In JOURNEY (SOLO), the artist honored the memory of her father by incorporating his old passport pictures and work documents into the painting. “Sometimes, you don’t see my collage [materials] by the [time I get to the] end,” says the artist, who builds up her colorful surfaces with materials like powdered gesso, marble dust, acrylic paint, and ink. “They are embedded in there, which is how we are with our thoughts and feelings.” Kander is also tangentially inspired by nature, including the lake beside her home outside Bloomington, IN. “Blues and greens aren’t my go-to colors, but I’ve been using them a lot; it’s a subconscious awareness of being near the water,” she says.

Gallery sales manager Wolfgang Mabry describes both Axton and Kander as “highly imaginative” painters. “Each artist is inventing another universe to disappear into, and their compositions are organized so beautifully,” sums up Mabry. “They just go great together.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
800.746.8815
www.ventanafineart.com

This story was featured in the July 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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