The Spanish conquest and settlement of the Southwest initiated a complex cultural interchange between the Spanish settlers and Native Americans. Since then, the lives of the Native Americans, the Spaniards, and the Angelos or Americans have been intertwined.
The stark beauty of the Southwest mountains and deserts has attracted many artists. Painters, sculptors, and potters come to study and to work. Often they use Spanish and Indian motifs in new ways, turning age-old patterns into work that is modern and fresh
Nature is a starting point for most contemporary Southwest landscape artists. With little commonality in style or subject matter, they pursue varied approaches in their work and choice of media. Some work with overtly Western motifs: cowboys, mountain men, settlers, pioneer women, and proud, loincloth-clad Native Americans. Others reflect the indigenous art that had flourished for centuries. Then there are the Southwestern artists who do not fit easily into any category.
E. Ashley Rooney's intent in undertaking Contemporary Art of the Southwest (Schiffer 2014) was to take a fresh look at the magical and insightful ways in which the area's artists have interpreted life in this region with its retirees and laid-back nature lovers. How does their art portray living in this quiet, ageless landscape with its aggressive solitude? How do they look at this arid region with its heightened clarity of light? The richly illustrated book has a foreword written by Julie Sasse, Chief Curator and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Tucson Museum of Art.
April: New Mexico Arts, Santa Fe Community College: Prospectus #205 "The Books". View project details here.
“THE BOOKS” at Santa Fe Community College
“THE BOOKS” project consists of 17 sculptures (ranging in length from 4 feet to 9 feet) are placed on approx. ½ acre of land surrounding the walkway located between the Library and the Health and Sciences wing. All of the sculptures are made of steel re- enforced concrete formulations that I’ve developed over the years. This, combined with different techniques of mold making and casting, forms and templates etc., is what it took to create these 17 pieces.
This landscape resembles a ruins or archeological site of giant books protruding from the earth. You never see an entire book with your eyes, just corners and edges of books. It is in your mind’s eye that you see the assumption of the whole book. It is at this point that the viewer is using their auto-imagination to complete the picture of what is underground.
The general theme of this project is imagination. As Einstein once said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” I believe The Books will tell many different stories to all who pass by. Stories told to them by their own imagination.
After working on and thinking about this project for 2 years, it has revealed to me many, many stories that I never would have anticipated in the early stages. Being the creator of this inter-active sculptural landscape, I feel that telling my own stories would hamper the effect on others. It is a tool meant to encourage personal interpitations of the imagination.
The white concrete finish has the sun bleached appearance of old bones you might discover in the desert. There is omnipresence about these pieces that I wanted to obtain. Man and knowledge are eternal as “THE BOOKS” are concrete.
- David Rudolph 4/30/2012
New Work: "SKY CANDY" 56" X 36" X 2.5"
November: David Rudolph studio and private gallery is part of Santa Fe Studio Tour
October: The painting "CANYON ROAD GOES DIGITAL" (28" x 17") wins first place in the annual "CANYON ROAD PAINT OUT" in Santa Fe, NM. Hosted by Santa Fean magazine.
July: Solo preview show of "VISUAL REPORTS FROM THE DIGITAL UNIVERSE" paintings and sculptures, at Samuel Design Group in Santa Fe, NM. Rail Yard Art LoftsJuly-Aug: 3 paintings in group show at Salon Mar Graff Santa Fe, NM.