The new collection "Bigly Art for Tiny Folk" being show at Ventana Fine Art studio in Santa Fe's famous Canyon Road district, is Galen Welte's first showing depicting
The new collection "Bigly Art for Tiny Folk" being show at Ventana Fine Art studio in Santa Fe's famous Canyon Road district, is Galen Welte's first showing depicting the shamanistic landscapes she creates for her work. This collection includes over thirty-five years worth of drawings, watercolors, paintings, and sculpture, all taking the form of half-life-size figures and human-size objects. Welte's semiabstracting is, in fact, a surprisingly effective way of bringing the mystical into the realm of art. Her sculptures appear to be mostly found, carved and carved, then covered in loose, natural stone flour. The fact that they are found rather than carved is a matter of no little importance, since the figurines are typically found in the wood of a woodcarving or sculpting process. Most of the figures' poses and gestures are partly determined by the gradations of color in the drawings. In most cases, they are represented by human-size objects that have been decorated with an almost surreal texture of hair and moustaches. The most lively of the figurines, for example, is a female torso with a brown flower in place of a head, while a pair of yellow flowers on a blue head appear to be tucked in their mouth, its pink-flowered neck braced by a feather-covered pink boot.Welte's figures seem like the archetypes of the primitive in America. They are a representation of the natural and of a people's way of life, representing their connection with the earth and the universe, and suggesting that these things are a part of who we are and what we are. She does not represent an ideal society, however, but rather the symbolism that remains associated with such a society. The figure in the watercolor Panoply II, 1974–75, one of a number of landscapes which deal with archetypes of the human being, is a mosaic of granite blocks that is covered in a transparent surface.
The new collection "Bigly Art for Tiny Folk" being show at Ventana Fine Art studio in Santa Fe's famous Canyon Road district, is Galen Welte's first showing depicting herself as either a small or big woman. Her public persona may be different from her private identity; her biggest eye and her dominant male brain are both more strong and a little wiser.Like Mardens Venus of Fools, Woman in Red, New York, 1982, 1986, her skin color is obviously black and white. Another of her more sophisticated pieces, this one painted in charcoal and oil (the best thing about it), shows a woman whose smile is wide open and wide-open—like an illuminated square that reflects a circle of light. The women's faces are small and square, and they look as if they could be crayoned and transformed into any combination of garish and delicate, wide-open, little twopsy doll-like faces. The central figure is in a deadpan purple/ black mood, the light's more of the deep green/teal/black mood of some energy-grubbing, live-turquoise blue/black mood than the tone of hair. With a red head, a long-haired androgynous woman with a perfect red nightie, and a cast of exaggeratedly wide eyes like a woman on her period—she looks like she may be a Goya-esque creature with high jinks and a sad-sack swagger. This woman's job is to be a charm-and-dare partner, not a passive-aggressive, suave sex machine, and she's been doing that since the late '60s. (Just a note on the more traditional female-male, male-female roles of hers: her head is a woman's head, and her hands are holding plants, roses, and a spoonful of tea.) Walshesness is the key word here, the hallmark of the work. She's not self-consciously busting it out of the way; she's beautifully absorbed in her work.
The new collection "Bigly Art for Tiny Folk" being show at Ventana Fine Art studio in Santa Fe's famous Canyon Road district, is Galen Welte's first showing depicting the full range of her efforts. Each of the six six works includes a body of color, such as a rainbow, an orange, a gold, or a yellow, but usually they are all flat white. The combinations of colors, the relative shapes and orientations of the pieces, are suggestive of paintings and sculpture. The colors vary from the refined, blue-toned, yellow-greys of the early light-and-light paintings to a warm-hued vermillion, yellow-orange ooze of the oat paintings and an organic-ish tint of the desert greys. The colors are generally more muted in the current series, where the balance between reality and illusion, nature and culture, appears in harmony with the scale.In the two-part work Blue-Grey and Red-Green (both 1984), the warm-hued semi-toothbrush contrasts with a white with a striations of yellow-orange light. The blue and red, respectively, are funnels of greys, the red is a trail of dark green under a warm green top. The green, an ordinary, nonreflective skin, resembles a flower, and is contrasted with the small green the background is. The paintings thus foreground the interplay between color and its background, where the deceptively luminous ground turns out to be a skin of greys. This works more humorously in contrast to the over-literalian images of the oat paintings. The duality of a subject and its background, which we see repeated, opens up a whole other conceptual and artistic aspect. Blue-Grey and Red-Green is a great disjunctive experience as a painting; the image of the nude woman with her limbs towards the viewer is allowed to dominate. Also, the focus on both colors is accentuated by the fact that it is surrounded by a tonal darkness, which contrasts the beauty of the greys and the blue.
The new collection "Bigly Art for Tiny Folk" being show at Ventana Fine Art studio in Santa Fe's famous Canyon Road district, is Galen Welte's first showing depicting the people of her native Texas. The paintings in this show, taken from a three-year period beginning in 1968, were assembled from the gathered artifacts of her life. Each canvas is covered with an inscription, an account of her daily life, and an image of the artists at home and in the studio. The most recent work has a more intimate dimensions, and shows the artist with her partner, Alice, her daughter, her granddaughter, and her grandson.Packed into the galleries here are twenty-six works, all freshly painted and brought together to form a large wall covered with hundreds of colorful, elegantly rendered impressionist paintings. Welte's depiction of the artist in her studio represents a new type of artist, a stylized, relaxed, sensualized style, but one whose elegant lines are counterpointed by an expression of the times. In addition to the abstract works, the show includes several spray-painted drawings and a group of twelve paintings, each rendered in a distinctive style.Welte's words and images are presented in a high-key, comfortable style, painted in a relaxed manner and often applied in a dry, single, and cursive manner. All the compositions are marked by their flat, open areas, often peppered with the appropriate elements of a small brushstroke. Here the artist presents her art in terms of the stylishly formal and feminine, and the works are, in many cases, complexly layered. Welte's soft-edge lines are usually densely used, creating a textural texture that mimics the grainy texture of skin and hair. While it is true that a lot of her style derives from the painted finish of modernism, Welte's use of paint to delineate her forms suggests a keen eye for the subtle changes in surface texture, the degree to which the skin of a head can be rubbed, into which the paint is only loosely threaded.
The new collection "Bigly Art for Tiny Folk" being show at Ventana Fine Art studio in Santa Fe's famous Canyon Road district, is Galen Welte's first showing depicting her work in the United States. (In this context, the inclusion of her work in a nationally comprehensive ethnographic survey from which many smaller artists, mostly from Peru, have had a particularly large voice, including the very first female artist in the Americas, being included at the Rockefeller Center's Ground Zero in New York, of course, has an enormous impact on the geopolitics of the region.) Welte's oeuvre is as diverse as it is intimate, reflecting a wide array of artistic and artistic styles. The collection's thoroughness, even breadth, of emphasis, its essentially lucid delineation of stylistic variation and variation, combined with its more-is-more presentation of a range of her styles and projects, makes for a clear and satisfying statement of pluralism: the spirit of plurality, as the saying goes. Theres also a feeling of order in the show's attempt to present an equal number of local works. Most of the art on display, for example, came from local Peru, though the city of Quito also happens to be where the spectacular Art of This Century exhibition—a welcome encounter for the locals—had just taken place. For the installation Ryoanji—Silver Stamps (all works 2006), a wax-print book of silver stamps, features twenty-three auras, the most complete work in the exhibition, dating back to the work of the late artist Alfredo Herrera. On a hand-hewn structure, the silver light sticks, encased in the pages of an old-fashioned orangutan's shoe, made for an amusing, even dreamlike treat.