In recent years the art colony of Taos, New Mexico, has received renewed critical attention. Collectors and mu-seums have come to recognize the value of paintings by members of the Taos Society of Artists and other early arrivals. While much has beenMoreIn recent years the art colony of Taos, New Mexico, has received renewed critical attention. Collectors and mu-seums have come to recognize the value of paintings by members of the Taos Society of Artists and other early arrivals.
While much has been written about the works and lives of these early artists, no one has told the story of a parallel development in Taos, beginning with Georgia OKeeffe, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, and Andrew Dasburg, within the modernist tradition of painting.Art historian and author David Witt brings Taos painters, part of the larger American modernist tradition, into the limelight.
He presents a core of painters who produced a significant body of work that grew out of well-known centers of American Modernism from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. They came from American institutions like the Black Mountain School and the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
These artists worked and trained with well-known modernists such as John Marin, Hans Hoffman, Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, and Mark Rothko. As artists before them, they fell under the spell of Taos, and created a new broad-version vernacular of modernist painting, based in part in nature, giving a sense of place, that while different from named movements like Op art, Pop art, and Minimalism, still belong with the canon of the American modernist tradition.David Witt is the curator of the Harwood Foundation of the University of New Mexico in Taos.
He is an expert on the Modernists in Taos, having known many personally and curated museum shows on these artists. He has also authored Taos Moderns-Art ofthe New, Spirit Ascendant-the Art and Life of Patroci??o Barela and Taos Artists.