Benefactor and co-founder of The Wright Contemporary, Ira Wright is also a provocatively original painter and sculptor. Many of the works in this show confront the issue of mortality, his own, because he has just turned 90 and is in fragile health. The paintings “address the dilemma all of us must face at some point in a way that that can be ultimately inspiring and uplifting if one tries to understand the worldview evident in his work,” as critic David Ebony explains in the forthcoming catalogue. That worldview encompasses sharp ironies and ruminations on the ultimate end game, always tinged with mordant humor. In the Project Space, the show’s curator, Hannah Hughes, will present a trove of witty sculptures recently discovered in his studio, infused with a manic pulse that is as fresh as it is unforgettable.
THE WRIGHT CONTEMPORARY
627 Paseo del Pueblo Sur
Taos, New Mexico
The Wright Contemporary is a gallery in Taos, NM, dedicated to the artists of northern New Mexico.
Named for the Santa Fe-based artist and benefactor Ira Wright, the gallery plans ten to twelve shows per year, curated by art journalist and director Ann Landi and artist Michelle Cooke. Our debut show was “Explosive Abstraction,” which closed on August 8. Next on the agenda was “Taos Draws!,” a round-up of draftsmen (and women) from the area in the main galleries, followed by “New Geometries,” “Photography in Black and White,” “Botanicals,” and a show dedicated to Santa Fe painters Phillis Ideal and Tom Martinelli.
In The Wright Office and The Project Space, we have featured works by Zoe Zimmerman, Jan Sessler, Barbara Kemp Cowlin, Dana Chodzko, benefactor Ira Wright, and others.
Complementing the exhibitions is a roster of lectures and programs. In the past few months, Gwen Chanzit, curator emerita of the Denver Art Museum, gave an illustrated lecture on the origins of abstraction, while Jason Andrew, from Artist Estate Management LLC, spoke to a full house about getting your affairs in order before you travel to that great studio in the sky (a video of this talk is available on YouTube). An “Evening with Larry Bell,” also on YouTube, investigated the myriad aspects of the artist’s long and stellar career) and during the Taos Fall Arts Festival, Marcie Begleiter was on hand to screen her landmark documentary Eva Hesse, with a discussion about the making of the film afterward. Other speakers have included with Louis Grachos, director of SITE Santa Fe and David Chickey, publisher of Radius Books.
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The Wright Contemporary is located at 627 Paseo del Pueblo Sur in Taos, New Mexico. It’s on the main route leading to the downtown historic district, with ample parking around the gallery. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 2 to 6 p.m.
In this, our first catalogue, we offer a selection of the many outstanding artists whose work has filled the premises. As you will see in these pages, they range from accomplished printmakers to photographers to painters and sculptors and installation artists. Most are from northern New Mexico, but we have already started expanding our reach as far as Paris, France, with the summer 2023 installation of Isabelle Plat’s work.