IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Santa Fe, NM
The exhibition represents 40 years of work by one of the nation’s most prominent contemporary Native American artists. More than 120 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints will be on view in this retrospective exhibition.
Personal experiences, literature and art from around the globe informed Bartow’s art. Throughout his career, he consistently explored self-portraiture and animal imagery, often blurring the lines between the two; many describe his work as transformational and visual storytelling.
Whether you go or not, the accompanying catalog, Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain, explores themes central to the artist’s work and life. Full-color images display key works from the show, supplemented by a comprehensive visual checklist of pieces. Essays by the show's co-curators and by Lawrence Fong, former curator of American and regional art at the JSMA, explore key themes in the artist's oeuvre.“Gesture,” “Self,” “Dialogue,” “Tradition,” and “Transformation,” as well as “New Work.” Over forty years and across a variety of media, artist Rick Bartow has created a powerful body of work. His representations of humans, animals, hybrid creatures, and shadowy figures display such exquisite beauty or grotesque absurdity--sometimes both at once--that a viewer cannot help being pulled into the artist's world. The experience can be whimsical and troubling by turns, but is always undeniably transformative. Born in Oregon, Bartow is a member of the Wiyot tribe of the Humboldt Bay region, and his art carries influences of his heritage as well as his fine-art training, travels, and life events.
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