Opening Friday June 13 – ‘Trio’ and Pasha Rafat

Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art announces two solo shows running concurrently June 13 – July 12, 2008. Trio: Nora Naranjo-Morse, Rose B. Simpson, Eliza Naranjo-Morse and Light Sculpture: Pasha Rafat. The opening reception for both exhibitions is Friday, June 13 from 5 to 7pm. Trio:  Nora Naranjo-Morse, Rose B. Simpson, and Eliza Naranjo-Morse“Trio” is an opportunity to explore the work of three contemporary Native artists across two generations from Santa Clara Pueblo. Nora Naranjo-Morse has consistently pushed boundaries expressing her artistic vision, which explores identity and experience, and is informed by her pervasive cultural heritage. While Nora is a pioneer, her daughter Eliza and great niece Rose are the voice of the next generation. The work of all three artists is bound together using the medium of clay and with a will to react and respond to contemporary culture. Both Nora and Rose are working in a figurative tradition while commenting on contemporary societal structures and expectations that define personal identity. Eliza’s two dimensional abstractions explore rhythm and pattern, painted with organic materials such as clay, ash, tea and beetroot. These materials where a natural choice for Eliza and connect her to a tradition of clay but allow her to expand and re-interpret that tradition. Nora Naranjo-Morse, Rose B. Simpson, and Eliza Naranjo-Morse will be participating artists in Site Santa Fe’s Seventh International Biennial, “Lucky Number Seven.” While the Biennial pieces are installation-based collaborative works, the Chiaroscuro show will feature individual pieces by each artist. Light Sculpture: Pasha Rafat Tubes of glass injected with neon, argon, krypton and helium gases are not a medium we often see exhibited in Santa Fe, and in many ways is the exact opposite of the clays and slips that are employed in the “Trio” show. Pasha Rafat’s inaugural Santa Fe exhibition features an installation of four light sculptures. Using straight gas tubing as the source of light and structure of sculpture, these pieces illuminate various colors based on what gases are electrified in the tubes. Their repetition of form creates an ephemeral and physically present character of light. Through interplay with geometric shapes of squares & circles, these light sculptures are depicted within the space with no horizon (up and down). Gravity in these works, acts as a force of attraction, functioning through space in all directions. Born in Tehran, Iran in 1944, Rafat came to the United States in 1966. He teaches photography and public art at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has exhibited extensively in both museum and gallery spaces.