Opening September 19 – Emmi Whitehorse and Flo Perkins

Santa Fe – Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art announces two solo exhibitions running concurrently September 19 – October 18, 2008, Emmi Whitehorse’s Recommence and

Flo Perkins’ Parts and Pieces. The opening reception is Friday, September 19 from 5 to 7pm.


Chiaroscuro follows up a major Native American group show with a solo exhibition of work by Emmi Whitehorse. Working in oil and chalk on paper mounted on canvas, Whitehorse juxtaposes an array of recognizable images and suggestive forms in her paintings that seem to float within a landscape of mind. The open vistas of these interior landscapes recall memories and dreams of land and sky. “My paintings tell the story of knowing land over time,” she has said, “of being completely, microcosmically within a place.” Her show, Recommence, exhibits work that continues her exploration of this relationship, one that honors the Navajo philosophical ideal of hozho: harmony, beauty, and balance.  Whitehorse‘s paintings reside in international collections including university and museum collections and American embassies overseas. Her work was the poster for the 2008 Chamber Music Festival season. Like musical notes, her impressions of people and experiences—all the things she has seen—translate visually as symbols that float through the air, mixing together into a symphony. Whitehorse‘s paintings are not meant for casual viewing but require a meditative stillness in order to appreciate all the nuances of color, symbol, depth and light.  Recommence is Whitehorse’s first solo exhibition at Chiaroscuro, and first major exhibition in Santa Fe since 2002. The show will include over 25 paintings and prints.


Concurrent with Recommence is a solo show by glass artist Flo Perkins titled Parts and Pieces. Her blown glass cactus series takes inspiration from a sense of desert places and the floral forms that exist in nature. Perkins’ work contains beauty of form but incorporates irony and humor. The titles sometimes reference the classification model used by biologists, referring to a particular genus, and sometimes using original, but appropriate, titles invented by the artist.  The cacti become almost anthropomorphic, exhibiting distinct characters in a fusion of bright swirling colors that decorate bulbous bodies with flowering heads that rest on prickly shoulders. Her mixed media work includes flowering vines that overhang windows and resemble three-dimensional still-lifes. They take blown glass in a new direction as one element in a larger piece, a challenge to the artist who uses found objects as a jumping off point for experimenting with glass.  Perkins uses traditional glass blowing practices, such as the Italian technique of incalmo, and explores them in new ways. She brings a love of simple shape and natural form to fluid material of glass. That the medium is never quite under strict control lends her work a feeling of spontaneity and life, of going with the flow.  Parts and Pieces is Perkins’ first solo show at Chiaroscuro as well.  Perkins and Whitehorse will occupy all seven rooms at Chiaroscuro.