Press Release: Gayle Crites Solo Exhibition “Passport”

Contact: John Addison, 505-992-0711                                              April 6, 2011


Gayle Crites


May 6 – June 4, 2011

Santa Fe – Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art is pleased to announce its inaugural solo exhibition of our upcoming 2011 program. The gallery will present monthly solo and group exhibitions from May through December, at both its Canyon Road locations: 702 ½ and 708 Canyon Road at Gypsy Alley.

Opening May 6 and continuing through June 4, 2011, in our main space at 702 ½ Canyon Road, is an exhibition of mixed media collage paintings by Colorado artist Gayle Crites, titled Passport. The public reception for this exhibition is Friday, May 6th, 5-7pm.

Passport, is the culmination of years of work, travel, and thought focused on globalization, and how it affects citizens around the world. The premise that we are constantly connected to the far reaches of the planet via the internet is paramount. From this connectedness, Crites looks at diverse ethnic identities and sees the surviving “tribes” of our modern world. Upon further examination Crites concludes that, “globalization is a force that enhances an interconnected and economically integrated world, yet via that process, is also the force that threatens cultural identities and aids in the dissolution of the earth’s unique tribes.”

Presented as abstract mixed media collages, Crites’ work pulls the viewer into a dialog with rare materials and processes of traditional art making that employ her decidedly contemporary abstract mark making. This dichotomy sets up a tension and release that brings each piece of artwork to life.

Crites explains:

In this new body of large-scale collages, I have combined handmade materials by indigenous artisans in different parts of the world including “bark” poundings from Tonga, camel hair weavings from Iraq, paper from Japan, natural indigo dye from India and silk from China. Many of the materials in these works are soon to be culturally obsolete. Superimposed over these rare indigenous art forms are intricate brush marks, drawn to represent our interconnectedness through the Internet. Most of the compositions have no vertical or horizontal preference for hanging and therefore represent an absence of geographic longitude and latitude. The large forms created by the brush and ink drawings reflect the basic and universal elements of indigenous craft design, including circles, triangles, squares, spirals and crosses. I hope to express the beauty in the complexity of this repeating and universally symbolic script.

Crites is an established painter and printmaker with an international exhibition history. She splits her time between studio work and international travel, experiencing the indigenous cultures, and making friends with the people that provide the physical materials for her art work. Crites has been represented by Chiaroscuro since 2008. This is her first major solo exhibition with the gallery.

Gayle Crites


May 6 – June 4, 2011

Opening reception: Friday, May 6, from 5 – 7pm

Location: Chiaroscuro’s Main Space, 702 ½ Canyon Road on

Gypsy Alley, Santa Fe, NM 87501, 505-992-0711

High resolution photographs available; call Becky James at 505-992-0711 or email