Press Release: John Garrett & Irene Kung

April 11, 2012


Contact: John Addison, 505-992-0711

Solo Exhibitions: John Garrett & Irene Kung

May 4 – June 2, 2012

Santa Fe – Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art is pleased to present its first solo shows of the 2012 season.  Opening concurrently, May 4, and continuing through June 2, we’re featuring New Work from mixed media sculptor John Garrett, and Gli Alberi (Italian for The Trees) large scale color photographs by Irene Kung.  The opening reception is Friday, May 4, 5-7pm.

Using discarded, recycled, non-precious materials, John Garrett‘s new sculptures transform and elevate his materials into a new realm.  This dynamic body of work consists of large-scale pieces hanging straight down from the ceiling.  Garrett calls them “Chain Columns”.  His Chain Columns employ hundreds of densely hung individual elements, such as keys, bead strings, or razor blades, looped together one on top of the other.  Garrett explains, “While each piece of the whole remains a distinct object, their aggregate becomes something else.  For example, the hard rigid objects can take on a soft organic quality.  Furthermore, these sculptures look as if they grew into being, much like a grape vine, instead of being constructed by the artist’s hand.”

Based in Albuquerque for many years, this is John Garrett’s third solo show at Chiaroscuro. Over the past 30 years, Garrett has earned a national reputation and been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, one in 1983 and another in 1995. In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council College in recognition of his outstanding artistic achievement and leadership in the field.

Known for her exquisite large-scale architectural photographs, where buildings emerge from a jet-black background, Irene Kung’s second solo show with Chiaroscuro will feature her majestic tree series. The title of her show, Gli Alberi, Italian for “The Trees,” pays homage to her roots and to these graceful and powerful natural wonders. Kung’s trees are extraordinary. Using her mastery of digital manipulation, she accentuates every leaf and branch, raising the contrast and depth to hyper-realistic levels. While it is possible to get lost in the details, these renderings nevertheless retain a quality of light that brings the trees to life with dynamic gesture and form.

Irene Kung was born in Switzerland and trained as a painter. Based in Switzerland after many years abroad, her work has achieved international recognition. In the past few years she has expanded her repertoire to include photography.  Her subjects range from architectural monuments to exotic plant life and Argentinian horses.

John Garrett

New Work

May 4 – June 2, 2012

Irene Kung

Gli Alberi

May 4 – June 2, 2012

Opening reception: Friday, May 4, 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 Heather Doyle at 505-992-0711 or email