Press Release – Upcoming Exhibitions: Emmi Whitehorse “Headwater” & Contemporary Native Group Show

Contact: John Addison, 505-992-0711                                                 July 27, 2013


In celebration of Santa Fe’s Indian Market festival, Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art presents a solo exhibition by Emmi Whitehorse (Navajo) titled Headwater, and a group show of contemporary native work featuring two distinct generations.  Rick Bartow (Wiyot) and the late Harry Fonseca (Nisenan Maidu) represent an established, mature vision, while Rose B. Simpson (Santa Clara Pueblo) & Yatika Starr Fields (Cherokee, Creek, and Osage) represent a younger “voice.” This Contemporary Native Group Show runs concurrent with the Whitehorse solo exhibition with artwork presented in both the 702 1/2 and 708 Canyon Road locations. Both shows run August 16 – September 14.  Opening receptions are Friday, August 16, 5-7 pm.

Emmi Whitehorse: Headwater

With just over 15 paintings on view, Whitehorse continues to expand and explore her personal “mark making” and “color explorations.” Like a jazz musician, striving for the next groove or riff, Whitehorse’s compositions of color and form, on canvas, come alive with ever-changing variations on a theme.

Whitehorse, Bird Spring

The abstract language she has developed of chalk, pencil and pastel markings, which hover over thin layers of brilliant mixed color, are much like a musical melodic line moving over and through the interwoven harmony beneath. These marks depict hundreds of small movements that together compose forms that are fully abstract yet based in the natural world. The underlying layer of color captures a “moment in the landscape” as the sun changes direction or reflects or refracts off a surface. The exhibition will consist of entirely new paintings and be featured in the main space at 702 1/2 Canyon Road.

Contemporary Native Group Show

Harry Fonseca (Nisenan Maidu)

As the solo representative of the Fonseca Estate since 2007, Chiaroscuro has presented a number of different themes related to Fonseca’s work over the years. For this exhibition we’re using a wide net and presenting a limited number of distinct pieces which represent specific well known  series. From the 80’s: Coyote & Rose and Stone Poem drawings and paintings. From the 90’s: Discovery of Gold works, as well as St. Francis of Assisi series. And representing his most recent series from 2000 to his untimely death in 2006, are abstract Strip and Splatter paintings. Although the works all have different stylistic points of view which is the hallmark of Fonseca’s career, the string that runs through is Fonseca’s mastery of creating vivid intensity with color and line, whether depicting the personalities of his figures or the life force in his abstractions – all the works in this show carry the Fonseca touch.


Native Group Show, 2013

Rick Bartow (Wiyot)

An accomplished painter and draftsman, Rick Bartow has created a new portfolio of works on paper and canvas for this special exhibition. Color & gesture, wit and humor, and serious intensity are all combined in his figurative series of birds, dogs and humans. The figures are larger than life and pull you into their world. This is Bartow’sfifth showing at Chiaroscuro and his powerful work anchors the contemporary group show. Bartow’s characters reveal an other-worldly reality that strives to connect to the viewer on a deep intuitive level. These pieces simply have to be experienced.

Rose B. Simpson & Yatika Starr Fields

Rose B. Simpson (Santa Clara Pueblo) & Yatika Starr Fields (Cherokee, Creek, and Osage) give a glimpse into what the younger generation of contemporary Native artistsare creating, pushing forward ideas and images that Bartow and Fonseca have paved the way for audiences to experience.

Simpson’s contributions will include three medium-sized clay figures and wall sculptures. All the work continues her explorations of the self-portrait and depict ideas and concepts she is currently personally exploring. The main figure depicts a strong Amazon Woman-like warrior who proudly stands her ground. The gesture and ornamentation of the figure are “classic Simpson” and engage the viewer with clarity and poise.

Chiaroscuro welcomes back Yatika Starr Fields to contribute to the show with two large un-stretched mural-like canvases. Fields has spent the last year traveling internationally and producing mural works that depict contemporary imagery influenced strongly from graffiti and skate culture. Fields has performed “live paintings” at Chiaroscuro in past shows, but these pieces are more elaborate abstractions on a larger  scale.


Emmi Whitehorse: Headwater

Contemporary Native Group Show

Featuring: Rick Bartow, Yatika Starr Fields, Harry Fonseca Estate, Fritz Scholder Estate & Rose B. Simpson.

August 16 – September 14

Opening receptions are Friday, August 16, 5-7pm.

Location: 702 ½ & 708 Canyon Road on Gypsy Alley, Santa Fe, NM 87501, 505-992-0711


High resolution photographs available upon request; call Heather Doyle at 505-992-0711 or email