By Robert Cafazzo
Art is everywhere in Taos. Most visitors want to know where to see all the art that everyone is always talking about. A few examples of artworks not to be missed and where to find them are listed here:
Georgia O’Keeffe at the Blake Hotel
People frequently ask if there is any place to see Georgia O’Keeffe paintings in Taos, now there is. The O’Keeffe painting “Hills and Mesa to the West” (oil on canvas, 19” x 36” 1945) is on view in the lobby of the Blake Hotel at Taos Ski Valley. This painting of rolling hills radiates all the colors in the world in one place. In one of the hallways of the hotel, a suite of 10 O’Keeffe prints created in 1968 also hangs. She selected these to be printed in an edition of 300, the only prints O’Keeffe ever allowed made of her work.
“A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or tree. It is lines and color put together so that they say something.” — Georgie O’Keeffe
“Regulus” sculpture at Millicent Rogers Museum
On the grounds of the Millicent Rogers Museum stands the 12-foot-tall sculpture “Regulus,” created by Wilson Crawford ca. 1990 based on Roger’s “star” pin design. Her design was created sometime between 1947-1953, and it’s been the most popular of all of her sterling silver pins still made to this day. It’s always available in the museum gift shop. Regulus is the name of the brightest star in the constellation of Leo, which is often seen accompanying Venus in the night sky. If you can, take the opportunity to see it against the Taos Blue Mountain during twilight.
“I felt the stars and the growth of the moon … and I knew there was no reason to be lonely, that one was everything.” — Millicent Rogers.
Taos Old County Courthouse Mural Room
At one end of this grand hall, a rainbow permeates the sky while Moses stands upon tumbling blocks as he rests his left hand upon the stones of the Ten Commandments. For years this imposing fresco mural was the backdrop for the judges’ bench upstairs in the old Taos County Courthouse. Today, the room is used for various Taos functions and includes 10 murals painted in 1934 by Emil Bisttram, Ward Lockwood and Bert Phillips with the most magnificent and largest of all created by Victor Higgins. Stand at the back of the room and see the entire group imposingly before you.
Agnes Martin Gallery at the Harwood Museum
The Agnes Martin Gallery at the Harwood Museum of Art is an octagonal meditation chamber featuring seven paintings specifically created for this space. On display here, you’ll view Martin’s classic subtlety, which are titled “Friendship,” “Innocence,” “Love,” “Lovely Life,” “Ordinary Happiness,” “Perfect Day” and “Playing.” Think about these titles as you reflect upon the paintings and allow them to wash over you in this unique space.
“The function of artwork is the stimulation of sensibilities, the renewal of memories of moments of perfection.” — Writings, Agnes Martin 1992
Larry Bell “Fractions” at Holy Cross Hospital
Two of the extraordinary “Fraction” drawings by Larry Bell are located in the hallway towards the day surgery center at Holy Cross Hospital. This pair of 10-inch square paintings hanging one above the other are two of the best from this series. The richness of a bubblegum pink permeating through splashes of black with veins of turquoise or a golden green hue, these are heavenly and inspiring painters paintings. You may have on occasion noticed that throughout the hallways of the Taos hospital hang more than 100 works of donated art. Whether you’re a patient or a visitor to the hospital, take the time to look at the art here. See more at larrybell.com.
“Keep the faith, trust the work as your teacher and believe in what you do.” — Larry Bell in an interview with The Taos News entertainment magazine Tempo June 2018
Ted Egri “Flight of Wind” sculpture at the Taos County Administrative-Judicial Complex
The late, great early modern artist’s monumental steel sculpture was installed in April 2017 in front of the Taos County Administrative-Judicial Complex on the corner of Paseo del Pueblo Sur and Albright Street. He experimented with twisted metal in which he found symbolism and fascination. In this large metal sculpture is the suggestion of the graceful shapes that resemble Taos’ Pueblo Peak.
“The impact of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range and the vast spaces of the mesas directed me toward space and form. I moved into sculpture never completely leaving painting. My sculptural concepts were encouraged by the large space I have to work in. The elements—wind, time, rhythms, sound, fire—are subjects I work with as I conceive form and space.” — Ted Egri in a 1987 interview for ARTSPACE magazine