"Leslie Wilkes creates heady, madly diagrammatic color-block oil and gouache paintings. Exploring propulsive quakes of shape and color, Wilkes’ compositions have a huge booming expressiveness…. Reminiscent of kaleidoscopes, woven Indian blankets, and Pucci prints, they will suck you into a particular vortex powered by symmetry; try to focus on the peripheral elements of any given work and you will fail.” -- Betsy Lewis, Dallas Observer
Born in Monroe, Georgia, Wilkes received a BA in painting from the University of Texas at Austin and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Working primarily with oil on canvas and gouache on paper, she has had solo exhibitions in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Marfa, and Milan. Her work was published in Texas Abstract and on the book jacket of James Elkins' The Object Stares Back . She attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was the recipient of the Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship Award at the MacDowell Colony. Her work has been reviewed in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Times, The Dallas Morning News, Southwest Spirit Magazine, Big Bend Sentinel, and New Art Examiner. She is a painter, gardener, and radio DJ in Marfa.
Untitled 07.01, gouache on paper, 10 x 10 inches.
Untitled 8.40. gouache on paper, 12 x 12 inches.
The various series of works by Martha Hughes (Scenes, Timelapse, and Marks) may at first seem unrelated, but are in fact all grounded by the artist’s interest in color, place, stasis/movement, and time.
The works in her Scenes series portray everyday, prosaic interiors and landscapes, with ambiguous, vertiginous spaces that reflect “my sense of never being quite at home in the world.” Works in this series were initially partly influenced by children’s tempera paintings, which are typically colorful, flat, and simple. She often finds inspiration from glossy interior design and architecture magazines, with their strange, carefully staged photographs of impossibly pristine, impossibly beautiful houses, gardens, and pools.
Works in the Timelapse series stem from the artist’s interest in animation and the way things change over time. Hughes photographs the same domestic scene over a period of days, months, or years; then creates paintings based on the photographs.
Similarly, the Marks series comprises works composed of repetitive marks in a limited grid, typically organized in centimeter-sized units. As in animated film, small changes from frame-to-frame – or across the paper – create motion.
Hughes received a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions across the USA. Hughes works in a variety of media, including paint, photography and computer-based media. She has resided in Marfa since 2004 and is proprietor of Marfa Works on Paper.
"Scene 243 - Interior with Pool View" acrylic on panel, 12 x 12 inches
"Timelapse, Columbia Street Kitchen, Marfa, May 30 2017" acrylic on panel, 8 x 8 inches
"Centimeter 34" Prismacolor on paper, 41 x 56 centimeters
Born in Manhattan, Madeline Irvine experienced great art, comic books, urban life and nature as formative influences. Since 2009, nature and the elements have propelled her work. As a multidisciplinary artist, she uses process-oriented, time-based or color-oriented art to express philosophical concepts about the natural world – the beauty of its past and its present predicament.
The ocean is Irvine’s preoccupation, and she uses weather, salt, water and paints – including metallic inks and phosphorescent paint -- to make her art. Irvine has worked in the arts as a professor of art, a curator, an arts writer and critic, and an arts administrator. She studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA) and the Maryland Institute, College of Art (BFA). Irvine lives in Austin, TX and works out of a garage studio and driveway.
Heat Strands II. Himalayan pink and sea salt crystals on paper, 9 x 9 inches
Double Spiral. Himalayan pink and sea salt crystals on paper, 9 x 9 inches
Before relocating to Marfa in 2011, Mary Lou Saxon ran a commercial photography studio in Dallas for many years. She decided to move to Marfa “to see if there was still a kid inside who liked to take pictures, and because I was curious to see what would happen without deadlines and art directors.”
Saxon’s photographs capture the unique personality of the now world-famous little town of Marfa. Among her works is a portfolio of photographs of the ruins of the early-20th century hospital at Fort D.A. Russell in Marfa, before the ruins were demolished in 2015 to make way for Robert Irwin’s “untitled (dawn to dusk),” a permanent, large-scale project of the Chinati Foundation. Saxon photographed the ruins from time to time throughout 2014. The limited-edition portfolio that resulted consists of some her favorites from that series, recording the now lost historical site for posterity.
Saxon says: “The ruins were a geometrically interesting collection of old buildings full of many many windows and doors, but no roof. The light poured in, changing often as the shadows built up in mornings and evenings and vanished midday. Adding to the beauty was the crude quality of the old walls as they shed layer upon layer of paint.” Saxon adds, “The Robert Irwin building opened in 2016 to rave reviews about the quality of light in mornings and evenings.”
“Hospital Building #1” archival inkjet paper and ink, 9 x 13 inches
“West Texas Train #1” archival inkjet paper and ink, 8-1/2 x 11 inches
Info coming soon.
Altar. watercolor on paper, 46 x 34 inches.
Fish. watercolor on paper. 34 x 46 inches.
After dropping out of Rhode Island School of Design at age 19, Speed spent her twenties moving around the U.S. and Canada working pick-up jobs (house painter, horse trainer, ad writer, farm worker etc.) until moving to Texas in 1978 where she settled down and became a full-time artist. She now works out of a former jail in Marfa, where she switches back and forth regularly between oil and gouache painting, collage, printmaking, assemblage and drawing, often combining disciplines.
Over the past 25 years Speed has had well over 50 solo museum and gallery shows. In addition to the numerous catalogs for those shows, her work has been the subject of several television and film projects and two large monographs, Julie Speed, Paintings, Constructions and Works on Paper and Speed, Art 2003-2009, both published by the University of Texas Press.
Beach. etching with chine collé and gouache, edition 30
Rope Burn. 2-plate etching with chine collé and gouache, edition 30
Info and images coming soon.
Fascinated from a young age by the roles thread, cloth, and color play in our everyday lives, Karen Crenshaw has, in turn, embroidered, quilted, sewn, knitted, spun yarn on a spinning wheel, dyed yarn and cloth, and created her own cloth through weaving.
Her woven works nod to thousands of years of making cloth, translating patterns that first appeared hundreds – even thousands – of years ago into a modern aesthetic and color palette, transforming them into something totally new. “Handwoven textiles used to be among the most treasured possessions, bequeathed by name in a person’s will. In the modern world, we’ve lost track of what it means to make an object thread by thread and use it in our daily life.”
Her dyeing practice uses native dyes such as osage orange and cochineal as well as indigo – with other natural materials, including leaves, rusty iron, and copper – to create textiles that radiate light in unexpected ways.
Crenshaw has studied with talented textile artists including Judith MacKenzie, India Flint, and Lisa Hill. She is currently enrolled in the Master Weaver program at Olds College in Calgary, Alberta. She discovered Marfa in 2004 and made it her permanent residence in 2014.
Blooming Leaf Baby Blanket. 32 x 32 inches. Cashmere, silk, and lambskin. Handwoven overshot cashmere baby blanket bordered with handwoven warp-faced silk band. Backed with lambskin.
Martha Gannon’s studio is located in the Far West Texas town of Marfa, where inspiration is found just outside her door. For her, this inspiration can be found in the shape of clouds in the majestic skies, a rock or fossil, a plant or branch shape and color, an insect, or wildlife. This is what feeds the creativity for her art.
Using line and texture to explore the parameters of design, she creates and explores themes where she deconstructs shapes in nature to fabricate handmade jewelry.
With over three decades of experience working as an artist and designer, Gannon also taught design, light metals, and sculpture at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally. She received a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture from the University of Texas at Austin.
Info coming soon.
Mary Bonkemeyer (1921 -2017) was an abstract painter whose work is grounded in 20th Century Abstract Expressionism and its expanded themes. Bonkemeyer received a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Phillip Guston. In later years, she divided her time between Santa Fe and Marfa, where she painted and exhibited her work.
Kyle Schlesinger is a poet living in Austin, Texas. Recent books of poetry include: Sydney Omarr’s Wild Children, with the artist Flynn Maria Bergann (Further Other Book Works, 2017); Far & Away (Textile Series, 2017); and Let’s Drift (CL Press, 2017). Scholarly works include A Poetics of the Press (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2016), Dwell Time, with Aaron Cohick (DoubleCross Press, 2016) and Threads Talks, with Steve Clay (Granary Books, 2016).
He is proprietor of Cuneiform Press, a nonprofit literary organization specializing in poetry, typography, artists’ books, and music, and is the Director of the Graduate School of Publishing at the University of Houston-Victoria.