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January 2020- Dallas

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Page 47 of 83

46 A t Kirk Hopper Fine Art, the turn of the calendar page to a decade with a potent moniker — the mythic-sounding 2020 — marks an occasion to step outside the cacophonous art world and seek higher truths. This month, gallerist Kirk Hopper has commissioned independent curator, art historian, and author Susie Kalil and collector/patron Laura Fain, both based in Houston, to organize a two-person exhibition that speaks to the infinite, "Earth & Sky." The artists selected — mid-career talents based in Santa Fe, one with a Texas connection — had never before met or exhibited together, although their works communicate with and address nature. Painter Emmi Whitehorse is a nationally exhibited, museum-collected talent who grew up tending sheep on Navajo Nation lands in New Mexico. ARTIST AS SHAMAN refractive mica, becomes a levitating object of spiritual transportation as it floats freely from the art space's skylights. On view in the courtyard, Redman's stainless-steel diptych Shadow Light Lens (2015-2017) measures a heroic 15 x 30 x 30 feet. The work functions as an epic sundial, invoking onlookers to note the sun's passage, a metaphor for the fleeting hours of our lives. Whitehorse similarly makes a statement via a substantial pair of works: Two ambitiously scaled canvases, painted in incandescent yellow, evoke New Mexico as the land of the sun, enlivened further by planes of mica applied to their saffron grounds. These paintings recall abstract hermetic maps, as well as archaic glyphs of the American West made by its native people. Whitehorse's canvases, like Redman's sculptures, become intuitive vehicles to return us to a place where human and nature reside in respectful union. As Kalil writes in the accompanying catalog: "'Earth & Sky' seeks to resuscitate a declining sense of the present, a waning capacity for imagination and wonder … The effect is both theatrical and intimate, anxious and expectant — as if the humming vibrancy could be the prelude to some majestic vision." "Earth & Sky," January 25 – March 21, at Kirk Hopper Fine Art, 3008 Commerce; opening reception Saturday, January 25, 6 to 8 pm; Sculptor Don Redman is an HSPVA grad who apprenticed with titanic Texas sculptors James Surls and Luis Jiménez, as well as NYC-based Salvatore Scarpitta; Redman is known for his public artworks, often set upon stark terrain. It was Kalil's encounter with a Redman sculpture at the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi that ignited the idea for this show. Both artists employ mica, a material that implies metamorphosis and properties of transformation. The glittering mineral was first used in windows of the Acoma Pueblo more than 800 years ago, a glimpse of which enticed the Spanish to those lands. Today, mica is employed in smart phones, laptops, and tablet devices that form the core of our tech- communication revolution — troubling now, with recent revelations about the child labor utilized to harvest this raw material. At Kirk Hopper, less is more. Whitehorse and Redman are represented b y a p a r e d - d o w n presentation of works that eloquently dialogue with the exhibition-goer. The sculptor contributes one masterwork to the gallery interior, untitled as of press time, which dramatically hovers over the mise en scène: Redman's 20-foot long abstracted geometric sculpture, honed from strips of 70-year-old maple interwoven with bands of Clockwise from top: Emmi Whitehorse's panel Untitled, 01, 2020. Sculptor Don Redman in his Santa Fe studio. Don Redman's stainless-steel diptych Shadow Light Lens, 2015-2017. Painter Emmi Whitehorse in her Santa Fe studio. PORTRAITS ARLAND BEN AND STEPHEN LANG EMMI WHITEHORSE AND DON REDMAN AT KIRK HOPPER FINE ART Catherine D. Anspon deciphers a rare exhibition that arrives like a thunderclap — one whose message and meaning portend environmental healing. ARLAND BEN STEPHEN LANG

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