Press Area and Downloadable Hi Res Images of Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

Raphaëlle Goethals and Wanxin Zhang: Biculturalism in Contemporary Art

Sponsored by McManis-Wigh China Foundation.

An exhibition of two artists from divergent backgrounds and their personal explorations of intersectionality in cultural identities.

With her life cleft between two spaces—primarily New Mexico and Belgium—Goethals describes herself as a bicultural artist and her paintings as a physical response to how we are often “bombarded with information and increasingly used to a simultaneity of experiences.” Goethals often regards her works as contemporary adaptations to landscape paintings; rather than mapping a specific geographical region, Goethals delves into the human psyche and renders an exploration of the human mind, thought, and ways of understanding. Landscapes are often associated with a sense of national identity and Goethals indicates her lack of identification with a single space by alluding to a dynamic concept of belonging rather than the static qualities of a distinct scene.

She describes how “the seductively patient layering of material is extravagant, yet takes us to the essence, stripped away of any distractions and aiming for a clarity of thought.” Her subtle use of grids within her pieces also functions to ground viewers through a more linear construct and “anchors us in present time.”

Goethals works are produced using wax and resin; her cloudy surfaces are a product of placing a single layer and then additional ones over it, often using subtractive as well as additive processes by scraping away top layers to reveal a physical and metaphorical past below. In this way, Goethals reflects her fascination with the history of painting and process, which transcends both time and conventional understandings of language. This allows her to “establish her own vocabulary in the form of distinctive groups of paintings which evolve concurrently” and “through repetition of process and the sheer physical effort of applying countless layers in her work, she aims for a deep level of emotional resonance which can only be achieved once subject matter and narrative are out of the way.”

Much like Goethals, Wanxin Zhang has been profoundly influenced by a dual sense of cultural identity after moving to the United States from China in 1992 to pursue higher education and develop his work in San Francisco. Within his sculptural works, Zhang juxtaposes several tensions, playing on the differences between east and west and past and present—a product of living in two environments that differ in regard to culture, physical landscape, and methods of government. Zhang’s work also functions as a political tool against the oppressive regime of dictator Chairman Mao, something that Zhang sees as having existed in other areas of Chinese History. He describes, “when I visited the Terra Cotta Warriors of the Qin excavations, I immediately realized the feudalism and oppression from the Qin dynasty have never quite left the country”.

Many of Zhang’s pieces thus challenge aspects of Chinese history and the government—seen from the perspective of an individual afforded greater critical liberty after having moved away from the reaches of Chinese censorship. Of the works displayed in the Turner Carroll Exhibition, Zhang focuses on the human body, casting the full form or segments of faces and busts in a way that takes traditional elements of sculpted portraiture or references to the Terra Cotta Warriors and manipulates them to make them his own. The figures are often rendered in color or covered with bright drips, suggesting some form of struggle and narrative achieved through layering pigment.

August 24 – September 18, 2018

Opening Reception August 24, 2018 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Work in the exhibition may be viewed here.

For more information and high resolution images, please visit or

Science as Art: Shawn Smith, Rusty Scruby, and Matthew Shlian

In conjunction with Smith and Scruby’s exhibition at Grace Museum in Texas, and Matthew Shlian’s Frederick Hammersley Residency and Wonder Cabinet at Tamarind Institute.

“After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well.”    Albert Einstein

The realms of science and art are often considered mutually exclusive; the right hemisphere of the brain is thought to control our artistic and creative abilities, while the left our mathematical and logical skills; science is viewed as linear and precise, whereas art is accepted as open to individual interpretation. However, in Turner Carroll Gallery’s exhibition, Science as Art, artists Shawn Smith, Rusty Scruby, and Matthew Shlian explore the intersectionality between science and art, using their works to deconstruct the categorizations generally used to dichotomize the two subjects. Here, science is used as a medium in the same way as paint or plaster, touching on subjects such as technology, mathematical relationships, and the natural world in a way that uses scientific principles and processes to evoke aesthetic beauty and provoke audience response within the various pieces.

Judy Deaton, curator of The Grace Museum writes of Smith and Scruby’s exhibition there: “Both science and art are human attempts to understand and describe the world around us. The subjects, materials, and methods have different traditions, but the motivations and goals are fundamentally the same. One of the most primitive innate ‘needs’ of humans is to understand the world around us, and then share that understanding. Both artists and scientists strive to ‘see’ the world in new ways, and communicate that vision. When scientists and artists communicate their insights successfully, the rest of us suddenly ‘see’ the world differently.”

Shawn Smith, one of the forty artists under forty curated into an exhibition at the Smithsonian and written about in a feature article in Wired Magazine, has lofty goals for how his work can change civilization.  Smith uses “pixelated” sculptural works of extinct/almost extinct species to emphasize our own detachment from them.  By rendering these animals as pixelated versions of their natural selves, he reinforces that contemporary human/animal interaction is often experienced only through technology, rather than in reality.

”My work investigates the slippery intersection between the digital world and reality. Specifically, I am interested in how we experience nature through technology.  I grew up in a large city only experiencing the natural world through computers and television screens.  With my work, I create three-dimensional sculptural representations of two-dimensional images of nature I find online.  I build my objects pixel by pixel with hand-cut, hand-dyed strips of wood in an overtly laborious process in direct contrast to the slipperiness and speed of the digital world. Through this process of pixelation, details become distilled, distorted, or deleted. I am interested in how each pixel plays an important role in the identity of the object, the same way each cell plays a crucial role in the identity of an organism.” Shawn Smith

Rusty Scruby uses his aerospace engineering, musical composition, and mathematics background as the basis of his art.  As propounded by the Grace Museum, “Pattern and repetition echo universal laws of science, physics and mathematics and Scruby’s drive to “map” the universe through unseen yet pervasive mathematical relationships. By interweaving complexity theory (random vs. rigid) with music theory (harmony vs. discord) inspired by mathematical repetition, Scruby reveals the tension between the whole and the sum of its parts, between human experience and reality.”

Art historian and gallery owner Tonya Turner Carroll first became aware of Matthew Shlian’s work when he gave an artist lecture at Albuquerque Academy in 2017.  Tonya Turner Carroll attended the lecture, and when she saw Matt’s video of his Cranbrook thesis sculpture from 2006, Turner Carroll had the tingly feeling of wonder that made her know she had to show his work. What impressed her most about Shlian’s work was the joy with which he creates it.  Though Shlian’s works–like Scruby’s and Smith’s–are unbelievably laborious and verge on compulsion, there is supreme beauty in his careful perfection of form.

It’s no wonder that many public collections who appreciate perfection of form have collaborated or commissioned Shlian to create works for them.  Apple, University of Michigan, Queen Rania of Jordan, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Fidelity, Facebook, The British Film Institute, The National Science Foundation, MoMA, Google, Vogue and Christian Dior have all commissioned or collaborated with Shlian for works of art.

June 22-July 16 2018

Opening Reception Friday, June 22 5-7pm

Work in the exhibition may be viewed here.

For more information and high resolution images, please visit or

Walter Robinson and Jamie Brunson: Coded Language | May 18-June 6, 2018

*In conjunction with 21st Century Cyphers, at 516 Arts, a contemporary museum in Albuquerque, NM.

May 18-June 6 2018

Opening Reception Friday, May 18, 5-7pm

Walter Robinson and Jamie Brunson are two extraordinary artists from the San Francisco Bay area who have recently relocated to Santa Fe.  Both of their works have been widely exhibited and collected in private and museum collections internationally.  Currently, Robinson’s sculpture is on exhibit in Luxembourg, and Brunson recently wrapped up a museum exhibition in California. Though the two artists have been partners for several years, they do not collaborate.  In fact, both their works and the visual language they each employ are radically different from one another.

In order to communicate with the world outside their own minds, both Robinson and Brunson have created distinct visual languages unique unto themselves. Walter Robinson’s visual language is sculptural, highly political, stemming from his upbringing in a multi-lingual family that included a cryptographer during the Cold War era.  Robinson assembles visual phrases through amalgamations of found and hand hewn objects. Often, he incorporates cryptic messages in his works, using either word cross tactics, or by juxtaposing objects in a manner that frames a new view.  Robinson’s newest work, “Tumbril”, addresses current societal issues such as consumerism, expansionism, and Manifest Destiny. “Tumbril” is defined as “A farm dump cart for carrying dung; carts of this type were used to carry prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution.”

Walter Robinson - Tumbril

In “Tumbril”, the cart is another form of consumption, and the cart is empty.  The logos on the covered roof equate product placement.  The companies featured are benefitting from the exposure as the cart, buying their way into our contemporary consciousness by adding themselves to this cart’s journey.  The visual images on the patches are like logos for societal beliefs, which are marketed like actual consumable products.  Whether we buy into the beliefs or ideologies behind these images represented on the patches or not, by consuming certain products or aspects delivered to us by those ideologies, we may be consuming and literally “buying” into them involuntarily, unknowingly, or subconsciously.

Jamie Brunson’s works are two dimensional paintings of her meditative experience.  Rather than combining concrete forms into new structures (as Robinson does), Brunson uses color as her visual code.  Taking her spectrum from her Kundalini yoga and meditation practice, Jamie Brunson uses hues as her visual “words”.  A painting like “Matrix” combines hues of deep red and teal blue.  The red represents strength of emotion, while blue is the cool calm of intellect as well as serenity.  Blue and red represent the two poles of the electromagnetic spectrum of visible light.  At the low end is blue; the high end is red.  By combining these two colors in one painting, Brunson communicates the interconnectedness of all beings.

Jamie Brunson painting, Jamie Brunson art

Work in the exhibition may be viewed here.

For more information and high resolution images, please visit or

Hung Liu:  Women Who Work | March 16-April 4, 2018

*In conjunction with Hung Liu In Print, at National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Fausto Fernandez:  Crossing Boundaries | February 2-24, 2018

Holly Roberts:  Looking Back, a Retrospective | February 9-March 4, 2018

Karen Yank and Agnes Martin:  Student and Mentor | September 21-October 9, 2018

Suzanne Sbarge – Meta/Morph | December 1-20, 2017

Jamie Brunson and Nina Tichava – New New Mexico Abstraction | August 25 – September 12, 2017

Hung Liu – American Dreams | June 28 – July 24, 2017

Israeli Artist Drew Tal – Silent Worlds | May 11 – July 5, 2017

Holly Roberts and Wanxin Zhang: Reconstruction | May 31 – June 19, 2016

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