“Sculpture is something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting,” American painter Adolph “Ad” Reinhardt once quipped, reflecting on the secondary treatment of sculpture in the larger context of fine art. Three-dimensional art has often been consigned to the footnotes of art history, and the case in New Mexico is not so different. The history of twentieth-century art in New Mexico tends to privilege two-dimensional works of art: paintings, prints, textiles and photography. The works of art in this exhibition illustrate sculptural aesthetics distinctive to the region as well as New Mexican artists working in national and international contexts.
Carved & Cast presents a general survey of twentieth-century southwestern sculpture and spotlights artworks by Patrocinio Barela, Una Hanbury, Fritz Scholder, Eugenie Shonnard, and Agnes C. Sims. These artworks represent the diversity of sculptural media, genres, and styles artists have employed over the past century such as portrait busts, animals, abstraction, and modern takes on traditional genres. They also feature the various ways sculptors have engaged the cultural, social, and political issues of the region and feature the ways traditional modes have been rethought. The sculptures exhibited here were all produced through comparatively traditional methods, either cast in metal using molds, or carved by cutting or chiseling into wood and stone. These methods of making sculpture can be traced back centuries to some of the world’s earliest works of art, and are still in use today.