First Impressions || Prints @Mesa

Every year, in a tradition established since 2010, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum publishes a limited edition calendar featuring 12 original works on paper by emerging and contemporary artists.

Every five years the Museum organizes a retrospective exhibition that showcases all the prints that have been part of the Mesa Contemporary Arts Annual Print Calendar for the last five years.

First Impressions 2019 was the second retrospective. The works ranged from relief prints to screen prints as well as etchings to lithographs.

Farhana Shifa Ahmed (Chandler, Arizona)
Owls, Photopolymer etching


Brooke Molla (Tucson, Arizona)
Desert Collection
Spoon rubbed woodcut on old topography map


Gretchen Schermerhorn (Silver Spring, Maryland)
Ladies of the Potomac
Woodblock, digital and screen print


Brent Bond (Scottsdale, Arizona)
The Guarding of Eating
Photopolymer relief and letterpress


Charles Barth (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Ready for More, Collagraph


Darshana Patel (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Untitled, Aquatint


Brooke Molla (Tucson, Arizona)
Nature, Relief on Japanese paper


David Manje (Mesa, Arizona)
A Quién Veo
Photo polymer intaglio, chine-collé


Brent Bond (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Bar-ometer
Letterpress with multiblock linocut relief


Mark McDowell (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Untitled, Photopolymer relief with linocut


Marlys Kubicek (Phoenix, Arizona)
In My Humble Opinion
Three-color reduction linocut


Katherine Sheehan (Long Beach, California)
Trickster Coyote and El Segundo Blues
Seven color screen print


David Manje (Mesa, Arizona)
Sea Impecable Con Su Lengua [Be Impeccable with your Tongue]
Photo Polymer Intaglio


Mesa Contemporary Arts (MCA) Museum

Mesa, AZ

February 1st, 2019

The incredibly detailed miniature rooms, by Narcissa Niblack Thorne

”The Thorne Miniature Rooms represent a world in minuscule. Created at an exacting scale of one inch to one foot, several of the rooms replicate actual rooms found in the United States and Europe, while the remainder were inspired by the architecture and interior design of their respective periods and countries.

These rooms were conceived, designed, and in large part crafted by Narcissa Niblack Thorne (1882-1966). An Indiana native, Thorne began to collect miniature furniture and household accessories during her travels to England and Asia shortly after the turn of the 20th century.

Beginning in 1930, Thorne commissioned interiors scenes to contain her growing collection of miniature objects. At their tiny scale, some of the rooms even contain period-style rugs Thorne had woven specifically for each space. Thorne and the craftsmen with whom she worked completed nearly 100 rooms. Her hope was that perfectly proportioned rooms in miniature could substitute for costly and space-consuming full-scale period rooms that museums across the country were beginning to acquire. They also reflect the architectural revivals popular amongst wealthy patrons for their homes, and publicized in the shelter magazines of the period.

The original 30 Thorne Miniature Rooms were displayed at the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition and they gained national attention when featured in a 1940 LIFE Magazine article. In 1962, Thorne donated 20 of the original 30 rooms to a fledgling Phoenix Art Museum, then celebrating its third anniversary, and the rooms have been on view since that time. Other examples of the Thorne Rooms can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago (68) and in the Knoxville Museum of Art (9).” [source & details]

Phoenix Art Museum

January 30th, 2019

Meditation on [New] Mexico

Hugo Robus (American, 1885-1964)
Untitled (Men and Machines), 1919
Oil on canvas


Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Pink Abstraction, 1929
Oil on canvas


Emil Bisttram (American, 1895-1976)
Ranchos de Taos Church, c. 1937
Oil on canvas


Carlos Orozco Romero (Mexican, 1898-1984)
La barranca (The Ravine), c. 1943-1946
Oil on canvas


Alfredo Ramos Martínez (Mexican, 1871-1946)
La Malinche (Joven de Yalala, Oaxaca) (La Malinche [Young Girl of Yalala, Oaxaca]), c. 1940
Oil on canvas


Philip C. Curtis (American, 1907-2000)
Mountain Village, 1955
Oil on board


Philip C. Curtis (American, 1907-2000)
Mountain Village, 1955 [detail]
Oil on board


Phoenix Art Museum

January 30th, 2019

Contemporary Among Classics

Classic art was also contemporary once.

Ragnar Kjartansson: Scandinavian Pain & Other Myths was the Southwestern US premiere of work by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976), presented by the Phoenix Art Museum.

It consisted of three major works: the 40-foot long neon installation Scandinavian Pain, along with The End-Venice, Kjartansson’s contribution to the 2009 Venice Biennale during which he secluded himself in a fourteenth-century palazzo and produced one painting per day for six months (the entire duration of Venice Biennale). Each painting depicts his friend and fellow artist Páll Haukur Björnsson, in a Speedo.


Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons
Dress and shoes from the S/S 2018 collection

Art on Dress: Giuseppe Archimboldo


Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn (Dutch, c. 1570-1657)
Portrait of an Old Woman, late  16th-mid 17th century
Oil on canvas


The third work by Ragnar Kjartansson was his superb nine-screen installation that was filmed in one take at the historic Rokeby farm in upstate New York. Named after ABBA’S final album, The Visitors, it records the performances of a group of friends, musicians and artists, playing simultaneously but in different rooms of the mansion. They all play the same song each one enriching it with their own voice, instrument and presence. Kjartansson himself performs most of the time in a bathtub. The film mesmerizes and moves audiences of all ages wherever it is shown. You can watch a recording of the recording, uploaded on YouTube by one of its many admirers.

Anish Kapoor (British, b. 1954)
Upside Down, Inside Out, 2003
Resin and paint


Phoenix Art Museum

January 30th, 2019