Spotlight: Female Transcendental Artists Star in New Santa Fe Exhibition

Presented by Addison Rowe Gallery, "Transcendental and Beyond: The Essence of Art" features the work of more than a dozen women artists.

Vivian Springford, Burst Blue and Purple (ca. 1972). Courtesy of Addison Rowe Gallery, Santa Fe.

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What You Need to Know: Opening on June 28, 2024, Addison Rowe Gallery in Santa Fe is presenting a diverse group of more than a dozen women artists in “Transcendental and Beyond: The Essence of Art.” On view through October 31, 2024, the exhibition features artists such as Vivian Springford, Dorothy Morang, Sheila Isham, and Janice Biala. The show is the product of a two-year, international endeavor by gallery owner and Director Victoria Addison that sought to highlight the lasting significance of transcendentalism (the Transcendental Painting Group is a specialty of Addison’s and the gallery’s) as well as draw focus on the practices of women artists working within the scope of transcendentalism. The resulting selection of works included in the exhibition illustrates how the theme transcends time and locale and is a testament to the creative vision of these artists—both historic and contemporary.

Why We Like It: Historically, the critical attention paid to women artists has fallen short compared to their male counterparts, but within the present exhibition, their place as innovators and pioneers of the highest caliber is without question. And while for many, Transcendental art is a movement of the past, here it is shown to be a flourishing, ongoing thread within art history. “Transcendental art, to me, is characterized by the intangible spirit energy it exudes,” said Addison. “It’s about the power to see beyond the surface, to delve into the depths of one’s consciousness and connect with something greater than oneself.” With pieces such as Vivian Springford’s Burst Blue and Purple (ca. 1972), which eschews traditional form and shape for organic, saturated spreads of color, juxtaposed with work like Rachel MacFarlane’s The Light off Twillingate (2023) that leverages perceived space to allude to both real and imagined reality simultaneously, Addison’s thesis is made manifest. Considered within the broader context of the art historical canon too, the contributions of each artist can be traced far outside their own oeuvres, to movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting.

According to the Gallery: “Through this show, I aim to weave a narrative of time, illustrating how artists across different time periods have grappled with and articulated universal themes in their work. At its core, the exhibition celebrates the diverse ways in which each artist interprets and embodies the transcendental, inviting viewers to see beyond the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary. By showcasing works that exude an inspirational energy or spirit. I want the show to express the theme of introspection and discovery and represent works that challenge the viewer to look beyond the mundane and explore the boundless depths of artistic expression.” —Victoria Addison, Owner and Director, Addison Rowe Gallery

See featured works below.

a semi abstract painting of a venetian canal and palazzo.

Janice Biala, White Venice (1982). Courtesy of Addison Rowe Gallery, Santa Fe.

Rachel MacFarlane, The Light off Twillingate (2023). Courtesy of Addison Rowe Gallery, Santa Fe.

Sheila Isham, Tui II (1972). Courtesy of Addison Rowe Gallery, Santa Fe.

Dorothy Morang, Awakening Evidence (1970). Courtesy of Addison Rowe Gallery, Santa Fe.

Mimi Chen Ting, Hakone (2011). Courtesy of Addison Rowe Gallery, Santa Fe.

“Transcendental and Beyond: The Essence of Art” is on view at Addison Rowe Gallery, Santa Fe, June 28–October 31, 2024.

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