Beau Monde




SITE Santa Fe

SITE Santa Fe

Bridget Riley's new painting, Evoe 1, is the central and indeed overriding interest in this exhibition organized by Dave Hickey as a gesture toward independence in a time of biennials devoid of interest. The work is wall-size, composed of alternating patches of peach, Santa Fe pink, emerald green and light ultramarine, organized along broad diagonals intersected by arcs. Warm and cool colors are mutually fixed to produce an effect of irreversibility of form and a springlike exultation.

Next to this, a monumental installation by Alexis Smith rises to the occasion most admirably. The elements are simple: a large banded rug and a cloudy wall-painting comprising a space into which you walk (the work is called Red Carpet), with a motto which reads, "Heaven for weather, Hell for company." Santa Fe, a town aggressively painted-over to the point of hideousness, amid the most beautiful countryside West of the Pecos (lemon-and-lime scrubland, rolling cottonwood mountains), is a good place to see this.

In the next gallery are four panels of red, green, blue and black, shaped like unequal rhombs, on a single wall, to give an effect of modulations of color, by Ellsworth Kelly.

Ellsworth Kelly, "Blue Black Red Green"

Two figurative abstractions by Frederick Hammersley, a witty marble sculpture by James Lee Byars, Jesús Rafael Soto's vertical interferences, and film masterpieces by Kenneth Anger and Edward Ruscha (Kustom Kar Kommandos and Miracle) round out the show.