New YorkMichael Namingha: Altered Landscapes
David Richard Gallery presents Altered Landscapes by Michael Namingha, a Native American artist of the Tewa-Hopi tribes from Northern New Mexico in his first solo exhibition with the gallery.
The presentation includes seven new photography-based artworks that address climate change and the resulting manmade alterations to the landscape using images from two specific locations in New Mexico and a novel process for printing and presenting the images. The images are manipulated and segmented into blocky structures with bisecting and overlapping planes of varying color values. The resulting digital chromogenic prints are mounted with the face of the image to the backside of shaped and strategically angled Plexiglas that relates directly to the blocky internal shapes. This process takes the photograph out of a purely pictorial realm, giving the artist the opportunity to further compose the view, emphasize specific elements and provide depth and perspectival dimension.
The first group of images are of Chaco Canyon, an ancient and sacred place for the Hopi and Puebloan people of Arizona and New Mexico. The surrounding area is a major source of oil and natural gas extraction and according to NASA the site of the largest cloud of methane gas in North America that appears as pink, red, orange and yellow in satellite images. Thus, the intense red color combined with the artist’s novel process of printing the images references the massive emissions in the region and their altering effects on the landscape.
The second set of images are of the mountains around Santa Fe during the summer of 2020 when, just as now, the Southwestern US was, and still is, experiencing intense and some of the historically worst fires on record. What was remarkable to the artist at that time was the intense sunsets with eerie hues and otherworldly skies with the mountains as the backdrop. Clearly, these colors are not normal even though they are beautiful and dramatic. The proliferation of forest fires is an unfortunate by-product of global warming and mankind’s ongoing contribution to altering the landscape.
About Michael Namingha:
Michael Namingha was raised in New Mexico and currently lives and works in New Mexico as well as New York. He studied at Parsons School of Design, New York, NY as well as Master classes at Santa Fe Art Institute.
Current and recent museum exhibitions that relate to the artist’s newest artworks include: Michael Namingha: Altered Landscapes from August 12, 2021- January 2, 2022 at the El Paso Museum of Art; Michael Namingha: Altered Landscapes at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, February to July, 2021 with a virtual tour and discussion with the artist; The Black Place: Georgia O’Keeffe and Michael Namingha, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM from April to October, 2018.
Namingha has had numerous gallery and museum exhibitions in New York, NY, Newark, NJ, Reading, PA, Salem, MA, Palm Springs, CA, Flagstaff, AZ, Phoenix, AZ and Santa Fe, NM and internationally in Funabashi City, Japan, Monaco and Ekaterinburg, Russia.
The following museums own artworks by Michael Namingha in their permanent collections: Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM; Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, NH; Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe, NM; Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, AZ; Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM; and Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
Courtesy of the artist and David Richard Gallery