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Gary Beals
Michael Freed
Sally Hepler
Bret Price

Martha Rea Baker
Elaine Holien
Janet Lippincott
Mary Long
Martha Mans
Kurt Meer
Stephen Pentak
Daniel Phill
Jinni Thomas
Kevin Tolman
Pauline Ziegen

New Mexico Modernist Collection
Project Spaces Installations

Karan Ruhlen Gallery
225 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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2015 Exhibition Schedule

In Conjunction with the City of Santa Fe and the Summer of Color!


Sept. 25 Conversations On Color and Abstraction
Martha Rea Baker
Mary Long
Daniel Phill

SANTA FE, NM.   Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which exists with a degree of independence. Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art.
Text Box: Who: Martha Rea Baker, Mary Long, Daniel Phill What: Exhibition of paintings  When: Sept. 25 -  Oct 9, 2015 Opening Reception: Friday, Sept 25th, 5-7 pm. Where: Karan Ruhlen Gallery, 225 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501.  Visuals & Curriculum Vitae online at
Karan Ruhlen Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent work by three well-established abstract artists from across the country. The exhibition features New Mexico abstract painter Martha Rea Baker, Tennessee artist Mary Long and California painter Daniel Phill. The group of artists is diverse in their approach to abstraction.

Santa Fean, Martha Rea Baker’s underlying theme in her work is time. “Its passage and its effect on nature,” she says. “I seek a time-worn look—the results of erosion, weather, and the marks of previous civilizations.” Whether depicting chronological time, marking the sequential passage of hours, days, seasons or an ancient age glimpsed through excavation, the painting process of adding, subtracting and thoughtful editing is a metaphor for life's timeline in creating these elegant abstractions. “I’m inspired by the strata of geology exposed in canyon walls and distant vistas of the Southwest.”
In her current series Baker uses cold-wax on gessoed board, mixing pliable Dorland’s wax medium with oil pigments to create a rich and lustrous surface.

Mary Long was born in Ohio and has lived in Tennessee since the mid-1990s. Following studies in graphic design and painting, she began working in encaustic in 2001. “I grew up near Canton, where there is a crazy-quilt patchwork of rural farms and factories. It’s a juxtaposition of architectural grayness against expanses of happy saturated colors that inspires my work to this day,” she says. Long often begins her paintings with marks drawn in oil stick, over which she applies many layers of wax combined with oil paints. In the latest work I am decompressing, exploring more of the spaces in between. They don't simply represent topographical maps but also time and space, the painting acts as a 'slice' or a 'snapshot' of something continuous,” says Long.

Daniel Phill attended Washington State University, Pullman, and received his BFA in 1978 from the San Francisco Art Institute. He received his MFA in 1983 from Stanford University and currently lives in San Francisco. He begins each painting jumping in “with a leap of faith,” he says, that something will develop from his spontaneous application of color and texture.  Phill identifies with many of the principles and techniques of Abstract Expressionism, but also relishes the ambiguity between abstraction, figuration and the illusion of space in his paintings suggest light, atmosphere and depth—a combination that makes visible Hans Hofmann’s assertion that “shapes, colors, lines, calligraphic squiggles and use of space always echo the reality found in nature—its structure rather than appearance.”  He eschews the neat and formal, preferring a responsive approach.

“The gallery will be truly transformed with the energy of these three dynamic artists,” says Ruhlen.

Oct. 16 The Landscape: From Classical to Modern

FEATURING:  Martha Mans, Kurt Meer Stephen Pentak and Pauline Ziegen

Text Box: Who: Martha Mans, Kurt Meer, and Stephen Pentak What: oil paintings  and watercolors When: October 16-31, 2015 Artist’s Reception: Friday, October 16,  5-7 pm. Where: Karan Ruhlen Gallery,  225 Canyon Road,  Santa Fe, NM 87501. Visuals & Curriculum Vitae  available at   SANTA FE, NM.  Artists are continually looking for new ways of perceiving, interpreting, and translating the reality of nature into the language of art. Karan Ruhlen Gallery will feature the work of four accomplished artists with varying approaches to painting the landscape and exploring the beauty of nature in painting.

Martha Mans has lived in New Mexico and Colorado where the weather and seasonal conditions create dramatic and changing effects on the mountains, valleys and mesas. She has traveled extensively in Italy and France immersing herself in the culture. “The most familiar of landmarks, wherever you are, take on different elements that can be fleeting and you only see that one time. It’s fun to discover these moments and use them as inspiration for my paintings,” says Mans. 
Mans will also be the gallery’s featured artist for the “Seventh Annual Historic Canyon Road Paint Out” on October 17th from 10 to 3 pm. Over 100 artists will participate in this not-to-be missed outdoor event on historic Canyon Road

Tennessee artist Kurt Meer was profoundly affected by the theories of Whistler. “I have adopted Whistler’s comparison of painting to music,” he says. “Color is like a keyboard where there is a root key or color harmony within which there are a variety of chords created by playing opposites against one another, such as warm and cool, saturated and unsaturated.”  Whistler found one means of expressing his theories in a series of works depicting the river Thames at night. For Meer, the Mississippi river is the inspiration. “I’ve come to know its subtleties, and while the rivers in my paintings are imaginary abstractions of water, sky and vegetation shapes, they undoubtedly go back to my memory of the Mississippi.”

New York artist Stephen Pentak’s subject is the great outdoors. His method: a tried-and-true combination of oil paints, wood panel, large brushes and palette knives. He works from his mind’s eye, pulling from memory the landscapes he has seen. The creation and combination of color plays a major role in his work.
Pentak’s serene landscapes radiate an inner light. Surfaces are built up of many thin layers of oil paint, pulled and crosshatched, one over another. Brighter under-layers gleam through shadowy upper layers, acting as the sun on the horizon, gliding over the edges of trees, lakes and mountains, on its way to the other side of the earth. The backgrounds are panoramic, while the foregrounds are dotted by sparse collections of trees…often birches, with their white bark formed by the delicate lines of individual bristles.
Pentak is informed by his surroundings but holds fast to his freedom to create and invent space.

Pauline Ziegen’s earliest landscape paintings were painted outdoors in Kansas where vast stretches of prairie lead to distant horizons. Representing the unique dichotomy of where the earth seems to meet the sky or the apparent boundary between earth and sky, the horizon is, she says, “an ever-shifting location that you can never reach, yet it is always compelling.” At the time, Ziegen’s landscapes were representational; however, she has been “editing” ever since, creating suggestive abstractions inspired by the landscapes she views from a ridge-top home and studio on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. “...abstraction is all about editing and simplifying the visual world into formal elements that become metaphors of emotion,” says Ziegen.


tentative schedule



Karan Ruhlen Gallery is a premier fine art gallery in Santa Fe on Canyon Road. Nationally known for featuring the finest in contemporary abstract, landscape, and modern art.

Presenting the work of highly regarded artists working in New Mexico,
the Southwest and the region, and from across the nation.

Our artists innovate in a variety of media
creating original paintings and sculpture.

Exclusive representation of the Estate of Janet Lippincott.

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