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The line dividing one era from another often cannot be defined precisely. The decades of the sixties and seventies witnessed the death of people who had once been of great significance to the Taos art community and the arrival of new persons who would become so. Mabel Dodge Luhan died in 1962 and when Andrew Dasburg, Emil Bisttram, and Dorothy Brett died during the 1970s, the living connection to the earliest decades of the art community passed into history. Artists new to Taos would make strong artistic statements about the region or probe the contemporary barriers of the art world.

The catalysts for the early 1970s influx of artists was the arrival of Dennis Hopper in 1970. After shooting the movie Easy Rider, Hopper stayed in Taos and made the rough cut for the film. He eventually bought the Mabel Dodge Luhan house and has stated that his guest list rivaled that of Mabel's as many artists, musicians and Hollywood personalities made frequent visits to Taos. Contemporary artists such as Ken Price and Larry Bell, followed by Ron Cooper and Gus Foster, moved permanently from Los Angeles in the 1970s, while others such as Lee Mullican and Larry Calcagno spent part of each year in Taos.

Price, who had a rising reputation as a sculptor/ceramicist when he arrived in November of 1971, soon embarked on a monumental project that was eventually known as Happy's Curios. In the spring of 1978 the entire installation was shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Harwood Museum is indeed fortunate to have one of the larger pieces (Death Shrine 1) from Happy's Curios as a major work on extended loan to its contemporary collection.

The Harwood's contemporary collection also includes retrospective collections of 18-20 works by Larry Calcagno and R.C. Ellis, both of whom arrived in Taos through Wurlitzer Foundation grants.

In recent years, many artists from both the East and the West Coasts with well established art careers have chosen to spend part of each year working in Taos or the surrounding northern New Mexico area, thus continuing the strong connection in Taos with the national and international art worlds. The Harwood Museum has served a major role as a venue for exhibiting contemporary art and for focusing attention on many of the major artists who have worked or are working in northern New Mexico.

TitleDateArtistSorted AscendingClassificationDimensions
Waterpocket Fold, Canyonland National Park2006John DePuy
John DePuy (b.1927)
drawing 40"H x 26 1/4" W
Untitledc. 1985Louis Catusco
Louis Catusco United States (1927-1995)
A Navy veteran from World War II, Louis Catusco used his GI Bill benefits to study art at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in the 1940's. Of all the mystics, poets, eccentrics and visionaries among the Taos Moderns, Louis is the most enigmatic. In 1950 he came to Taos to work with Louis Ribak at the Taos Valley Art School, settling here permanently in 1963. After winning many awards, both local and state, Louis dropped out of the Taos art scene to continue his work in solitude.

drawing 22" H x 14"W
Aerie Grass2011Michelle Cooke
Michelle Cooke Hartford, CT, USA (b. 1955)
Dates in Taos: 1994
drawing 10"H x 9 3/4" W
O' (Black Moon)2009Dora Dillistone
Dora Dillistone (b. 1949)
Laurel, MS

Dates in Taos: 2006
drawing 48" H x 48" W
untitled1999John DePuy
John DePuy (b.1927)
drawing 30" H x 22 1/2 "W
WBAD#71993Larry Bell
Larry Bell United States, Chicago (b. 1939)

Larry Bell is a contemporary American artist and sculptor. He lives and works in Taos, New Mexico, and maintains a studio in Venice, California. From 1957 to 1959 he studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles as a student of Robert Irwin, Richards Ruben, Robert Chuey, and Emerson Woelffer. He is a grant recipient from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and his artworks are found in the collections of many major cultural institutions. Bell’s work has been shown at museums and in public spaces in the United States and abroad over the course of his 40-year career.

Larry Bell on Wikipedia

mixed media Overall: 53 1/8 x 53 1/8 x 1 3/16 in. (135 x 135 x 3 cm)
Solar Fountainc. 1978Eric Orr
Eric Orr United States (1939 - 1998)
mixed media 16" H x 20" W
Voices and Silence #231989Marsha Skinner
Marsha Skinner (b.1944)
painting Overall: 41 5/8 x 48 1/8 in. (105.7 x 122.2 cm)
Voices and Silence #241989Marsha Skinner
Marsha Skinner (b.1944)
painting Overall: 41 5/8 x 48 1/8 in. (105.7 x 122.2 cm)
Voices and Silence #251989Marsha Skinner
Marsha Skinner (b.1944)
painting Overall: 41 5/8 x 48 1/8 in. (105.7 x 122.2 cm)