April 11, 2021 Taos, New Mexico

The Harwood Museum of Art

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Friday, December 13, 2019 - Sunday, June 21, 2020

Beatrice Mandelman: Overflowing with Color

Galleries: George E. Foster, Jr. Gallery of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs and Curator's Wall
Ferris WheelStreet Scene
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 Late in her long life, Beatrice Mandelman—best-known as a Taos Modernist—contemplated her years-long creative journey as a professional artist, writing

My whole world is about life and color surrounding me. Everything is overflowing with color.

This exhibition of serigraphs (silkscreen prints) and color lithographs is drawn from the Harwood Museum’s Mandelman-Ribak Collection. The selected works reveal the initial phase of Mandelman’s immersion in color and form, during the period (c. 1938-1943) when she worked in the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. The Project’s mission was two-fold: to provide meaningful, salaried employment to artists; and to bring accessible, affordable works of art to Americans everywhere. 

For Mandelman, working in the Silk Screen Unit offered opportunities to work in color lithography and to experiment with a new medium—fine art serigraphy—under the supervision of Anthony Velonis, the acknowledged innovator of the process. The exhibition will showcase the color-saturated prints she produced of everyday scenes—realistic streetscapes, landscapes, and seascapes among them—transformed almost into visions by layers and layers of colors carefully laid one over another. 

Exhibition visitors will gain insights into Mandelman’s printmaking methods in relation to her later collages and paintings, examples of which will also be on view.

 —Virginia Dodier, Guest Curator



This exhibition is being presented in conjunction with the Bea Mandelman Documentary by New Mexico PBS, Creation is pure freedom ~ Bea Mandelman which will premier  on April 11, 2020 in the Arthur Bell Auditorium.

New Mexico PBS is bringing one of Taos’ great artistic stories to life in a special one-hour documentary about painter Bea Mandelman. An intimate portrait, Bea’s voice rings out through recently available private journals that she kept throughout her life and a candid, radio interview produced by Phaedra Greenwood in 1995. Her unmistakable voice complimented with her writings provides rare insight into Bea’s thoughts about painting and process. Her story is richly illustrated with a lifelong collection of artworks and personal photographs from Bea’s archive.

Featured are interviews with those who knew Bea best: David Witt, Phaedra Greenwood, John Nichols, Alexandra Benjamin, and Brenda Euwer.

The goal of the documentary is to further recognize and celebrate the great contribution of New Mexico’s women artists through Bea’s story. The documentary is being produced and directed by Michael Kamins and made in collaboration with the University of New Mexico Foundation, UNM’s Center for Southwest Research and the Harwood Museum.

The Mandelman collection at UNM.