Walter Robinson and Jamie Brunson are two extraordinary artists from the San Francisco Bay area who have recently relocated to Santa Fe. Both of their works have been widely exhibited and collected in private and museum collections internationally. Currently, Robinson’s sculpture is on exhibit in Luxembourg, and Brunson recently wrapped up a museum exhibition in California. Though the two artists have been partners for several years, they do not collaborate. In fact, both their works and the visual language they each employ are radically different from one another.
In order to communicate with the world outside their own minds, both Robinson and Brunson have created distinct visual languages unique unto themselves. Walter Robinson’s visual language is sculptural, highly political, stemming from his upbringing in a multi-lingual family that included a cryptographer during the Cold War era. Robinson assembles visual phrases through amalgamations of found and hand hewn objects. Often, he incorporates cryptic messages in his works, using either word cross tactics, or by juxtaposing objects in a manner that frames a new view. Robinson’s newest work, “Tumbril”, addresses current societal issues such as consumerism, expansionism, and Manifest Destiny. “Tumbril” is defined as “A farm dump cart for carrying dung; carts of this type were used to carry prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution.”
In “Tumbril”, the cart is another form of consumption, and the cart is empty. The logos on the covered roof equate product placement. The companies featured are benefitting from the exposure on the cart, buying their way into our contemporary consciousness by adding themselves to this cart’s journey. The visual images on the patches are like logos for societal beliefs, which are marketed like actual consumable products. Whether we buy into the beliefs or ideologies behind these images represented on the patches or not, by consuming certain products or aspects delivered to us by those ideologies, we may be consuming and literally “buying” into them involuntarily, unknowingly, or subconsciously.
Jamie Brunson’s works are two-dimensional paintings of her meditative experience. Rather than combining concrete forms into new structures (as Robinson does), Brunson uses color as her visual code. Taking her spectrum from her Kundalini yoga and meditation practice, Jamie Brunson uses hues as her visual “words”. A painting like “Matrix” combines hues of deep red and teal blue. The red represents strength of emotion, while blue is the cool calm of intellect as well as serenity. Blue and red represent the two poles of the electromagnetic spectrum of visible light. At the low end is blue; the high end is red. By combining these two colors in one painting, Brunson communicates the interconnectedness of all beings.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: WALTER ROBINSON
Walter Robinson works in a range of materials—wood, epoxy, metal, and found materials—of which he hand-fabricates and assembles objects, signage and tableaux. Robinson’s work investigates the mechanics of cultural and social anthropology. Using text and the strategies of appropriation, conflation, and dislocation, he uncovers the subconscious and biological human imperatives hidden beneath social, political, religious, and capitalist packaging.
Robinson’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art and Villa Montalvo, as well as numerous group exhibitions across the United States and abroad. His work is included in many public and private collections including: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Crocker Art Museum; Nevada Museum of Art; San Jose Museum of Art; the di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature; The Sheldon Museum of Art; and the Djerassi Foundation. Recently, Walter's works have been exhibited at the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe. His work has received critical attention from a number of publications including Artforum, ArtReview, Vanity Fair, San Francisco Chronicle, and Santa Fe's own THE Magazine. An alumnus of Lone Mountain College’s M.F.A. program, he also studied for a time at the San Francisco Art Institute and what was formerly the California College of the Arts and Crafts. Walter Robinson recently located to New Mexico where he now works.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: JAMIE BRUNSON
For many years, the focus my studio work has been translating the visual and sensory experiences that occur in meditation practice, into formal terms.
Since moving to Northern New Mexico three years ago, I’ve been increasingly influenced by elements in the environment: the dramatic effects of atmospheric phenomena, the vast scale of the sky and the land with it’s dominant horizon line, and the historic architecture that marks the region. Those influences have begun to appear in my work, expressed formally as saturated color, rhythmic intervals, geometric divisions, and tactile surface treatment.
I use process, improvisation and the physical qualities of materials to render my perceptions into formal abstraction. Those materials are: oil paint, alkyd medium and refined beeswax on polyester canvas stretched over panel, and, in the collages, vintage found paper.
My paintings are process-based. I layer bands of color into colored grounds, working wet into wet to add and subtract until I reach compositions that evoke both internal states and the external landscape and shifting atmosphere. For me, they’re exercises to stay present in the unfolding moment, apprehending the world through unmediated senses and working collaboratively with the inherent properties of the materials.
In my recent collage work with vintage found paper, I’ve referenced geometry and architectural forms, an interest that I’ve explored for four decades. As with my other work, I’m translating a somatic encounter with a real place, into formal compositions. I‘m drawn to the idea of constructing something beautiful and original from materials marked by the patina of age and use, in the same way that ancient structures endure through time and history.
By emphasizing openness, observation and process, my work conjoins my studio practice with my meditation practice.
ABOUT TURNER CARROLL GALLERY
Established in 1991 by Tonya Turner Carroll and Michael Carroll, Turner Carroll Gallery + Art Advisors represents important international contemporary art. The vision of the gallery since its inception is to source significant artwork of our era from diverse areas of the world. The gallery is constantly considering the new international art movements/developments which presuppose historical significance, and the gallery owners travel extensively to curate exhibitions for the gallery from other parts of the world.
Thus far, the gallery has featured important contemporary exhibitions from Romania, Ireland, France, Russia and Mexico. Both owners of the gallery have degrees and backgrounds in the history of art. The art historical significance of the artists the gallery represents is of extreme importance to the gallery. The gallery actively pursues museum acquisitions, exhibitions, publishing and other opportunities on an international level for our artists. Both Michael Carroll and Tonya Turner Carroll are actively involved in arts advocacy and arts fundraising.
Some of the museum collections which feature works by our artists include Russian Academy of Art Foundation, The Vatican Museum (contemporary collection), Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Museum of Modern Art, The British Museum and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
We proudly represent the following Contemporary Artists: Jenny Honnert Abell, John Barker, Jamie Brunson, Squeak Carnwath, Fausto Fernandez, Traian A. Filip, Josh Garber, Raphaelle Goethals, Scott Greene, Orlando Leyba, David Linn, Hung Liu, Alan Magee, Georges Mazilu, Mavis McClure, Igor Melnikov, Greg Murr, Deborah Oropallo, Rex Ray, Holly Roberts, Walter Robinson, Suzanne Sbarge, Rusty Scruby, Shawn Smith, Drew Tal, Nina Tichava, Ann Weiner, Karen Yank, Brenda Zappitell, Eric Zener, Wanxin Zhang.