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Exhibition at the Gerald Peters Gallery highlights Harold Joe Waldrum's prolific, four-decade career
Harold Joe Waldrum (1934-2003), Sabado de Gloria en Las Trampas, 9/63 aquatint etching 16 3/4 x 16 1/2 inches. Image courtesy Gerald Peters Gallery, ©2017 Estate of Harold Joe Waldrum.

SANTA FE, NM.- The Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, is presenting an early summer exhibition of approximately 25 works from the estate of New Mexico legend, Harold Joe Waldrum (1934 -2003). Running from June 16 – July 22, 2017, the exhibition was selected from over 600 works in the estate and contains acrylic paintings, drawings, linocuts, aquatint etchings and lithographs produced from the late 1970’s through 2003. As the gallery's first project in conjunction with the Waldrum estate, this exhibition highlights the artist's prolific, four-decade career and his stylistic evolutions.

Born in Savoy, Texas, in 1934, Waldrum settled in New Mexico in the 1970’s. Following his initial move to Taos, NM, Waldrum left for a brief period to live and paint in New York. There he was influenced by the Abstract Expressionists. After returning to New Mexico in the late 1970’s, Waldrum developed his signature style and became an important scholar and spokesman for the preservation of New Mexico’s historic adobe churches and moradas.

It was these adobe structures that inspired and influenced Waldrum’s mature work. The clarity of the southwestern light and dramatic adobe architecture became the foundation for his series of windows and walls. And during the 1980’s, working in the historic studio of Joseph Sharp, Waldrum developed what would become his most popular works. Based on the regional adobe churches, Waldrum created color-saturated paintings of abstract architectural forms.

The 1980's work would also come to be defined by Waldrum’s relationship with print master Robert Blanchard. Working alongside Blanchard, Waldrum experienced an expansive and creative period in his career, producing aquatints and linocuts of the same classic subject matter.

In 1989, Waldrum sought solitude on a remote mountain ranch between Albuquerque and Socorro. He felt most at home in the off the grid lifestyle, which included mule raising and tending cattle. He continued to paint and completed his first self-published book, Ando En Cueros. Nine years later he made his final move, to Truth or Consequences.

For the past four decades the powerful imagery of Harold Joe Waldrum has left its imprint in museums, galleries and collections throughout the country. The question has been raised as to whether or not he was an abstractionist or realist, a minimalist or maximalist, a traditionalist or radical. Remarkably, the artist and his technique embraced all.

The Gerald Peters Gallery represents the Estate of Harold Joe Waldrum. Ando En Cueros is available for sale in addition to out of print of Gerald Peters Gallery catalogs Waldrum: The Etchings and Waldrum: The Churches of Northern New Mexico from 1985.

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