Raquel Underwood at the Art Club Gallery

Raquel Underwood, Color Wheel Floral Blue (2021), oil on canvas

For the past decade, Santa Fe painter Raquel Underwood was focused on New Mexico’s churches, Southwest architecture, and regional plant life. A recent return to her original passion, indoor still lifes, led to her current body of work, Color Wheel Florals. Each painting in the series is a variation on a single hue from her color wheel, which she uses to explore color relationships, seeing how the hues change when placed with complementary colors and grayscale tones. But each painting is also a reflection on art as decor and real versus artificial (her subjects are fake flowers, which all appear among clusters of plastic green sprigs with the tags left on). “I often think about how past still-life artists kept their props fresh before the advent of photography,” she says. “I wondered how I could do it without photos, and the answer was faux flowers. But would a painting of faux flowers be less appealing or legitimate than one of real flowers, and why?” Her solo exhibition of Color Wheel Florals, continues at the gallery through April 30. 

The Art Club Gallery, 225 Canyon Road, #2, 505-795-2295, artclubgallerynm.com

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