Sunday, July 13, 2008
UNM Exhibits Will Make Your Day
By Wesley Pulkka
For the Journal


The Contemporary Art Society of New Mexico was founded in 1988 as a nonprofitgroup dedicated to supporting the contemporary visual arts community. Membership activities include visiting artists' studios, attending exhibitions,collecting art, sponsoring educational programs, visiting major collections and supporting New Mexico arts institutions.


The handsome presentation features 54 works from 23 collectors. The exhibit only includes works by artists who where visited by CAS members during the past 20 years. The show has an overall bias toward abstract and nonobjective work but Tim Prythero's three-dimensional "Diner #10" would whet the appetite of any illusion-loving realist. Prythero has been making beautifully crafted and detailed miniature architectural and automotive vignettes for many years and his work keeps getting better.


Prythero's works are reminiscent of model railroad scenes and natural historymuseum dioramas but remain unique in scale and intention. In "Diner #10" Prythero includes a fire hydrant, a well-worn mailbox and a newspaper vendingbox complete with newspapers. Exterior details include weeds randomly growing in sidewalk cracks, a dirty striped awning and a foot-wiping metal grid in front of the entry door that features a stainless steel kick plate along its bottom. The complex interior features advertising logos, a neon sign, menu items, countertopand crooked Venetian blinds. The whole recreates the character, look and feeling of a real diner while retaining its identity as a work of art.