An influential modernist and teacher, Andrew Dasburg became the mainstay of Taos’s non-traditionalists, or “moderns,” in the fifties and sixties. Working with the likes of Kenneth Adams, Howard Cook, Ward Lockwood, and Cady Wells, and later with a new generation among which were Earl Stroh and Robert Ray, Dasburg did much to expand the appeal of Taos as an art colony that attracted proponents and practitioners of a more contemporary sensibility.
He studied in New York and Paris and participated in the 1913 Armory Exhibit that brought Europe’s modernist canon to America. Dasburg had a knack for reducing form to its geometric elements. In his more mature works, including many drawings of the sixties and seventies, he was able through the interplay of various angles of repose to suggest the fundamental tectonic forces of the Taos landscape.
“Trees in Ranchitos II,” echoes Cezanne and shows how perfectly Dasburg had absorbed his early lessons. “Ranchos Church,” produced in conjunction with the famous Tamarind Institute, shows a later, more analytical style in which the massive adobe forms of the church are integrated with, thereby becoming a dynamic part of, the tectonic geometry of northern New Mexico as the artist saw it.