Earthly Elements


 Brian is showing recent paintings, along with sculptures by Hank Saxe and works on paper by Dora Dillistone.

Earthly Elements is the title of an exhibit featuring recent ceramic sculpture by Hank Saxe, works on paper by Dora Dillistone, and paintings by Brian Shields, at the Phillip Bareiss Gallery in El Prado, NM, from September 15 – 29, 2017. The public is invited to the opening reception at 4pm on Friday, September 15, 2017. There will be an Artists’ Talk on Sunday, September 24 at 4:30pm.

Hank Saxe’s ceramic sculpture resides at the intersection of art, technology and the Earth Sciences. He describes his artwork as “consequences of investigations into processes and materials”. Saxe’s mastery of artisanal, industrial and architectural ceramic applications is manifested in artwork that merges biomorphic and anthropomorphic forms with landscapes and architecture. Hank Saxe’s new sculpture continues his exploration of properties intrinsic to natural clays and minerals, some of which are gathered from sites within New Mexico and Arizona.

Dora Dillistone ventures into the southwestern landscape to garner an onsite interaction between time, natural elements (including the creaturely), and climate. Having dedicated her life to a creative process grounded in constant experimentation and change, Dillistone has set aside the traditional tools of art-making in favor of a collaboration in which she chooses the base materials and location, and nature does the rest. Dillistone anchors large sheets of watercolor paper in ravines and other outdoor topographical locations, and allows the natural cycles of climate to “paint” the surface with colors and textures produced by sediment. Speaking about her current works on paper, Dillistone says: “These are literal landscapes made by the land and the elements and can never be repeated. I’m just the coordinator.”

Brian Shields’ life and work is an exploration and expression of human interaction with the natural world – from the Mediterranean of his roots to the Rocky Mountains of his chosen home. The critic Calvin Bedient has said of Shields’ paintings, “they give the illusion of an eternal way of seeing landscape as poetry. Shields sides with transitivity and marginality, with weeds against gardens. He has a positive, Thoreauvian feeling for wilderness.” Scale is important to Shields’ work — from large 8ft paintings on canvas to small works on paper — often combining oil, ink and graphite. Shields’ visual language includes the writing of the poet Sawnie Morris and is a coupling of energy and emotion in pursuit of discovery.

What: EARTHLY ELEMENTS: Hank Saxe, Ceramic Sculpture; Dora Dillistone, Works on Paper; Brian Shields, Paintings.

 Where: Phillip Bareiss Gallery, 15 State Road 150 (AKA: Ski Valley Road), El Prado, NM 87529

When: The Gallery will be open Thursday-Sunday Noon-5:00pm or by appointment, September 15-September 29, 2017

An Artists’ Talk, moderated by Jina Brenneman, curator of contemporary art, will take place at the Gallery on Sunday, September 24, at 4:30pm — free to the public.

For more information and to make appointments call 575-770-7096 or e-mail:



Radio Interview: BrianInterview.mp3


A Brian Shields painting ascends to a collector’s home in Switzerland 


LANA TURNER #9 — A Journal of Poetry and Opinion 

Paintings by Brian Shields are on the front and back covers of Lana Turner #9  — as well as 10 black and white images on the inside.

LANA TURNER #8 — A Journal of Poetry and Opinion 

A detail of a Brian Shields painting is on the front cover of Lana Turner #8 (LanaTurner#8_Cover ).

Lana Turner #8 also features an article by Brian entitled J.M.W. Turner, Why Now?

LANA TURNER #7 — A Journal of Poetry and Opinion 

Excerpts from Two Artists by Calvin Bedient

The paintings of Brian Shields are, in Barthes’ word, idiorhythmic, that is to say a joy of flexible, free, mobile rhythms, quasi-transitory; they are liberated from power-rhythms, those imposed on life, time, maps, speech… In its wiry, sublimely democratic spread and delicate hoverings between real and fantastic shapes, “Los Vientos” is a new thing in art. At the same time, it is independent of this or any particular period. It gives the illusion of an eternal way of seeing landscape as poetry.

… this painter’s approach to figuration, if more forthright than that of his beloved Joan Mitchell, is nonetheless skittish, approximate, imperfect, a fantastic development of ”realism”… 

 …Shields sides with transitivity and marginality: with weeds against gardens, mesas against towns, fluencies against frozen landscapes. He has a positive, Thoreauvian feeling for wilderness. The packed, static scene in Polar Requiem comments prophetically on environmental disaster: here the natural world has lost its rhuthmos, its “swing”; idiorhythm has been cubed and iced out of it.

Transitions: Brian Shields, a one person show at the Bareiss Gallery (Taos, NM)  



Brian Shields studied in Spain, England, France, and the U.S. He studied painting at the Art Students League in New York and the University of New Mexico in Taos. Besides painting and dreaming, he is the executive director of Amigos Bravos, protecting and restoring New Mexico’s water since 1988. Brian is excited about this unusual opportunity to explore a rich dialogue among three expressions of contemporary consciousness. He says “dreams, poems and the visual arts offer powerful insights into what it means to be alive at this time and in this culture. They offer me visions of a parallel world where if I am lucky I can explore the universal questions and answers of my life and time. Dreams provide me with a direct link to a higher awareness — which I think of as “Nature” – that I embody every night regardless of whether or not I remember my nocturnal adventures. My painting process involves tapping into that embodiment of my “Nature” and hopefully producing an outward expression that offers the viewer an opportunity to further explore contemporary life.”  

—  Taos News