Jozef Bakos and His Circle
Opening on July 13th and running through September 7th, 2012 is an exhibition of paintings and watercolors by "Jozef Bakos, and His Circle". Bakos was an important Santa Fe modernist and his "circle" of contemporary painters shows the wide variety of artists who lived and painted in NM during the 20's, 30's and 40's. His closest circle of artist colleagues were the historic Santa Fe art group "Los Cinco Pintores." Jozef Bakos, Willard Nash, Fremont Ellis, Walter Mruk and Will Shuster were the official members.
This band of artists is recognized as the first modernist art group in New Mexico. The young artist members were all under the age of 30. They had rebelled against the academic traditions in art and were looking at new avenues of artistic expression. The local southwest landscape and people filled their paintings. Their work represents the traditional subject matter in stylized and abstracted forms. Their canvases used a very deep colorful palette with uncomplicated composition.
The mix of artists in the 20's and 30's evolved into fraternities: academic realism, modernist representation and experimentation. There were class biases between artists with European training and those without. Friendships sometimes jumped the fence that influenced each other's work. Bakos created a wide circle within these fraternities of camaraderie.
Bakos used the palette of Gauguin and the shapes and forms of Cezanne to create hi own unique style. He received national recognition by being invited to exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago in their show "Half a Century of American Painting" as the only New Mexican artist included. Hi works were shown in The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pan American Exhibition (Los Angeles, 1926), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Corcoran Museum and the Carnegie Institute.
Jozef Bakos was a great promoter of the arts in Santa Fe. He and his wife, the Italian countess Teresa Di Locci Di Lanti opened their home on Camino del Monte Sol to a wide array of artists for wonderful discussions and parties. He seemed to be in the middle of everything. He taught art at Santa Fe High School for 30 years and was well loved for his devotion to his students. He was also a committee member of the annual Fiesta shows at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe.