Paul-Henri Bourguignon and a lifetime of creation
By the time Belgian-born artist Paul-Henri Bourguignon was 18, circa 1924, he was already learning from the likes of Armand DePauw and ATJ Bastien. By the time he was 22, he held his first solo show—where he sold every single piece.
By the mid-1930s, he worked for the Belgian tourism department, and during WWII, Bourguignon worked for an agency that distributed ration stamps while he wrote novellas and plays (one of which, En Encountant Toone Jouer le Bossu, would be performed in his hometown of Brussels in 1947).
He found work as an arts journalist in that same mid-'40s period, writing for the paper Le Phare and its weekly offshoot Le Phare Dimanche (huzzah for early iterations of the alt.weekly!). And though Bourguignon apparently rarely painted during this period, he still established a gallery known as Le Scorpion. By the end of '47/into '48, he found himself in Haiti for his newspaper, where he'd live for 15 months while helping to spread the word about the burgeoning Haitian primitive art movement. That's also where he met his wife, the anthropologist Erika Eichhorn.
By the the late 1940s, Bourguignon and the missus wound up in Peru, where he published the novel The Greener Grass based on the travels; he took up photography as well—but still, he did not paint.
By the 1950s, the Bourguignons immigrated to Columbus, Ohio, where Erika taught at Ohio State University and Paul-Henri worked in gouache, charcoal, graphite and pencil. Solo exhibits soon followed. New paintings sprang up based on his life and travels. The world started taking notice in the mid-1960s. Cut to the 1980s, a few more solo shows; Bourguignon's death in 1988; a wider base of collectors.
Cut again to 2020. Ventana Fine Art, Santa Fe. This Friday: Mid-Century Modern, a virtual opening featuring a talk by Jane Hoffelt, director of the Bourguignon estate. You can make an appointment for a safe viewing in-person. You should. (Alex De Vore)
Mid-Century Modern: Paul-Henri Bourguignon:
5 pm Friday, Nov. 6. Free.
Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
No doubt you've been inundated with trailers for the upcoming Netflix show Selena: The Series about the Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla. And though, honestly, the show looks like it's pretty good, let's not forget that 1997's Selena was a hot fire movie in the vein of La Bamba—and that it launched Jennifer Lopez into the hearts and minds of about a billion Americans. Quintanilla's 1995 murder at the hands of her fan club founder—just as she was on the cusp of absolute greatness—-remains one of the most tragic stories in music history and one worth telling. That it's not about some white guy feels pretty good, too. Oh, and the tunes are phenomenal. See Selena at the drive-in this week. Bidi-bidi-bom-bom. (ADV)
7 pm Saturday, Nov. 7. $25-$40.
Motorama at the Downs,
27475 W Frontage Road,
The Real Thanksgiving
We've received many a pandemic text about how some friend here or another friend there learned to bake bread, brewed that delicious cup of tea or finally got around to perfecting such-and-such dessert. Face it homies—if COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it's that we can totally do cool things in our kitchens when we have the time. Case in point, the Santa Fe School of Cooking's many virtual classes taught by culinary geniuses with a knack for local flair. For our purposes right now, however, we're highlighting just one—Native American Tastes and Traditions with Lois Ellen Frank, a James Beard Award-winning writer with a PhD in culinary anthropology. Frank's 100% vegan menu, which includes hominy stew and fresh made corn tortillas, delves into rich Indigenous cooking traditions and will no doubt be delicious. Plus, you can take the class anytime. (ADV)
Native American Tastes and Traditions:
Literally anytime. $20 (but you can add a wide array of ingredients for an additional charge),
It's rather interesting to watch local theater companies evolve in the face of sooooo many virtual-type events, and whereas full casts and packed theaters were the norm not so long ago, readings and stripped-down affairs are the new normal. Teatro Paraguas is all over that, by the way, and this week's performance of Love in the DMZ by playwright Julia Cameron feels right in its size and scope. In the show, a soldier in Vietnam (local theater mainstay Nick Kapustinsky) and his wife back home (Ali Talman) exchange letters during the war. A tenuous relationship potentially felled by distance and isolation feels particularly timely right now. Perhaps we're not embroiled in a literal war's classic definition, but certainly there's something to glean from the raw human emotion such events are known to bring to bear. Prepare the tissues. (ADV)
Love in the DMZ:
7 pm Wednesday, Nov. 11. $10 suggested donation.