© 2023 Taos Gallery Association, Writers and Represented Artists
September 9, 2017
Reto Messmer: Sepia Moments
Saturday, September 9th 5:00-7:00pm
Envision Gallery has been proud to show Messmer’s unique bone and metal sculptures for over 6 years. He recently completed a series of sepia oil paintings that he has been working on for years. These painting will be shown for the first time as a group in his premier solo show of the year. Envision typically shows contemporary/abstract works but after seeing these realist pieces felt the need to exhibit them, as they are a perfect fit with Messmer’s sculptures and exemplify his range as an artist.
A native of Zurich, Switzerland, Reto grew up in an artistic household, where he was mentored by his sculptor father. He holds a degree in art history and linguistics from the University of Zurich. Reto emigrated to America in 1994 and has lived and made art in El Rito, NM, ever since. He is known for his bold sculptures made of metal, animal skulls and bones.
Reto is also a highly sought after muralist and decorative painter trained in fine European restoration techniques. He teaches Kung Fu and Tai Chi in Arroyo Seco, NM, having trained in Kung Fu for more than 30 years in the legendary Ching Wu lineage.
Messmer says of this collection: “Some time ago I came across a tiny photo in a New Yorker Magazine, shot by a magnum photographer in 1941 with the title ” Hausa Chieftains Demonstrate Their Superb Horsemanship in a ‘Fantasia’.” I saw it and just needed to paint it , in oil and on a big scale – not merely trying to copy it , but to try to capture its spirit and magic . It took me three years, and it turned out to be the first in the series of Sepia Paintings that I’m still working on with many more in my head. Their source of inspiration could be old photographs from the thirties or scenes I come across, from an old machine shop somewhere in Louisiana or a corn silo somewhere in Texas.”