Twenty landscapes by James Pringle Cook are now hanging in the Iron Tail Gallery, Lincoln’s newest art space.
The gallery at 2120 Winthrop Road has been open for just more than a month. It’s owned by Anthony Slattery and Marie Kisling, who formerly operated the Gallery at Art & Soul. The duo remodeled the space that had been occupied by Curio Collective, moved in their framing business in June and held their first show in August.
The gallery takes its name from an Edward Curtis photograph that was part of an Art & Soul exhibition. The photograph shows an Oglala Lakota chief and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show performer sitting on the front bumper of a car about to crank it to start.
The name and the gallery’s logo, taken from an abstract design on an Acoma pot, are a tie to the Native art that the duo exhibited at Art & Soul and that will be shown regularly in the new space.
Cook, a Kansas painter who teaches in Arizona and has work in museum collections, including those of the Denver Art Museum and the Des Moines Art Center, came to Iron Tail through a collector.
His heavily impastoed paintings are created with deliberate mark making, often using a palette knife. Closely viewed, the strokes appear to be almost disconnected strips of paint sitting next to each other. But from a distance, the strokes come together to become depictions of mountains, deserts, fields, rural roads and controlled burns.The richly colored paintings are set in Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho and New Mexico.
Many of them were framed and innovatively presented by the gallerists, including a large painting set inside a gray square painted on the wall and a smaller picture set inside a large frame, again with a gray wall background.
Iron Tail will be showing Lincoln artists as well as artists and work from around the country and is planning to tour some of its shows.
“We’re making contacts with galleries around the country to circulate these shows,” Slattery said. “Pieces from the Navaho weaving show are going to Denver. That’s what we want to do. It’s a way to bring better established artists to our gallery.”
Iron Tail is connected to Henry’s on South. The restaurant’s lounge area and the hallway between the two businesses now displays work by Slattery and Kisling, who handpainted the gallery’s sign.
Iron Tail will be hosting a First Friday opening each month. The openings, which will go until 10 p.m., will feature live music, usually a folk, blues or jazz band, along with food and drink.
“Even at Art & Soul, we did third Thursdays there, we always had a band,” Slattery said. “That’s always a big part of the opening. It sets the atmosphere. It sets the mood”
“People stick around a lot longer, too, which is awesome,” Kisling added.
In October, Iron Tail will hold a show of Native pottery, including ancient Mimbres pottery along with Pueblo and Acoma pieces.
In November, the gallery will show work by Lincoln comic-book artist Bob Hall.