John Connell: Works 1965-2009

  • Hardcover / 10.5 x 12 inches
    112 color / 35 BW images
    192 pages

  • Text by MaLin Wilson-Powell and Donald M. Hess

  • ISBN: 9781934435830
  • Trade Edition: $55.00


An important member of the Santa Fe art community during the 1970s up until his unexpected death, artist John Connell (1940–2009) is best known for the raw, earthen quality of his paper and wire sculptures and unconventional paintings.

The compassion and consciousness of Zen philosophies informed Connell’s organic approach to art-making. Utilizing the elemental—earth, straw, wood, paper, and tar—Connell’s sensibility spanned millennia and mixed European, American and Asian legacies into a highly charged hands-on hybrid. The artist’s first monograph surveys the evolution of Connell’s diverse career, including studio shots, selections from his sketchbooks, and a full chronology.


A legendary figure in the Santa Fe art community, John Connell (born 1940) was an American artist whose prolific career included creations in sculpture, painting, drawing, and writing up until his unexpected death in 2009. Connell attended Brown University (Providence, RI), the Art Students League of New York, and the New York University where he studied Chinese print making. He went on to be a part of the Santa Fe artist group Nerve and there gained a reputation for his large installations. Connell’s influences included Hokusai, Rembrandt, Balzac, Dante, Giacometti and De Kooning. Buddhism is strong a central theme throughout the body of work, and he has cited the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic as an archetype. His work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo), Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth), Blanton Museum of Art (Austin), The Hess Collection (Napa Valley), among many others.


MaLin Wilson-Powell is an independent writer and curator, active in the art world since 1972. As Curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe (1977-78); assistant to photo-historian and McArthur Fellow Beaumont Newhall (1980-85); Director of the Jonson Gallery (1985-1989), then the contemporary branch of the University Art Museum, University of New Mexico (1985-89); and, the first Curator of Exhibitions and Curator of Art after 1945 at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio (1999-2004), her orientation has always been to encourage engagement with the arts audience as a public intellectual. She has curated over twenty-five exhibitions with publications; written over three hundred articles, and edited two collections of art criticism: The Hydrogen Juke Box: Selected Writings of Peter Schjeldahl (well-known New York critic associated with the Village Voice), published by the Univ. of California Press, 1991; and Last Chance for Eden: Selected Art Criticism by Christopher Knight, 1979 -1993 (Art issues. Press, 1995). In 1994 she received a national Chemical Bank award for distinguished newspaper art criticism for her criticism column in the Albuquerque Journal NORTH (1992-1999). Through 1999, she also contributed to regional and national periodicals including ARTFORUM, Art issues and the Los Angeles Times. Her recent projects include the keystone essays for the artists monographs Janet Russek: The Tenuous Stem (Radius Books, 2013); Jerry West: The Alchemy of Memory (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2015); John Connell: Works 1965-2009 (Radius Books, 2015); Jim Waid Paintings (Last Chair Media, 2016); and, Tom Joyce: Works 2002-2017 (Radius Books, 2017). She curated the major traveling exhibition and co-edited the publication Mabel Dodge Luhan and Company: American Moderns and the West (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2016). Forthcoming is the catalogue for the traveling exhibition: New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West (Tia Collection, 2018).