New AP/RC Artist: Terry Allen

Terry Allen is a visual artist and musician. Born in Kansas and raised in west Texas, he now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Extending a narrative tradition about the North American frontier, Allen explores the social and cultural edges of the American Southwest through the daily lives of people on the periphery of ‘normative America’.

Allen began making prints in 1970 at the invitation of Jean Milant at Cirrus Editions in Los Angeles. His most recently editioned work is a portfolio of eleven lithographs, Bottom of the World, completed in 2013 at Landfall Press in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over the course of four decades, Allen has created eighty editioned prints, including several suites and portfolios, among them, Juarez (1976), Debris from the Text (1981), Positions on the Desert (1990), and Bottom of the World (2013).

Allen’s operatic works of art evolve like a libretto, beginning in the middle of a story and rarely resulting in resolution, promise, or conclusion. They embrace glimpses of movie magazines, too much make-up, little red pills, long strips of asphalt, one legged dancers, the romance of saltine crackers, neighbors shooting dogs on Christmas, and the emotional toll of the Vietnam war. Peculiar states of order (or disorder) unreel in episodic and non-linear melodies of images and songs. His mostly post-World War II vignettes parley earthy aspects of American daily life (with a distinct preference for the western U.S. and its margins), exploring fragments of desires, wayward temperaments, and other human caprices such as tenderness, violence, love, humor, paradox, insincerity, friendship, indiscretion, melancholy, judgment, sex, death, commerce, and pleasure.


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