It is almost impossible to write  about art.


A few writers have been successful; one of those is Octavio Paz...

Painting is about painting , not writing ,or talking.


The best an artist can hope for is to see his work years after he made it and ask: how  was this made?

The  most interesting territory is  the border zone, the space between  things


and extremes;

for example: BLACK  is the ultimate color.

Painting landscapes is about painting.


"Crear para ver" --create, so you can see. Octavio Paz

Reductionism --within limits--is one method I use to focus attention on the essential;it is a way to distill and help the observer see what can be seen.Although I consider my paintings an exercise in problem solving and approach the problem experimentally within the constraints of predetermined rules, the element of playful 'let it happen!' on paper or canvas is very important.

I mix media that are very different and considered  by most as not belonging together, for example gesso and ink or chalk. I build (sculpt) the picture surface with paper that is molded into the gesso( a protection against reproducibility).

Landscape and skyscapes emerge.

Emergence is an important aspect of the ancient cultures of the Southwest, the Rio Grande Pueblos.Their creation myths are myths of emergence.In my work images emerge because I allow them to form.Alternatively, the image  just forms-without  permission.I think this is the reason  explaining my amnesia. Many times  I have encountered one of my paintings in my collectors' homes and am surprised, I recognize the work as my own---but I had forgotten how I made the piece--or  that  I  made it.

Instead of starting with a detailed plan  I begin to work, and the work soon finds its own way.

Finding is the one real talent that I have.Not all things are given to us to understand-nor is this necessary. I am interested in the process of making things-and in the endpoint. The finished product-if successful- obeys the rules- and is , Octavio Paz, again ," presencias resonantes", meaning that the work has a strong presence that resonates with the viewer.The work gives off enough energy  to beckon the viewer to come closer and engage in the act/work of seeing.My landscapes, small medium and large, water color, acrylic and oil or mixed materials, are the result of an endless dialogue with the structures, horizon lines and colors of the American Southwest [a major influence have been the watercolors of J.M.W. Turner].

There is probably not much difference between a landscape and a human face.

As we are nowadays  image-overloaded,image-saturatedand numbed by the constant attacks on our visual cortex, I am interested in the still point, the archetypical,rather  than the razzle-dazzle.

I approach an artistic problem through the serial approach and the variations around the theme.Another landscape, another take, because there is no single side to most matter. Here I seem to contradict myself, but not really--there are many archetypes.My figures emerge, like the large series of "Morphs" I made a decade ago.

Grids:for me, grids are interesting when they are organic and fluid; they are models of a constantly changing reality.They take me back to the horizon lines and silhouettes of the landscape paintings--and they show up in my landscape work.Someone recently remarked  that  the  grid  is  used  to "blenderize".  Perhaps.




Norbert Voelkel

Born in Bayreuth, Germany

Lives in Denver, Colorado and Taos  in  northern New Mexico

His work is represented  by the Philip Bareiss Gallery in Taos, NM  and  at the Hand Artes Gallery in Truchas NM (W. Franke)



36 Series of Landscapes , Boettcher Hall, Denver,CO, 1980

Exhibition with Nathaniel Hesse (Sculpture) at ',The Artery',  Denver, CO  1981

Recent Paintings,Boettcher Hall, Denver, CO,  1984

Recent Paintings at Kathleen Bryant,  Denver, CO 1987

'The Morphs',   Dennison Library, Denver, CO,  1993

'God lives in NewMexico', Dennison Library, Denver, CO, 1997

'Nightways and Nightscapes-Black is the Ultimate Color, Hand Artes Gallery, Truchas, NM, 1997

'Eight Torsos', SAI Gallery, New  York,  1997

Watercolors, Farmington NM, 1997

'Las Presencias Resonantes '  Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO, 1997

'Night Walker'  Curfman Gallery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 1997

Friends of Contemporary Art,Museum of New Mexico   Foundation,   Santa Fe, NM,   "Art Exposure",  1997


Taos Art Association, Stables Gallery, "Modernism and Postmodernism", Taos, NM,  1997

'The Rite of Spring', Bareiss Gallery, Taos, NM, 1998

Jaqueline Loyd Gallery, Taos, NM 1998

"Rio Grande " Series, Homage to William Turner  Hand Artes Gallery, Truchas, NM, 1998

'Timeless' Hand Artes Gallery, Truchas, NM,  1999

'Cheerful Detachment--Words, Images, Books' 'Bareiss Gallery, Taos, NM,  1999

'Between Earth and Sky'  Bareiss Gallery  Taos,NM  2000

'Taos Artists, Past and Present' , Bareiss Gallery 2000

"The House  ,  Theme and  Variations'' Hand Artes Gallery, NM, 2000

'Masks for Halloween' at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum,Santa Fe, NM 2000

'Figure it out'    Bareiss Gallery, Taos NM 2001

'Archetypes'   Hand Artes Gallery,Truchas,NM 2001

'9 eleven, a Day  inSeptember'    Bareiss Gallery, Taos, NM, 2001

'Love for Sale',   Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO, 2001

'The Grid Revisited', Bareiss Gallery , Taos ,NM


'Mostly Grids'-----Vertigo Gallery, Denver, CO, 2006

'Face it',  --The   Human Face,   Bareiss Gallery

 Taos, NM, 2008

'Reflections'  . Twenty five large format   photographs, Bareiss Gallery, Taos, NM,  2012


Small  Landscapes,  A Gallery, Santa Fe , NM.2013


Taos Select

Miniatures  ;" Abuelo con Nietos"(Grandfather and grandchildren)

at the Bareiss  Gallery, Taos, NM--through  January 2015.


Day and Night: Variations on the   theme of the  landscape.

Bareiss  Gallery. Sept 5-October



Art Books/Book  Art    Installation of  "Art books:an excellent excuse  for  notpainting a painting."January 2016 at the Taos Center of the Arts 

Miniature at the  Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos ,February 2016.


"In praise of the SQUARE"

Bareiss Gallery,Taos.

December 2017-February 28th 2018








Works in private collections:

Denver, Colorado Springs,  Evergreen, Boulder, Longmont  (Colorado) ; Nashville, TN ; Houston, Tx,  Santa Fe, Taos (New Mexico) ; Palo Alto, CA; Baltimore, MD, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Freiburg i. Br.,  Stuttgart, Isny (Germany) , Zurich, Switzerland.

Museum acquisition

'Art Book'   in the Walter and Molly  Bareiss

Museum, Toledo, OH






For contact: Tel. 720 201 9558  or

                            303 947 0070

Studios:  El Salto,NM, Calle Coyote 23

                700  W 11th Avenue, Denver, CO

Email:  nfvoelkel@gmail.com