Fine art

Hand made

Renowned ceramic artist Deborah Rael-Buckley makes reacquaintance with Taos


Works by Deborah Rael-Buckley are almost always a challenge to the viewer. They boldly state up front what they are, but dare you to consider them only a bowl or a simple figure study. That may be one reason the artist has chosen to show her work by appointment only or with the occasional appearance in a museum setting.

Now, just in time for the coming of monsoons to Taos, there’s a bit of a change in the wind.

David Anthony Fine Art, “the innovative contemporary gallery,” at 132 Kit Carson Road, “is pleased to announce its upcoming artist reception featuring the highly covetable ceramic works of Deborah Rael-Buckley.”

The show, titled “Taxonomy of Memories: Chronicles in Clay,” opens with a reception planned Saturday (Aug. 5) from 4-7 p.m.

Owner David Mapes noted that the inclusion of Rael-Buckley in his roster of artists is a rare gallery opportunity to view her work, as she primarily shows from her Taos studio by appointment only.

Rael-Buckley said in a statement, “My works are of a large scale and my process is time-consuming, so stepping away from the obligations that gallery representation often requires has given me much more creative freedom. Yet I am very grateful to David for this opportunity to reintroduce my new works to the Taos audience.”

Rael-Buckley’s pieces are hand coiled and shaped into their final silhouettes, then design markings are etched and negative spaces are carved from the unfired clay. Once fired, various glazes, stains and acrylics are applied to add washes of color and textural interest. The finished pieces may also be embellished with such items as found objects or metal leaf, a press release states.

The artist incorporates her exploration of the “taxonomy of memory” in much of her work. “As humans, we have the special and unique ability to recall and preserve, sometimes with great detail, complex memories,” she states. “Dress Forms,” one of Rael-Buckley’s featured series, includes the self-referential piece titled “La Abeja Arquero,” or “The Bee Keeper.” It is a nod to the Hebrew roots of her name, the dependence of the natural world on bees and also acknowledges bees’ “furious work and community,” she explains.

Abstract vessel forms and idiomatic “quirky works” will also be exhibited, the latter of which transform disassembled mass-produced tchotchkes into new and personal stories.

Rael-Buckley has received national and international acclaim for her ceramics. Her first submission to Santa Fe’s Contemporary Hispanic Market garnered her both best in show and best in ceramics accolades. Her work is represented in important private collections of contemporary American ceramics, as well as prestigious public collections at the state of New Mexico, the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.

The show at DAFA will continue through Oct. 28.

For additional information on Rael-Buckley’s work, contact Mapes at (575) 758-7113 or visit