1335 Gusdorf Rd. Suite i
Taos, NM  87571
[ 575 ]  751 - 1262  -  email: art@203fineart.com

 Robert C. Ellis (1923-1979)  

Born in Jacksboro, Texas, R.C. Ellis first began studying art through The University of New Mexico, Taos Summer Field School in 1942, where he met Andrew Dasburg whom he admired greatly.  Ellis would have moved to Taos earlier if it had not been for WWII, and his service through the Coast Guard.  After the war he returned to studying art at the New School of Social Research in New York in 1949, where he studied Abraham Rattner and Adja Yunkers (later one of the Albuquerque moderns).  He would return to New Mexico the following year to study at the University of New Mexico and eventually obtaining his BFA in 1950.  Most importantly to Ellis, between 1947 and 1953, he lived intermittently with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexicoís Sierra Madre whose art he greatly admired.  His ties to Mexico, which were as strong as those he felt for the Southwest, became even stronger with his 1957 marriage to Rosamaria Ramirez de Alba, a Mexican citizen.  He was the only artist among the Taos Moderns to pursue his career in two countries showing his work on both sides of the border.  He returned to Taos in 1961 as a resident of the Wurlitzer Foundation and again briefly in 1964, before finally settling in Taos in 1965. 

His paintings from the 1940ís onward moved through Cubist and Abstract Expressionist influenced periods.  In the 1950ís his interest in the nature of luminosity led him to try for a kind of stained glass effect.  In later works he moved to a more minimalist Ė type artwork in both his painting and print making.

His first solo exhibition was at Gumpís Gallery in San Francisco California in 1942 and from there is work was exhibited in Washington D.C., Tucson Arizona, Santa Fe NM, Albuquerque NM, Linsborg KS, Amarillo TX, The Panhandle Museum in Carson County TX, The Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permain Basin, Odessa TX, and at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos.  He exhibited internationally in several galleried in Mexico, as well as at the Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno in Mexico City in 1964.

  Ellis applied what he saw in the landscape, interpreting the lessons garnered from his observations to create his compositions.  Particularly by the time of his late work, he captured in paint, ink and other mediums the paradox of the desert, a surface that at first appears simple, but only because itís true complexity is so well integrated into a flow of light and form.   R.C. Ellis died in Albuquerque New Mexico in 1979.

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M.
New School for Social Research, New York City

Galeria de Arte Mexicano: Mexico, D.F. 1955 - 1957 - 1959 - 1961
Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno del lnstituto Nacional de Bellas Artes: Mexico, D.F. 1964
Tucson Art Center: Tucson, Arizona 1969
lnstituto Mexicano Norte Americano de Relaciones Culturales: 1968
Jonson Gallery, The University of New Mexico: Albuquerque, N.M. 1969 - 1977
The Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery: Lindsborg, Kansas 1976
Artists of the United States in Latin American: Pan American Union, Washington, D.C. 1955
20th Biennial International Watercolor Exhibition: Brooklyn Museum 1959
State Dept Exhibition at the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan 1965

Theodora Shaskin Memorial Award 1965

Library of Congress; Washington, D.C.
Roswell Museum; Roswell, New Mexico
University Art Museum; The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Lockwood Memorial Collection; University Art Museum; University of Kansas
lnstituto Mexicano Norte Americano de Relaciones Culturales; Mexico, D.F.
Sala Permanente de Arte Contemporaneo; Toluca, Mexico
Dr. and Mrs. Barnet Malbin; Birmingham, Michigan
Dr. Luis Quintanilla; Mexico, D.F.
Dr. Hipolito Paz; Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dr. Jose Moa; Montevideo, Uruguay

(Select image above to view Legends of Taos Series - RC Ellis & Michio Takayama exhibition catalogue)

Selected works currently in our inventory :

Images are not to scale.

oil on linen - 1962
  27" H x 51 1/2" W

"Horizontal Orange"
casein on paper - 1960
  7" H x 21 1/2" W

"Composition II"
oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  12" H x 36" W

crayon on paper - 1959
  7 3/4" H x 10 3/4" W

oil on canvas - 1962
  24" H x 36" W

"Blue & Blue Drawing #3"
crayon on paper - c. 1970s
  23" H x 17 1/2" W

"The Day Before"
oil on linen - 1962
  36 1/2" H x 60" W

"Elements #2"
graphite on paper - 1977
  21" H x 29" W

oil on canvas - 1962
  30" H x 80" W

oil on canvas - 1960
  16" H x 39 1/2" W

"Mar #1"
crayon on paper - 1960
  14" H x 16" W

"Wamina Kawici (The Voice)"
oil on linen - 1960
  21" H x 51" W

"We Find Solace"
casein on paper - 1957
  21 1/2" H x 14" W

"Merry Christmas"
crayon and gouache on paper - 1956
  3 1/4" H x 4 3/4" W

"Noche Larga"
wood block on paper ed 43/50 - 1965
  14" H x 8 1/2" W

"Llano Quamato #8"
mixed media on linen  - 1975
  18" H x 30" W

wood block on paper ed. 1/10 - 1950
  12 1/2" H x 22" W

"El Greco #2"
mixed media on linen - 1974
  20" H x 10" W

wood block on paper ed 10/10 - 1962
  20" H x 30 1/2" W

"Cuautla No. Twenty"
oil on canvas - 1963
  30" H x 24" W

"Yellow Ocher"
crayon on paper - 1959
  10 3/4" H x 7 3/4" W- SOLD

"Untitled Blue & Green"
crayon on paper - c. 1960s
  8 1/2" H x 5 1/2" W- SOLD

"Southwest Landscape"
wood block on paper ed. 4/8 - 1962
  19" H x 30" W- SOLD

"Desert Landscape Night"
lithograph on paper AP - 1978
  26 1/4" H x 33 1/2" W- SOLD

"Cuautla #13"
oil on canvas - 1963
  36" H x 18" W - SOLD

"Volcano #13"
pastel on paper -  c. 1970's
  5 5/8" H x 7 1/2" W - SOLD

"Volcano #17"
pastel on paper -  c. 1970's
  5 5/8" H x 7 1/2" W - SOLD

casein on paper -  c. 1952
  21 1/2" H x 21 3/4" W - SOLD