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

 Robert C. Ellis (1923-1979)  

Born in Jackson, 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 mosved 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 garnedred 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.

(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.

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

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

"Tempter" - 1962
  24"  x 36", oil on canvas

"Yellow Ocher" - 1959
  10.75"  x 7.75", crayon on paper

"Paisaje Interceptado" - 1958
  36"  x 73.5", oil on linen - NFS

"Calabria", oil on canvas - 1960
  16" H x 39.5" W

"Cittanova" - 1959
  7.75"  x 10.75", crayon on paper

"We Find Solace" - 1957
  21.5"  x 14", casein on paper

"Horizontal Orange" - 1960
  7"  x 21.5", casein on paper

"Merry Christmas" - 1956
  3.25"  x 4.75", crayon and gouache on paper

"Noche Larga" - 1965
  14"  x 8.5", wood block on paper ed 43/50

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

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

"Landscape" - 1962
  20"  x 30.5", wood block on paper ed 10/10

"Desert Landscape Night" - 1978
  26.25"  x 33.5", lithograph on paper AP

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

"Volcano #13", pastel on paper -  crica 1970's
  5 5/8" H x 7.5" W - SOLD

"Volcano #17", pastel on paper -  crica 1970's
  5 5/8" H x 7.5" W - SOLD

"Congregation, casein on paper -  crica 1952
  21.5" H x 21.75" W - SOLD