Press Release

Tucson Museum of Art examines a pivotal time in American art in Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch

January 29, 2020

Exhibition highlights artists who contributed to the rise of contemporary art in the Southwest

Tucson, AZ – Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (TMA) celebrates one of the most powerful and influential art dealers in Arizona and New Mexico art history in Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch. The exhibition is scheduled for February 29 to June 21, 2020.

Art dealer Elaine Horwitch was a major force in contemporary art in the Southwest from the early 1970s until her death in 1991, responsible for launching the careers of hundreds of artists from the region and the nation. She championed contemporary Native American and Latino art as well as mainstreaming folk art, outsider art and craft into the fine art realm. With galleries in Scottsdale, Santa Fe, Sedona and Palm Springs, she was a leader in fostering what has been called “new Western art” or “Southwest pop.”

The exhibition highlights the works of some of the Elaine Horwitch Galleries’ most popular artists. Drawn from the Tucson Museum of Art collection and national loans, these paintings, sculptures and works on paper reveal the breadth of art and innovation that occurred in the Southwest at a pivotal time of change. According to Sasse, “Elaine Horwitch’s influence and impact on the development of contemporary art in the Southwest was remarkable. These artworks express a boldness of creativity previously unmatched in the Southwest.”

Dr. Sasse, who has been a curator at TMA for nearly two decades, worked for Elaine Horwitch Galleries from 1980 until 1995. “She was one of the most interesting and dynamic women I have ever known, and I’m honored to document her legacy,” Sasse said. “Many of the works in this exhibition are like old friends, as are the artists themselves.”

Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch includes works by:

• Warren H. Anderson
• Garo Atreasian
• Joe Baker
• Larry Bell
• Nicholas Bernard
• Earl Biss
• Brian Blount
• Paul Brach
• David Bradley
• Anne Coe
• Doug Coffin
• John Dawson
• Otto Duecker
• Paul Dyck
• Rudy Fernandez
• John Fincher
• Harry Fonseca
• Ben Goo
• Red Grooms
• Woody Gwyn
• Douglas Kent Hall
• James Havard
• John Heric
• Susan Hertel
• Kevin Irvin
• Dick Jemison
• Paul Jenkins
• Luis Jimenez
• Douglas Johnson
• Michael Joplin
• David T. Kessler
• Suzanne Klotz
• David Kraisler
• Marilyn Levine
• Earl Linderman
• Jeff Low
• Bruce Lowney
• Rhett Lynch
• Merrill Mahaffey
• Dick Mason
• Mark McDowell
• Nancy Tokar Miller
• Joan Miró
• Louise Nevelson
• Georgia O’Keeffe
• Tom Palmore
• Howard Post
• Robert Rauschenberg
• Larry Rivers
• Billy Schenck
• Fritz Scholder
• William Shepherd
• Skynear
• Gary Slater
• Frank Stella
• Beth Ames Swartz
• Lynn Taber
• Bunny Tobias
• Agnese Udinotti
• Victor Vasarely
• Bob Wade
• Randy Lee White
• Masoud Yasami
• Melissa Zink

Auxiliary galleries will present other prominent Arizona and New Mexico artists who played an active role in the rise of contemporary art in the region. Featured artists include Philip C. Curtis, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Emmi Whitehorse, Harmony Hammond, Richard Hogan and Paul Pletka.

Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch is accompanied by a book of the same name written by Dr. Julie Sasse and co-published by Cattle Track Arts & Preservation and Tucson Museum of Art. The book will be available through the Museum Store and the TMA website on February 29, 2020.

The exhibition is supported by a robust series of public programs, including:

  • Panel: “The Bad Boys of Elaine Horwitch,” with art critic Lisa Wade and artists Tom Palmore and Billy Schenck (February 29, 1 p.m.)
  • Panel: “In the Presence of Women and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch,” with artists Anne Coe, Suzanne Klotz and Lynn Tabor (March 8, 1 p.m.)
  • Curator Tour with Dr. Julie Sasse, for TMA members only (March 11, 10:30 a.m.)
  • Talk: Dr. Betsy Fahlman, “Before There Were Dealers: Arizona’s Art Community Before the 1950s” (April 2, 11 a.m.)
  • Curator talk/book signing with Dr. Julie Sasse (April 9, 6 p.m.)

Please note, due to the popularity of the museum’s public programs all events listed above require a reservation. RSVP on the museum website or contact the admissions desk: 520-616-2684 or

Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch is presented by TMA’s Contemporary Art Society, the Arnold and Elaine Horwitch Family, and the Kautz Family Foundation, with additional support from Anonymous, Pamela Parry, the Sublette Family Foundation for the Arts, and Ralph Tingle.

High-resolution images and a list of works in the exhibition are available upon request.

For general media inquiries, contact Anne Thwaits, Director of Communications and External Affairs, at or 520-616-2687