Los cinco pintores


Representing a new generation of painters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this group was regarded as the "wild bunch" in the post World War I era. Members were Fremont Ellis, Willard Nash, Walter Mruk, Josef Bakos and Will Shuster. They were bound together by their awe for the New Mexico environment, their fear of encroaching civilization, and their desperate need to record this era before it passed. They asserted that art should speak to everyone, ranging from peasants to sophisticates, and they wanted to awaken laborers to keener art sophistication, thus developing latent art instincts. They consigned their paintings for traveling exhibitions to factories, mines, and farming towns--wherever laborers could be reached. They held their first of several annual exhibitions in the Art Museum of Santa Fe in December 1921. At that time, the artists were all under the age of thirty, non-European trained, and they painted in modernist, somewhat abstract styles. John Sloan was very encouraging of their efforts. The group, all close friends, only stayed together several years as their art philosophies developed in a variety of directions. Source: Arrell Morgan Gibson,"The Santa Fe and Taos Colonies: Age of the Muses, 1900-1942", pp. 72-72.