Cultural Atlas: Cady Wells

In a catalog of essays, Georgia O’Keeffe was quoted as saying, “I believe we are the two best painters working in our part of the country.”  The “we” she was referring to included herself and artist Cady Wells.

In a new exhibition, produced in cooperation with the Philbrook Museum of Art in Oklahoma, Cady Wells: Ruminations explores the work of this striking and emotionally-charged watercolorist who captured the American Southwest with a distinct and complex vision.

Wells was a transplant to New Mexico, carving out a life and career after travels and studies abroad.  Cubism, Japanese Calligraphy and Modernism all played crucial roles in shaping Wells’ style, as did the landscape of the Southwest.  However, his work shifted into darker realms after his deployment in World War II and the subsequent birth of the atomic age in New Mexico.

His artistic journey can now be seen at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.  For more information, visit provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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