A COLOURFUL lecture ­on 20th century art — from a contemporary artist who plied his trade in Santa Fe ­— is coming to Quay Arts.

On Thursday, October 17, James Russell will be giving a lecture at the Minghella Theatre.

James, having studied history at Pembroke College, Cambridge, enjoyed a lengthy stint selling contemporary paintings and sculpture in Santa Fe, New Mexico ­— an experience that inspired him to begin writing and lecturing on 20th century art.

His vivid lecture will explore the relationship between an extraordinary American painter in Georgia O'Keeffe, and an equally remarkable place ­— the picturesque state of New Mexico.

Having visited the mountain art colony of Taos for the first time in 1929, Georgia moved permanently to New Mexico after the Second World War.

Fascinated by the mountains and desert, adobe churches and sun-bleached bones, and above all, by the brilliant light and vast skies of the state they call the Land of Enchantment, Georgie painted constantly.

She was a fearless explorer, setting off alone into the empty landscape in a battered old car, exhibiting tremendous character.

Drawing on James' twenty-year-long experience of New Mexico, and an archive of personal photographs and reminiscences, the lecture brings to life one of America’s greatest artists, and one of its most beautiful places.

Doors open for drinks and light supper at 6pm, and students can enter free.