I had mentioned the opening of “Decadence” at Evoke Contemporary Gallery in my post about Lee Price’s show “Full” (see previous post Lee Price’s Show “Full” at Evoke Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe), but had not yet had a chance to see the show myself. Anna and I went to Santa Fe the other day, specifically, to see it before it came down at the end of the month. “Decadence” is a group show curated by John O’Hern. Mr O’Hern and Kathrine Erickson, the director/owner of Evoke Contemporary, had collaborated on a group show last year, the splendid “Re-presenting the Nude.” Anna was invited to participate in that show, by the way, but it was hung before I started doing the blog, so there are no posts. Sorry. It was both a beautiful show and a resounding success so Kathrine and John knew they had to do something even better this year. The concept for “Decadence” came about while they were sitting in the gallery kicking around ideas. They looked at Eric Wert’s painting, “Deluge”, hanging on the wall and marveled at its decadence. And in that moment the show was born.
As John O’Hern says, “When I think of ‘decadence’ I think of things sinful…” and most of us do. So I love that the show was actually conceived in opulent beauty, or “luxurious indulgence,” to quote Mr. O’Hern. And that it includes a painting of children wallowing in the mud on a summer’s afternoon.
Then there is Lee Price in her tub eating strawberry shortcake, Luigi Benedicenti’s sinful fruit tart, “Solitario”, and Cheryl Kelley’s “Cadillac”, among others one might not expect.
But the show is not short on sin, either. The works we might better associate with the theme are offered in rich abundance–paintings such as Sean Cheetham’s “TLM’s”, David Michael Bower’s “Flaming Cock”, Jorge Santos’s “Mail Order Bride”, and the enigmatic “Myth and Empire” by Laurie Hogin.
Here is a video of John O’Hern speaking about the show:
And let’s not forget Anna and my stroll through the gallery enjoying this beautiful show. Here are some photos that might help you feel you were actually there:
Evoke Contemporary is co-directed by Elan Varshay. You can find more about the gallery at http://evokecontemporary.com. A new show is opening tomorrow night, August 5th, from 5 to 7. It is titled “Oil of Joy” and features the work of landscape painter Louisa McElwain. Those of you in the area shouldn’t miss it.
Love to you all,
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