As of right now, there is not a single piece of gentle art to be found within Evoke
Instead, each painting, sculpture, drawing and photograph currently housed in the Lincoln Avenue gallery goes amusingly overboard in one way or another. It's all thanks to Decadence, a new exhibition that opens this evening and runs through July 31. Curated by John O'Hern, most of the pieces in Decadence range from vaguely to wholly disturbing, but the combined effect is almost cathartic.
The titular theme is interpreted through painting, drawing, photography and sculpture by artists from around the country (some of whom are showing their work in Santa Fe for the first time). Evoke Contemporary also requested finished pieces from artists and worked with galleries all over the country to put the exhibition together.
The theme rules the exhibition to the point that even the close hanging of the paintings demonstrates a sense of decadence, co-owner Kathrine Erickson says, although the tight fitting is primarily due to the sheer number of pieces in the show.
One of the most eye-catching paintings is a pink-hued oil on canvas by Pamela Wilson. “The Superlative Muse” (pictured above) depicts a woman with blonde dreadlocks perched on rusted machinery beneath a telephone wire and a bright pink sky. Clad in a white dress with a frilly corset bodice, her white-gloved hand presses a gun against her chin. The enormous 42 x 72 inch piece is the brightest painting in the building, if not the whole block.
Like many of the pieces in the show, it is also fairly morbid.
“Decadence is derived from decay,” Erickson explains. “There’s a lot of different meanings.”
The artists asked to create pieces with this theme interpreted it in myriad ways. One painting is of a woman eating strawberry shortcake in the bath, while another shows boys playing in the mud.
The inspiration for the show was “Deluge” by Eric Wert, another oil on canvas (most of the paintings are oil) that captures a broken vase with gorgeous flowers spilling out.
“We just love that it’s a still life that isn’t still,” Erickson says of the piece.
Evoke Contemporary is fastidious in its presentation. A towering vase of baby pink gladiolas complements the gladiolas in “Deluge,” and another piece that depicts the frilly flowers as well (along with skulls).
Unfortunately, it is hard to give the monochrome sculptures the attention they deserve, as the shocking paintings eclipse them.
If you're interested in meeting some of the talent behind Decadence, stop by Evoke tonight from 5 to 7 pm.
Friday, July 1 through Sunday, July 31
130 Lincoln Avenue