Visitors to the opening night reception on January 14 at David Richard Gallery’s new HQ on Pacheco Street were treated to a visual smorgasbord from around the world, around town and literally from around the corner. Paintings, sculpture, found objects, ceramics presented a multi-cultural and multi-generational kaleidoscope of things to look at and take in.
Front and center was senior Royal Academician Paul Huxley, showing his latest body of work based on his installation at last year’s Venice Biennale. These were large, bold canvases featuring his signature tension between geometry of form and color harmonics.
Installation: Paul Huxley, “Recent Paintings After The Venice Biennale”, 2016.
Another room serendipitously paired Monte Coleman’s ceramic ‘Heads and Hands’ (actually skulls and bones) with paintings by the young Italian Michele Bubacco. Bubacco’s dark and uncertain narratives were steeped in the art history lessons of Caravaggio, Goya and Bacon, with a gestural nod to Baselitz. Coleman, despite his potentially grisly subject matter, provided a rather humorous counterpoint with his elegantly thrown vessels, filled and adorned by skeletal bits and pieces.
Installation: Michele Bubacco, “Serenade”, 2016.
Installation: Monte Coleman, “Heads and Hands”, 2016
There was some serious heavy metal going on in “Industrial Strength Santa Fe’, featuring local lads Chris Collins, Tim Cox and Jack R. Slentz. Bullet-riddled desert trash (no, not the human kind) was spectacularly reincarnated through Collins’ alchemical application of gold, silver and copper leaf. Cox’ aluminum paintings and miniature cast aluminum sculptures of dumpsters and other receptacles contributed to the industrial feel of the project. Slentz continues his explorations of materials with a new body of show incorporating rubber inner tubes and hand-fabricated steel elements: cage-like restraints, chains, locks and manacles, resulting in a fetishistic, B&D experience.
Installation: Tim Cox, Chris Collins and Jack Slentz, “Industrial Strength Santa Fe”, 2016
Last – and certainly not least – were Erik Gellert’s fascinatingly complex ceramic Squares. Endless strands of hand-rolled clay were woven, like skeins of yarn into undulating surfaces suggestive of coral or seaweed floating on the tide. Pure visual pleasure.
Installation: Eric Gellert, “All Square”, 2016
An added treat was the fact that all the participating artists were present for the festivities: Huxley flew in from London, Bubacco from Vienna, Coleman from New York, and the local guys from various parts of Santa Fe (and Los Alamos). Guests came early and stayed till the end and the 250 capacity parking lot was filled from start to finish.
The evening was capped by a dinner at the hotel Santa Fe’s Amaya restaurant to celebrate and congratulate the talent that fired a pretty impressive first salvo.