Mixed Me­dia James Kelly Con­tem­po­rary’s The Last Pic­ture Show

LEAVIN’ THE HOOD: JAMES KELLY CON­TEM­PO­RARY’S THE LAST PIC­TURE SHOW

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - Last Pic­ture Show

For 19 years, James Kelly Con­tem­po­rary has been a fix­ture in the Rai­l­yard District. The gallery, which opened in 1997, has moved over the years but has re­mained in the same neigh­bor­hood, oc­cu­py­ing the old Sears ware­house build­ing across from SITE Santa Fe and, since 2014, their cur­rent Paseo de Per­alta lo­ca­tion. The gallery’s fo­cus has been on post­war artists from Europe and Amer­ica, as well as es­tab­lished and emerg­ing re­gional artists. But owner James Kelly is clos­ing up shop in Santa Fe and tak­ing his ex­per­tise to Cal­i­for­nia, where he has ac­cepted a po­si­tion with the Gagosian Gallery in Los An­ge­les. “The na­ture of the art world has changed over the last 10 years,” Kelly told Pasatiempo. “A lot of the mar­ket has been con­sol­i­dated among the very large gal­leries with mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions around the world, and all of the auc­tion houses and art fairs are be­com­ing stronger in sell­ing con­tem­po­rary art. For the mid-level gal­leries like mine, it’s be­com­ing more dif­fi­cult to com­pete in this new world. I felt like I had brought my gallery as far as I could here.”

Kelly was di­ag­nosed with a non-cancerous brain tu­mor three years ago and, un­til re­cently, has kept a low pro­file af­ter re­cov­er­ing from surgery. “This health is­sue made me re­think what I was do­ing with my life,” he said.

The Gagosian Gallery was founded in 1980 by Amer­i­can art dealer Larry Gagosian and has 16 lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing spa­ces in New York City, Lon­don, Paris, Hong Kong, and Rome. The Gagosian’s ros­ter con­tains ma­jor play­ers in the mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art worlds, in­clud­ing Diane Arbus, Cy Twombly, Ar­shile Gorky, Ed Ruscha, and Pablo Picasso. “I’ve known Larry and reached out to him, and he hired me very quickly,” Kelly said. “It was not a de­ci­sion I took lightly be­cause I wor­ried about what my artists would be do­ing if I closed. Ev­ery one of them were sup­port­ive in my de­ci­sion.”

Be­fore James Kelly Con­tem­po­rary closes its doors, the gallery is mount­ing one fi­nal ex­hi­bi­tion — The Last Pic­ture Show — which in­cludes works from all the gallery’s artists, such as painter Su­san Rothenberg, pho­tog­ra­phers David Tay­lor and Nic Ni­cosia, mul­ti­me­dia artist James Drake, sculp­tors Su­san York and Tom Miller (the last two artists to re­ceive solo ex­hibits at the gallery), sculp­tor Tom Joyce, and many more. The re­cep­tion for The

is at 5 p.m. on Fri­day, July 29. The ex­hi­bi­tion re­mains on view through Sept. 3, co­in­cid­ing with the clos­ing of the gallery, which is lo­cated at 1611 Paseo de Per­alta; 505-989-1601. — Michael Abatemarco

Peter Sark­isian: Cup’a Joe; 2011; pow­der-coated steel and alu­minum, over­sized ce­ramic cup, con­crete, tinted poly­mer resin, pa­per, coins, video pro­jec­tion, and au­dio

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