Turn Into Gold | Arts & Entertainment | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Turn Into Gold 

James Anthony brings New York art to Salt Lake City.

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We’ve had a lot of galleries attempt to fill various niches in the art community, from Mestizo’s Latino flavor to experimental work at New Visions Gallery to, more recently, the international range of Contemporary Art and Design. The “NY” in James Anthony’s name is bolded on the logo of his gallery, and that tells you what to expect from the newest addition to our art scene. We haven’t had a gallery with a New York flavor since Chris Creyts brought his enormous art press several years ago, with a pedigree that included Picasso and Frank Stella.

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But then, James Anthony has a pretty impressive résumé as well. At the age of 24, the Salt Lake City native has already worked in several galleries in New York City, including Mary Boone, where he helped assemble exhibits of photographs by Lou Reed and David Bowie. After several years, he’d had his fill of artistic egos, and returned to Salt Lake City. In the meantime, he had met former Oremite Melanie Hall in Manhattan of all places, and they decided that they would start some kind of business together. Fast-forward to Salt Lake City, and James Anthony Gallery was born.

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The first exhibit, works by the Brooklyn art collective the Goldmine S'thouse, was the perfect launch vehicle for the space’s Nov. 17 Gallery Stroll night. For starters, immediately as you walk in the door, the large piece “Early Fall” captures your attention. A large blown-up photograph of a tree is painted over in places, etched with inscrutable inscriptions. It’s the intricate details of their work that cause you to spend too much time examining them. “They are really inspiring, a great example of what we want to do with the gallery,” explains Hall.

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Collective members David Hochbaum, Travis Lindquist and Colin Burns combine 19th-century screen-print images, expressionistic brush strokes and unlikely pop-art icons like the Manson family (“Escaping Parental Control” manages somehow to equate the Mansons with impulses of suburban teens in a repressive environment) to create an eclectic hybrid. In accord with the group’s modus operandi, they spent a week in the gallery before the show, creating works specifically for the event. The results are a unique combination of cutting-edge art style and technique with a specific response to their surroundings.

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The gallery’s clothing boutique, with unique screen-printed T-shirts, offers images you can’t find anywhere else in town, including a few lines by his New York friends. A screen-printing party the night before Gallery Stroll aroused interest in the opening. Hochbaum will exhibit solo work during Sundance, with music by Carlos D. of the band Interpol, who is also doing some music in connection with the festival. “We want to expose Salt Lake to artists from larger cities,” explains Anthony, “as well as up-and-coming locals.nn

The Goldmine S'thouse, founded in 2003, had only been together a few months before Anthony met them at a bar in the Lower East Village and hit it off, curating a show of theirs in New York City before bringing them here. They have since taken their act all over the country, so it’s a real art event to have them exhibit here. Burns says of the collective’s approach, “It’s easier to take risks in the group because your work seems less precious. There are so many things we try that you might hesitate to attempt on your own.nn

The work is at once epic and ironic, large in scope and scrutinizingly small subject matter, and the narrative effect of illustrations from a story somehow both historical and personal in scale. One particular work'“We Summon God, He Denies Us, We Summon God”'Burns felt particularly tied to the group’s experience here, with its horseman beating a drum echoing off in the distance. “Looking at the mountains,” he said, “made me understand why someone would come here and decide this place was divine.nn

The Goldmine S'thouse
nThrough Jan. 11
nJames Anthony Gallery 241 E. 300 South
n647-8736

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