Visual Arts

Arty Girl: "Everything Is Illuminated" at Lisa Sette Gallery

I have to say, I love the idea for the upcoming July exhibition at Lisa Sette Gallery.

It's called "Everything Is Illuminated: Revealing the Back Room" and it opens this Thursday, July 9, as a part of the Summer Spectacular Art Walk in Scottsdale from 7-9 p.m.

I don't know if you've ever been in the back room of a museum or gallery but, man, it is a neat experience. Lisa Sette Gallery will haul their stored works out for everyone to see for the next few months - the show closes October 24.

A typical visit to an exhibition, with endless walls and pedestals displaying selected works, can get pretty dang sterile after a while. We're so used to experiencing art this way that we probably don't think much about it - until you visit a back room, that is. It's kind of like that feeling you get when you visit an amazing, immaculate mansion and you stumble across their scary storage room. It's an intimate peek into what happens behind the scenes.

I'll never forget filing into the storage rooms of the ASU Art Museum with my fellow Art History students for one of my classes. The paintings were carefully stored on metal sliding racks and hung salon style - one on top of the other from top to bottom. There was no visual rhyme or reason to the arrangement. I loved experiencing the art this way. Without the organization, wall panels and careful display of a planned exhibition, the direction of my attention was not being dictated. My eyes could wander wherever they were compelled to. I was a free agent.

I look forward to having a similar experience this Thursday, at Lisa Sette Gallery. The whole point of this show is to recreate the back storage room in the front galleries. With storage bins and the salon-style hanging happening in the front of the house, it will be a hodge-podge viewing experience of their amazing collection.

They're including works from all over the world by the many artists they've represented over the past 23 years. A Cy Twombly print from their very first show in 1986 will hang alongside more recent works.

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Fanatica again (the photo image on the right). This gorgeous photograph by Res recreates the classic early 17th c. painting by Artemesia Gentileschi called Judith and Holofernes. RES had an entire exhibition at Lisa Sette a year or so ago that featured a whole slew of photographic recreations of classic works from art history. I really enjoyed that show and can't wait to see more memory-joggers.

"Everything Is Illuminated: Revealing the Back Room" at Lisa Sette Gallery runs from July 9th-October 24th with an opening reception from 7-9 p.m. Call 480-990-7342 or visit

Photo Caption: (L to R) Arnaldo Roche Rabell, Touched Mask, oil on paper, 80" x 67", Luo Brothers, Welcome to the World's Famous Brands, fiberglas resin, 23" x 18" x 14", RES with Constanza Piaggio, Fanatica, Lambda print, 37.5" x 29.5"

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi