Read about "Submerged Reflection" in Deseret News

Modern West Fine Art
Aug 4, 2017 3:00PM

"J. Vehar-Evanoff’s new Western exhibition showcases the power of abstract painting", Deseret News, Article by Scotti Hill, August 3, 2017


J. Vehar-Evanoff's soft-spoken and humble demeanor may surprise those who meet the bearded, tattoo-covered artist. His work, too, presents a fascinating contradiction, toying at every juncture between forceful abstraction and subtle fragility.

His most recent exhibition “Submerged Reflection,” now on display at Modern West Fine Art, is a bold departure from his earlier work. Comprised of large abstract paintings, "Reflection" grants insight into the wonderful world of Vehar-Evanoff’s artistic mind. The show also marks a shift for the traditionally Western-focused gallery, which has now expanded its scope to encompass contemporary abstract art.

As an undoubtedly Western state, Utah’s artists have always struggled to isolate the state’s signature style. Too far north to be part of Southwestern motifs, and not commonly associated with John Wayne-style Old West, Utah’s lush mountainous scenery bears witness to the state’s unique identity as home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the many artists paying homage to its history.

In turn, Utah’s art scene is devoid of a predominant style and instead is rich with an array of artistic voices whose experimentation is evident by the numerous galleries scattered across the Salt Lake Valley. Vehar-Evanoff is both a strong addition to the local scene and an outsider, as someone unafraid to think outside the proverbial artistic box.

A self-trained artist, Vehar-Evanoff began his career as a technical illustrator and worked as a designer for more than 15 years before focusing on art exclusively. After shifting to painting full time, he hit the ground running by visiting Modern West one afternoon upon a friend’s suggestion that his work would be a good fit for the gallery. While unsolicited submissions are typically a no-go for commercial galleries, Modern West was impressed and decided to represent him on the spot.

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