Dennis Evans: Apocrypha

June 11 – August 31, 2024

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery


Dennis Evans and Nancy Mee, "Bibliotheque de Requettes Philosophique," from "Prospero’s Library," 2015

Dennis Evans and Nancy Mee, Bibliotheque de Requettes Philosophique, from Prospero’s Library, 2015.

Dennis Evans: Apocrypha explores the myriad artistic accomplishments of Seattle mixed-media and performance artist Dennis Evans (American, born 1946). Organized by Director John Olbrantz, the exhibition chronicles the artist’s career over the past fifty years, from his early performances and installations of the 1970s and ’80s to his autonomous and collaborative works in the 1990s and 2000s. Apocrypha features 36 objects on loan from public and private collections throughout the region, including a large body of work from the artist’s archive collection.

Throughout the 1980s, ’90s, and early 2000s, Evans created a wide variety of exhibition installations and mixed-media works—often with glass artist and wife Nancy Mee—that explored various ideas that fascinated him, including comparative mythology; religions; Western alchemy; medieval and Renaissance philosophy; the origin, function, and meaning of language; libraries; the written word; and the journey of the soul. The many writers and thinkers who have influenced his work over the years include mythographer Joseph Campbell, psychologist Carl Jung, philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco, and anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. In recent years, Evans has explored the science of cosmology in his work—the branch of physics and metaphysics that attempts to explain the origin and development of the universe.

Born in Yakima, Washington, Evans studied chemistry, ceramics, and design at the University of Washington, where he received his BS, BFA, and MFA degrees in 1969, 1973, and 1975, respectively. In 1975 Evans received the Henry Art Gallery Biennial Award, and in 1980 he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowship. Over the past fifty years, he has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the prestigious Whitney Biennial in 1979 and a major group exhibition—Outside New York: Seattle—at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City in 1983. In addition, he is included in some of the foremost public and private collections in the United States, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Renwick Gallery, Phillip Morris USA, the Seattle Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, the University of Washington Libraries, and Microsoft Corporation, among others.


Dennis Evans book cover

Apocrypha: The Art of Dennis Evans
The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color, hardcover book written by Seattle art critic and writer Matthew Kangas.
Publisher: Utopian Heights Studios; 2023
Hardcover: 308 pages
Available at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art starting June 8, 2024

Exhibition Related Events

Artist Lecture

Dennis Evans
June 8, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
245 Winter St. SE, Salem, OR 97301
Free and open to the public

Members/VIP Opening Reception

Celebrating: Dennis Evans: Apocrypha
June 8, 2024
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Members and invited guests only
New Members are welcome to join at the event or online

Or by phone at 503-370-6855 or by email at

Tuesday Gallery Talk

Dennis Evans and Nancy Mee
June 11, 2024 at 12:30 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

Financial Support

Financial support for this exhibition has been supported with funds from the HFMA Exhibition Fund and the Maribeth Collins Art Exhibition Fund; by advertising support from The Oregonian/Here is Oregon; and by general operating support grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission


Dennis Evans and Nancy Mee, "Bibliotheque de Requettes Philosophique," from "Prospero’s Library" (detail), 2015.

Dennis Evans and Nancy Mee, "Bibliotheque de Requettes Philosophique," from "Prospero’s Library" (detail), 2015.

Related Links

Exhibition EVENTS

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