Cursed Fate: Labors &

Landscapes of Hercules

"Cursed Fate: Labors & Landscapes of Hercules" is on display at Southern Indiana Center for the Arts (SICA) now through July. This gallery show by Alexander Winch..

This show combines two series of works, both relating to the ancient Greek Hero of Hercules. The First Series is the Twelve labors of Hercules. Hercules was the son of Great God Zeus, but his mother was not Zeus’s wife Hera, but Alcmene, a human. Out of Jealousy, Hera made Hercules’ life difficult. In a fit of rage caused by Hera, Hercules accidentally killed his children. As penance, Hercules submitted himself to the King Erystheus who gave him a series of twelve impossible tasks which Hercules completed over a period of 10 years.

In this Show the Story of Hercules is a jumping off point to explore how the myth is painted. Instead of making paintings of scenes and having the paintings framed, the paintng and its frame are united by painting decorative patterned borders onto the canvas itself. In much pre-modern art, a figurative composition was on the same substrate as its frame (think of an ancient Greek vase or a French tapestry). In this series that technique is updated with  modern flair.

The second half of this show is a series of paintings of mountains as seen from my mother’s hometown of Patras, Greece.  These landscapes were painted because they also have a Herculean connection. Legend has it that one of the mountains was next to a river where the centaur Nessus tried to capture Hercules’ wife, Deianeira. Hercules killed the centaur, but just before he died, Nessus gave a small vial of poison to Deianeira for use if she ever suspected Hercules of cheating. Hercules never cheated, but in a tragic mix-up, the poison resulted on both of their deaths. This show is called Cursed Fate because of the twelve labors Hercules had to complete, and the story of Nessus and Deianeira.

For more information about the exhibit call or text 812-522-2278, or email: